Need advice on purchasing a breath controller

Need advice on purchasing a breath controller. I’ve never used one before but am thinking it may quite useful.

It would be nice to have one with an actual midi port connection rather than usb as I’m running low on usb ports on my laptop and the Presonus interface I use has midi ports.

I built my own with arduino and is Bluethoot LE. Works really great

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I’m not sure what you are referring to.
The physical controller or an interface?
Maybe a usb to midi interface?
Seems sort of redundant.
I could just add or split a usb port on the laptop.

I built a midi breath controller with just arduino and a pressure sensor. It connects to ipad/iphone/mac via BluetoothLE so no need to use a midi or usb cable to connect to you device.
TEC breath controller seems to be usb only

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Hi Alex! I would love to see a pic, video, or sketch of how you did it.Where you get the parts and all that? I’ve been looking to solve the wireless breath controller myself with mostly what I had already, so it is kinda clunky (and feel dum to suggest to others when I know there are better alternatives). I would be interested to hear about the range as well: any Bluetooth LE solution I’ve tried has been somewhat restricted (20m max perhaps?)


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Hi Lofileif,
above some pic of my own breath controller.
It is just an arduino nano 33 ble and a pressure sensor mp3v5004gvp.
Honestly I use it in my live band shows and do not need more then few meters from my ipad. Do not know if with more then 20 meters it still works.
The case is 3d printed.
For more advanced use (i just use breath pressure) you can even print a mouthpiece with everything inside and also use head movements for additional midi controls.
The white cable should be connected to a power source. Any mini power bank works for hours.
I keep the case and power bank buckled up to my guitar strap

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Super! That is awesome! :star_struck: Any possibilities of having a rechargeable battery inside that case? And, do you use a tube and/or extra mouthpiece with that?

Yes you can but i prefer to have two mini power bank ….just for backup and to switch in seconds…
Of course you can print anything to contain even the power bank.
I use a tube and a mouthpiece (like melodica but thinner 6mm)

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I see! I can understand the power bank preference for a few reasons, but I was just wondering how small the chargeable battery packs would be now. When it comes to a bite sensor, which to be fair is the most usable of the “other 3” from something like the TEControl BBC2, is there any similarly ready-to-go solution that you know of? I haven’t investigated this at all, but I realize I am too interested not to ask. :grimacing:

I haven’t investigate on a DYI bite sensor. I only use a foot pedal in a very few cases for additional control on some sounds …

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Ok, I’ll take that one myself then. Thanks for the inspiration though, and all the info here! Much appreciated! :grinning: :pray:

I’m a bit confused.
I assume the extra tube on the sensor is for a moisture filter so your sensor doesn’t get clogged.
What code did you use? I’ve only ever used a pickit 3 for programming Microchip Micros and have no arduino experience. Do they supply sample code for the sensors? I also don’t know how it would interface with MG2 as usually for any type of midi controller you actually need a midi controller interface to assign midi notes /control numbers etc.
I also assume you could add a motion sensor but I’m not sure if you did that later or not.

Hi GJNichol
Arduino has a programming language and you need a little bit of knowledge to code.
But it is really simple to open a BLE connection, read the value from sensor, scale it to 0-127 and send a midi CC with that value.
To interface MG2 i host it in AUM so everything received on Bluetooth midi (from my breath controller) is sent to the virtual instruments MG2 sends the midi to and that’s all.
In the same code you can get the value for head movement (accelerometer and gyroscope) and send different CC values. I tried and worked but I do not need it.
Hope it is more clear to you now

Thanks Alex:
I assume the Arduino (mini-nano?)has a built in BT antenna.
You said you are using a AUM host so I assume that deciphers the midi data?
I don’t have one of those so I assume it would be better to burn code into a dedicated microcontroller, desgin the board and other things that does all breath control functions.
Or just buy a commercial breath controller one and deal with the usb connection and add a USB BT transmitter for wireless if necessary.
I still didn’t get any response as to the commercial units available.

Arduino has libraries for bluetooth and midi so no need to reinvent the wheel.
Of course buying something commercial like TEC is simpler and riskless but I wanted a BLE solution, cheaper and fully programmable by me. (for fun as well :grinning:)
Do not have TEC so do not have experience on connecting a BLE-USB trasmitter to it.

I have CME WIDI Uhost on the way. I’ll be doing a little comparison between those and the Panda MIDI Beam setup I currently use once I get them. Let’s see what comes out of that :thinking:

I will try the LE and see what I can find that actually works for a usb to usb transmitter for midi. I would still need a portable power pack with a usb power connector. I would think most usb transcievers would work for midi but I do not know yet.
It makes sense that you would want a wireless/remote mouthpiece.
Thanks for all the advice and I’ll get to this in a month or so and let you know what I found.
Happy lips for now :slight_smile: :slightly_smiling_face:

Hi Alex:
I thought you were saying that the Arduino language was a different language but now I realize it’s basically C++ with an extra library or libraries so I guess they would be handy.
I don’t know what processor they use but I imagine if you made your own Arduino from scratch it would be much cheaper but they would likely have a special OS that was burned into the Micro Controller IC ram so you would not be able to just make your own without first developing your own OS software for the Micro.
So what I’m getting at is if you want to develop your controller it for commercial use
you would ideally want to use the same sort of Microcontroller but at a much lower cost so I would use one of the thousands of MicroChip’s controllers.
For dedicated use your code could likely be ported or re-written if you wrote your own functions to to your port controls.
I guess I’m trying to say if you want to market it you should consider a much cheaper micro controller.
The only extra expense is the PC board and the mass programming that microchip offers. The last time I looked at that they would program a thousand micros for about one dollar a piece.
If you want any PC design done and a prototype pcb I have done that for many years and would consider doing one for you if you choose to go that route.
I could do one of those for very very cheap and very very good quality (not stuffed).
The proto could be stuffed by hand as I know how to make pcbs’ that have smt pads that are much easier to solder by hand. This way you could just buy 10’s of Ic’s and other components for a complete protoype.
If you need any of this let me know.