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When I’m practicing bass I don’t like fiddling around with phone apps or something on my PC when I want to set up a rhythmic accompaniment. So I made this - a programmable rhythm box based on the VS1053 MIDI chip.

Proper knobs, buttons and flashing lights!

Beware! There may be dragons. This is not a beginner’s project. At least not yet. If people like it enough I might redesign it with a PCB so it can be easily built. Let me know how much you love it (!) in the comments.

All the design files are in my GitHub repo so you should start by cloning that so you can see what’s involved.
It’s a PlatformIO project using the Arduino framework targetting an STM32F411 BlackPill.
There is a KiCAD directory containing the EDA files built using KiCAD 6.0.
The OpenSCAD directory contains the 3D design files for the box, together with STLs ready to import into a slicer. If you want to edit the OpenSCAD design files you will need my libraries as well.


- 1 x STM32F411 “BlackPill” development board
- 1 x Adafruit VS1053 Codec module
- 1 x I2C NavKey
- 2 x Adafruit NeoTrellis - you should get the elastomer keypad and JST cable too
- 1 x Generic SPI LCD module 2.4”, 320x240 (like this one for example). If you use a different size you’ll have to change the case design
- 1 x PAM8403 Audio Amplifier Module
- 1 x Mini 40mm loudspeaker
- 2 x Buck converter module one for 5V and one for 3.3V
- 2 x Rotary encoder and a couple of knobs you like the look of
- 2 x 10K Resistor
- 1 x 1K Resistor
- 3 x 1u Electrolytic capacitor
- Whatever prototyping board you prefer, connectors etc”

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