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Michael put some stepper motors to work playing back MIDI tracks by way of Arduino -

The data for the music is taken from a MIDI file I made. The code for interpreting the data and moving the motors was written by me over the course of a few days.

The sound you’re hearing is coming entirely from the motors. The motors are screwed into some pieces of aluminum from an old project to help them resonate. I’m taking requests for other songs to play.

Currently, the information for the song is stored on the Arduino. Plans for implementing a realtime MIDI stream are underway. Eventually I’ll be able to plug in a keyboard and play the motors as though I were playing piano.

Quite awesome. You can see video the project’s earlier version here. [via Adafruit]

Collin Cunningham

Born, drew a lot, made video, made music on 4-track, then computer, more songwriting, met future wife, went to art school for video major, made websites, toured in a band, worked as web media tech, discovered electronics, taught myself electronics, blogged about DIY electronics, made web videos about electronics and made music for them … and I still do!


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Comments

  1. vivi says:

    I *knew* it was going to be Super Mario Bros. even before the video started playing … Try to get a little more imaginative, I’m sure there are plenty other pieces with only 3 voices of polyphony. With their little flags the motor mounts do look a little bit like the Mario castles, however.

    His other music thing “pipe dream” looks much more promising.

    1. Mike says:

      The Super Mario Bros theme is something that lots of people recognize. It was chosen both because of popularity and because I had already put the MIDI file together. More music will follow.

      The Pipe Dream was a great idea, but providing a quiet compressed air source turned out to be too much of a hassle. Plus, the solenoid valves I had were too loud and too slow. Sadly, that machine has been disassembled. Recognize the stepper motors? :)

      That’s a project I might try again in a few years when I have the money.

      1. Collin Cunningham says:

        Nice to know the motors found new life.
        I’m particularly digging this project as I’ve recently been doing something similar w/ relays – gotta love those machine sounds!

        1. Bill Sherman says:

          I would like to learn more your project using relays. I built Percussus, the drum machine.
          http://home.comcast.net/~botronics/percussus.html
          This drum machine use relays and Midi to make percussion sounds.

  2. MB says:

    Video doesn’t work. Says “invalid parameters.”

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi Michael, stepper motors to work playing back MIDI tracks is an excellent work. Thanks to know about this information…

    _______
    Mark.

    CheapCarInsurance.org.uk

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  5. […] a few people have target=”_blank”>tooled around with playing music on stepper motors, which are an integral component in a 3D (or, indeed, any) printer. Dahlstrand […]

  6. […] a few people have tooled around with playing music on stepper motors, which are an integral component in a 3D (or, indeed, any) printer. Dahlstrand […]

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