MIDIsense Frequently Asked Questions
Does the kit come assembled?
Nope! Its just a kit with parts, PCB and a preprogrammed controller chip, you will need to assemble (solder) it yourself.

Where are the assembly instructions?
Click on "Make it!" over there to the left. The instructions look best using Firefox/Mozilla/Safari browsers. IE chokes a bit so be patient while it loads

I seem to be missing a part!
We rarely make such mistakes but they do happen, please contact us to get a replacement part.

Do I have to program the microcontroller?
If you buy a kit the microcontroller comes preprogrammed. You will know because when you turn it on the MIDI light will blink orange once.

You can always update the microcontroller to a newer revision (see Software->Upgrade)

What sensors work with MIDIsense?
Right now there are 2 boards available, the Resistive sensor board and the Analog/Digital Input&output (ADio) board. The Resistive supports only sensors that act as variable resistors: Photocells, bend sensors, flex sensors, FSR (force sensitive resistors), etc.

The analog/digital IO board supports: Slide/rotary potentiometers, IR distance sensors, ribbon controllers, buttons/switches, temperature sensors, etc.

You can see a list of sensors we have documented on the Sensors pages.

Do I need to run MaxMSP/Abelton to use MIDIsense?
No, MIDIsense outputs standard issue MIDI signals which can be understood by many synthesizers, sequencers and other audio devices. However, you'll want to read the manual for your synth to figure out how to get it to listen to MIDI signals and what signals it will respond to.

What MIDI messages can MIDIsense send out?

Standard MIDI messages:

Continuous controllers:

Bank Select, Mod Wheel,Breath Ctl, Foot Pedal, Portamento, Data Entry, Volume, Balance, Pan, Expression, Effects, Effects 2, Slider 1, Slider 2, Slider 3, Slider 4, Hold Pedal, Hold Pedal 2, Portamento, Sustenuto, Soft Pedal, Legato Pedal, Sound Vary, Sound Timbre, Sound Release, Sound Attack, Sound Brightness, Sound Control 6, Sound Control 7, Sound Control 8, Sound Control 9 , Sound Control 10, Button 1, Button 2, Button 3, Button 4, Effects Level, Tremulo Level, Chorus Level, Celeste Level, Phaser Level

Firmware version v1.3 adds a new type, "Glissando" which has 3 slight variations, essentially this lets you send Note On/Off of increasing pitch. Glissando sends a Note Off for the last note before the next Note On. Glissando2 sends a Note Off for the last note after the next Note On. Glissando3 does not send any Note Off's

Some of these are 14 bit (coarse and fine) and some are just 7-bit (coarse) control. Read the MIDI specification for more details on these messages.

Not all of these messages are necessarily supported by your sequencer/synthesizer, although all software should be able to understand these messages. Read your manuals!

How can I tell what MIDI signals are coming out of the MIDIsense?
Looking at the messages with a third-party software is always a good idea! For Windows, I suggest MIDI-OX. For Mac, I suggest MIDI Monitor.

Be aware that sometimes MIDI softwares cant share a port so if its being flaky, only have one running at a time.

Not working when MIDI plugged in?

When I turn on the MIDIsense without MIDI plugged in, it starts up fine and the MIDI LED blinks green. However, with MIDI cables plugged in, it only blinks orange once and then nothing. Whats going on?

Some MIDI interfaces (Edirol UA-25 is at least one of them) constantly send out MIDI even if you arent asking it to. This confuses the MIDIsense firmware and makes it think you're trying to upload firmware. The solution so far is to just not start it up with MIDI-in plugged. This will be fixed in the next MIDIsense version! This is fixed in the ADio boards.


Something happened while I was playing with the software and now no MIDI is coming out! Help!
Don't panic! Sometimes MIDIsense gets into a weird state. Check the Settings for each sensor to verify that its sending out data at a reasonable rate. Sometimes it gets to thinking that it should send data at very very low rates (this has been fixed in v1.2 firmware)

If all else fails, hit the Reset button to get it back to factory default and try it again.

If its still not working, post to the forums!

It's not working nicely with my Synthesizer/Sequencer is the MIDI incompatible?
I suggest first trying to control the synth/sequencer using computer MIDI software (for Windows, MIDI-OX might be a good try. For Mac, I'm not sure...) To verify that it responds to MIDI messages.

Also see what channels it's set to listen to. For firmware v1.1 the channels are preset to 1-6 for sensors 1-6. In v1.2 you can change the channel for each sensor.

Are there any example projects?
They are in the works, stay tuned...

I need help with the assembly/software/usage, where can I get tech support?
Tech support is handled thru the forum. Please log into it and you can ask questions in the MIDIsense forum. You will get a response in a day or two.

May 17, 2011 20:07