Well, I've been working for about 2 months now on an AY38910 based synth-step sequencer using an arduino.

Basically my goal was to learn a bit of arduino, learn electronics, have fun working on this and of course have my I-made-my-self-music-instrument a la carte, with all the buttons and leds I want, where I want, and that do exactly what I decide... or sort of big_smile.

The idea is to built a 6 voice (2xAY) 16-step sequencer synth, with midi support and lots of flashy leds weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee big_smile.

Last week I finished 2 boards with all the components to control the basic stuff of the step (buttons and leds) a mixer with op-amp and the control of the 2 AY, all of this controlled by an arduino mega.
this is the arduino wiki page I created with all kick start info how I controlled the PSGs

On my last uploaded vid I show what I currently have

Older vids:

The current working controls:
16 buttons step sequencer
6 buttons voice selector
octave traspose
6 volumen knobs for mixer

feats Ill be working on:
add rotary encoder with pushbutton for various functions (envelope changing, mode ostinato, arpegiator)
2 bit sub-step editor (for a total of 64 notes instead of 16)
program behaviour for loop launching mode (using the 16 step buttons)
add midi in for easy note input...

Well and any other thing ill come up ... still a lot of work in progress, but hey I its a good way to "waste" my time here smile. I hope to get some ideas/feedback from you or inspire others into a similar journey smile


Last edited by octobit (Apr 17, 2012 1:38 pm)


is midi in just for input or will it allow realtime control?


the idea is to control the AY with the buttons plus midi in just for note on-off and clock sync, Its not a ay-midibox  but with note on-off you can pretty much use a software that sends all midi data to play the notes.

Last edited by octobit (Apr 17, 2012 2:16 pm)


excellent ! i ll keep my eyes on this, id dig building one of them oneday !


Really nice!


please post wiring diagrams and any important info ,so others may build....Thanks


All the diagrams that were posted on the arduino playground are gone....WCH

Last edited by WalterHynson (Apr 7, 2016 3:29 am)


Great stuff, like the idea.
I suggest you to not mix this two different block :
- the logic of the sequencer
- the ay38910
It could allow you to create a generic hardware chip sequencer. With encoder with click it will be definitely a great stuff.
How much it cost now ?

I am currently looking for this kinf of stuff :


Have you seen this btw:

It sounds great, but it lacks informations how to build and set this up...


Very cool, I'd love to try to build something like this one day.


I've managed to setup this AVRAY thing, it's very good. There are several projects, one for emulating the AY soundchip on an Atmega8 chip, and others for driving a real AY chip from arduino and playing AY tunes from SD card. I've only assembled the Atmega8 version, and it works nice. Ask if needed, and I'll also try to post a complete tutorial for doing it... I'll also look if it's possible to use this from midi, it should be doable.