MIDIWidget lets you control anything via MIDI

This new Kickstarter project is converting MIDI messages into general-purpose output.

The MIDIWidget is a new MIDI decoder designed by John Staskevich. Recently launched on Kickstarter, the device was created as a way to make it super easy for users to control real-world items using MIDI messages from their computer or controller.


Impressively, the MIDIWidget can function as the brain for an assortment of projects, ranging from robotic musical instruments to guitar effects switcher to studio recording lights. Based on what looks to be an ATmega32U2, the device accepts input via traditional 5-pin MIDI connectors or from a direct USB connection to a computer. The MIDIWidget is plug-and-play with no special drivers, and appears as a standard MIDI port in your favorite music software and is compatible with the iPad Camera Connection Kit.

What’s more, no programming is required. The MIDIWidget already understands MIDI note, CC, program change and sync messages, thereby allowing anyone to add their own relays and driver circuitry to control just about anything. With its companion Configurator App, users can select a behavior for each of the MIDIWidget’s 24 digital logic outputs.


Optionally, users can also program up to 128 presets that each contain output states of some or all of the 24 outputs. These presets can be edited, stored and recalled via the MIDI messages of choice. MIDIWidget outputs can be used to control LEDs, relays, or anything else that requires a 5V on/off signal.

The device can be powered by USB, or can operate independently from the computer using a battery or other DC power supply. Interested in learning more? Head over to its official Kickstarter page, where Staskevich is currently seeking $6,000. Following a successful round of funding, the Maker plans to also publish the PCB design, the embedded application firmware and the Max patch used to create the MIDIWidget Configurator App. Shipment is slated for May 2015.

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