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I have always wanted to build a USB MIDI Controller that consists of 8 potentiometers in order to control the parameters of the VST-Plugin in the DAW that I use to play music. In my case the DAW software I use the most is ABLETON LIVE so I wanted my MIDI Controller to be Plug and Play e.g USB MIDI with no need of extra software in order to be recognized from the DAW so I used an Arduino Pro Micro. I also wanted it to be AUTO Mapped with the parameters of the VST plugin and not simply with the Track Channels which makes it super easy and user friendly leaving room and time to enjoy playing an not tweaking the ABLETON settings every time I plug the MIDI Controller to my PC. Finally I would like to have some visual feedback of the potentiometer values so I thought that RGB Leds around it would be really handy! Now only 2 things are left to be done :
- Design and 3D print a nice Case to put everything inside
- A custom PCB to minimize the space needed for the components to connect together and make the whole build more rigid and strong.
For the PCB board pcb manufacturing process I chose PCBWay which is sure to find quality and economical boards with the features and color I want. You can order the Crius Vertical Infinity v1.0 PCB at the following link: www.pcbway.comLets build it
Step 1: Solder the Header Pins to the Led Rings
I will use some tape to stabilize the Led Rings so that I can turn the PCB upside down and solder the pins on the back.Step 5: Place the Arduino
- To upload the code to Arduino we need to download the Arduino IDE from the Arduino site: https://www.arduino.cc/en/software
- After you install the Arduino IDE, open the Crius_Vertical_Infinity_Control_v1.0.ino file so we can Upload the code to the Arduino
- We need to download the Control Surface library from Github
and install it to the Arduino IDE from the menu Sketch -> Include Library -> Add.Zip Library
- Then we have to select Board from the menu Tools -> Board -> Arduino Leonardo
- and finally the Port from the menu Tools -> Port -> the port we have connected the Arduino
- Now we can click Uploadand upload the code.
Here you see the PCB design from Kicad
For the PCB board pcb manufacturing process I chose PCBWay which is sure to find quality and economical boards with the features and color I want.
You can order the Crius Vertical Infinity v1.0 PCB at the following link:
To order the PCB from PCBWay you will need the Gerber filesStep 8: 3D Print the Case
I used Autodesk Fusion 360 to design the case because its free for personal use, easy to use and incudes some awsome features like to import a 3D PCB Design from KiCad in our case, so I can build the case around the PCB which make the whole construction feel more durable and professional.
Here you will find the design of the 3D Printed caseStep 9: ABLETON Setup
Here the only thing we need to do is to connect the Crius Vertical Infinity Control with our computer, open the Preferences menu and select from the MIDI tab :
- Conrol Surface - Fantom
- Input - Arduino Leonardo
- Output - Arduino Leonardo
We are READY to go!Step 10: END
I hope you enjoyed the proccess and made one for your self!
You can find everything you need for this project INCLUDING INSTRUCTIONS IN ENGLISH to my website : www.criusdigitalstudio.com
You can find my projects and support me at the following social media and websites:
1.Crius Digital Studio Youtube Channel
2.Crius Digital Studio Thingiverse Profile