Explore the world of plant music and make your own with the MIDI Biodata Sonification System.
By attaching electrodes to the leaves of a plant or skin, fluctuations in galvanic conductance will produce MIDI notes, which are transmitted on a configurable MIDI channel. With a maximum of 5 note polyphony (matching the LEDs).
Through sampling pulse widths and identifying fluctuations, MIDI note and control messages are generated.
Features include Threshold, Scaling, Control Number, and Control Voltage using PWM through an RC Low Pass filter.
Note that you do need a software or hardware MIDI synthesizer to use this device.
It uses the same galvanic conductance sensing circuitry known from Sam Cusumano’s MIDI Biodata Sonification System but runs a modified firmware and has some extra features.
- 3D printed enclosure in any color
- settings menu (and button) to set the threshold, MIDI channel, note scale and LED brightness
- updated PCB design for more safety
- pre-installed, but optional CV (Control Voltage) output
- open-source Hardware and Firmware
A control message is transmitted on CC 80, which is also presented as a ‘Control Voltage’ output via an unpopulated pin header – to modular synthesizers and equipment.
For more information about the device, usage examples and to share experiences with others, join the MIDI Biodata Sonification forum hosted by Sam Cusumano, who originally designed this technology.
- MIDI Biodata Sonification Device (Assembled or Kit)
- 2 pairs of pad electrodes
- electrode cable with 3,5mm connector
- battery connector (without batteries – you need 3x 1,5V AA batteries)
A ready-to-use configuration with almost everything to get started. (except 3×1,5V AA batteries!)
Currently the electrodes and cables are not available separately, but I will add them in the near future.
You can contact me for replacement parts in the meantime.
The enclosure is also available standalone: Enclosure for MIDI Biodata Sonification Device
If you’re looking for another color, let me know and we’ll find a solution.
The settings menu works with an extra button and the knob to set the threshold, MIDI channel, note scale and LED brightness.
- Press the button once to enter the menu.
- Move the knob until you’ve selected the setting you want to change (10 seconds timeout when knob is not moved)
- Press the button to enter the selected settings.
- Change value of setting by moving the knob.
- Store value by pressing button again.
All settings are stored permanently after step 5. You can cancel during this step by powering it off and on.
To restore default settings, press the button during power-on. It will acknowledge the reset by blinking white.
In the first menu level, you can select the setting to be changed by the following color coding.
|Threshold||red||Selectivity of the electrodes. Moving it further away from the OFF-position decreases sensitivity.|
|Note Scale||yellow||Chromatic, Major, Indian and Minor scale are available.|
The corresponding LED flashes after entering this setting and the scale can be selected using the knob. Press button to apply and leave the menu.
|MIDI Channel||green||Select MIDI-Channel 1-16 by turning the knob. You’ll need MIDI equipment connected to see changes. No LED effects.|
|LED Brightness||blue||Select LED effects brightness. From zero to full by using the knob. Blue LED is flashing to indicate the selected brightness. Can be used to save some power.|
The device is available as as DIY Kit with only the surface-mount components pre-soldered or fully assembled as selected by default.
These parts have to be soldered in the DIY Kit:
- LMC555/NOPB (DIP-8)
- 10K Potentiometer with switch
- 100µF capacitor
- DIN-5 MIDI connector
- right-angled tactile button
- 3,5mm (1/8in) Mono input jack
- pin headers
Links / Resources
MIDI Biodata sonification device Logo designed by DipthDesign Dog Collar Shop