Whether you're a classically trained pianist or a hobbyist who thinks synths sound really cool, the allure of DIY MIDI projects are incredibly tempting. It can be hard to know how to get started though. What board should you use? How does the code work? What even is MIDI?

This guide will tell you everything you need to know to get started with your own MIDI projects so that you can focus on building rather than searching everywhere on the internet.

What is MIDI?

Music Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) is a 7-bit communication protocol that dates back to the 1980's. It may sound antiquated, but it is the standard digital communication method for all things music. If you've ever had a piano keyboard control a piece of software or digital audio workstation (DAW) on a computer, then you were using MIDI.

MIDI is dependable, predictable, reliable and at this point is usually plug and play without too much fuss. This also means that it's approachable for folks to build their own MIDI devices.

Why build a MIDI controller?

There are a lot of aftermarket MIDI devices available, so why would you want to build your own? When you build your own MIDI controller, you can design it specifically for what you need. If you aren't quite sure what you want to do with MIDI, you can experiment and test things before committing to a full build. Additionally, you can share your MIDI project's details with the community for other musicians to benefit from.

Parts

Turn your Feather into a song-bird with this musically-enabled FeatherWing that adds MIDI input and output jacks to just about any Feather. You get both input and output DIN-5 MIDI...
$6.95
In Stock
A new chip means a new Feather, and the Raspberry Pi RP2040 is no exception. When we saw this chip we thought "this chip is going to be awesome when we give it the Feather...
$11.95
In Stock
What a cutie pie! Or is it... a QT Py? This diminutive dev board comes with one of our new favorite chip, the RP2040. It's been made famous in the new
$9.95
In Stock
Do you feel like you just don't have a CLUE? Well, we can help with that - get a CLUE here at Adafruit by picking up this sensor-packed development board. We wanted to build some...
$44.95
In Stock
Are you ready? Really ready? Cause here comes the fastest, most powerful Metro ever. The Adafruit Metro M4 featuring the Microchip ATSAMD51. This...
$27.50
In Stock
These displays are small, only about 1.3" diagonal, but very readable due to the high contrast of an OLED display. This display is made of 128x64 individual white OLED pixels,...
$19.95
In Stock
1 x FeatherWing Doubler
FeatherWing Doubler
1 x Breadboard
Full Size
1 x Breadboard wire bundle
Various size wires for breadboarding
1 x Servo
Micro servo

This guide was first published on Mar 02, 2022. It was last updated on 2022-03-02 13:24:41 -0500.

This page (Overview) was last updated on May 15, 2022.

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