Thursday, 31 May 2012

Arduino, Processing & The Modular (Part 1)

My next experiment is a hardware and software combo. An Arduino Leonardo microcontroller (which I was lucky enough to win last week in a competition run by the fantastic Arduino store programmed and hooked-up to talk to my modular synth and also to the computer. The first stage involved getting to grips with the Arduino's PWM analog output. This was unusable for control voltage generation as it's really buzzy. It needed filtering so I experimented with a simple RC filter circuit on the breadboard and found a resistor/capacitor combination that works pretty well (further work needed as it slews quite alot - I'm running it through the modulars sample & hold module to reduce that further.). Next came a visual indication of the random output voltage by means of a green LED. Then a clock output visualized with a red LED was added.

With each clock pulse the Arduino's code sends the text value of the random voltage out via USB to the PC to allow it to be picked-up by a Processing application that's watching for this data stream.

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