Introduction: Launchpad

The Launchpad is a version of a keyboard that allows someone to play different tones or songs when connected to a computer. This version of a Launchpad is an even simpler version than that of the expensive Novation Launchpad, and way easier to use. Instead of having to spend a lot of money on a Launchpad and all of its side gadgets, someone can use this Launchpad, which is a lot cheaper, and a lot simpler to use. Instead of being around $250, this Launchpad would most likely cost less than $25, and would allow DJs to focus more on their music rather than focusing on saving up the money for an expensive Launchpad. Today's Launchpad naturally has multiple parts and isn't easy to carry around. This version of the Launchpad will allow people to move around quicker because it only involves two parts: the pad itself, and the computer.

Step 1: Step 1: Gathering Your Materials

This version of the Launchpad only requires a few simple materials:

You will need:

1. An Arduino Uno.

2. A handful of male wires.

3. Around 15-20 buttons (just to be safe [in case a few break]).

4. Around 15-20 LEDs.

5. A speaker to play your frequencies.

6. A working computer to connect your Arduino Uno to.

7. A few breadboards that can connect in order to be big enough for your wires and buttons to go on.

Step 2: Step 2: Putting Your Board Together

After you gathered all of your materials, you will need to put your board together.

1. First, you want to put together your breadboards in a big square so you'll have enough room for your wires and buttons to go on.

2. Second, place your buttons in a symmetrical pattern on your board so you could put the wires in with ease.

3. Third, aline wires and LEDs at each end of the buttons, and connect the wires to ground (-) on the breadboards, and the LEDs to the 5V (+).

4. Connect the 5V from your Arduino Uno to the (-) on your breadboard, and Ground (GND) to (+).

5. Make sure your buttons are placed in the correct pins.

6. Put the speaker (Piezo) anywhere on your board, preferably right by the corner of the breadboards (DO NOT plug it in to (+) or (-)!

7. You should have a wire from the opposite side of your button than the LED and other wire connecting to a wire of your pin so the button will register.

Step 3: Step 3: Writing Your Code

For this Launchpad, there are 14 buttons instead of a normal 16.

- You want to make sure your code sets all 14 buttons to a specific pin, and you have your Piezo (Frequency) at a separate pin (that will be your output).

- Define your 14 notes (for my code I used C4 to B3) as a specific frequency (around 200 - 650).

- Make sure to set the buttons' initial states to 0, so your buttons aren't thought to be on. You don't want your board playing all different tones at once.

- Set all of your 14 button pins to be the inputs, and your frequency pin to be the output.

- Make sure to start your Serial Monitor and print your values of the buttons, so if there's a slight bug in your code, your monitor will show you which button is messed up.

- Set a scenario saying "if the button is registered as being pressed, the tone will play a specific tone, and when the button is released, there will be no tone."

Here's an example of code that could be used for this project:

#define NOTE_C4 262

const int freqPin = 8;

const int buttonPin = 2;

int buttonState = 0;

void setup() {

pinMode(freqPin, OUTPUT);

pinMode(buttonPin, INPUT);



void loop() {


// the last serial print should be Serial.println

buttonState = digitalRead(buttonPin);

if(digitalRead(buttonPin) == 1)


digitalWrite(freqPin, HIGH);

tone(freqPin, NOTE_C4, 600);






Step 4: Step 4: Expanding Your Project

The Launchpad that I taught you how to do only involved 1 button, 1 LED, 1 tone, and basically nothing else. To expand your project like my full Launchpad, you should repeat all the steps that I gave you, and you could have as many buttons and tones as you want (well obviously until the Arduino Uno pins fill up and you run out of tones). My finished board has 14 buttons, and to expand my own project, I am attempting to use an SD Card to play a real song instead of just simple tones. If anyone can figure it out before me, feel free to share your work. If you really can't figure out what to do for your code to expand the board, contact me and I'll gladly send you my entire code. You'll never learn how to do your work if you give up! Keep trying and use my offer as a last resort.

Step 5: How Your Board Should Work

If you did your board correctly, all the wires going into the correct spots, the LEDs in the correct positions, the tones set correctly, and the buttons are alined correctly, it should look like the board in the video above.

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    4 years ago

    wow this is life altering! can you post a youtube link of it in action


    4 years ago

    That looks like a fun setup :)