Ask a littleBits engineer

Hi Rod,

We’re happy to hear that you are interested in using the module as a teaching tool! I’m sorry to hear that you are having trouble with the Mozzi library. I am not familiar with the Mozzi library but I was able to replicate the sound you posted in the video.

It sounds like that this might actually be an aliasing issue which can be experienced at higher frequencies. I noticed that by decreasing the frequency, the sound went away. I found some documentation on the Mozzi website that discusses these potential issues. I’d recommend trying to find some Mozzi users that have experienced these issues. I hope it works out for you!

Is it possible to use little bits in conjunction with Arduino as a MIDI controller for software such as Logic, Ableton, garageband or even DJ software like Serato? The demos I have seen show sending MIDI signals to the Littlebits synth components, but I’m not sure if you can send MIDI signals to the computer from LittleBits.

Hi Artistiq,

Our current version of Synth Kit modules do not support MIDI and they are actually completely analog.

As far as using MIDI for your Arduino bit, the easiest way to implement it would be to send MIDI via serial and then on your computer use a serial to MIDI bridge that your DAW would interface with. I have posted a couple of bridge examples below that you can check out and see if they will work for what you have in mind.

https://projectgus.github.io/hairless-midiserial/
http://www.spikenzielabs.com/SpikenzieLabs/Serial_MIDI.html
http://www.stephenhobley.com/blog/2010/02/15/serial-port-midi-relay/

-Sean

Great. Thanks for the quick response and the resources. I’ll check them out.

Hi Sean,

I have a problem with mac and littleBits arduino module.
Using MacBook Pro OS10.8.5.
I set a right port “/dev/tty.usbmodem1411”
and Writing to the microcomputer board is successful.
There was an error Start Processing, After running the sketch.
”Error opening serial port/dev/cu.Bluetooth-Modem:Port busy"
What’s happening?
How can I fixed it?
First time I used Leonardo and littleBits arduino module.
I have ever used Arduino Uno without any problems.

Hi little_izzy,

It sounds like the Arduino IDE is trying to program to your bluetooth port if you receive that message. There may be an issue with the sketch you uploaded that is locking out the bootloader. Please see [the resetting instructions provided here][1] and see if this fixes your issue. If not let me know!

EDIT: If you are trying to use the “analog_pong_processing” sketch or another sketch that uses the serial port you have to make sure you select the correct serial port. Look for a piece of code that looks like the following:

  myPort = new Serial(this, Serial.list()[0], 9600);

and change the [0] to the index of the serial port you used to program your Arduino. If you are unsure just count up until it works (e.g. try [1] then run it, [2] then run it, [3] then run it, etc.).

-Sean

[1]: Arduino Troubleshooting

Hi,
Thanks for your prompt reply.
I used “Etch A Sketch - Processing”
I tried to change number as you said.
Finally I fixed it with No.4 ! Thanks Sean !!
d1/tx led is yellow solid, is that correct?

i’ve just received the little bits arduino module and was just stepping through the sample sketches first to get acquainted with it. a0 doesn’t seem to be responding as an input in for the 3 initial sketches i’ve tried. If I change these in the sketch to a1 and connect the button or analogue control to this (with the power behind it) it works. Is this a hardware issue?

is there any way to verify whether the board is working correctly or any other tips you have…

thanks dan

Hi Dan,

Usually when you cannot get a connection on a port it just has to be cleaned. Try taking a clean cloth and wiping the connector that you are having trouble with. If cleaning it doesn’t work and you are still having issues with that connector you may want to contact customer service to see if you can exchange it for a new module.

-Sean

Hi Sean,

Thanks for the reply. If I compare the pins of of a0 (and d0 which I also seem to be having issues with) to the a1 connection which is working, the middle pin’s are not sticking out from the plastic at all. I have tried cleaning them but am thinking this is the most likely cause?

Dan

Hi Dan!

I’m Allison, Bitizen Support Coordinator here at littleBits. I’m sending you a message through our emailing system to talk more about the troublemaking Arduino module. Don’t worry, we can replace it for you, if needed.

I just wanted to let you know to expect a note here shortly!

Best,
Allison

Hello Sean,

I’m trying to play two notes simultaneously with the Arduino module connected with two synth speaker modules (connected to d5 and d9 outputs). This code works for one speaker at the time

tone(5, 440, 1000);
delay(1000);
noTone(5);
tone(9, 440, 100);
delay(1000);
noTone(9);

But when I try to play at the same time only one speaker sounds

tone(5, 440, 1000);
tone(9, 440, 1000);
delay(1000);
noTone(5);
noTone(9);

It would be really helpful if you could explain why and/or if there is any solution to this problem.

Thanks.

1 Like

Hi Emil,

I believe the reason you are only hearing one tone when you use the tone function is that the tone function’s underlying source only allows for one tone at a time. The reason for this is that every frequency would require its own unique timer, but looking at the source code of the tone function reveals that it only uses a single timer, Timer 2.

I would recommend searching for some Arduino projects out there that drive multiple speakers. Here is a thread on the Arduino forum that looks like it covers such a project. Hopefully it will be a good starting point for you!

-Sean

Hi Sean,

I’m trying to do a follow up for issue #16357 that I have been emailing back and forth with Allison.
Would you be able to check the information I’ve sent her (along with the video and code) or do I have to send it all over again?
I also did everything she asked me and nothing works. I still get 5 LEDs regardless of my sketch.

Hi toomanyeduardus,

I’ll ask Allison for the video and code and get back to you with a response as soon as possible!

-Sean

Hi again Eduardo,

I see the sketch you are trying to load is:

void setup() 
{ 
pinMode(5, OUTPUT); 
}

void loop() 
{ 
analogWrite(5, 153); 
delay(1000);

analogWrite(5, 0); 
delay(1000); 
}

Can you try changing your code to the other pwm output pin to see if it works there?

void setup() 
{ 
pinMode(9, OUTPUT); 
}

void loop() 
{ 
analogWrite(9, 153); 
delay(1000);

analogWrite(9, 0); 
delay(1000); 
}

Also if you can, with the original code, can you tell me if there is any difference in behavior when you flip the switch from analog to pwm?

-Sean

Hi Sean,

well this is odd.
i tried my code without any modification first and the result was the same as before (all 5 LEDs blinking).
I changed the port to d9 and modified the code and only 3 LEDs turned on (which is good!)
Then I reverted to my previous code and changed the bargraph to port d5 as before, and it now works with the 3 LEDs…so it fixed itself?

I now have another question though, so please let me know if I should start a new thread for future references.
What’s the next step to have communication between the arduino and some other program? In other words, how can I make a C++ app that sends messages to this arduino sketch?
Can these sketches be compiled?
Basically now I want to write an external app that can modify the LEDs from 1 to 5, and I want the sketch to just run with the parameter sent, and determine the voltage on runtime.

Thanks!

Hi Eduardo,

I’m glad your Arduino is now working as expected! In regards to the external app, do you want to create a windows/mac program that you can control the Arduino with? There are a number of ways you can create such an application. There is a great page on the Arduino website that will introduce you to a number of methods of opening up communication between your Arduino and your computer. Hopefully that will be a good starting point for you!

-Sean

Hi, Sean. :slight_smile:
I am working on a musical project that requires the user to press a button into A0 in order to play the next song on d9 and turn on a fan bit for the duration of the song. It works correctly when a DC motor or an led is in d5, but when I try the circuit with a fan bit, the fan makes the circuit act as if I keep pressing the button. Do I need something like “debounce” code?
-Jude

Hi JackANDJude,

Can you post your code so I can look at it and see what might be going on with it? Thanks!

-Sean