Building the Sound Matrix: Mid August 2014

I got all the parts together and got to work putting together a configuration of 8 Trellis boards.

First of many Trellis boards to be soldered

First of many Trellis boards to be soldered

LED testing station

LED testing station

LEDs dropped in and ready to go

LEDs dropped in and ready to go

LEDs spread to hold them in place

LEDs spread to hold them in place

Bottom of the Trellis board

Bottom of the Trellis board

Done! Time to clip the leads and put all 8 boards together

Done! Time to clip the leads and put all 8 boards together

All 8 Trellises ready to be soldered together. Stack of button pads in the corner to go on afterwards

All 8 Trellises ready to be soldered together. Stack of button pads in the corner to go on afterwards

With all the parts Adafruit included a laser cut acrylic case. Nice! They call this configuration the Hella-OONTZ or the Hella UNTZtrument… I’m not so into either of those names, so I decided to codename my project The Sound Matrix. I think it’s got a better ring to it.

 

Taped up for soldering. A few more to go!

Taped up for soldering. A few more to go!

Sound Matrix board just about finished with a few faulty LEDs marked for replacement

Sound Matrix board just about finished with a few faulty LEDs marked for replacement

Workbench with parts galore. Time to put it all together!

Workbench with parts galore. Time to put it all together!

Sound Matrix board finished and fit in case

Sound Matrix board finished and fit in case

Here’s a quick lights and buttons test (no sound is coming from the Matrix. Music is in the background):

Slapped the rest of the buttons and the top on and it’s DONE! Short post to follow with video of the Sound Matrix in action.

Trellis Speaks MIDI: Early August 2014

HUGE MILESTONE – Trellis Pad Works as a MIDI sequencer… AKA NOTES ARE BEING PLAYED!

WOO!! So what’s going on here? The Trellis is plugged into an Arduino Leonardo, which is hooked up to my computer via USB. The Trellis sends information to the Leonardo based on buttons that are activated (pushed once); if a button is active, the Trellis will tell the Leonardo to send a MIDI message, corresponding to that button’s position, to the computer.

MIDI is essentially the language digital instruments use to communicate with a computer and ultimately play a sound. All electronic keyboards use MIDI to play notes.

Logic Pro X, basically a pro version of the music-making software Garageband, uses the MIDI message sent from the Leonardo to have the selected instrument play a note. In other words, pushed buttons make sounds play from music-making software on a computer. Awesome.

We’re getting close. Time to go full scale.

The Adafruit Trellis: July – August 2014

Good news! We found a different way to go about this! A way with single color LEDs, much smaller buttons, and a total of 4 WIRES coming out. WOW. It’s called the Adafruit Trellis. I soldered on the LEDs and, after some trial and error, got it to light up!

Adafruit Trellis connected to an Arduino Leonardo in the back

Adafruit Trellis connected to an Arduino Leonardo in the back

Let there be light!

Let there be light!

Size of Trellis buttons on top of big old button pad

Size of Trellis buttons on top of big old button pad

Oops! Broke off a pin.. good thing there's connectors that work on all four sides!

Oops! Broke off a pin.. good thing there’s connectors that work on all four sides!

Oh yeah, there’s also this: Adafruit just within the last week came out with a support for tiling up to 8 of these Trellis boards together, and they have example code and libraries to help get it going. AKA EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED :D . It’s time to start making music.