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This project is a contribution for the seeedstudio carnival 2009 and won the first price!


– a LED Matrix Editor –
mtXcontrol is an editor written in Processing to easily create image sequences for several output devices containing multicolor LED matrix. By now, the Rainbowduino controller and the
Novation Launchpad are supported. Its generic API allows to add other in- and output devices easily.

mtXcontrol Editor auto detects and connects to your device. Once connected, you can draw points, lines & rows in different colors, create multiple frames and manipulate them. Add, delete, move, fill, copy & paste of frames is supported. Play all frames by different speed, realtime update the device and save your work as image file. If supported (e.g. Rainbowduino), update the sequence on your device and run it standalone. One special feature is typing letters and numbers. Future versions aim to support multiple devices, different color depth and many more.

Check out this short demo video:

Download mtXControl from github:
Binaries for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X
sources files

Launchpad HowTo:
Plug your Launchpad and start mtXcontrol. The device is auto detected – start drawing and pushing buttons!!

Rainbowudino HowTo:
To use your Rainbowduino with mtXcontrol you have to upload the Firmware to your rainbowduino first. See instruction here. The firmware makes use of the Rainbowduino.h Library to manipulate the Matrix easily. Make sure to put it into your Arduino Library. Connect your Rainbowduino via USB to your computer, upload firmware and you are ready to go – happy mtXcontrol drawing!

Find a detailed Step-By-Step instruction here!

Small list of Features:
* multiple Device support including auto detection
* Draw multicolor points, line and rows (4bit color support)
* Add, delete, clear, fill, *copy & paste*, move frames
* *Draw letters and numbers*, Font configureable
* Save to & load from *Bitmap file*
* Frame preview, easily navigate through
* Keyboard shortcut for each function
Rainbowduino related:
* Standalone Mode or realtime Update
* Upload and Download to Matrix *EEPROM* (mind: due to 256kb memory only up to 10 frames).
Launchpad related:
* full input support to choose color, frame & pixel

Keyboard shortcuts:
* ENTER – switch between record/play Mode
* left/right ARROW – Frame forward/backward (Record Mode) or Speed (Play Mode)
* SPACE – Insert Frame after current Frame
* D – Delete Frame
* X – Clear frame
* F – fill frame
* C – select next color

* command+S – Save to File (Bitmap)
* command+L – Load File (Bitmap OR text (.mtx))
* command+C – Copy Frame
* command+V – Paste Frame
* ctrl+LETTER – Insert this Letter/Number
* ctrl+left/right ARROW – Move Frame in direction

* alt+ENTER – connect/disconnect
* alt+left/right ARROW – Adjust speed
* alt+ctrl+left/right ARROW – Adjust brightness
* alt+L – load from EEPROM
* alt+S – save to EEPROM

Launchpad top Buttons:
* Arrow up – new frame
* Arrow down – delete frame
* Arrow left – previous frame
* Arrow right – next frame
* Session – copy frame
* User1 – insert frame
* User2 – color preview, hold to select
* Mixer – switch between record/play Mode

Right Buttons are turn into color chooser when User2 pressed. Blinking button indicates selected color, e.g. full red + full green = yellow. Pushing grid button selects color of pushed button.

Please see README for more.

55 Responses leave one →
  1. lolren permalink
    July 2, 2015

    hy. i am trying to control 2 rainbowduino`s with mtxcontrol. it is really a big project, since my rainbowduinos are controlling a couple a mosfets and they are controlling 4 meters of rgb strip each. i will make a blog to share my work, but now i am stuck at controlling the 2 rainbowduino. please reply

  2. admin permalink*
    February 2, 2015

    Hey Christine, no I havn’t I got a v3.0 at home, but didn’t find time hacking yet. Did you get it working?

  3. Christine permalink
    December 11, 2014

    Hi Tobe,

    Have you tried to use the rainbowduino v3.0 using the mtxcontrol?
    Btw, thanks for this software it is really fun to use this with my colorduino but now i’m try to use rainbowduino v3.0 but i can’t used. Please help us with this.
    Thank you so much

    Best Regards,

    Christine A.
    +65 9189 0866

  4. Don permalink
    November 1, 2014

    ..Same question really — I changed the firmware code where needed for it to cleanly compile on arduino 1.0+ and then found it didn’t detect the rainbowduino board – further digging found the mtxcontrol’s firmware rainbowduino stuff is all based on the v2.0 build, not the 3.0 rainbowduino which I have — and as pointed out by the other poster, hardware was changed between 2.0->3.0..

    …it would look like one needs to hack the v2.0 rainbowdunio .cpp/.h sources files (and perhaps others) in the mtxcontrol archive, to bring them into line with the v3.0 rainbowduino hardware, but I haven’t had a close look yet ~~ needless to say, it’s always worth asking the original author if they’ve done anything in these regards, because of their familiarity with the mtxcontrol code…so..

    +1 …done anything about getting mtxcontrol playing with rainbowduino 3.0 yet?…

  5. Rodney permalink
    January 5, 2014

    Hi Tobi,
    Just want to say thanks for writing mtXcontrol. Great program!
    I got it working ok on a V2.0 board, Uno, win7 etc.
    A few little glitches. But working ok.
    I just bought a few V3.0b boards thinking the USB would be easier but it looks like they have changed stuff on their boards.

    Just checking if you have done any updates to get it working on them?
    If not are you looking at doing them at some stage?


  6. Anian permalink
    February 17, 2013

    Hello again,
    it works know!
    I do it with this tutorial and Software:×8-RGB-Floor-Lamp/?ALLSTEPS
    Bye, Anian

  7. Anian permalink
    February 16, 2013

    Hello everybody,
    I try to control my Colorduino with MTX Control, but it doesn’t work. Is MTX Control compatible with the Colorduino?

    My Hardware:
    Colorduino V1.3 with standard LED-Matrix:
    MacBook Pro running on OSX Mountain Lion
    Arduino Uno without Atmel 328 Chip for the connection between Computer and Arduino

    This Works:
    I can upload sketches to the Colorduino, like the Plasma Code form Lincomatic:
    I can also start MTX control, it shows “no output device found, running in standalone mode” and I can draw Figures in the area below the text.

    When I upload the Firmware sketch(I createt a new Folder in the Librarys Folder of the Arduino Software with the files Rainbowduino.h, Rainbowduino.ccp and RCodes.h) to the Colorduino and start MTX Control, MTX Control doesn’t show “no output device found, running in standalone mode” any more. When I chage the color of one dot in MTX control, the TX and RX LEDs of the Arduino Uno are blinking, but nothing changes on the Colorduino. The Buttton for saving and loading from the Device are working, too.

    I try to change the baud Rate in the Arduino sketch(#define BAUD_RATE 57600) but when i type in something other than 57600 MTX Control shows “no output device found, running in standalone mode” again.

    I don’t know what I should do with the Processing Sketches, at the moment I put them all together in a folder named “mtXcontrol” and when I open the sketch “mtXcontrol.pde” with Processing, I got a window with the Code and the other .pde sketches(Button,Device,Frame,FrameChooser, GuiElement,LauchpdDevice,Matrix,Pixelcolor,ReinbowduinoDevice and listed as tabs. When I try to “Run” the sketch with the Processing Version 2.0b7 I get this error:”No library found for themidibus
    No library found for com.rngtng.launchpad
    The processing.xml library has been replaced with a new ‘XML’ class that’s built-in.
    This code needs to be updated for this version of Processing, please read the Changes page on the Wiki.
    ” and Processing open this Page in my Browser: And when I run it in Processing Version 1.5.1 I get this error:”
    No library found for themidibus
    No library found for com.rngtng.launchpad
    As of release 1.0, libraries must be installed in a folder named ‘libraries’ inside the ‘sketchbook’ folder.”

    When I should write another Info that anyone can help me to debug, please tell me.
    When anyone has an Idea what I can try to get it work, please write a Comment or send me an E-Mail: (In Englisch or in German).
    And when you found any mistakes in my English, please don’t get angry, I try my best( I normally speak German)

    Bye, thankyou for Reading, Anian

    PS to Tobi: Nice work, the programm looks very nice and I’m sure its pretty Cool when it works. Thankyou for programming!

  8. November 24, 2012

    my Windows 7 use mtXcontrol There have been mistakes

    (no output device found, running in standalone mode)

  9. genafk permalink
    May 15, 2012

    i just uploaded the latest firmware to my rainbowduino and when i open MTXcontrol is say “no output device found, running in standalone mode”

    how on earth do i fix this? ive been dying to try mtxcontrol for ages

  10. anatol permalink
    March 1, 2012

    yesterday I received the rainbowduino (ver3) board and 8×8 rgb led matrix; I have the same problem of ‘Chad’: Mtxcontrol finds the board but the 8×8 led are off…I tried with windows 7 and Lion…but same problem
    T O B I H E L P US P L E A S E

    thank you….

  11. tobi permalink*
    January 16, 2012

    Hm don’t have v3.0 yet so no chance to test. I’m not sure if it 100% backwards compatible…

  12. Chad permalink
    January 16, 2012

    Has anyone gotten this to work with v3.0 Rainbowduino hardware? I can successfully flash the Rainbowduino, Mtxcontrol finds the board ok and I see the rx/tx lights light up when I send activity to the board, but the lights do not light up. The only thing I can get working with this 3.0 board is the included examples that come with the stock 3.0 firmware. Ideas?

  13. December 15, 2011

    When I try to run mtXcontrol, I am told:

    Cannot launch “mtXcontrol”
    No compatible version of Java 1.6* is available

    However, I am able to run Processing and Arduino fine.

    Why does mtXcontrol require a version of Java that Processing does not require?

    The reason I ask is that I’m running on a PPC (MacOS 10.5.8) and Java 1.6 does not seem to be available for this computer.

  14. tobi permalink*
    November 18, 2011

    hey Rene – goto menubar -> Tool -> create Font and update the code with created font name

  15. November 18, 2011

    I tried to put in a font name that exist in the font list…
    Same error… Maybe i need to copy this font to certain location ?

  16. November 18, 2011

    Hi all….

    With the explains from conzi i come more forward…
    But i do not realy understand the part with the font.

    The error in the IDE say that its missing a font.
    In the code i found the line:
    fontA = loadFont(“Courier-Bold-32.vlw”);

    But i did not find this font in the list of font, by “create font”

    What can i do ?

  17. tobi permalink*
    November 2, 2011

    hey! I haven’t tried Arduino UNO yet. AFAIK it should work the same – are you on Windows? What compiler errors are they?

  18. LensMan permalink
    October 27, 2011

    Dear Tobi

    I feel I am so close to getting mtxcontrol to work but at the same time so far!

    I am using the Uno to make the connection between the Arduino 0022 and the Rainbowduino. I have successfully uploaded a blank sketch to the arduino and the mtxcontro firmware to the rainbowduino (leds are all white). However, mtxcontrol is simply not communicating with the whole uno/rainbowduino setup. I think the problem is that the uno is communicating through Port 5 but the mtxcontrol (at least the version I have) seems hardwaired for Port 1. I have tried compiling the mtxcontrol sketch to use port 5 but I get so many compiler errors that are beyond my capability to deal with. Autodetect just doesn’t seem to be working. Any help much appreciated

    Thank You (cos I think mtxcontrol will be great if I can get it working!!)

  19. Erick Nava Aldana permalink
    October 17, 2011


    I think I have now a working Seeduino/Rainbowduino Up and Working(W7 x64)with fantastic mtXcontrol, many thanks for that, just some questions:

    – Could explain a little more about if its supported multime Rainbows? how to?
    – It there some patterns/effect like “scrolling” function or some fx(would be great!)?
    – Coul Send “data” like text to mtXcontrol?

    Thanks! Great Piece of softwar(Im a little new to Rainbos/Duinos, and Processing).

  20. tobi permalink*
    September 9, 2011

    awsm thanks, I’ll try push code update soonish! thx!

  21. September 9, 2011

    *i hate html comments!*

    <> should be :
    %sketchbook% means “c:\Users\YourUserName\Documents\Processing\” under Windows 7 64bit

  22. September 9, 2011

    Hi Tobi,
    i figured out how to get the mtXcontrol runnig under Windows XP and under Windows 7 64bit, too. I had to change the file struture of your download and a little bit of source code to achive this. In detail, i did the following:


    – copy the folder “source” to %sketchbook%\mtXcontrol
    – remove %sketchbook%\mtXcontrol\*.java
    – create the a global library folder %sketchbook%\libraries
    – create a folder structure like this _for_each_ library except serial
    %sketchbook%\libraries\LIBRARYNAME\library, e.g. …libraries\core\library\ and move the lib-file into this folder
    – create the font files in processing -> Tools -> Create Fonts…

    If the connection could be established, you are fine. If not, you have to change some lines in the source of mtXcontrol:

    device = new LaunchpadDevice(this);
    if(device == null || !device.enabled()) device = new RainbowduinoDevice(this);
    device = new RainbowduinoDevice(this, “COM4”);

    using the correct com port. That was the solution for me.

    Best regards,

  23. ortsac permalink
    August 15, 2011


    I am using the latest files from, the firmware is dated 8/2/2011 from the githup site zip file “latest_mtxcontro_and_firmware_windows”, Seeeduino 328, and Windows XP.

    I’m new to Rainbowduino….I was able to successfully the following using the Adruino IDE:
    1. Blank the Seeeduino Atmega328 (I am using it as a pass a USB-serial comunication to the Rainbowduino board.)
    2. Upload the “Rainbow_Plasma.pde” into the Rainboeduino and watch it perform in Standalone mode.
    3. Blank out the “Rainbow_Plasma” from the Rainbowduino and watch the display turn off.
    4. Upload the firmware the “mtxfirmware.pde” into the Rainbowduino and watch it all go white.

    The problem is it seems that the”mtXcontrol.exe” does not seem to work. There is a message at the top of the window that says “No output device found, running in standalone mode”. I do not know what that means and how to correct it. Please help!!!!


  24. August 5, 2011

    hi there i cant get it work on my window 7 64 bit…can anyone help out? thank you

  25. pilu permalink
    June 30, 2011

    hi!!!i ´ve problem, when i run in processing, an error message coming “unexpected chair: i” and the yellow line is #include unexpected char: ‘i’

    anybody help me?thanks!!!

  26. vince permalink
    June 2, 2011

    I purchased the following kit:
    Rainbow Cube 4x4x4-RGB kit
    Rainbowduino LED driver platform – Atmega 328
    UartSBee V3.1.
    After mounting ll cube, downloading the Arduino software and drivers, everything works bene.Volevo to help me get things working with cubeXcontrol – Rainbow Cube Editor, why can not interface the software with the hardware is not contacted device and ican not to program Help?. Thanks

  27. Aldo permalink
    March 13, 2011

    Hi, I have just received my rainbowduino and my rgb cube…. but I am having no luck in installing the firmware (2.1) and running the software. I have an XP machine. The firmware sketch does not compile! I am not sure what files I should move to the arduino tree (libraries?) and exactly where….. it might be entirely my fault, but…. any help will be very, very welcome.


  28. arachnida permalink
    January 11, 2011


    Same problem over here, WIN7/64b and Rainbowduino board not found. Tried to recompile the exe but had a rxtxSerial compilation error because of 64bit.

    Anyone a solution?

  29. marlixxx permalink
    December 5, 2010

    hello, i have an launchpad in combination with windows 7 – 64bit.

    the programm says ” no output device found.”

    i didnt find anyone in the net with that problem. hmpf


  30. Fred Olivas permalink
    November 9, 2010

    After a flurry of emails to both Tobi and Icing (Seeeduino) I got my hands on a working mtXControl program that actually works on my Windows 7 computer. Yiippee! Now, has anyone figured out how to load multiple 10 frame files into a Rainbowduino board? I’m having great fun here now that things are working out for me. Thank you Tobi.

  31. Fred Olivas permalink
    November 1, 2010

    I can’t understand why your mtXcontrol firmware doesn’t compile without many, many errors. Real buggy and I don’t get it. Also doesn’t know my Rainbowduino is plugged in.
    Guidance here please.

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