UPDATE (October, 1st 2012)!!! We’ve moved to www.openpipe.cc.
If you want to use OpenPipe Breakout as a MIDI controller you need some sort of synthesizer. You could use generic synths with custom sound samples (GarageBand, Reason) or specific synths like UniversalPiper, but all of them need a PC (or smartphone) to run.
If you want something “portable” you need to use a specific hardware synthesizer. The guys from Sparkfun designed an Arduino Shield based on VLSI VS1053b chip (Music Instrument Shield). This chip is a CODEC with support for several audio formats, and It can also play real-time MIDI. I was wondering how good the sound synth inside this chip is, so I bought one.
Connecting OpenPipe breakout board and Arduino UNO is quite simple:
- OpenPipe GND: Arduino GND
- OpenPipe VCC: Arduino 3.3V
- OpenPipe I2C SDA: Arduino Analog 4
- OpenPipe I2C SCL: Arduino Analog 5
Then connect a sound amplifier or headphones to the jack audio output.
I’ve tested several instruments (Bagpipe, Oboe, Church Organ, Clarinet, Trumpet, …) and the sound is good, but It’s not amazing.
You can draw your own conclusions from the video: our lovely geek (me) making noise… again…