MIDI Keyboard

Years ago I had picked up an old Casio keyboard at a garage sale for little to no money. The sound was terrible and as far as I/O went it only had a headphone jack which meant you couldn’t even use Synthesia to learn some songs. So for years that keyboard collected dust until I stumbled across a YouTube video by Evan Kale explaining how turn a keyboard into a MIDI keyboard.

Items required

  • Any Arduino board (€2,50)
  • 2x SN74HC595 shift regulators (€0.70 for 10)
  • DIN5 port (Midi Port) (€3 for 10)
  • 6x 10k resistors
  • Breadboard
  • Protoboard and soldering iron
  • Evan Kale’s code (pull-down resistor version)
  • Several cups of coffee and a few aspirins

All the hard stuff

Follow this video and watch it in it’s entirely. If you get confused like I did, just watch it again and keep repeating it until you get it. As for the actual soldering, I ended up connecting jumper cables to my keyboard for easier breadboarding and eventually just soldered the jumper cables onto the protoboard housing the other components. The result is a horrible cable spaghetti but at least it worked. Later on I went ahead and a made a proper Arduino hat for it which looks a lot cleaner and actually allows me to remove the Arduino is necessary.