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A project log for TeensieWI woodwind USB MIDI controller

Minimalistic and easy to build USB MIDI controller, inspired by the AKAI EWI, the CASIO DH-200 and my own MiniWI.

Johan BerglundJohan Berglund 10/21/2017 at 14:060 Comments

I've brought over some features from the NuEVI midi trumpet project, so now there is a selection of response curves to choose from, the possibility to send breath value as other CC numbers than 2 (breath) or as aftertouch (channel pressure), and also the possibility to change the midi channel. Even a limited set of transpositions are available.

To change settings, hold a combination of joystick direction and RH fingering from the settings chart while plugging in the USB. The Teensy onboard LED will flash the setting (in a cryptic way) and then it's ready.

Crypto key for the LED flashing: fast flashing is zero, longer flashes counts to a number. First the joystick position is shown. One is up/breath setting. Two is down/midi setting. Three is right, for various toggling settings and for factory setting restore. Four is left/breath response curve selection. Then there is the result of binary combination of the three main RH keys. This counts from zero to seven. If there is another bit, like for midi setting or breath curve, this is controlled by the first pinkie key. This key also controls aftertouch breath on in combination with the breath cc selection. The pinkie keys have their own separate flashes, either zero (four fast flashes) or one (one longer flash).

Example 1: Setting midi channel to number 11, we hold pitch bend down on the joystick and finger the combination from the chart – RH2+RHp1 – while connecting the USB to power. The LED will flash 2 - 2 - 1 - 0. (Midi channel 1 is fingering zero, so two flashes equals the value three. Plus eight from the extra bit equals eleven. Then there's the zero for the RHp2 that is not pressed. After that it's ready to play.

Example 2: Selecting the linear breath response curve. That's joystick left and RH3 at USB plug-in. LED will flash 4 - 4 - 0 - 0.

Example 3: Transpose from C to G. Joystick right and both pinkie keys at plug-in (transpose -7 to F and +2 to G). LED will flash 3 - 0 - 1 - 1. To toggle the setting back to C, do the same procedure again.

Example 4: Send breath cc (#2) and aftertouch in combination. Joystick up and RH2+RHp1 at plug-in. LED will flash 1 - 2 - 1 - 0.

Example 5: "Factory" reset. When you are completely lost in all of this, and your instrument is acting so weird you have no idea what's going on, you can reset to default values by holding joystick right and all the RH keys. LED will flash 3 - 7 - 1 - 1 and then you feel safe and comfy again.

If this sounds too complicated, it's because it is. You can just use it without changing anything and live your life as you did before all of this.

To get an idea what the controller is doing at any given time and have a better chance of having it do what you want it to do, a midi analyzer app for your computer or iPad is very helpful. I'm talking about stuff like MIDI Monitor on Mac or MIDI-OX on Windows.

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