DYI USB Midi Controller




Introduction: DYI USB Midi Controller

How to make an affordable large midi controller for DJ, VJ and producers?

This midi controller is based on Arduino Micro, support on board: 64 analog inputs, 64 digital inputs and interface for connecting other 32 digital inputs. Digital inputs are usable for encoders. In this configuration response of analog inputs is 250ms and digital inputs is 16ms.

This is the result of my work for the year of testing...

Unfortunately I do not have enough time, so writing will be longer.

Update code for analog inputs response about 100ms.

Step 1: Planning

The first step is components selection.

Rotary potentiometers - good quality Bourns PTV111-3415A-B103 / ALPS RK11 series, cheaper option is ALPS RK09K series.

Slide potentiometers - ALPS RS60N1119006 logarithmic 60mm travel or other according to you choose. (logarithmic for audio, linear for lights)

Encoders - Bourns PEC11R-4215F-S0024 (24 detents, with switch).

Buttons - according to your preference, but they should not be noisy (my choose is Highly KS01-BV).

Brain section:

Arduino Micro board

74HC4067 (SOP24)

PCF8575 (SOP24)

10k (0805)

10k (0204)

100nF (0805)

IDC connectors 2 x 5 pins and cables 10 lines

Cliff K85 rotary knobs with selectable caps

All components can be bought for about 300 $ without PCB and front panel. PCB and the front panel cost about 100 $.

Step 2: Wiring

Arduino Micro board

4 x 74HC4067 - 16 channel analog multiplexer

Every one 4067 use only one analog input of Arduino. Driving with four digital pins.

4 x PCF8575 - 16 bit I/O expansion for I2C + 2 x PCF8575 external interface option

Every two PCF8575 use one Arduino interrupt pin.

10 x Encoders withs capatitors and resistors for HW debounce.

53 x Potentiometers + 8 slide

32 x Switches - debounce is the same as in case of the encoders.

Update - two int section are connected to Vcc over resistor 10k.

Step 3: PCB Brain

PCB is double sided. I made pcb by my self and all junction on top and bottom side is made with wire - see at soldering part.

Update - now I have a new design of pcb with 32u4 chip on the board and RJ45 connector.

Step 4: PCB Analog

Analog potentiometers have distance 30 mm at the same channel and 32,5 mm between the channels. PCB dimensions 120 x 52 mm.

Slide potentioteres are single logarithmic with solder lugs and T bar actuator.

Step 5: PCB Digital

Buttons PCB dimensions 115 x 35 mm.

Encoders PCB have 121 x 24 mm and they are double sided.

Step 6: PCB Master

Master PCB dimensions 31 x 209 mm and two output, one digital and one analog.

Update - two digital pins not connected to the ground.

Step 7: PCB Soldering

You don't need hot air necessarily. All components could be soldered with small soldering station, tweezers and souder paste tin cream.

If you don't know how to solder SMD, find inctruction online and make some practise first.

For junctioning the top and bottom side PCB use unisolated wire ovelapping both side above 1 mm and squeeze them together. That makes small rivet and solders it.

Step 8: Front Plate Design

My design come from analog mixing console. Best is to make it by laser, you save your time. Actually my piece is in production right now.

Update - first version have small hole dia... Encoders dia - 7.5 mm, potentiometers dia - 9.5 mm, buttons dia - 9.5 mm. New drawing will be uploaded...

Step 9: Programming

Code is fully function for brain v2 , but if you use v1 make changes in four 4067 directional pins (5, 9, 10, 13).


// select 4067 channel Y0 (pin 9)

digitalWrite(13, LOW); // S0 - 4067 pin 10

digitalWrite(5, LOW); // S1 - 4067 pin 11

digitalWrite(9, LOW); // S2 - 4067 pin 14

digitalWrite(10, LOW); // S3 - 4067 pin 13

delayMicroseconds(2); // delay for signals to stabilize

ka[0] = analogRead(0) / 8;

if (abs(ka[0] - kaL[0]) > analogAttach) {

controlChange(16, ka[0]);

if (debug) {

Serial.print("16 ka0 - ");



kaL[0] = ka[0];



I don't use loops, the code is a little messy, but save 15 x 4 x 2ms time to stabilize chips.

digital buttons:

after read pcf lo + hi

// buttons btnM1
for (uint8_t i = 0; i < 8; i++) {

btnM1[i] = (bitRead(lo_data, i ));

if (btnM1[i] != btnM1L[i]) {

if (btnM1[i] == 0) {

noteOn(i + 24, 127); // 24 - C1 > start midi note (31 - G1 > end)

if (debug) {

pressed(1, i, i + 24);



if (btnM1[i] == 1) {

noteOff(i + 24, 0);

if (debug) {

released(1, i, i + 24);



btnM1L[i] = btnM1[i];




digital encoders:

// encoder 6
// count encoder pulse

if (encM1[7] != encM1L[7] || encM1[0] != encM1L[0]) {


if (debug) {

Serial.print("counter_enc6 - ");




if (counter_enc6 == 3) {

if (encM1[0] == 0 && encM1[7] == 1) {

controlChange(70, 127);

if (debug) {

Serial.println("enc 6 - 70 <<");



if (encM1[7] == 0 && encM1[0] == 1) {

controlChange(70, 1);

if (debug) {

Serial.println("enc 6 - 70 >>");



counter_enc6 = 0;


// reset rotation pulse if rotate other encoder

if (encM1[7] == 1 && encM1[0] == 1) {

counter_enc6 = 0;



Encoders count impulse and evaluate only every third pulse.

Step 10: Testing

Code have debug function.

Boolean debug and boolean debug_code should be switched to true. But in this case, if serial monitor is not present, controller will not working properly.

Boolean debug_code - enable counter of runnig whole code per 10s

Boolean debug:

- send info about any potentiometer - number of potentiometer (CC channel), module id, value if changed.

- send info about any button - module id, number of button and value.

- send info about encoder - module id, number of encoder and << or >>.

- all int send pcf lo + hi value when it change values, in binary.

All midi signals should be captured with Midi-OX.

Step 11: Assembly

The lower part is made of plywood 4mm and wooden sticks 8 x 30 mm.

Step 12: Thanks

Arduino for platform and MIDIUSB library



and many more nameless people for ideas

Controller designed for Ableton and Traktor

Special thanks to AnnaM for EN proofreading :)

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    2 years ago

    what is the original size of this layout ?


    Reply 2 years ago

    41 x 214 mm


    Reply 2 years ago

    can you share pcb design file (eagle kicad or altium file ) please


    Reply 2 years ago

    I have no vector files. I draw pcb manually on the grid and make it by photo-positive method. Better quality board designs are included :)


    Question 2 years ago on Introduction

    new design pcb with 32u4 chip on the board and RJ45 connector. size


    Answer 2 years ago

    41 x 210 mm, but the new PCB design is not released yet.


    2 years ago

    Nice build! I'm thinking about building something like this for Traktor. Do you think those potentiometers are as smooth as the ones that Native-instruments equip?


    Reply 2 years ago

    I don't have any experience with Native-instruments equip. But there is no difference compared to AH Xone K2. Now I do not have time to complete the external modules with jog wheel - is not a priority, I not need them. If you want to do it, you need to use different code for reading encoders, because they have no detent and their reading will be better in half a step.