BlipZones FruityLoops Template

Sorry, that should probably be FL Studio, lest we were talking cereals. Which we are not.

BlipBox user tigabeatz sent us his FL template for use with BlipZones. This is what he writes:

fruity mixer
Blipbox controls first 4 channels on FL Mixer and visualizes their volume (Pre Fader).
This has been done by involving a peakcontroller on each channel. This peakcontroller is linked to a midi out, which controls blipzones (Channel 5). blipzone´s zones control the mixer on a different midi channel (Channel 1). The XY Controller controls the Peak Controllers Vol and Tension Knobs (to config blipbox meter scale).

Blipzone Preset: tbz_blipzones_flmixer.xml
FlStudio Preset: tbz_flstudio_flmixer.flp
Hint: The Midi Outs port has to be set to the port you assigned in FL Studios settings (see image)

Get it here. Thank you mr beatz!

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New BlipZones Version

We’re pleased to release an updated version of BlipZones, your friendly neighbourhood BlipBox companion.

The main new feature in v1.7 is that the app now accepts MIDI in. This means seamless DAW integration: you can record a motion sequence into Live, Cubase et c, and then play it back to the device. Buttons, sliders and XY controller zones are updated directly from your MIDI application.

Setup is as easy as before: the input and output can be connected to existing virtual or hardware MIDI ports. On Mac and Linux you can also configure BlipZones to set up its own virtual ports.

The new release also comprises a number of performance improvements, most importantly an updated device communication protocol which drastically reduces the amount of messages sent to the BlipBox.

The code is available on github as usual, tagged v1.7. Prebuilt binaries for Linux, Mac and Windows are here, marked v17.

Have fun!

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In the News

The BlipBox was recently the subject of a nice write-up on Create Digital Music.

“Light-up grids of buttons are nearly commonplace, but the BlipBox is something different: its array of lights is also a sensor, making it both X/Y controller and light-up grid. And it’s designed to be completely open — firmware, hardware, schematics and documentation are all fully GPL-licensed and open source.”

“For those of us who aren’t ninja coders, it’s also easy to customize, thanks to friendly software for making nifty interactive animations on its display and support for the artist-friendly Processing code environment.”

Thanks guys!

We’ve also been covered by Hungarian music blog, who say Berhelhető mátrixkontroller! Not sure what that means, but according to google translate they say:

“Great 8 x 10-inch ledmátrix Controller arrived the other day, Blipbox name, website here. USB and MIDI outputs also provides OSC was also able, and to assemble this kit only costs £ 90 in English (up to a 165-on). The touch interface otherwise high-resolution 8 x 10 is only a rough visual feedback, and hardware / software is completely open, anyone belebarmolhat.”

There you are, go forth and belebarmolhat!

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BlipBox 4CV Preview

Martin at SchneidersLaden has kindly put together a little video of the upcoming BlipBox 4CV. Thank you Martin!
The 4CV model features (you might have guessed) 4 individually assignable CV / Gate outputs.

That’s it for now.

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BlipBox at SchneidersLaden

The famous SchneidersLaden in Berlin is now selling the BlipBox.

Get ‘em while they’re hot!

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We’re Going to the Maker Faire

The BlipBox will be at the Brighton Maker Faire this weekend, for a day of sea, sun (well maybe) and geekery!

Not sure what to show yet, but we’ve got a table and will fill it with fun stuff. So come on down! Yeah, B right on!

The where and whens:

Saturday 3rd September 2011,

Brighton Dome foyer and bar


Update – here are some pics from the faire. Whole lotta blippin’ going on!

brighton mini maker faire 2011

brighton mini maker faire 2011


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Ship, Shipping, Shipped

Slowly and with deliberation the BlipBoxes are being packed up and shipped out, at the speed at which they are built.
Each device is handmade in Hackney, London, with the same high standards applied to every step of the process.
At the moment we have no more ‘boxes for sale, but more are on the way. Please check back regularly to see if there are any available.

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BlipZones Screenshots

I’ve been working hard on getting a full featured BlipZones app ready.

And it is! Full-featured and ready! Screenshots attached.

BlipZones lets you split the BlipBox screen into zones, and each zone can be configured as a virtual slider or button (horizontal / vertical, momentary / toggle).

Whether slider or button, the zone can send almost any MIDI message: Control Change, Note on/off, NRPN, Pitch Bend, Aftertouch, Channel Pressure.

The app lets you do most things you would expect: configure zones, save and load to file, upload and download to the BlipBox.

But BlipZones also has an on-screen simulator and can connect to a virtual MIDI interface on your computer. This means you can run a preset and plug it straight into your DAW. And if you have a BlipBox connected, then the simulator and device are fully synchronised.

I’m working on pre-built binaries for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows, which will be available for download soon.

The app can also be built directly from source. First make sure to check out both BlipBox and BlipZones into the same directory:

git clone BlipBox

git clone BlipZones

You will also need Juce, Julian Storer’s excellent cross platform library:

git clone git:// juce

(If you like the way BlipZones looks, thank Julian. If you don’t, blame me.)

Once checked out you can find build configurations in BlipZones/Builds for Linux, MacOSX and VisualStudio2010.

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BlipBoxes Available!

The first production run BlipBoxes are now available for sale!

The ‘boxes come configured as ready-to-use MIDI / USB controllers with a full set of presets.

Custom presets can be created using the new BlipZones application. And writing Processing sketches is a doodle. So to speak.


More documentation on the new features and functionality, along with some snazzy photos, will be posted here over the next couple of weeks.

Every BlipBox is hand-made in Hackney to a very high build standard.

Prices are GBP 140 for a complete ‘box with USB and MIDI interface, and 9v external power connection, in a black aluminium case with perspex side panels.

You can also buy a bare BlipBox PCB if you would prefer to build your own. Build instructions are available here.

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BlipOS Release 1.0

This is our first official release of BlipOS, the BlipBox firmware.

Features include:

  • double buffered LED display
  • tap, double tap, drag gesture recognition
  • ASCII pixelfont
  • MIDI zone support


The new MIDI zones are pretty nifty. Using a configuration application, you can define a number of presets, each with up to 8 different zones on the touch screen surface. Each zone can function as a continuous slider, button or toggle, and can trigger MIDI notes or CC messages. Several zones can overlap for more complex configurations.

For example you can set up two sliders to create a crossfader, or overlap a horizontal and a vertical slider to create an X/Y control surface.

The zones combine to make a preset, and up to 5 presets can be uploaded to the BlipBox. Through a preset chooser (activated by a double-tap gesture in the bottom left corner) you can then call up and use any preset, which are stored in non-volatile memory.

It is also possible to add preset chooser buttons to your zones, which enables you to quick-select or jump between any given presets.

The zones function independently of the USB connection. Once configured, the BlipBox can be used stand-alone together with other MIDI equipment.

The release source is available for download from github.

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