5 janvier 2021

MERIS MIDI box, DIY version

MERIS produces incredible pedals for guitars (but not only). They really sound great. In my opinion, they are the holy grail of any sound seeker/modeler. I am a very happy owner of their guitar synth pedal named ENZO.

I really wanted to control my Enzo pedal using my main MIDI controller : the Behringer FCB1010. For this, I needed a MIDI Box to convert a 5-pin MIDI plug into a MIDI jack. Indeed, all Meris pedals are equipped with a TRS jack to use either a MIDI box or an expression pedal.

On their online shop, Meris are selling their MIDI I/O 89$ : way too much in my humble opinion... I decided to create my own DIY MIDI box.

First of all, here is how the MIDI jack is used by any Meris pedal:

Based on this, I created a MIDI interface with diagrams found on the Internet. Three main parts:
  1. The voltage regulator based on LM7805
  2. The MIDI in buffered by an optocoupler 6N138
  3. The MIDI out

To make things faster (and better done...), I purchased a MIDI shield for Arduino plates where the MIDI in and out are already done. It costs around 3$ on every online store. Only the voltage regulator is missing.

Adding a aluminium housing, all parts cost less than 12$. It was worth the try ! And moreover it works well !
Here is a picture of the final result

Now that I can control my Enzo pedal over MIDI, here is the MIDI CC table used by Meris :