Multi Button MIDI

I’ve now mixed the single button MIDI code with the I2C code to create a Multi Button MIDI. This is just the starting point but it works perfectly. Using the same board layout as the earlier post, upload this sketch and you’ll have sixteen inputs for your MIDI device, perfect for wiring into your Bass Pedal!

// MultiButtonMIDI.ino
// Driving MIDI using a Multiple Buttons
// Rob Ives 2012
// This code is released into the Public Domain.
#include <MIDI.h>
#include <Wire.h>
int keyispressed[16]; //Is the key currently pressed?
int noteisplaying[16]; //Is the Note currently playing?
unsigned char data1; //data from chip 1
unsigned char data2; //data from chip 2
void  setup() //The Setup Loop
  Wire.begin(); // setup the I2C bus
  for (unsigned int i = 0; i < 16; i++) { //Init variables
    keyispressed[i] = 1; //clear the keys array (High is off)
    noteisplaying[i] = 0; //no notes are playing
  MIDI.begin(); //initialise midi library
void loop() //the main loop
void readkeys() { //Read the state of the I2C chips. 1 is open, 0 is closed.
  Wire.requestFrom(0x38, 1); // read the data from chip 1 in data1
  if (Wire.available()){
     data1 =; 
  Wire.requestFrom(0x39, 1); // read the data freom chip 2 into data2
  if (Wire.available()){
     data2 =;    
  for (unsigned char i = 0; i < 8; i++) {// puts data bits from chip 1 into keys array
       keyispressed[i] = ((data1 >> i) & 1); // set the key variable to the current state. chip 1
       keyispressed[i + 8] = ((data2 >> i) & 1); //chip 2
void sendMIDI() { // Send MIDI instructions via the MIDI out
  for (unsigned char i = 0; i < 16; i++) { //for each note in the array
    if (keyispressed[i] == LOW){ //the key on the board is pressed 
      if(!noteisplaying[i]){ //if the note is not already playing send MIDI instruction to start the note
         MIDI.sendNoteOn(36+i,127,1);  // Send a Note ( vel.127  ch. 1)
         noteisplaying[i] = 1; // set the note playing flag to TRUE
      if(noteisplaying[i]){ //if the note is currently playing, turn it off
        MIDI.sendNoteOff(36+i,0,1);   // Stop the note
        noteisplaying[i] = 0; // clear the note is playing flag

This is just the start. My next step will be to add a volume control and an octave switch.

Possible plan for octave switch: Two foot buttons, one for up, one for down, Four LEDs showing which octave is currently selected.

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