Livid Instruments’ MIDI DIY board

March 19, 2009 | 2 Comments

Courtesy of Livid Instruments

Photo courtesy of Livid Instruments

March 19th, 2009 – So all the news recently about Monome-style and arcade button MIDI controllers has got me obsessed. The problem with making my own Monome is that I need to know how to develop for the Arduino board. While learning a new language is fun for some, I am not a particularly good programmer, and I already have my head filled with .NET, Rails, and I want to start on Max/MSP.

Seeing as I only have a limited amount of lucidity per day,  the Arduino platform is going to have to wait a bit. Lucky for me, people already manufacture boards that are set up for MIDI and USB; no drivers required, and totally modular. Livid Instruments is one of those companies, and their MIDI DIY is going to make my DIY controller fetish a lot easier to manage.

It’s USB bus-powered, has traditional MIDI inputs and outputs (as well as power for when you aren’t plugged into USB), has 16 button contacts (with the ability to expand to 2048), and 14 LEDs (with the ability to expand to 128). There are so many possibilities for this board, my head is about to explode. Mapping to Ableton is going to be so much fun.

On the Livid site, it says “Coming Soon”. I want it now! If anyone from Livid reads this, I wouldn’t mind an update and price list!

UPDATE 3-22-09 : I visited the Livid Instruments forum today and they say that this unit will ship sometime this May. The list price is projected to be under 200 USD (is that pricey? seems so to me), although a user stated that he hadn’t even been able to get his hands on an older model. Maybe Skulpture is right, go for the Arduino since it is much cheaper and available now.

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  1. skulpture says: March 22, 2009

    They’ve had this on their website for aaaaaaaages I have been checking it out for over 6 months i’m sure…. I’d check out arduino instead.

  2. Sean says: March 22, 2009

    @Skulpture: damn…that sucks to hear. Maybe I can email them and get a solid answer. How hard is the arduino to set up to only output MIDI? I need my set up to be as idiot-proof as possible


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