Your source for daily hacks

Published on: October 6, 2013 / Comments: None

HardDJ Arduino based MIDI controller uses hard drives as jog wheels

Stumbled on this awesome project that uses 2 old hard drives platters as rotary encoders / jog wheels.  Obviously for the purpose of DJing!  I love it when people reuse hardware that was originally intended for another purpose.

The build uses an Arduino Mega 2560 as its main processor.  RGB LED’s for the VUmeters, some slider pots for fading, and some extra buttons and knobs for MIDI events.  On the PC software side, the author is using mixxx for the MIDI mapping.


Check out the video after the break.  More pictures in the gallery.  Source code here on GitHub. More documentation here.


Published on: August 20, 2013 / Comments: None

Nintendo audio played in real time by robotic musicians

I just want to start out by saying I love this hack.  With that out of the way…  What we have here is some Raspberry Pi’s and someone’s amazing vision.  First off introducing the band.  The player piano has been converted to run off of MIDI.  The two percussion instruments are solenoids controlled by a Raspberry Pi.

Next we have (I believe) a Raspberry Pi feeding off of the audio coming out of an original NES, and translating the notes into MIDI notes and percussion instructions.  There is a slight delay (due to the translation I suppose) and you can see it but it’s not that bad all the time.  This all comes together having a nice robotic symphony playing your music while you game on.

I would love to re-create this hack, the percussion stuff seems pretty straight forward, but where am I going to find a player piano at a decent price ?

Published on: August 1, 2013 / Comments: None

Cheapsynth the wii rockband keyboard and arduino sounds pretty awesome

Tim’s got a pretty cool sounding home made synth, he calls it the cheapsynth.  He is using a keyboard from the game rockband on the wii, and an arduino.   Amazingly these keyboards have MIDI on them already so technically this hack should work with other MIDI devices.

Currently it looks like it supports 2 note polyphonic output with options like square, saw, and portamento.  I’ll be honest I’m impressed with the sound coming out of this.  I’m off to eBay to buy one of these keyboards myself and put this together. :)

Source code to the arduino sketch is available here on github.