MIDI Head Tracker


I am trying to assemble the head tracker from this project https://git.iem.at/DIY/MrHeadTracker/wikis/mrht-bno055 which consists originally of a sensor Adafruit BNO055 (https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-bno055-absolute-orientation-sensor/overview), an Arduino Pro Mini (https://store.arduino.cc/usa/arduino-pro-mini) for processing and sending serial information and a Arduino USB2 Serial Micro (https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/USBSerial) to connect the Pro Mini to the PC. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the USB2 Serial Micro to buy, so I bought an FTDI board (FT232RL). The problem is that the head tracker was projected to be an plug-and-play MIDI device without using any software such as Hairlass MIDI (http://projectgus.github.io/hairless-midiserial/) and, while the USB2 Serial has an MCU 16u2 which can be reprogrammed with HIDUINO firmware to appear as a MIDI device, the board I bought doesn’t have nor any boards with FTDI chips.

I still can’t find the Arduino USB2 Serial Micro to buy and I thinking of changing my hardwares. The options would be finding another USB converter which has an AVR chip (which seems really hard to find), or finding a board which has a second AVR chip (16u2 or 8u2) used as the USB controller, such as UNO or DUE. This second option is not so good because the idea is to have a compact device after the mounting. I found out also that there is the possibility of using a 32u4 MCU board and MIDIUSB library, but it would be a little difficult since I am new with Arduino and would like to use the code provided in the repository of the original project, which uses only the MIDI library.

So, does anyone know any other board which has an MCU like the USB2 Serial Micro or the new version of it since it was retired? I have already searched a lot in the internet and can’t find an answer. By the moment I am thinking of these possibilities:

Due + original code from the repository + HIDUINO firmware -> plug-and-play device;
Uno + original code from the repository + HIDUINO firmware -> plug-and-play device;
Pro mini + FTDI + Hairless software -> “plug-and-play” device;
Pro mini + FTDI -> serial transmission.

I don’t have any specific question, I am only looking for good advices or tips to find the best way to make it work.

Thanks!! :slight_smile:

Hi Enzo,

I certainly feel like I’m in the deep end after reading that intro, though it seems you are just after something that can be programmed as a MIDI device. You’ve rightly noted a couple of options in your last message.

There are a few other moving parts though given the project you’ve linked. Perhaps in this situation, it would be best to engage the author of the project, and report back with what you end up going ahead with?

Hi, Graham,

I have already send them a message and I am still waiting for an answer.

I’ll report back when I have a reply.


Hi Enzo,

I’m also a little unclear on what you are asking. Are you looking for a microcontroller for this project with native USB support? With native USB support and the MIDIUSB arduino library a computer will automatically recognize the controller as a MIDI device. Controllers that have native usb support include:


Any of these would work, and make your project a little simpler.