Posts with «midi instrument» label

A 3D-printed, Arduino Due-based MIDI jammer keyboard

Michael Koopman wanted to learn piano. However, after finding this pursuit frustrating, he instead decided to assemble his own 3D-printed MIDI jammer keyboard, inspired by the AXiS-49 interface pad. 

His instrument is controlled via an Arduino Due, with 85 buttons arranged in a diagonal pattern. This allows for whole steps on the horizontal axis, fourths on one diagonal, fifths on the other diagonal, and octaves on the vertical axis. 

This configuration enables the device to be used in a variety of ways, and features an additional six buttons and four potentiometers to vary playing style, along with ¼ inch jacks for auxiliary inputs. 

As seen in the video below, while Koopman had a hard time with the piano, apparently that wasn’t case with his MIDI keyboard, as he’s able to play it beautifully—even using two at a time around 8:15!

Vacuum cleaner turned into unique MIDI instrument

When you see a vacuum cleaner, most people see a useful implement to keep their carpets clean. James Bruton, however, envisioned another use—as a musical instrument. His new project, which made its appearance this year on April Fools’ Day, sucks air through 12 recorders, allowing it to play a full octave and the melody and lead from “Africa” by Toto… or so he’d have you believe!

In reality, power for his instrument comes from a separate Henry Hoover in another room, blowing air through the normally-suction tube of the broken device on the screen. An Arduino Mega, along with a MIDI shield, enables it to open and close air lines to each of the 12 recorders as needed. 

Check out how it was made in the first video below and the original fake in the second.


Arduino Blog 09 Apr 19:15

Custom weather station enhances and modifies electronic music

While the environment is important for any musical performance, generally it’s not an active part of the show. Adrien Kaeser, though, has come up with a device called the “Weather Thingy that integrates weather directly into electronic music performances. It’s able to sense wind direction and speed, light intensity, and rain, translating this data into MIDI inputs.

The system, which was created at ECAL, consists of two parts: a compact weather station on top of a portable stand, as well as a small console with buttons and knobs to select and modify environmental effects on the music. 

Hardware for the project includes an Arduino Mega and Leonardo, a small TFT screen to display the element under control and its characteristics, an ESP32 module, a SparkFun ESP32 Thing Environment Sensor Shield, a SparkFun MIDI Shield, high speed optocouplers, rotary encoder knobs, and some buttons.

Be sure to see the demo in the video below, preferably with the sound on!