Archive for the ‘MIDI’ Category

A touchless MIDI controller for your electric guitar

Monday, October 17th, 2016

If guitar effects pedals aren’t really your thing, perhaps Evan Kale’s touchless MIDI controller will fit the bill.

Using an Arduino, along with a Colpitts oscillator and some other electronics, Kale has come up with a rather unique interface for his guitar. Instead of using a foot pedal, he put a strip of aluminum foil inside of a fingerless glove, then attached a homemade metal detector coil and circuit to the back. (more…)

Building a sweet plastic MIDI controller

Monday, September 26th, 2016

With parts from a bathroom organizer and arcade buttons, Alex “GlacialGeyser” made his own MIDI machine.

MIDI controllers can be great instruments to supplement your musical skills. As seen in the video below, Alex’s project is no exception, and he’s able to produce some really beautiful music using it and a keyboard. Physically, he created this out of plastic parts from a bathroom organizer and a cutting board that he cut using mostly handheld power tools. An Arduino Mega serves as the brains of the operation along with two 75mm 10k faders, two 10k knobs, pitch bend and modulation wheels, and a couple of LEDs.

The build is finished off with a splattered paint effect and nearly a whole can of clear coat. Programming the device was a challenge, but it seems Alex gained some useful knowledge for next time! (more…)

Play the guitar on a guitar bag

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

While exploring new tangible interfaces, designer Martin Hertig wanted to do something a bit different. He chose to transform the zippers on a guitar bag into a fully-functional instrument. Rather than strum the strings of the guitar, he simply pulls the bag’s zippers to jam: one zip for playing notes or chords, another for changing the bar, and a third for the vibrato.

As Hertig explains, the case was converted into a MIDI controller using an Arduino and conductive thread stitched along the zipper, while a Raspberry Pi synthesizer hidden inside produces the guitar sounds. (more…)

Musician creates MIDI-triggered LED cubes with Arduino

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

For the release of his latest EP, Dario Marturano brought together electronic music, technology, science, and dance to create an awe-inspiring music video called “Pyrite.” The artist (and STEAM advocate), who goes by the stage name Holograph, built a set of illuminated cubes using plexiglass boxes and LED strips that are MIDI-triggered via Arduino circuitry. (more…)

Play some Super Arduino Bros. tunes with percussion

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Have you ever wished your Arduino project could play tunes, or even just note-based sound effects? Connor Nishijima has, and that’s why over the last three years he has been hard at work developing Miduino—a free web service that enables Makers to automatically convert their MIDI music into ready-made sketches.

Unlike any built-in Arduino noisemaking functions such as tone(), Miduino’s output is polyphonic–meaning you can play up to six notes at once. Most recently, he has added two major updates to the service: percussion tracking and switch to software-based timing.

Now the only thing setting your Arduino apart from an NES is a proper triangle wave! While it’s not fully featured yet for the whole MIDI percussion spectrum, your basic snares, kicks and hi-hats will be joining the music!

Originally I collaborated with Len Shustek to tie his Playtune library into the service, but his library requires a hardware timer for each active note–which has its ups and downs.

With a hardware timer you’ll get extremely crisp sound every time, but an Arduino Uno can only play up to three notes at once and the original code didn’t know what to do with MIDI percussion channels.

Instead, Nishijima is polling for new notes and their expirations at about 22,050Hz using Timer 1 and generating different types of percussion with some RNG tricks. Admittedly it hasn’t been perfected yet, as some songs need the polling frequency turned down to avoid crashes. (Cut the Arduino some slack, it’s not supposed to be good at this!)

To demonstrate his latest upgrades, Nishijima performs the Super Mario Bros. theme song with LEDs blinking to the iconic tunes. Although some would argue that this could be faked rather easily, the Maker has gone ahead and shared the code along with a couple other examples for any doubters–these include Van Halen’s “Eruption” and Mozart’s “Rondo Alla Turca.”


A "Draw it yourself" midi controller with a 3d-printed case

Friday, September 26th, 2014


‘Draw It Yourself’ is a MIDI controller created by Dani Sanz which uses conductive ink as push-buttons. It is based on Arduino Uno and uses a capacitive sensor to determine whether the drawn buttons are being touched or not: (more…)

Real life Lego Rock Band powered by Arduino

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014


We’d like to share the performance, by Opificio Sonico,  recorded live in July 2014 of  Toa Mata Band, best known as the “World’s first LEGO robotic band” and controlled by Arduino Uno which is hooked up to a MIDI sequencer: (more…)

DIY russian folk bot playing from EEG

Friday, June 6th, 2014

portable electro-acoustic orchestra

“Turbo-gusli” or “Gusli-samogudy” is a russian folk bot made by Moscow media-artist, musician and engineer of strange-sounding mechanisms – Dmitry Morozov. It’s basically a portable electro-acoustic orchestra inspired by “Gusli-samogudy”, a self-playing gusli, the oldest Russian multi-string plucked instrument, and very common in old russian fairy tales.

The system works in 3 different modes: when it plays algorithmically from Pure Data patch, when it’s controlled by Emotiv EPOC EEG interface and in MIDI mode (all of them using Pduino library and custom patch in Pure Data). (more…)

Delicate tumbles and robotic panels meet dance music with Arduino

Thursday, January 9th, 2014


Creative Applications featured Timo Maas video showing a custom MIDI-controlled machine built by a creative team  including Daito Manabe:

‘Tantra’ is the new single from Timo Maas, taken from his latest artist album, ‘Lifer’. The video for the single, created by Daito Manabe, Motoi Ishibashi, Muryo Homma and Youichi Sakamoto (rhizomatiks) includes a machine that uses Arduino controlled ball dispensers, motorised rotating steel plates and LED lights to create a nexus between electronic music and a sound responsive mechanical object.


A Physical Music Sequencer using RFID tags

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

A Physical Music Sequencer

Mike Cook prototyped  a diy physical music sequencer  with an Arduino Uno and we agree with him it has a “unique take on the concept an RFID sequencer”.

He wrote us describing it with these words:

This takes RFID tags each one mapped to a note and instrument and placed on one of 32 pegs will generate a music sequence. I designed and built a special RFID reader that has 32 read positions, it took 3 months to wire up. The case was hand built and it was designed to fit exactly into a flight box. It contains an Arduino and outputs MIDI.

It uses 32 red / blue LEDs to illuminate acrylic pegs which light up red when a token is hung on them. The sequence sweep progress is shown in blue on the pegs when the sweep position meets a peg with a token it light up purple and a note is produced. The sequence length can be adjusted from 8 steps to over a million steps before repeating.


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