Inspiration

Pianos are usually heavy and expensive, so a keyboard made from cheap and portable materials like paper can be very useful. That's why we came up with the paper piano idea. With a paper piano, it's natural to connect it to a computer and achieve multiple purposes like composing. While most composers rely on midi file export to view and make adjustment to their compositions, we wish to realize real-time visual representation of the music being played so people can view their music notes in real time.

What it does

Pianeer is a highly innovated and convenient music composing software+hardware system. Multiple modes are available for different musical functions. It includes a paper piano which provides real experience of playing keyboard but can be easily rolled up and carried. The composing mode of the software provides real time visual representation of the music that's being played and exports a midi file. The play mode provides sheet music and keyboard highlights for practicing purpose. The practice mode allows users to practice their compositions casually without being recorded. Pianeer is extremely multi-functional and portable, and can be used for both beginners and mature composers.

How we built it

We put electric paint on a hard paper and connect it to arduinos via wires. Using capacitive sensing library we are able to give input signals by simply putting fingers on the paper. We exported the input signal to our program to generate sound and realize other functions.

Challenges we ran into

  • It's very hard to accurately draw so many keys on the paper using electric paint since each key has to be clearly separated.
  • Adjusting delay and accuracy of the paper piano is very challenging.
  • Convert music input signals to visual representation.
  • User Interface design.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Lovely user interface that corresponds to the superhero theme.
  • Pretty accurate sensing and sound generation of the paper piano.
  • Real time visual representation of the music
  • Various functions and modes we've accomplished.

What we learned

Pygame, arduino, multi-threading

What's next for Pianeer

Make a more delicate prototype of the paper piano and realize the player mode we have no time to accomplish this time.

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