Brainstorm (Sorry) - BomeBox: Display of MIDI Status (Dupe Button LED Feedback)

Okay, so I started building this script using a generic button box, so status of button conditions is simple enough to pgm feedback Note On/Velocity, etc to display colour.

Well, now I've swapped over using a keyboard to input data to the BomeBox (Note & CC data). Of course, that means no feedback.

I still have the output routines of my script to send feedback data to my button box, so I have a 'status display' of which tracks/effects are on/off, etc. But I'd like to use a smaller device.

Device would just accept MIDI Note On/Off data and use the Velocity to determine an LED colour. The data is already there via MTPro/BomeBox, but:
- Is it easiest to just build an Arduino or rPi device that accepts MIDI data and just sends it to an LED matrix?
- Is there something kind of on the market that is *compact* but flexible?
- If I'm going Arduino or rPi, which one? (I have yet to really get into either, but I have some books and I've hacked some Arduino code. I can handle an adventure.)
- Is there an easier way to achive this that I'm overlooking?

Note: I'm synaesthetic so a visual and colourised representation of what is happening musically is a huge communication advantage for me. I can probably cope without it.

Apologies that this query is outside of the normal usage of MTPro or a BomeBox. I'm not invited to the parties where people talk of such things. ;)

Probably easier done with BomeBox and your existing MT Pro script. Just send the note data to your display? What type of display do you have. How many LED's? I found that if you need just 8-16 you could probably do it with a Launch Control.  If you need 64, probably the Launchpad MINI.  There are many displays out there so hard to tell what size you really want, how many LEDs and how many colors.

I once went down the rPI path and found the programming to be a bit more complicated than just loading your MT Pro project onto a BomeBox and running it from there.  BomeBox can send out either serial or MIDI data and I actually have programmed MT Pro to set seial data to an  ASCII 16x2 display to send text from my bomebox to display actual text about what is happening within my project.


Steve Caldwell
Bome Q and A Moderator and
Independent Bome Consultant/Specialist


Thanks for the response, Steve.
As usual, my communication skills lack: yeah, was planning on using existing MTPro script and just find an alternative to 'display' the MIDI feedback.

Currently I'm using a 4x8 button box, but it's bulky.
I"ll check out the LaunchPad Mini.

A serial display, tho.
That might be a plus because I have things like a hardware sequencer calling a Preset on the BomeBox which loads up the variable Init values. Right now, it's all sight unseen. It'd be nice to handle the brain cramps by having an ASCII display.

I know I can just run something Arduino that accepts MIDI Note data and displays on a custom build LED Matrix, I was just hoping someone had gone this route before.  heh heh

I think I may read up/look into using an ASCII display on a serial port connection.  Ooooh! Any suggestions for supporting documentation to help me get frightened...erm...'started'?

This is the display I got.



And the USB serial adapter:


USB Serial Adapter

Not real pretty but it works.





Just a quick demo of the LCD ASCII display in action.



Umm...okay. I'm embarrassed.

At first I was looking to just have a grid of RGB LEDs to note the status of toggle status of stuff running on the Box. But this unholy magicks you have shown has been haunting my nightmares.

If I were shopping for this stuff places other than Amazon, such as my local hobbyist electronics supply stores, I'm looking for:

CP2102 USB to UART Bridge's where I get fuzzy STM32 microprocessor based 16x2 LCD 3.3V screen suitable for Arduino or rPi?

What other parameters do I need to look for to make this happen?

I have my MTPro script call different sets of parameters based on incoming PgmChg msgs and it'd be handy to have a little monitor that will let me know which "BomeBox Patch" I'm on because: immanidiot. LOL

You would need these basic components (hopefully packaged together)


  1. USB serial adapter. CP2102 works OK but I think I had to load a driver on Windows although it works just fine on BomeBox too. I would go with the FTDI USB serial adapter since I don't think it will require any special driver. One end of the cable plugs into the computer (or BomeBox) and the other has 4 pins to go to the serial interface board (next) attached to the display.
  2. 1602 display controller board. This takes the serial data from the FTDI USB adapter and sends it to display adapter. It understands the serial commands that make sense to send ASCII character data, and screen coordinate positions. Digole makes one for about 6 dollars. I don't like the contrast pot as it is flimsy but the command set is easier to interface with and it is faster at display updates than the other one I found on eBay, that I have to send a delay after each command.
  3. The display itself. A 1602 or with Digole adapter, it also handles 1604 (16 characters by 4 lines, 2004 (20 characters by 4 lines) and 4002 (40 characters by 2 lines).
  4. Something to mount it all on (hobby box) to package it and make it more than a bunch of loose cables and boards. I have yet to find a good mount for anything but the 1602.


Oh and pay attention to whether the pins come soldered on the components or invest in a soldering iron and a kit with various header pin configurations.