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Thread: Where to start with all this?

  1. #1

    Where to start with all this?

    Stumbled across Gerrit's posts regarding custom midi controllers for various plugins in Reaper DAW. This is inspiring to me.

    I've never heard of teensy until now. I have basic electronics skills (I've built some guitar pedals from kits), and intermediate programming skills (IT professional). I'm typically a quick learner of tech.

    What I would like at minimum is a physical controller that can be used to control various plugins (brainworks SSL channel strip for example). Including (x number of buttons and knobs TBD), transport controls, etc).

    I love the screens Gerrit has incorporated, but perhaps a 1st project would not have any feedback from the software.

    I'm hoping to find some basic mentorship to get me started in terms of understanding the scope of what I want to achieve.. (time, effort, cost, etc) I'm sure the sky is the limit depending on how indepth i go.. what hardware is involved, Etc.

    For now, I just really want some knobs and buttons to play with instead of the mouse and whats on the market doesnt suit.

    Great forum here, I'll keep digging around but hoping to find someone who can shortcut my discovery.

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Senior Member+ Frank B's Avatar
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    You need to install Arduino, and after that Teensyduino (it "patches" Arduino for Teensy)

    Go through the provided basic examples, attach a button or two, some LEDs(don't forget the resistors).
    Then, you can watch the tutorial video. It's best to buy the tutorial kit because it has useful parts in it.
    I'd also buy the audio shield.
    After that, I'd take a look at the audio examples.

    I'd would'nt use a Teensy 3.2 anymore - either the larger parts Teensy 3.5 or 3..6 or the new Teensy 4.
    (Note, the T4 is still a bit "WIP, some things don't work - but they will, in a few weeks).

  3. #3
    Forgive my ignorance. Is an audio shield necessary? I'm wanting to control midi not audio?

  4. #4
    Senior Member+ Frank B's Avatar
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    Short answer: No, not really, if you want no audio.

  5. #5
    Is the audio tutorial a good place to start then? Or is there other tutorials I missed?

    I watched a vid of one guy piecing together a bread board with a teensy, button, knob and modifying some code to control it.. that level Im very comfortable with.

  6. #6
    Senior Member+ Frank B's Avatar
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    If you want to use the teensy to receive MIDI, you can create nice audioeffects.
    If you want to send only, you don't need all the audio-stuff.
    Maybe there is a MIDI-Tutorial out there - don't know - I don't use MIDI.

  7. #7
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    If you don't already have the software, install Arduino and Teensyduino.

    https://www.pjrc.com/teensy/td_download.html

    Then run Arduino and make sure Teensy is selected in Tools > Boards. The menus auto-update based on the selected board.

    Click File > Examples > Teensy > USB_MIDI. If you're unsure which example to try first, use Buttons. It causes pushbuttons connected to Teensy's pins to send Note-On when pressed and Note-Off when released. Even if you don't have a Teensy yet, you can at least install the software and open this example to read through its code and see if you can make any sense of it.

    When you do have a Teensy, click Upload to put that code onto your Teensy. Your PC will detect a new MIDI device when it runs. If you don't have any pushbuttons, you can just use a wire or paperclip to touch GND to the nearby pins, causing your Teensy to send those MIDI messages.

    Obviously you should run whatever software you like on your PC to actually do something with those incoming MIDI messages.

    Simple as this is, going through these steps will give you a pretty good start. The other examples show how to use other hardware, and how to have Teensy receive MIDI messages from your PC. Try the others as you have time and interest.

    If you get stuck, we can try to help you here. But please remember we can't see your screen and we can't see your hardware. We can help much better when you show us the full code and photos of what you've connected.

  8. #8
    Thanks for the help. I have a good starting point now.

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