Lets Get Loaded! A midi-sysex ecosystem for loading and debugging code.

Short Form


In this presentation I will discuss midi, the lets get loaded framework, the open source tools used to implement it and demonstrate its use on the arduino platform.


Of all the protocols used in the realm of physical computing only MIDI is designed to read gestures, take notes, play sequences, identify what equipment is available, set parameters, load code and make things happen in real time. MIDI was designed from the beginning for performance.

In usb-midi no drivers are required across the 3 major operating systems.

Through sysex, the 20 year old MIDI standard allows for arbitrary data to be sent between devices allowing for seamless debugging and out of band communication between (arbitrary) devices.

As a framework for physical computing MIDI Rocks!

So we are going to use it, and to this end I have been working on a mechanism called “Lets Get Loaded!” with the following work to do .

  1. Establishing the identity of devices that are compatible.
  2. Loading and verifying new code to the device.
  3. Providing an API which can be wrapped and used into environments like the arduino, eclipse, or xcode or embedded into standalone code updaters.
  4. Providing a console for sending debugging information from compatible devices.

It was also my goal to create something that is independent of the operating system it is running on, the hardware configuration used, and the architecture of the target device. It should also behave well in a standard midi environment.

I intend to demonstrate that the system does just that.


sysex, rtmidi, arduino

Speaking experience

Innovation Dublin (2012), OpenSource Bridge (2011,2012) 5 years of Community Radio, Dorkbotpdx,


  • Eek

    Donald Davis

    Suspect Devices,


    My name is Donald Delmar Davis and I am from a town of 500 people in rural Washington.

    My frankness and lack of social skills have led most people to question my character.

    I spent 2 of the last three years working for an Open Source Technology Center at a constant 68 degrees maintaining servers. These servers wer running a version of an open source operating system that was absorbed and then abandoned by a major closed source network operating system, to a community who all but abandoned it. This was required because it was used by an open source build system ostensibly used by a local silicon manufacturer and later abandoned by them after admitting that they could not build cleanly from source using their system to build an open source operating system first heralded and eventually abandoned by a major automotive trade group.

    The remaining time has been spent making art without computers.

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