Posts with «musical instrument» label

The Airdrum plays music with Arduino and six sensor PCBs

Playing music well can be difficult for anyone, especially those with certain disabilities. To make this form of self-expression easier for everyone,  Alessandro Verdiesen and Luuk van Kuijk built the Airdrum—an IR sensor-based instrument that is played simply by the wave of a hand.

The Airdrum uses six individual sensor boards to detect when a hand is present. This input is then processed via an Arduino Uno and passed along to a Raspberry Pi to produce individual tones.

People with multiple severe disabilities often encounter the difficulties of playing a music instrument due to their mental and physical deficits.

Health care institutions which facilitate housing, learning opportunities and day care for these people often encounter the difficulties of communicating with their clients. These institutions experienced that making music together is a great way of communicating and therefore many institutions offer music therapy. According to music therapists, the main goal is having fun. It is proven that people learn more when having fun. When playing an instrument, clients can share emotions and practice their motor skills.

We have designed a musical instrument which is easy and fun to play, not just for people with severe disabilities, but for everyone: the Airdrum. The Airdrum is a small device containing panels with motion sensors and colored lights. When somebody moves their hand or head above the panels, they light up and they play sound.

The device, as shown in the demo video, appears to still be a work-in-progress, but has all the functionality needed to play a simple tune with RGB LED feedback.

Strike a Chord With This LED Ukulele

You may laugh off the ukulele as a toy or joke instrument, and admittedly, their starting price tag and the quality that usually comes with such a price tag doesn’t help much to get a different opinion on that. But it also makes it the perfect instrument for your next project. After all, they’re easy to handle, portable, and cheap enough to use a drill and other tools on them without too much regret. Plus, a little knowledge to play can get you far, and [Elaine] can teach you the essential, “all the pop songs use it”, four chords with her Arduino powered LED Ukulele.

As first step, [Elaine] drilled holes in her ukulele’s fingerboard to place some LEDs at all the positions required to play the four chords C, G, Am, and F. Connected to an Arduino attached to the ukulele’s back, each chord will light up its associated LEDs to indicate the finger positions required to play the chord itself. Taking the teaching part a step further, her next step is to extend each LED with a second, light sensing one, and read back if the fingers are placed at the correct position.

[Elaine] has already plans to turn the ukulele into an interactive game next. And if four chords are eventually not enough for you anymore, have a look at another LED based project teaching to play any major, minor and major seventh chord on the ukulele.