This simple project shows how a video signal captured by a Video Experimenter Shield can be used to send MIDI messages to a synthesizer. A small camera module is connected to the input of the Video Experimenter (the red wire in the picture is for powering the camera from the Arduino VIN pin). The video output goes to a small TV. A MIDI shield sits atop the Video Experimenter to allow the Arduino to send MIDI messages to a Synthino XM synthesizer. By the way, the Synthino XM is our new synthesizer product and you can read all about it on synthino.com. It’s awesome.
The Arduino sketch uses the Video Experimenter’s frame capture ability to capture simple monochrome low-res frames. The “on” pixels are counted to determine the pitch of the note that should be sent to the synthesizer. The code then just sends a MIDI note-on message to play a note on the synth. The brigher the image (more “on” pixels) sends higher pitched notes. In the video you can see me adjusting the Video Experimenter threshold knob to alter the brightness and also shining a flashlight on the camera.
This source code for this project is the example “VideoMIDI” in the TVout library for Video Experimenter.