Le Bidule is an open source firmware for Arduino, with ideas and schematics for a versatile standalone electronic instrument.

There are a lot a good midi controllers a over the world nowadays, but I think that electronic tools should be built and modified easily, with few parts and at low cost, and be open source to ensure some sustainability. The purpose is to keep your money to buy hand made acoustic instruments or achieve your music projects. Thus, there will be no problem to repair it in a few years. You'll really understand your instrument, your needs, how synthesis and MIDI works, and have less dependency to the music market...

- different behaviours allow you to play it like a slide guitar, a keyboard, a wind instrument, a harp, a hurdy/gurdy, a standalone expander, or just a simple midi controller, processor & usb midi interface...

- synthesizer with two simple oscillators, vibrato, tremolo, portamento, mixable square, pwm, pulse & noise waves, and a lot of assignables effects (ancient and arabic temperaments, pitchbend, glitch and bit crusher, random octaves or pitches, midi controllers send...)

- usb midi thanks to the Arduino UNO or Leonardo boards family

- presets & editor under Linux, W!ndo$, Mac OS, Android or any device with a web browser & web midi enabled

- line output with enveloppe & volume control for any amp, fx pedal, or FM emitter

- hardware midi out

- power by usb, dc jack, battery, solar panel...

give a second life to an old smartphone pluging it to "Le Bidule" and using it as :

- a battery
- a virtual synthesizer
- a digital stompbox
- a Bluetooth MIDI emitter
- a preset editor
- a playback device to play over your favorite tracks

easy to build and enhance

- you just need an arduino or compatible board, and tactile keys made of simple wires or any recycled metal piece like drawing pins or aluminium tape. Use switches instead of tactile keys if you want, and adapt to real instruments or mechanical parts for example - choose your instrument's design : put everything in a recycled box, an old guitar, or over a simple piece of wood
- decide the instrument type, how many keys or strings do you need, plus pedal or sensor like a breath controller
- make your own fingerings, customize midi note and cent pitch for each combination for wind instruments.

"I played Le Bidule a lot in the band Rhizottome, since my good old Casio DH100 left me. I begun with rebuilding the electronic inside with an Arduino, and cutted the mouthpiece and the speaker in order to put it easily in my touring bag. As it has been totally broken, I decided to build one from scratch. I had to move from switches, which are the more efficient but much more complex to install, to capacitive keys and auto-calibrating keyboard with very few parts needed : some drawing pins.
As I was stuck in the code with no idea to finish it, the great belgian Ictus Ensemble and the composer Fran├žois Sarhan asked me to build a Keyboard, a cello, a guitar and a violin with the same idea in mind, and also play my original Bidule with them. So I rewrote the code from scratch, with a separate instrument module for unlimited diffent behaviours
No expensive card, nothing to solder if you want to build a simple controller, just some pins or tape, wires and the naked Arduino which has become a great standard as MIDI did.
It gives us a very responsive and quick-to-build tool : Le Bidule."

- Matthieu Metzger -

get a brand new Bidule !

... not yet, but working on it ...

MANUAL, EDITOR & tutorials

Click on the desired link and don't hesitate to save the page to access it without connection
Tutorials will be progressively available at the end of 2022.



get the code & build your own Bidule

tutorials will be progressively avalaible at the end of 2022





open source
& custom devices
by matthieu metzger