Introduction: Sandstorm Box

This box is essentially a sample pad, fitted with three potentiometers to allow for manipulation of certain elements selected by the user.

Step 1: 1. Setting Up the Patches

For this instrument to work, the Makey Makey was used as the board from which all the programming and patching would stem from. A ground pin and a 5V reader were connected from the Makey Makey to the breadboard to allow for extended use of each of the pins, for the larger number of inputs being used (5 knobs and 3 potentiometers).

Step 2: Potentiometers

The Potentiometers had three pins, one each for reading ground and 5V signals, whilst the center pin was used for sending the analog signal (will be covered later). The breadboard connected the pins from the Makey Makey to the potentiometer inputs. Three pins were connected from the center potentiometer pins to the analog inputs on the Makey Makey, allowing for the 5V signals to be read.

Step 3: Buttons

The buttons had to forgo the use of the breadboard and plug in directly to the Makey Makey due to the larger number of digital inputs being used (red pin cables). The black inputs were plugged into the ground ports in the Makey Makey. The buttons were thread through holes in the top of the box to be held in place.

Step 4: Overall Layout

The overall patching layout.

Step 5: Ableton - Using the Box

The performance utilised the buttons triggering different sets of scenes, whilst the potentiometers controlled different variables throughout allowing progression. There were 5 different sets of scenes triggered by each of the buttons at various points throughout. The potentiometers controlled filters, and time values in order to give the sense of real time performance.

Step 6: Setting Up for Ableton - Arduino Code

Arduino must be loaded up, and a sketch that allows both MIDI and analog messages to be sent must be uploaded to the Makey Makey. The Makey Makey must be chosen as the port that Arduino works through and sends the information to. In the case of this instrument, the voltage readings were reversed to work more efficiently in Ableton, with clockwise increasing voltage values and anticlockwise doing the opposite.

Step 7: Setting Up for Ableton - Midi Bridge

While the key presses triggered by the buttons can be used without any other programs, the Midi messages need a bridge. In Audio Midi options, the IAC bus driver must be activated to act as the bus between programs. Hairless Midi must then be opened, selecting the previously mentioned Board (selected in Arduino) and sending it to the IAC bus driver. Once it has been established Midi messages are being sent, the Midi input in Ableton must be set to the IAC bus driver. Once this is complete, Midi messages may be sent through and mapped, concluding the set up for the electronic instrument.