How To Make A Gigantic MIDI Controller

Giant MIDI Controller

Ever wanted to make a gigantic MIDI controller?

Highly Liquid’s MIDI CPU is designed for making custom MIDI controllers of any shape and size, and was used to make the “Living Schematic” MIDI controller, shown above, at the company’s headquarters.

The front wall of their studio is painted with an oversize MIDI CPU wiring diagram. Actual controls (29 buttons, two knobs, and a photoresistor) are mounted on the corresponding schematic symbols (switches, potentiometers, and variable resistor).

The controls are wired to a MIDI CPU, as represented by the diagram. MIDI output from the MIDI CPU drives a Korg Electribe-R and a Roland MT-32. The resulting audio is routed to overhead speakers.

Here are the basic steps for making a gigantic MIDI controller like this, using the MIDI CPU:

  • Make a feature “wish list” for the MIDI controller.
  • “Budget” the MIDI CPU I/O.
  • Create a MIDI CPU wiring diagram.
    • Optional: Using a bit of artistic license, magnify & rearrange the wiring diagram to fit the wall.
    • Optional: Paint the oversize diagram on the wall.
  • Mount the controls.
  • Wire the controls to the MIDI CPU.
  • Configure the MIDI CPU to accept input from the controls.
  • Connect your synth or sound module(s) to the new MIDI controller.
  • Jam

See the Highly Liquid site for in-depth details on how they made their giant MIDI controller.

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