MIDI Shoes Progress (part 1: sensors)

by symbiostasis

A snapchat DIY journey… Part 1


  •  4 Force Sensors
  • Arduino Uno
  • Wires
  • 10K ohm Resistors


After the force sensors arrived, I proceeded to extend the leads and add resistors as needed, knowing that they will all fit either onto a shoe/sock or inside a platform box eventually. I wired them onto my breadboard and hooked them up to the Arduino (analog pins A0-A3).

So now I needed a way to turn the serial output from the sensors, which were giving me the range from 0-1023 depending on how much force I exerted on the sensor, to MIDI signals. If the force pressed was to play a note, it would be like playing a MIDI controller, except the sensor values keep changing (vs a button press/trigger). Here I used Hairless MIDI Serial to convert the incoming serial numbers through the USB port that is hooked up to the Arduino.

Once the Hairless is hooked up and reading the port, the output should be on “IAC Driver Bus 1” which is where the Hairless is directing the conversion towards. Then using something like Ableton Live (under Preferences > Link/MIDI > Midi Ports > Input: IAC Driver (Bus 1)) set all the values to be ON. This way it sets this as the MIDI controls.

My musical friend helped me put a file of sounds together for the Front and Back force sensors which must be mapped to the MIDI message that is sent out from the code (note = #) when it is called like so: MIDImessage(noteON, note, velocity). The note calls the particular sound from Ableton and the Velocity is the changing sensor values which can modulate in effect, change the pitch, velocity, and modify the note basically.

First Iteration (individual Sounds for each front/back, triggered on/off):