image Here’s the one you’ve been waiting for. MIDIFY is a DIY board that lets you add MIDI to any Nintendo handheld game console – DS, DS Lite, GBA, GBA-SP, and (with some extra parts) other devices – even microwave ovens.

US$34.99, a scant 2 oz, and you even get a MIDI cable. Wire that sucker in, and you can assign MIDI messages however you like, including either omni or channelized modes. This is a very direct solution: the board actually outputs signal directly into whatever you wish to control.

Midify Product Page; story broken by hahafresh 

It’s fitting that in this twenty-fifth anniversary year of MIDI, the MIDIFY would be used to turn a microwave oven into a MIDI-controlled device. Synths and corn dogs – yes, folks, MIDI is truly delicious. (via Matrixsynth)

  • http://www.musictechmag.co.uk Mike

    "tenth anniversary year", surely you mean twenty-fifth.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    I, uh, accidentally set the timestamp to 1993. ;)

  • BirdFLU

    I'm old enough to remember, and it is 25 years.

    That MIDIfy thing is cool but their installation instructions page is a little too sparse for someone of my technical level. Otherwise I'd probably buy 3-4 of those little guys right away.

  • http://rvjaeger.com Ryan Jaeger

    I'm pretty sure a brave individual will come forth, and make a how-to for these on various items. :)

  • poopoo

    They should do an input model as well.

  • vack

    "They should do an input model as well."

    I don't know if I understood you correctly or not but it IS an input model – you connect MIDI data source you have (sequencer, keyboard, whatever) to the board, and it turns the 12 outputs high / low based on incoming MIDI data.

  • vack

    Oh btw, for the other way round, ie sending MIDI data, you just need some kind of serial device and put a DIN connector to it… MIDI out is so simple that you don't really need any extra stuff. For example, for Nintendo DS there used to be the DSerial / DSerial 2 that allowed exactly that, but they are currently out of production and sold out so good luck finding one unless you can build one yourself.

    Generally, you could do an universal MIDI output board (why not input too) easily with Arduino, for example. I toyed with the idea a bit one evening, and it was really as simple as making a little Arduino sketch that reacts to some incoming signals and sends simple serial messages, and then connecting a MIDI port to Arduino's serial output. I think there are even quite good tutorials on the net for that.

  • http://myspace.com/fallsastar foosnark

    "Simple" is relative. Many of us find soldering a 1/4" jack in place of a speaker on a toy keyboard to be at the limits of our available time/effort/knowledge/skill.

  • NTH

    lol @ foosnark

  • vack

    "'Simple' is relative. Many of us find soldering a 1/4″ jack in place of a speaker on a toy keyboard to be at the limits of our available time/effort/knowledge/skill."

    Yes, I realize that. But think about it. If you do actually have time/effort/knowledge/skill to employ something like MIDIFY – which basically requires you to solder the 12 paraller outputs to different pins, or at least a bunch of them, solder the MIDI connector or the jack to it, connect power lines, and program the signals it will send out – you won't find what I said too hard to learn or comprehend.

    I'm no electronics whiz. In fact, I suck at electronics and basically know nothing whatsoever about the subject. And I'm a newbie coder at best. But I still manage to do stuff for fun. You just need not to be scared about actually trying things out, and reserve some time to actually try out said things. If I can get MIDI out of Arduino in one evening and trigger a MIDI synth with a piezo trigger (and jump in joy after getting it to work), I'm pretty sure about everyone who's interested at all can do it.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Well, there are definitely easier ways of fiddling with a handheld Nintendo system. But for those for whom this project is aimed, I'm sure it will cause a healthy amount of mayhem. :)

  • vack

    Yep, it isn't trivial in any case – I wouldn't try putting it on a brand new DS Lite or anything because I would probably just mess it up.

    I was just thinking about uses for a MIDIFY'd Gameboy… The first thing that came to my mind was that you could actually have prerecorded MIDI sequences that played a game from start to end. Sort of like replays in the classic 3D shooters. Even though I can think of many ideas that are fun in a geeky way, that must be in the current top 10.

  • http://www.lostscience.org/evanmorris evan

    the biggest problem with this device.. at least from brief look over, is that it overrides the button controls. So, you won't be able to have midi input streaming into the gba at the same time interfacing with the hardware. I guess it depends on what kind of stuff you are interested in doing.

    evan

  • poopoo

    "

    “They should do an input model as well.”

    I don’t know if I understood you correctly or not but it IS an input model – you connect MIDI data source you have (sequencer, keyboard, whatever) to the board, and it turns the 12 outputs high / low based on incoming MIDI data.

    "

    yeah I know. I was thinking 12 logic inputs…outputs midi data. mice and symmetrical. That way you could hook up the buttons to the input module and the gameboy to the output module. Then you could record and playback the device using a midi sequencer.

  • vack

    "yeah I know. I was thinking 12 logic inputs…outputs midi data. mice and symmetrical. That way you could hook up the buttons to the input module and the gameboy to the output module. Then you could record and playback the device using a midi sequencer."

    Ah yeah, I just understood your comment wrong then. It would indeed be cool to have symmetric two way communication. You could completely MIDIfy toy instruments, household machines etc. pretty conveniently then.

    I still think you could pull it off easily (okay, easily if you know a bit about what you are doing and can read tutorials) with Arduino, though. It's a bit bigger physically and has different power requirements, but I think it would have 12 free digital pins even after you hook up the MIDI output port. You could even have both input and output with the same board if you spent some time hooking up a multiplexer or two, but that would obviously take some more effort.

    Programming the I/O logic for something like that is pretty painless: just scan the inputs successively, check whether they're high / low, and send a couple of serial bytes to the MIDI output. And the other way round, read incoming MIDI messages and set the output pins accordingly.

    Granted, it isn't the same and it requires a bit more tweaking than MIDIFY does, but it could be a good alternative to many projects.

  • http://syncretism.net niall

    The fellow responsible for this {Division 6} has also designed the MIDI interface for George Mattson's Phoenix Series Modular. Mattson describes it here.

  • nick

    take note, it's only a MIDI IN port. so you cannot use the DS as midi controller