Raspberry Pi fans may be interested in a new article being published for the official Raspberry Pi Magazine Website featuring a musical project created by Tod Kurt. The RP2040 Music Machine uses both USB MIDI and serial MIDI and is powered by a Raspberry Pi Pico Microcomputer/microcontroller.
Hacking embedded systems and hardware isn’t afraid of Tod Curt, who has years of experience with both. Tod shares expert tips on Arduino and MicroPython, and he recently unveiled the PicoStepSeq MIDI sequencer based on our favorite microcontroller board. Since the Pico has PWM (pulse width modulation) ) and transmitted UARTs, Tod could simply assign a command to either pin, as well as use LEDs of variable brightness. Getting the timings right for I2C displays was more difficult: the 35ms refresh rate is relatively slow compared to the rate for incoming MIDI messages.”
PicoStepSeq Raspberry Pi RP2040 Music Machine
Prior to his adventures in programming the Raspberry Pi Pico, Tod’s ThingM launched a “simple yet popular” USB LED notification light known as blink (1). This provides a visual indication that you’ve received a message, email, retweet, etc. The idea behind PicoStepSeq Also visible: Using the GPIO pins, Tod planned to program the Pico to light up a series of LEDs of varying intensity as each note was played.” The Pico and RP2040 are great parts. So many possibilities in such a small and inexpensive package! “
He found readily available ‘step keys’—lever keys with LED lights—as inspiration. “I wanted to make a MIDI step sequencer, that sounded like synths and drum machines had these keys” back in the ’80s, he says. Their integrated LED indicates the status of the parameter the switch controls, and they only take up slightly more space than a regular touch switch. And their sizzling, clicking sound is “Chef’s Kiss.” “
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