This whole project started when, after hearing the name for a long time, actually realised what an Arduino micro-processor could actually do. A short investigation lead to the discovery that lots of people were creating MIDI controllers using these controllers and that is was a fairly straight-forward thing to do.
The huge number of Arduino boards available was initially a little overwhelming, but on narrowing down what I actually wanted the STJORN controller to do a clear choice rose above the usual UNOs, Leonardos, etc.
The choice was a PJRC Teensy 3.2.
This tiny tiny board had everything I required for this project:
- Tonnes of digital inputs for footswitches (34 inputs to be precise)
- Plenty of analog inputs so I could use external expression pedals
- Built in, ready-to-go, USB MIDI
- This was probably one of the main reasons for choosing the Teensy to be honest
- Plenty of processing horsepower so that I didn't need to really worry about it
- i2c and SPI
- Very small form factor
- Cheap! (around £18 in the UK)
One was purchased and within hours of really using an Arduino controller for the first time, I was already able to send and receive MIDI over USB!
I now have two Teensy 3.2s - one is on a breadboard and is used for testing circuits and generally playing around, and the other is for the STJORN itself.
For the board to be mounted in the STJORN, I have used a Tall Dog Teensy 3.2 Breakout to mount it. This not only provides easy access to all of the pins - some of which on the Teensy 3.2 board are located underneath with no direct access - but also some handy mounting holes to attach the board to the chassis. Here is the - actual one to be used in STJORN - Teensy 3.2 mounted to the breakout:
This little workhorse is going to do perfectly for this project.