too cool for school: MIDIWidget

Almost everyday something new comes into the market. A new synth here, a new controller there. And after a while, it all starts to look and sound the same. Nothing really revolutionary comes up . . . well, not that often at least.

A good way to cure the humdrum of technology: DIY!

and the MIDIWidget looks to be a pretty easy start:  Check out their kickstarter page!


Developer John Staskevich created MIDIWidget to make it easy to control just about anything in the real world, using MIDI. You don’t have to write any code. The MIDIWidget already understands MIDI note, CC, program change, and sync messages.

The MIDIWidget is a ‘brain’ for creating all kinds of DIY projects:

  • Robotic musical instruments;
  • Guitar amp and effect loop switching;
  • Light control or general-purpose relay control;
  • Studio recording lights or other DAW status indicators; and
  • Triggering a modular synthesizer or other instrument that can be triggered with a digital logic signal.

Each MIDIWidget output terminal can behave in one of several ways. Here are a few:

  • Note on/off: the output generates a “gate” signal corresponding to the duration of the incoming MIDI note.
  • Note, fixed-duration: when a MIDI note is received, the output generates a pulse of a duration in milliseconds determined by the user.
  • CC on/off: a CC “on” message switches the output high. A CC “off” message switches the output low.
  • CC toggle: the output alternates between high and low each time a matching CC message is received.
  • Start/stop: the output generates a start/stop signal based on MIDI sync.
  • Clock: the output generates fixed-duration pulses in response to MIDI sync. Several clock divisions are provided.

The MIDIWidget can also store a collection of output states as a preset. Presets can be edited, stored, and recalled via the MIDI messages of your choice.

but alas, its not very original: see Division 6 or Doepfer

What I like about it, more than the others, is the $69 version has screw clamps rather than solder joints. BIG PLUS for SVN, as we are always rebuilding Rome.

here is a great video the developer created showing it off with a drum machine. Imagine the lighting possibilities!!!! Might need a fusion reactor for what i have in mind, though.


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