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I love tinkering with the Raspberry Pi Pico, since it is an easy starting point for anyone that wants to get into microcontrollers. In this detailed instructuble I want to guide you how you can create your own MIDI controller or MacroPad. If you are a musician and in need of a cheap but awesome looking MIDI pad then this project for you, or if you are just someone who is in need of a new MacroPad but you don’t want to buy the generic cherry mx keys kits but would prefer some classic arcade buttons then you are in luck, because we can set the Raspberry Pi Pico to do either of those two functions.

If you are not sure what a MIDI controller or MacroPad is, let me break it down for you:

MIDI controller:

A MIDI controller is a simple way to sequence music and play virtual instruments on your Mac or PC. It works by sending MIDI data (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) to a computer or synthesizer, which then interprets the signal and spits out a sound.


A macro pad can give you plenty of buttons for your macros. And, with most pads coming with some form of software for recording macros, program-specific actions can also be performed, usually called “shortcuts.” Shortcuts can do a variety of power things like launch programs, turn on and off your microphone, and more.

To make this instructable as detailed as possible, I will include links from AliExpress, these are not affiliated links but will guide you on where to start. You might already have some of the components. For the wood it might be that you do not have access to a laser cutter, but there is online services that provide laser cutting, or alternatively the enclosure can be 3D printed, or made out of cardboard, the enclosure is limited to your own creativity.

16 * Arcade Buttons (24 or 28 mm)
4 * M3 Hex Brass Spacing Screws Threaded Pillar 50mm
4 * M3 Nut and Screw 6mm Length
1 * Raspberry Pi Pico + Breadboard + Cables
1 * 2m - 20 AWG single core wire

3mm wood + Black spray-paint

Ortur 2 Laser Master

3D printer, tools for cutting cardboard or wood if laser cutter is not used.

The above should be used as a guidance of what will be needed to complete this project or make something similar, if your budget does not allow you to create this you can replace the arcade and enclosure and just use tactile switches on a breadboard.”

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