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Concept: midiBricks – a versatile, modular MIDI controller


    As part of my bachelor thesis, I wanted to extend the large variety of the Arduino and microcontrollers to musicians. I developed the midiBricks as an easy-to-use toolkit to build custom midi controllers without having to pick up a soldering iron or get into programming. For the development, I chose Co-Creation as the right design method to find the right solution.


    The midiBricks consist of a master module is equipped with a USB connector. It can simply be connected to the computer and will be recognized as a MIDI controller.

    The master module itself provides several headphone jack connectors. The position of the connector defines its function. There are six connectors for controllers, two groups for notes and velocities and two for the MIDI clock.

    Every module can be connected to every connector of the master module. They are hot pluggable.


    Master moduleThis module provides the basic functionality and the connectors to connect the other modules.
    Breath ModuleThis module provides an air pressure sensor reacting to pressure changes.
    Button ModuleThis module is equipped with a simple button.
    Drawing ModuleAttach crocodile cables to the module and draw some tunes. It reacts to resistances, for example the line of a pencil.
    Acceleration ModuleThis module is changing its parameter depending on the velocity or position.
    Free ModuleThis module is made for everybody who wants to create her/his own extention to the midiBricks.
    FSR ModuleThis module is a pressure sensitive component. Attached to a note connection, you can play a tone leader by pushing it from soft to hard.
    Potentiometer ModuleThe potentiometer is a knob which you can use to for example control effects.
    Vibration ModuleThis module can create vibrations. This is for example very usefull for the midi clock signal.