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The Chomp is an open-source MIDI controller for creative music projects. It's a powerful piece of hardware with design in mind.

My name is Max Justicz. I'm a high school student from Atlanta, and today I need your help funding my first major open-source project, the Chomp.

No idea what MIDI is?  Check this out.

MIDI allows you to control digital software with real life, physical objects.  The Chomp provides an affordable and practical way to begin making MIDI work for you.

Thanks to our friends at Hack a Day for the awesome article!

A great comment from backer Brandon:

"I've been dreaming of a device like this for months. I'm so glad it's finally being made. You could use this to hook up lots of input and output devices to your computer with no circuitry and no programming. This is a great product not just for musical instrument and DJ console makers, but also for installation and performance artists, interactive sculptures, really any kind of interactive or computer-controlled art.

This is superior to just using a normal Arduino (or even an Arduino Mega) because not only does it have tons on I/O capability, but since it's hooked up to MIDI you can control I/O through any MIDI compatible software, in particular Max or PureData. This is a big win for artists that don't want to learn programming. Although underneath you can still program it like any Arduino, so you don't lose any versatility or power if you want to get your hands dirty with programming."

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Introducing the Chomp: the bite-sized, affordable MIDI box for creative music projects.

It has come to my attention that the world needs an inexpensive (but extraordinarily solid) MIDI controller.  That's where the Chomp comes in.  With zero technical skills, you can hook up dozens of buttons, knobs, switches, and sensors to control endless parameters of digital software.

The Chomp is the first open-source MIDI controller that's been designed right.  Other MIDI controllers on the market are proprietary, difficult to use, non configurable, and most of all: expensive. One of the only other commercial options available ships exclusively from Europe and costs the US equivalent of $240.

But because it's Arduino powered and completely user programmable, the Chomp is more than an awesome MIDI controller.  With new code, Chomp can do just about anything: play Bach on a digital keyboard, or help you along in a live musical performance.

Its $50 asking price means that you can get a powerful digital music tool into your hands without spending a bundle.

I've done everything possible to get Chomp right.  It's made in the USA, durable, inexpensive, open-hardware, customizable, and absolutely tiny.

What does open-hardware mean?  Basically, all of the circuit diagram files behind the Chomp, all of the default code, and the of all the CNC files for cutting out the case are available for free.  This means that anyone can modify the core functionality of the Chomp without having to do any tricky reverse engineering.

I need your help to get 500 Chomps made and sold for only $50 each. (500 units*$50 = $25,000).

This project has the potential to open up digital music to a completely new group of people.

Make your next music project fantastic.

What makes it different?

The Chomp is:

  • Completely open-source.
  • Affordable (only $50).
  • Compatible with ANY MIDI configuration.
  • 48 Inputs/Outputs!
  • Made and assembled in the USA.
  • Programmable
  • Tiny, only 100mm x 60mm x 25mm


Here's a big one:  Because the Chomp uses Input/Output multiplexers to drive each of its 48 pins, you can also use it as a souped up Arduino board.  If you don't feel like saving up for a fancier Arduino, the Chomp is a wonderful alternative to boards like the Arduino Mega.  Check out Arduino.cc for more information.

Input Boards:  the Chomp Button Board and Potentiometer Board

For those of you new to the world of electronics, I've designed a couple little boards that will make installing buttons and sensors a breeze.  The Chomp button board and potentiometer board make it super simple to create large arrays of buttons and knobs.

Due to budgetary limitations, I've been unable to manufacture these.  However, they are designed, and provided this Kickstarter is successful they should be arriving shortly!  Here's what they look like:

There's even a handy how-to guide printed right on each board!

Badges

Even if you can only spare a few dollars, you won't go unrewarded!  A backing of $15 or more receives one of these super cool, limited edition donator badges!  They are cut from 1/8" acrylic and have a hole in the top left so they can be used as a keychain.

Thank you so much.

Thanks for taking the time to look at my project.

Should you decide to donate today, you have directly helped place digital music into the hands of the hundreds of people.

All files are available under Creative Commons license CC BY-SA.

FAQ

  • Yep! Please add $20 to your pledge for international shipping. (Sorry, international shipping is really expensive!). Canada is $15.

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  • Because the Chomp is Arduino compatible, you can program it using the Arduino IDE available at Arduino.cc .

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  • I'm a fan of http://sparkfun.com. Check the "Components" category and look for anything labeled "Potentiometer" (for knobs) and "Button" for buttons. It's a fantastic website!

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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    5 backers

    A thank you note for your awesome support!

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    7 backers

    Your name on the Chomp website and a thank you note!

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  • Pledge $15 or more
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    11 backers

    All of the below, plus a beautiful, laser-cut acrylic donator badge (see "Badges" towards the bottom of the page).

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  • Pledge $35 or more
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    5 backers Limited (95 left of 100)

    All of the below plus a Chomp t-shirt!

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  • Pledge $50 or more
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    44 backers

    Your own Chomp, limited Kickstarter edition! This does not include a MIDI to USB cable. It does include, however, an acrylic enclosure, a power adapter, documentation, and a big "Thank you!"

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  • Pledge $60 or more
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    110 backers

    Your own Chomp, limited Kickstarter edition, with a MIDI-USB cable, wall adapter, acrylic enclosure, documentation, and a (even bigger) "Thank you!"

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    1 backer

    Includes everything the $60 reward does, but with a custom message (up to 25 characters) on the acrylic enclosure!

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    7 backers

    The same as the $60 reward, plus a hand-written "thank you" card and your name prominently displayed on the front page of the site for two months.

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  • Pledge $150 or more
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    7 backers

    Two Chomps (with accessories), each with custom laser etching and a short "thank you" video, plus your name on the front page of the site for two months!

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    4 backers Limited (21 left of 25)

    The same reward as the $150 level, plus the limited-edition Chomp t-shirt, and a laser-cut wood carrying case for your Chomp with a custom etched message on the lid.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    Three Chomps in custom colors! Pick from red, green, blue, orange, classic clear, or black. You'll also receive the limited-edition Chomp t-shirt, and a laser-cut wood carrying case for your Chomp with a custom etched message on the lid.

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