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A Work-In-Progress Raspberry Pi-based MIDI Sequencer & Controller!

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Niisse:
Hi all,

I've been lurking on these forums for a while, but I've decided to make an account to share with you my first real electronics project. As the title says, I'm working on a Raspberry Pi based MIDI sequencer / controller. I am planning for the end result to be completely portable and stand-alone (in a 3D-printed case) with built in battery and audio, but it will also be able to hook it up to any MIDI device, either real hardware or software.

The core of this project is a sequencer written in Python. It uses the Pi's GPIO to interface with my hardware - at the moment a bunch of 7-segment displays for showing BPM and the current Pattern no, as well as an array of LEDs for indicating the sequencer's current step - all controlled by a bank of shift registers. I've already implemented all the basic stuff like playing / pausing, turning steps on or off, and more.

Inspired by the countless makers I've been watching on YouTube for the past 10 years or so, I've decided I wanna try and document my project's progress. I figured this would be an easy way for people to understand what's going on, and potentially give feedback, suggestions and / or criticism.







Renate:
Will you be using serial or USB MIDI?
A Pi 2, 3 can't be a USB gadget, a Pi Zero or Pi 4 can be.

What's the design? Will you use a little USB MIDI keyboard for input?
A Pi Zero with the keyboard into the host port and the peripheral port connected to something as a USB keyboard will work.

Edit: Pi 4 can be a peripheral over the Type C connector.

SiliconWizard:

--- Quote from: Renate on July 29, 2021, 11:00:12 am ---Edit: Pi 4 can be a peripheral over the Type C connector.

--- End quote ---

How do you configure this software-wise?

Renate:

--- Quote from: SiliconWizard on July 29, 2021, 06:44:47 pm ---How do you configure this software-wise?
--- End quote ---
I'm not sure on the RPi 4, but it's something along these lines:

--- Code: ---/boot/cmdline.txt

modules-load=dwc2,g_hid

/boot/config.txt

# Enable USB gadget
dtoverlay=dwc2
--- End code ---
(Replace g_hid with g_midi or something.)

Niisse:

--- Quote from: Renate on July 29, 2021, 11:00:12 am ---Will you be using serial or USB MIDI?
A Pi 2, 3 can't be a USB gadget, a Pi Zero or Pi 4 can be.

--- End quote ---

I'm developing it using a Pi 4. There are a couple of options. When it's in stand-alone / portable mode, there is no need for MIDI out as it will all be internal. For hooking it up to other MIDI devices, I'll probably integrate a USB MIDI interface for serial in/out; and I'll expose a USB port for connecting USB-MIDI devices. I'll integrate a MIDI device select function in the device; hooking up multiple MIDI-capable devices will be possible (as will MIDI channel selecting).


--- Quote from: Renate on July 29, 2021, 11:00:12 am ---What's the design? Will you use a little USB MIDI keyboard for input?

--- End quote ---

I am designing my own input systems. There will be sequencer-like inputs which I am working on right now, and later on I will build a small one or two-octave keyboard-like keys module. I will also build a drumpad module. I will experiment with allowing you to hook up external MIDI devices to this which could be passed on through.

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