The "Generic MIDI controller"

The "Generic MIDI controller"

Diclaimer: I published this on a forum I joined at the age of 15 so some of the writing may be a little less than perfect but I decided not to edit anything when moving this to my own blog from the DJTT forum (opens new window) on 3-11-19.

I've been researching DIY midi controllers for as long as I am a member of DJTT. However it has always been difficult for me to settle on a design that really suits my needs instead of a quick project that I do not actually need. One thing I notice a LOT is that I would like to have a dedicated controller for my effects that enables me to control all of them without the need for shift buttons or weird button placement. I think this design is the solution for me. This controller is going to be placed behind a standard 12" mixer.


First of all I would like to thank DJTT for the design pack for the "Midi Fighter X contest" that helped me create this. Here it is:

initial mockup


  • 25-07-15 Order all parts (buttons, pot's, teensy)
  • 10-08-15 Complete design in auto cad for lasercutter
  • 15-08-15 Finish and order PCB
  • 25-08-15 Cast buttons in custom mold.
  • 01-09-15 Send files to lasercutter (and possibly 3d printer)
  • 20-09-15 Finalize software design

Technical details

Brain: Teensy 3.1 (opens new window) Material case: Three layers of 2mm acrylic

Build log


Ordered all parts except for the arcadebuttons (they are out of stock) just started on the first PCB design and have just finished the top layer of acrylic:29/8 front panel design


Ordered the fist PCB: (professionals be like ๐Ÿคจ when they see this) front panel design


Made a concept for the 3d-printed case, final design is going to be made in autoCAD: 3d printed case

Finished the design in autoCAD but upon requesting a quote it appeared to cost $276.83 so I'm going with bent acrylic


Ordered the Chroma Caps: chroma caps order


Received the lasercut parts: (final device is going to be grey with red): laser cut parts laser cut parts


Got the PCB's in the mail, going to check them later but they look OK. arcade button pcbs


Got the buttons from focus attack for......... here it comes...... $7 a piece! wow! this sucks

This however does not: first assembly pic, buttons and pots


Assembled the button PCB's and tested them: test of RGB lights behind arcade buttons backside of light test


Finished the PCB for the potentiometers. layout if the potentiometer PCB


Assembled the PCB for the Pot's: Assembled & populated pot PCB


Finally found a place that sold transparant plastic (acrylic) rods with a small diameter in small quantity's, had to enlarge the holes though (with a drill bit 0.5 mm a time * 80 times) then i had to saw this rod in tiny matching pieces (saw, sand the end of the rod and saw the next piece using a saw box). Then I used superglue to glue these on, on the first two i used too much so I had to remove these buttons. acrylic extention test


Finished smaller buttons: front panel with smaller buttons added


Shitty pic's are better than no pic's๐Ÿ˜, progress is slow especially since I'm in the middle of moving to Leiden. button and potentiometer pcb assembly integrated button and potentiometer pcb assembly integrated