Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Autonomous machine makes music with 7 lasers and 42 fans

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Russian artist ::vtol:: is no stranger to the Arduino blog. His latest project–which was designed for the Polytechnic Museum Moscow and Ars Electronica Linz–is an autonomous light-music installation called “Divider.” The wall-mounted soundscape consists of seven lasers that send rays horizontally through 42 PC cooling fans, acting as divider-modulators, to turn the light signals into rhythmic impulses. Seven photo sensors on the end monitor the presence or absence of light, while four Arduino Mega boards control the system. (more…)

Listen to an artist play the piano with a PC keyboard

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

German composer Oskar Schuster recently uploaded a YouTube video showing off a new project he is working on: an Arduino-controlled upright piano. Called Utopiano, it’s described as an electro-mechanical device that replaces the traditional mechanical piano action and enables him to control the 100-year-old instrument with a computer keyboard. Amazing!

Turning a toy piano into a standalone digital synthesizer

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

Electronic musical instruments are fun for Makers. With some cheap tools, know-how and passion, anyone can become a real synth geek. Just ask software developer Liam Lacey, who happens to also be a sound coder and freelance hacker. He recently won element14’s Open Source Music Tech design challenge for his Vintage Toy Synthesizer project — it’s an acoustic wooden toy piano converted into an open-source, standalone polyphonic digital synthesizer running on a BeagleBone Black and an Arduino Pro Mini.


Building a flamethrowing guitar with Genuino 101

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

To help promote the TBS show America’s Greatest Makers, YouTuber/plumber/stuntman/inventor Colin Furze recently took on the challenge of building a Mad Max-like flamethrowing electric guitar with a Genuino 101. Because after all, there’s nothing more metal than fire bursting as a rockstar shreds on-stage.

To bring this project life, Fruze added a pair of modified blowtorches to the neck of the guitar and sawed off part of the instrument’s base to fit in the firing mechanisms. As you can see in his tutorial video below, the body is equipped with a gas reservoir on top, a solenoid valve, a few pipes, and an igniter, among some other components.


SMOMID is a Mega-powered MIDI guitar

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Nick Demopoulos is a guitarist, sound designer and musician. He is also a Maker and the creator of the “SMOMID” — an Arduino Mega-based MIDI instrument that resembles a touch-sensitive guitar with several joysticks and other sensors. Not only does it just look cool, it can even flash LEDs in sync with the music being played for some wild effects and visual feedback for the performer. (more…)

Turn body movement into music with Arduino

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Calvin Cherry has created a wearable instrument programmed to respond to body movement. The Maker, who is a grad student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, calls his device “Music from Motion,” or “mFM.” It consists of small electronic sensors Velcro-ed onto his wrists and ankles that, with every move, alter a synthesized track playing on a loop over a set of speakers.

Various motions correspond to different sounds. For instance, increasing the pace with his left foot adds more drum. Picking up the movement with his right foot throws in a cymbal. When he rotates his right hand, it makes the track a bit woozier through an audio mixing process called flanging. When he moves his left hand, it prompts a wah-wah effect. (more…)

Koka’s Beat Machines are electromechanical instruments

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Whereas most musicians would prefer to program their beats on a computer, Koka Nikoladze has elected to take a different approach. The Norway-based violinist/composer/tech developer is the inventor of handmade analog beat making machines that use springs, coils, wood and metal to create sounds. (more…)

Play some tunes on a 13-note MIDI laser harp

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Nowadays, it seems like instruments come in all different shapes and sizes. Take Jon Bumstead’s an electronic harp, for example, that plays music by blocking laser beams — similar to how a musician would pluck a stick on the real thing.

The project consists of a laser diode, an Arduino, a galvo, several mirrors to reflect the beams, 13 photoresistors and a couple 3D-printed components for the mounts. The harp’s large frame is made up of three wooden parts that can be folded with a few hinges and held in place with 18 bolts, while the electronics are secured in a box with the galvo mounted at the top.


Listen to the hypnotic sound of a red crystal

Monday, April 11th, 2016

Red is an optic-sound electronic object that uses simple light sources and optical elements to create audiovisual performance. The machine was named as a color because at the center of the work there is a red glass crystal and a flexible Fresnel lens. Dmitry Morozov aka :: vtol: : created it using Arduino with pure data and python scripts: (more…)

Step inside a unique Electromechanical Lithophone

Monday, January 18th, 2016


Bespoke Electromechanical Instrument was built by Jay Harrison as part of a dissertation undertaken on the Creative Music Technology degree course at Staffordshire University. The instrument, running on Arduino Mega 2560 is designed  to allow each note to be independently placed in a space:

The project involved the creation of an electromechanical system capable of autonomously playing a bespoke Lithophone musical instrument. The underlying idea was to create a Lithophone that allowed the audience to literally step inside it, giving a unique spatial and acoustic surround experience. Designing an autonomous electromechanical system was thought to be the most effective and reliable to solution to achieving this.

The Arduino Mega 2560 was used to interface Max/MSP with the physical circuitry. Control messages/signals would be sent out of a Max/MSP patch using Maxuino, these signals would then be interpreted by the standard firmata sketch loaded onto the board and would go on to trigger and control the 24 rotary solenoids and 24 servo motors that work to produce the notes.