A Framework For Making Affordable & Stylish Modular Controllers (USB to MIDI, HID, or Serial)

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Step 2: Set Up Teensyduino (Arduino + Teensy)

Picture of Set Up Teensyduino (Arduino + Teensy)

Those of you who are familiar with Arduino may be wondering why I am using a Teensy instead of Arduino. Four good reasons. One, Arduino cannot act as a native MIDI/USB/HID device as Teensy can. Two, Teensy has many more inputs/outputs and more interrupt pins. Three, Teensy can be easily soldered to the protoboard. Four, Teensy is comparatively cheaper. I use Arduino for many projects, but not for controllers. We will, however, borrow the user friendly programming environment from Arduino and integrate it with Teensy to create the very awesome Teensyduino. 

Some of you also may be wondering, what the hell is Teensy or Arduino? Well don't worry if you are not familiar with these. They are just the small, programmable computers (microcontrollers) that are the brains of your controller. They are easy to use - just edit the code on your computer and upload it!

Follow the Teensyduino tutorial carefully. It contains all the step-by-step guide to get your Teensyduino up and running. 

If you are installing the Arduino environment on your computer for the first time I would recommend not installing the latest version (I still use v0022, the latest version is Arduino 1.0). 

Once you have installed Teensyduino, proceed to the getting started tutorial to ensure everything is working. Dont forget to use the Teensy loader.

Although the Teensy loader tells you to 'Press Button To Activate' you can upload the code directly to the Teensy using the 'Upload' button in the Arduino environment (see image). This is important because once your Teensy is secure inside your controller the hardware button will not be easily accessible.