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Brain Jr with Sharp IR Sensor

edited September 2013 in Hardware

I am experimenting adding MIDI controls to a slide trombone. Am using a Sharp IR sensor GP2Y0A02YKF0F with a modified DigiTalent hand Theremin controller, but there is no note off signal unless the target (trombone slide) moves out of range. I would like to think I could add a note on/off switch with a Brain Jr, but it would be even better if I could wire the Sharp IR sensor directly to a Brain Jr. to generate a full range of MIDI notes. Is this possible? A second question is if i could use a thumb joystick to control Velocity and/or Pitch. Just to confirm, I am also using an M-Audio MidAir Wireless system, which I assume will also work with the Brain Jr.


  • Have you tried using the one of the FSR modes for the analog control?

  • Thanks for the prompt reply. My Brain Jr hasn't arrived yet, but I found a cool video from Livid that shows how to hook up that sensor & use the FSR mode.

  • Hi there.  I just got my Brain Jr. and have had a lot of fun playing around with it and decided to try an IR sensor hooked up to it to see how I liked it.  Here is my youtube video of the sensor acting as the pitch bend through Main Stage:

    It works decent enough, but it doesn't seem to sweep out to the extreme ends of the spectrum.  Anybody have any clue how to get a more dynamic reaction from this IR sensor?  I already have it set to the proper fsr setting from the wiki page.
  • I have used the Sharp sensors a bit, and they make several versions with different ranges. The beam isn't all that wide, so I have used a laser unit from a flashlight track it. You might just tape the sensor to a flashlight for a test, and your video looks like you may be getting a little to one side.

    When used for MIDI notes, I have discovered that the notes are low really close, then go up to a null as you move away, then back down again over a longer distance. Without a guide, it's easy to stray from the beam freehand.

    I use a Sharp sensor to track the slide movements of my trombone and have posted some pics and a schematic of the 10k pots I use to trim the affair at Highly Liquid <>. Depending on what you want to do, you might have to make a simple little amp to increase the signal, but do some research so you don't overpower the Brain Jr. Have fun!

  • That looks like a cool setup.  The IR sensor was more of an experiment just to see.  I may decide to use it in the future, but I've got a couple other things I want to do with my Brain first.  I might look into the amp idea.  Thanks.

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