What do you get when you combine Electrical Engineers, a Mechanical Engineer, a Biomedical Engineer, and a common love of music and the environment? An insanely fun musical instrument created from the leftover spoils of a hackathon well done. Hit the triple bottom line, while pounding on the triple bass.

What it does

When an aluminum can is touched, a MIDI signal is created, which can be fed into a MIDI software synth to create any kind of music you can imagine.

How I built it

An arduino converts aluminum cans into capacitive touch sensors that send MIDI data over USB, which gets translated to a MIDI signal, which is then fed into a virtual MIDI port on the PC to a MIDI input in a MIDI software synth. All of the cans are empty and connected with stickers given away during the hackathon.

Challenges I ran into

The large aluminum can apparatus we created acted like a large antenna that was very sensitive to surrounding signals. We were able to solve this issue by decreasing the impedance of the circuit, thus reducing the sensitivity.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I'm proud of our team for hacking on an arduino with no previous experience. We finished the project within the allotted time and it turned out to be even cooler than we had expected.

What I learned

I learned how to use an Arduino to control sensors and I also learned all about the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) and its implementation.

What's next for Mini MIDI: Rock, Roll, Recycle

Probably a world tour... to save the Earth.

Built With

  • arduino
  • red-bull
  • arizona-iced-tea
  • free-hackathon-swag
  • stickers
  • cardboard
  • recyclable-materials
  • lmms
  • hairless-midi
  • loopmidi
+ 5 more
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