RFID Sequencer

Introduction

I have always like the idea of a physical music sequencer but I didn't want to make one like the other I had seen so I decided to come up with, what I believe, is a unique take on the concept an RFID sequencer. In this it is the RFID tokens that hold both the note and the instrument, and where that note is played, is controlled by where about you physically place that token on the sequencer. This is not a simple project so don't expect to build one in a few weeks. It took me six months to complete this and there were a few false starts with circuit design on the way, but the results, I am sure you will agree, are well worth the effort.

In order to make the project interesting enough, I reckoned that I needed at least 32 RFID readers, even with the low cost reader options costing about $20, then multiplying that up by 32 times was a non starter with my budget, it had to be a home constructed reader with coils. Also, RFID readers do not normally work well when they are in close proximity because the fields from each reader interfere with all the other readers, so the design had to be a bit unconventional. The tokens as well, had to be able to be mounted easily on a board and positioned quite precisely. This is because in order to achieve the reader packing density I wanted, I had to make the read range quite small.

Theory

A Physical Music Sequencer

By Mike Cook

Design

Schematic

Firmware

Construction