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LittleBits Arduino MIDI master clock with tap tempo

by DieterVDW

Published on December 7, 2015

This Arduino code will send a MIDI master clock signal, and let you set the tempo by tapping!

Extra functionality:
  • Connect a dimmer to A0 to set the tempo by twisting the knob!
  • Tempo blinking LED on pin A5
  • Sync signal on pin A9 (for example to sync with Korg Monotribe...)
  • MIDI real-time start/stop is sent when button press is detected on A1 port
  • Stores the BPM value and restores it on power up
Code also available here:

Duration: 1 hour


Kudos to the EXCELLENT tutorial on how to send and receive MIDI with an Arduino @ Instructables: http://www.instructables.com/id/Send-and-Receive-MIDI-with-Arduino/

Also thanks to Paul Stoffregen for the super-easy TimerOne library! https://github.com/PaulStoffregen/TimerOne

How To Make It

STEP 1 : Create a MIDI connector

See excellent information here:

I bought a male-to-female MIDI extension cable, and cut it in half. Then I stripped the cable and added the 220 ohm resistor. The resistor is in the green electrical tap you see on the picture. I used a proto module to connect the MIDI adapter to the littlebits Arduino.

STEP 2 : Make the littleBits setup

Power module -> button -> D0 port of the little
Bits Arduino D1 port of littleBits Arduino -> proto module -> MIDI adapter cable -> Your MIDI device

STEP 3 : Add the TimerOne library in the Arduino application

In the Arduino application:
Menu -> Sketch -> Include library -> Manage libraries ...

 Search for 'TimerOne' . Install the library!

STEP 4 : Upload the code to the littleBits Arduino

Use the Arduino application to upload the code to your littleBits Arduino.

STEP 5 : Start tapping!

... and see the BPM change in your connected MIDI equipment! (Make sure to set your gear to 'external clock source')

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