Raspberry Pi 4 Drives Open Source MIDI Controller and Sequencer

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Niisse)

If you’re looking for a cool Raspberry Pi project to jam out with this summer, take a close look at this open-source MIDI controller and sequencer created by maker and musician Niisse. It’s 100% driven by a Raspberry Pi 4 and features handmade modules that handle special effects as well as input controls for real-time jam sessions.

This is a work in progress but so much progress has been made so far that we think it’s worth sharing. In the demo, Niisse is able to program a beat as well as play instruments with MIDI effects in accompaniment including electric guitar as well as keyboard. Effects can be controlled in real-time using modules and pre-programmed modulations.

The operation is driven by a Raspberry Pi 4 connected to a series of note control modules created by Niisse using SN74 type logic chips on a series of breadboards (at least while it’s in prototype phase). These breadboards feature a series of buttons, LEDs, and display modules to help him keep track of what note is being played as well as any numbers necessary to track the effect details.

The code created for this project was written by Niisse in Python and, like the rest of the project, is open source for anyone who wants to use the code or just take a closer look at how it works. This Python script used by the Pi is responsible for driving the sequencer application and handling input from the individual modules. Visit the RPiMidiSC project page at GitHub to check it out yourself.

According to his GitHub profile, Niisse is a software development student with an affinity for music and the technology that goes along with it. It’s no surprise he’s combined his experience into this open source platform that’s concert ready—even if it’s not totally finished just yet.

There are already plans in the works to upgrade the project. Niisse expressed interest in making the sequencer totally portable and documenting the build process over at YouTube. In the meantime, you can recreate this Raspberry Pi project in its current state by checking out his official YouTube channel where you’ll also find a groovy live demo of it in action.

Ash Hill
Contributing Writer

Ash Hill is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.

  • Giroro
    Are they even still making the Raspberry Pi 4?
    I feel like they went off the market like, 2 years ago, and never came back.
  • Niisse
    Niisse here - oh my gosh, thank you so much! It's hard to put into words how excited I was when I woke up and found this article!
  • Darkoverlordofdata
    This fit's in somewhere on the spectrum between proof of concept and vapourware. Don't get me wrong - I'm all for geeks playing with their soldering irons. But is it newsworthy? It's certainly not why Tom's Guide is in my news feed.
    I use Tom's Guide to stay on top of new, real products. And speaking as a musician, it's good to find a new source for developments in audio technology. But to read the article only to find that it's really about the equivalent of a H.S. science project is a bit disheartening.