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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Universal TV remote + Arduino = Wireless Midi Controller

So, i remember writing a while back about a project i wanted to do that involved turning a tv remote into a wireless midi controller, so i can control my computers audio programs from across the room during production and from across a stage during performance.

So far, i've been able to write up some code that looks for certain signals from the TV remote and then spits out midi data to my computer through a USB serial connection.

I've also made a small 'shield' that is easily installed into the arduino that has an Infrared sensor on it to detect the IR signals from the remote, and it also has a tri color LED on it, so that i can see that my button presses are being registered by the device.

the picture at the top is the receiver and LED shield that i made. The picture at the right is what it looks like when its hooked up to the arduino. basically, it is a receiver of the TV remotes signal, and it translates the signal into something the computer can work with.

If you want to use the code i've written, or enhance it in any way, feel free to do so.

to get started you will need to have an arduino ready, download the IR library written be Ken Shirriff
at this link and upload the following code to your arduino. (sorry the code is so long, i could probably make it alot more efficient by writing in some new functions)
here is a link to the arduino code for the project
You'll also need a program to translate from Serial to midi... like this one...

also, depending on which tv remote you have, you might need to reprogram in your own IR codes and make adjustments to the way the code runs depending on how your tv remote sends its signals... my tv remote would send two alternating IR signals for each button pressed... yours might work differently, meaning you'll need to make changes to the code...

after some tinkering, you should be at the point where it all works and you can sit back and enjoy your own open source, fully programmable universal tv remote midi controller...

thanks for reading. subscribe and comment please. suggestions and feedback appreciated.


  1. This is great, I'm looking forward to trying this. This is exactly what I was hoping to do

    1. Right on MRA, i was thinking i should write another update for this post with a wiring schematic for the shield...

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