The NI404 Is An Open Source DIY Hardware Sampler & Sequencer

The NI404 is an open-source sampler and sequencer, based on the Teensy Microcontroller and Audioboard from PJRC, that’s designed to offer an accessible entry point into the world of music creation.


  • Easy to Use – The NI404 lets users create complex sound patterns without any prior knowledge of musical instruments or equipment. It’s perfect for beginners and makers alike.
  • Dynamic Control – At the heart of the NI404 is a 16×16 RGB LED panel display, paired with three rotary-push encoders. Navigate a cursor across the grid, where each row signifies a voice and each column a potential note, allowing for up to 16 pitches per note. This feature enables the mixing of up to 8 voices simultaneously.
  • Real-Time Interaction. – Adjust samples, instruments, pitches, notes, volume, BPM, velocity, and effects in real-time without pausing.
  • Etch-A-Sketch style note drawing
  • On-the-fly note deletion and sample muting
  • Adjustable volume, BPM (40 – 200), pattern, and note velocity
  • Up to 30-second sample length with seamless looping
  • Use your own samples on the SD-Card – in a simple file structure
  • Load up to 8 voices / samples (Wav format) plus an additional onboard synth voice
  • 16-bar patterns across 8 pages, totaling 128 bars per song
  • Save and load up to 100 patterns / songs on the SD card
  • Autosave and autoload functions
  • Access and manage samples while playing, with support for up to 999 samples on the SD card and the ability to predefine multiple voices as a SampleSet.
  • Fully Independent – Operates without a computer, generating all sounds on the device itself.
  • USB powered (5V) and Arduino code is published under the MIT License.

See the project site for details.

10 thoughts on “The NI404 Is An Open Source DIY Hardware Sampler & Sequencer

  1. I’m sure I’ll get flamed by people, but this box just looks extremely tedious to me – not “musical” feeling. Endless pong-scrolling up and down to place blips on a grid. I guess there are people who will be able to make compelling music this way, but I’d rather spend the time it will take learning this thing by sitting somewhere comfortable and listening to a favorite record – feels like that would be time better spent.

    1. Projects like this are as much or even more about the process of building and learning what is involved in producing the feature set as it is about anything else.

      It’s great that things like this exist and that for <100 bucks you have a compelling project for learning circuit boarding, programming, and audio programming.

        1. Oh you’re fine it’s just really presented like a thing someone made more than a object meant to sell to people. I’m biased as I’ve been making devices lately to explore and learn more about how things are made and what I want as my tastes change.

          I wouldn’t gravitate towards this either but it’s feature rich for something you could put together cheaply!

  2. “So, you say you hate touch screens? You prefer knobs? Play with this for a few weeks.”

    But seriously, I think this idea is super clever and thoughtful conceived. It’ll hit the sweet spot for some buyers/users.

    I’m liking this demo vid!

    1. There’s barely the mention that you can email the creator if you want to purchase it rather than put it together yourself.

      It’s clearly more of a project that you can put together yourself.

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