Engineer Mark Rober takes a look at a very special piano that can transform speech into music. Known as Chopstix, the Edelweiss player piano was modified so it can play all of its keys simultaneously. It feeds on a steady diet of MIDI files which it can play at incredibly fast speeds. It can even perform Rush E.
It used to be if you wanted to play piano, you needed an actual piano. But with modern synthesizers, software, and controllers, you can play pretty much any instrument without having one. Composerily proves that point with a performance of Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turca on an MIDI Fighter 64 8×8 controller.
DoodleChaos loves to create visualizations of music. While they usually use programs like Minecraft, Planet Coaster, and Line Rider, they made this video with a custom Unity program that reads MIDI files and drops an object each time a key is pressed. As the music progresses, the density of the falling Tetrominoes goes insane.
We’ve seen how you can make music by drawing images in a MIDI sequencer program, but musician GLASYS has got that beat, performing his songs live on a keyboard to produce drawings in the sequencer. Watch him play some musical Pac-Man, take a bite out of the Apple logo, and quack like a duck.
The 1980s brought the first 16-bit PCs, and advances in hardware brought better graphics and sound. Programmers went on to create music synthesizers and sequencers called trackers, which became a demo and hacker scene staple. Ahoy looks back at the history of trackers and the ear-pleasing chiptunes they produced.
This robust input device for music production and live performance packs not one but four fully configurable and independent sequencers, with LFOs, loopers, arpeggiators, and more. Each supports up to 128 steps, with auto-harmonization capabilities. It connects via MIDI, CV, or Bluetooth.
Wicked Lasers shows off a neat use for its LaserCube programmable laser projector and LaserOS software. By syncing up the laser’s beams with MIDI keypresses they’re able to project colorful lights onto the keys of a synthesizer, synced perfectly with the music being performed.
This wearable accessory adds new degrees of expression to musical performances. The Wave ring has motion sensors that influence sounds using gestures: tilt, pan, roll, vibrato, tap, and click. The included software lets you tweak every aspect, save presets, and even has a built-in sound engine. Works with all major DAWs.
This unique MIDI keyboard uses a matrix of 280 velocity-sensitive hexagonal keys to provide musicians with an impressive amount of control over sounds. Each button is programmable, both in terms of the sound and expressions it controls, as well as its color. It also has 10 buttons for quickly switching between presets.
This unique MIDI controller makes it easier to play by teaching music theory. Simply select one of its 840 pre-loaded scales, and it maps only the applicable notes to its right pads, and chords on its left pads, so you can’t play a bad note. It has 96 velocity sensitive pads with polyphonic aftertouch and RGB backlighting, plus 24 hotkeys.
Designer and maker Love Hultén is best known for his retro-inspired video game and computer builds. But this one is quite different – an electromechanical drum machine that plays rhythms using a MIDI sequencer. Each of its components is modular, so it can be reconfigured to create unique audio sculptures.
With help from the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, musician Rob Scallon got to check out how a pipe organ works, and noticed that the one they have is capable of outputting MIDI signals. After a bit of experimenting, he figured out its keyboard and pedals can also be controlled via the digital music protocol.
A fun DIY kit for musicians, electronics hobbyists, and just about anyone who likes cool gadgets. The Rhythmo Beatbox lets you build a MIDI controller and drum machine in a cardboard box. It’s got arcade-style buttons, built-in sounds, a battery, and speakers. Its companion mobile app enables sound customization.
Like a real harmonica, Lekholm’s musical tech senses its player’s breathing both in and out, but it outputs those modulations as MIDI signals for controlling synthesizers. The example performance is Cole Porter’s You’d Be So Nice to Come Home to, using a Yamaha VL70-m acoustic sound module.
Despite being known as Henry Hoover, the kooky canister vacuum isn’t made by Hoover. But that doesn’t matter right now. Instead, the perpetually-smiling cleaner ponders bigger questions, and dreams about another life – as a musician. And he gets his wish at 2:53.
Artist, designer, and musician Tim Alex Jacobs or Mixtela shows off one of the coolest business cards ever. His custom-designed card has a built in printed circuit board and metallic keys that serve as a tiny stylophone-style MIDI controller when plugged into a USB port.
Joué is an incredibly versatile MIDI controller, thanks to its swappable modules. The modules’ buttons are made of soft and elastic material that responds to pressure very nicely. There are eight modules to choose from, some familiar and some quite unorthodox.
Create music on the go with this wireless controller which works in conjunction with MIDI music sequencing software on Macs or iOS devices. It has 8 pads, 15 buttons, a touch fader, and a 3D motion sensor, and is the same width and height as an iPhone 6 Plus or 7 Plus.
Turn your desktop into a complete drum kit with this roll-up electronic drum pad. The system includes 7 drum pads and two foot pedals, and you can listen via headphones, built-in speakers, or use it as a USB Midi controller. Save 37% in The Awesomer Shop. Demo here.