Dallas Makerspace Openhouse

The Dallas Makerspace had an open house on Saturday. It was really fun and I had a chance to show off a couple of my projects. I took the trash guitar I built using an old speaker cone and an axe handle, the Baxboard, the Arduino Midi Sythesizer, a homemade amp, homemade tube screamer clone pedal, and a Raspberry Pi running the JAMS app which was setup with my keyboard and Baxboard.

There was also a pinball room set up with many of the pinball tables some of the member have restored. This was definitely a hit.

My DMS Openhouse Table

My DMS Open House Table

JAMS – Java Awesome Midi Sequencer


This is a demo video of a new Java App I have been working on, I call it JAMS or Java Awesome Midi Sequencer. It is a hardware centric Midi Sequencer written in Java and intended for a Raspberry Pi. However, being written in Java means it can run in a lot of places and be easily developed on my main pc.

This video demonstrates some early features like separate controllers and instruments, and simple stepping and looping mechanisms.

All of the Sequencer controls can be mapped to a midi device and channel which can be used as the sequencer controller, while others can used as inputs and outputs. They can be the same device as in the video, or output to a different synthesizer. The built in Java synthesizer is even available, but it is not my first choice.

If a device has configurable channels, like the baxboard, it could be used for both control and as an instrument by changing the channel.

Currently, JAMS is intended to be run headless, without a monitor. It can be setup using only keyboard commands and will load preconfigured settings on startup, and will even connect to the preconfigured devices and start the sequencer loop.

Recording mode can be toggled on and off so that you can create your own loops to play over.

I intend to make at least a simple GUI targetted for low res touch screens as they are common addons for Raspberry Pis, maybe even a regular gui in the future. I hope this will be a much cooler way to play electronic music live instead of just watching some dude play on his imac.

The code will be available on Github soon.

BluBQ and JAMS

I started working on a new project which is a Bluetooth Barbecue Thermometer. I intend to create an Android app that can talk to a an ATMEGA based device with a bluetooth radio and some sort of temperature sensing. Right now, I have it hooked up using an Arduino Pro Mini, a serial Bluetooth adapter, and a thermocouple using a MAX6675 chip to amplify the thermocouple and return temperatures. The Android app used was a simple Bluetooth serial test app I created last year when prototyping a Bluetooth Robotic Camera Mount meant for automatically shooting panoramas and timelapses with an SLR camera. At this point all the app does is show message popups with the values returned from the BT connection.


I have also been working on a Java based MIDI Sequencer which I can run on my Raspberry Pi. I think I will call it JAMS for JAva Midi Sequencer.I want it to be able to run headless on the pi, using multiple midi controllers. Currently I am thinking that I might use the keyboard for midi note/musical input, the Baxboard for the sequencer controls, and the Arduino Synthesizer as the output, but I want this stuff to be interchangeable. I have tested it using each of these things, but I haven’t programmed it to allow for midi input control of the sequencer, just command prompt controls. I will probably also work on a simple gui that I can use with something like this, a Raspberry Pi I2C touchscreen lcd.


Baxboard Demo 2


This is a new demo video of the baxboard Midi Controller that I am working on.

This video details the new functionality I have been adding. I added a menu system to set some of the various options such as channel/voice, controller ids, and starting note. In addition I have added the ability to map the rows of buttons to a few scales, and the ability to save your settings.

After showing the new functions, I have a little demo of the board being used in Ableton Live.

I designed and laser cut the panel the components are mounted in at the Dallas Makerspace.

It is currently controlled by an Arduino Nano. At this point I am intending to develop an ATMEGA328 pcb so that it will be much thinner and not use so many wires.

I have been releasing my code on Github under GPLv2 if anyone is interested in contributing or creating their own. The svg used for the laser cut panel is there too.

Source code on Github