Analog To Midi

With this tutorial you use the Audio Frequency Meter Library and the Arduino Midi USB library and build a device that recognizes an input frequency and outputs it to MIDI as the nearest corresponding note of the chromatic scale.

This tutorial relies on these other two tutorials:

Hardware Required

  • Arduino or Genuino MKR1000 Board
  • 1x 10k trimmer
  • 1x LMV358 or TLV2462
  • 2x 100k resistor
  • 2x 47k resistor
  • 1x 100n capacitor
  • 1x 3.5mm jack

The Circuit

In order to get the most dynamic range even from low level inputs, the circuit consist of a non-inverting amplifier that brings the amplitude of the signal to the full input voltage range supported by the ADC. Sampling at full resolution means a better accuracy.

The 10k trimpot allows to adjust the gain of the amplifier matching the signal level with the ADC input range. This adjustment should be made looking at the output on the Arduino Software (IDE) Serial Monitor: when the note reading is stable while playing the same note, the gain is properly set.

As an alternative, you may purchase the Electret microphone amplifier - MAX4466 with adjustable gain that was designed specifically for this purpose.

Works on: MKR1000 and Zero boards.


Software Essentials


Library that contains the methods and functions to manage analog frequencies read through the analog inputs. In this sketch it recognizes the main frequency to play through MIDI.

Library that creates a MIDI device through USB Host port; the device outputs notes in MIDI format and needs a sound generator.

Defines the correspondence between audio frequencies and notes of the 88 keys scale. Part of MIDIUSB

Defines the correspondence between notes and MIDI note values. Part of MIDIUSB

Functions defined in the sketch:

searchForNote(float frequency)
Search for the nearest frequency that is in the vector of frequencies noteFrequency[ ]

noteOn(byte channel, byte pitch, byte velocity)
Sends out to MIDI the event to turn on the note of the specified pitch on the specified MIDI Channel

void noteOff(byte channel, byte pitch, byte velocity)
Sends out to MIDI the event to turn off the note of the specified pitch on the specified MIDI Channel


  Analog to Midi Converter for Arduino MKR1000

  Demonstrates how to sample an input signal and get back its corresponding MIDI note

  This example code is in the public domain

  created by Arturo Guadalupi <>
  29 Jan 2016

#include <AudioFrequencyMeter.h>
#include <MIDIUSB.h>
#include <frequencyToNote.h>
#include <pitchToNote.h>

#define DEPTH         60                      // Defines depth of the array for averaged frequencies
#define HUMAN_RATE    50                      // Defines 50ms corresponding to 20 notes/s
#define MAX_DURATION  1000                    // Defines the max play duration of the note

AudioFrequencyMeter meter;

int notesArray[DEPTH];                        // Array to store detected notes and find the "correct" note which occurred the most often
int occurrences[DEPTH];                       // Array in which the number of occurrences for each note are stored
bool marked[DEPTH];                           // Array to indicate which of the notes have been checked
int frequencyIndex = 0;                       // Used to navigate to where the current note must be stored

int previousNote;
unsigned int startTime;                       // Used to determine when the note must stop
unsigned int humanTime;                       // Used to determine when the next note can be sampled (using HUMAN_RATE timing)

int intensity = 64;                           // The volume of the played note is fixed at 64

void setup() {
  // put your setup code here, to run once:
  pinMode(11, OUTPUT);
  meter.setBandwidth(75.00, 600.00);          // Set available bandwidth between 75Hz and 600Hz
  meter.begin(A0, 45000);                     // Intialize A0 at sample rate of 45kHz

void loop() {
  float frequency = meter.getFrequency();

  if (frequency > 0)
    int noteIndex = searchForNote(frequency); // Find the index of the corresponding frequency
    int note = notePitch[noteIndex];          // Use that index to find the corresponding note in the LUT
    notesArray[frequencyIndex++] = note;      // Store the note and continue to next value in array

    if (frequencyIndex > DEPTH)               // If all the notes have been stored
      frequencyIndex = 0;                     // Reset the index
      int i, j;

      /*Reset all the occurences and marked positions*/
      for (i = 0; i < DEPTH; i++)
        occurrences[i] = 0;
        marked[i] = 0;

      /*Count the number of occurrences*/
      for (i = 0; i < DEPTH; i++)
        for (j = 0; j < DEPTH; j++)
          // If notes are the same and the note has not been marked yet
          if ((!marked[j]) && (notesArray[j] == notesArray[i]))
            occurrences[i]++;                 // Increment the number of occurrences
            marked[j] = true;                 // Signal the note as marked

      int numberOfdifferentFrequencies = 0;   // Used to determine how many different Frequencies have been detected

      for (i = 0; i < DEPTH; i++)
        // If the counter does not equal zero
        if (occurrences[i] != 0)
          // Store the the various detected Frequencies
          notesArray[numberOfdifferentFrequencies] = notesArray[i];
          // And the number of occurrences for each note
          occurrences[numberOfdifferentFrequencies] = occurrences[i];
          numberOfdifferentFrequencies++;      // Increment the number of detected Frequencies

      /*Search for the maximum number of occurrences to discriminate the played note*/
      int maxNumberOfFrequencies = occurrences[0];
      int rightIndex = 0;

      for (i = 0; i < numberOfdifferentFrequencies; i++);
        // If a new maximum exist
        if (occurrences[i] > maxNumberOfFrequencies)
          // Update the value
          maxNumberOfFrequencies = occurrences[i];
          // Update the index
          rightIndex = i;
      note = notesArray[rightIndex];          // Note to be played is that with the most occurrences
      // If the specified time has elapsed before the next note
      if (millis() - humanTime > HUMAN_RATE)
        humanTime = millis();                 // Update the timer
        startTime = millis();                 // Update the note duration
        noteOff(0, previousNote, intensity);  // Stop playing the previous note
        previousNote = note;                  // Update previous note with the new one
        Serial.println(note);                 // Print the note to be played
        noteOn(0, note, intensity);           // Play the note!

  if (millis() - startTime > MAX_DURATION)    // If maximum time elapsed
    noteOff(0, previousNote, intensity);      // Turn the note off

int searchForNote(float frequency)
  float minimum = abs(frequency - noteFrequency[0]);
  float newMinimum;
  int index = 0;

  /*Search for the nearest frequency that is in the vector*/
  for (int i = 0; i < NUMBER_OF_NOTES - 1; i++)
    newMinimum = abs(frequency - noteFrequency[i]);
    if (newMinimum < minimum)
      minimum = newMinimum;
      index = i;

  return index;

void noteOn(byte channel, byte pitch, byte velocity) {
  midiEventPacket_t noteOn = {0x09, 0x90 | channel, pitch, velocity};

void noteOff(byte channel, byte pitch, byte velocity) {
  midiEventPacket_t noteOff = {0x08, 0x80 | channel, pitch, velocity};

See also

Scheduled WiFi SSL Web Client
Battery Life tutorial