Devious Concoctions


Midi Control

The information below is taken entirely from other websites that sell their own versions of prop controls. DC is not associated in any way with these suppliers, but in using the products, we hightly recommend them.

Midi Control
A Brief Introduction to MIDI
The MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) standard defines a communications protocol between electronic musical devices. Any equipment conforming to the MIDI standard can be operated with any other MIDI device regardless of their manufacturer and type.
There are many aspects to MIDI, but essentially it is concerned with transferring information about which notes are being played from a control device (such as a keyboard, sequencer or computer) to a sound generator (such as a synthesiser, organ, piano or any other musical instrument capable of being operated by electrical signals).
The hardware part of the MIDI standard says that the communications will be in serial format with 1 start bit, 8 data bits, no parity and one stop bit at a rate of 31,250 bits per second.
Using this hardware definition, groups of 8 data bits (bytes) can be sent from one MIDI device to another. A further part of the MIDI standard defines how these bytes relate to what notes are being played.
In a practical system, it’s quite likely that you might have several different sound generators, say one for a melody line, one for the accompaniament and one for the bass, all being driven by one controller. In such a setup there would have to be some way for the controller to send the right musical part to the right sound generator without all the signals getting mixed up. MIDI achieves this by allowing up to 16 different channels to be allocated. Each sound generator would be set to a different channel, so the controller can address each one by its channel number.
To turn a note on, the control device sends a group of bytes in turn which, between them, say that a note is to be turned on, which MIDI channel is being addressed, which note is to be played and what the velocity is (how hard the key on the control keyboard was hit).
To turn a note off again, when the controller key is released, another message is sent, similar to the one which turned the note on, but this time saying that the note is to be turned off. As before, the message has to say what the note is and on which channel it is.
The definition of which note is being turned on or off is done by a single number within the MIDI message, which can have any value in the range 0 to 127 inclusive. Each number represents one note in a chromatic musical scale, spanning a range of over 10 octaves, which is enough for most purposes. Higher MIDI note numbers represent higher pitched notes and vice versa, the difference in pitch between two adjacent note numbers being a semitone.
Middle C corresponds to MIDI note number 60, the C# above this has note number 61, the B below this is number 59 etc. Concert pitch A (440 Hertz) has note number 69.
J D Wale, February 1997.
JW Electronics

What you need for full haunt control (with 10 stereo outs for total haunt and sound control) (click on pictures for more info)

M-Audio midiman Oxygen 8
25 Key keyboard
M-Audio Delta 1010LT
10 channel in and out soundcard
JW Electronics Midi Card
32 or 64 output avail (64 shown)

Besides a PC or mac, the above is pretty much all you need to control any voltage between 7 to 35 Volts DC, and if you need more then that, you can always incorporate a Crydom CXE240D5 Solid state relay, so now you can opperate 7-110 volts all off the one system. You will need to have the appropriate power supply with appropriate voltage.

The oxygen 8 keyboard includes a perfect software to run your entire haunt.

If you decide to go midi, and order a board from JW, it would be greatly appreciated if you note when ordering that you were referred to JW from this site.

Heres more info:
JW Electronics
MTP-1 : 32-Note MIDI to Parallel Converter

This is the card we will used for our 2002 haunt.

If you would like to use this card with the oxygen 8 keyboard, configuring the card so that output 1 correspond to MIDI note
24 and then count up to output 32 hitting MIDI note number 55.
Thanks Dave

The MTP-1 has all the following features :
• Provides a complete interface between any MIDI standard controller and any device capable of being controlled electrically.
• Supplied as a single high quality glass fibre pcb measuring 220 mm x 50 mm for installation inside a musical instrument or other device.
• Five 3.2mm mounting holes provided on the circuit board.
• 32 outputs (open collector ‘pull-down’), each capable of sinking 500 mA at up to 35 Volts, inductive or resistive load.
• Screw terminal connections provided for power supply and outputs.
• 5-pin DIN socket for MIDI input.
• Unit can respond to any one of 16 MIDI channels, selectable by on-board switches.
• Outputs mapped to MIDI note numbers according to customer requirements, allowing maximum output utilisation even with non-chromatic scales.
• More than one MIDI note can be mapped to each output if required.
• Many units can be chained together to build up a large system.
• Responds to note on/off, all notes off, active sensing and reset commands.
• Supports MIDI running status.
• LED shows power on and flashes if MIDI communications error.
• Unit is powered by supply for output devices anywhere in the range 7 to 35 Volts DC.
• Supplied with comprehensive installation notes.

The price of this unit is $86 in the USA, including programming, installation instructions, delivery and technical support by e-mail/telephone. Ordering Link

MTP-6 : 64-Note MIDI to Parallel Converter

This is the card we will be using for our 2003 haunt.

If you would like to use this card with the oxygen 8 keyboard, configuring the card so that output 1 correspond to MIDI note
24 and then count up to output 64 hitting MIDI note number 87.The Oxygen can be shifted up and down by octives. You won’t be able to play the entire thing at once, but then again, you only are using the keyboard for general input. If you want to do live stuff with the keyboard, you just shift it to the appropriate octive and map the keys to the right output.

Thanks Dave & John for all the info and help.


The MTP-6 has all the following features :
• Provides a complete interface between any MIDI standard controller and any device capable of being controlled electrically.
• Supplied as a single high quality glass fibre pcb measuring 210 mm x 70 mm for installation inside a musical instrument or other device.
• Five 3.2mm mounting holes provided on the circuit board.
• 64 outputs (open collector ‘pull-down’), each capable of sinking 500 mA at up to 35 Volts, inductive or resistive load.
• Screw terminal connections provided for power supply and outputs.
• 5-pin DIN socket for MIDI input.
• Unit can respond to any one of 16 MIDI channels, selectable by on-board switches.
• Outputs mapped to MIDI note numbers according to customer requirements, allowing maximum output utilisation even with non-chromatic scales.
• More than one MIDI note can be mapped to each output if required.
• Many units can be chained together to build up a large system.
• Responds to note on/off, all notes off, active sensing and reset commands.
• Supports MIDI running status.
• LED shows power on and flashes if MIDI communications error.
• Unit is powered by supply for output devices anywhere in the range 7 to 35 Volts DC.
• Supplied with comprehensive installation notes.

The price of this unit is $142 in the USA, including programming, installation instructions, delivery and technical support by e-mail/telephone. Ordering Link

DC’s 2004 Midi Setup