The RP2040 chip has proved its versatility, showing up in pretty much every kind of microcontroller project imaginable. We have a bit of a soft spot for the music-related ones, however, and the PicoStepSeq is one of the nicest MIDI projects we've seen in a while!
I did it! In 2 weeks I designed, coded, PCB fabbed, & CAD'd an enclosure for a product idea: a tiny Pico-based MIDI step sequencer "PicoStepSeq". Thx to @johnedgarpark for inspiration & @adafruit for prototyping tools https://t.co/WpGZIhJpHv pic.twitter.com/kek4U2Y4mq— Tod Kurt (@todbot) August 19, 2022
Under the dual tone 3d printed hull lies a single PCB with mostly through-hole components like a rotary encoder, I2C OLED screen, and the wonderful Digitast-like buttons with LEDs found on the TR-808 and other old drum machines. The finished build is a fully functional MIDI controller and 8-step sequencer outputting both USB and Serial MIDI via USB, TRS-A, or regular MIDI connectors.
Tod Kurt, the project's maker, went from mulling over potential designs to a finished prototype in just two weeks to coincide with CircuitPython Day 2022 and documented the entire project on their GitHub page. There you'll find everything you need in order to get it up and running, and if you contact Tod he may even have a few of the initial run of PCBs left to give away. There's also mention of a potential kit version in the future on the GitHub page - something we'll come back to for sure if it appears!
The Pico Strikes Again
The Raspberry Pi Pico and other boards featuring the RP2040, have been widely accepted due to their wide availability and ease of use. As well as typical maker projects, they've found themselves into a variety of Eurorack modules and synthesizers too. CircuitPython and MicroPython are a great way to get started with the Pico, but I recently started delving into the C/C++ SDK too with the intention of making a Pico Synthesizer of my own. Find out how to get started with the Pico SDK in our video and written guide.