Zen sand backyard in a suitcase doubles as MIDI controller
September twenty third, 2022—
On the shallow finish of the pool, a MIDI (musical instrument digital interface) controller will be so simple as a handful of buttons that correspond to totally different notes. However at the same time as one wades into the deep finish of the pool, MIDI controllers are likely to nonetheless appear like hunks of plastic with some knobs and keys. Redditor Gilou_ needed one thing that felt extra natural (really, “inorganic” if we need to be technical) and they also constructed this uncommon MIDI controller that appears like a Japanese-style sand backyard in a suitcase.
When you stumbled throughout this system with none context, you’d assume that’s precisely what it’s: some sort of transportable sand backyard. Opening the highest of the suitcase reveals a handful of darkish stones resting in a mattress of sand. Conventional rakes and scoops grasp in straps on the lid of the suitcase. However beneath the sand there are a couple of digital elements that flip the sound backyard right into a practical instrument. A piezoelectric pickup, like the sort you’d see on some acoustic-electric guitars, within the sand interprets the vibrations of sand raking and sifting into an audio sign that feeds into a pc’s sound card.
The sound from the piezoelectric pickup is likely to be attention-grabbing to a foley artist, nevertheless it wouldn’t be very musical by itself. To make this a helpful digital instrument, Gilou_ added an Arduino Micro board as a MIDI controller. The darkish stones are knobs that sit on potentiometers, which lets the musician regulate the sound of the sand because it performs via the pc. Every potentiometer controls a special impact, akin to reverb or delay, that dramatically alters the sound of the sand. As a substitute of one thing that feels like a lapel mic rubbing on a shirt, the musician can create ambient music that’s fairly nice to listen to.