Just finished (well not quite) is the Arduinocaster, what Fender is to the electric guitar the Arduinocaster is to the MIDI Keytar.

more pictures:-

See this at the Newcastle Maker Fair. I hope to post movie of it working at Newcastle soon. And the schematic and software will follow on the web site in a few weeks. Also a peek inside will be posted.

Full explanation on the web site later but:- Basically the buttons define a chord depending upon the pattern you hold down. Strumming is controlled by an optical reflective switch and four touch switches and it has 12 different patterns of picking and strumming. It has two rotary encoders for the speed and volume and switches for playing options. It has 64 I/O lines on an I2C bus as well as using all the other Arduino pins. With 19 red / green LEDs and two RGB LEDs it displays chords strings and modes.

Oh and it took me the best part of a year to develop it. Thanks to the Maker Fair I had a deadline and made it (just). :)

Very neat work!

And I am the first to praise it :)

The second link seems to be broken.

add m to the .co

My own photo of the Arduinocaster, taken at the Maker Faire UK in Newcastle:


It looks excellent! When do we get to see the video? Is that a MIDI cable coming out the back?


When do we get to see the video?

Now, just uploaded it.

Arduinocaster is a an Arduino based MIDI instrument modelled on a guitar sometimes called a keytar. It uses switches and LEDs to control six "strings" which are held down in guitar like chords. Triggering the strings is through an opto reflective switch for a continuous repeating strum and four touch sensitive switches for a one off sequence. There are three banks of four picking / strumming / arpeggio styles and a three octave capo. Voice change information can also be sent. Full code and construction details will follow within the month.

Very cool! I love the hidden LEDs inside the body. Besides making for a very clean look, it makes the indicators mysterious, like there might more that you haven't discovered yet so you need to play with the instrument more.

Extremely impressive. Very well done. You should make and sell a kit...I know I would buy one.

Wow, absolutely fantastic. I'm dying to make one. Please make it happen

This is so cool. How’s the playing action? Is it pretty comfortable? I have to agree about the hidden lights - very nice.

How's the playing action? Is it pretty comfortable?

It's good, the opto reflective sensor just needs covering up, and the one shot touch triggers are quite reliable. I need to get my little finger to move a bit better.

The LEDs don't show up too well in the video in life they are brighter and have stronger colour, especially the bit about changing the voice. The LEDs here are yellow and green, these don't show up well at all in the video. The stills were better but still not life like.

I want to do a bit more work on the picking algorithm to allow an alternating base note on the thumb and there is a switch that currently doesn't do anything. Possible uses are fret noise or a timing mode that will allow the strumming by timing the interval between two of the touch sensors. However the Maker Fair did set a dead line to get somthing to show.

Thanks for all your positive comments. :)

I need to get my little finger to move a bit better.

You should pick up a book on Arduinocaster technique. I'm sure they sell them on ;)

You should pick up a book on Arduinocaster technique

At this rate I am sure they will be one available soon.

Before I first posted I did a google search on Arduinocaster and returned no hits. Yesterday before I posted the video there were three hits. This morning there are 943 hits for the word my son made up. I am also staggered that the video has received 3,457 viewings in the first 24 hours.

Odd this new fanged inter thingie ;)

Made Engadget!

As seen on Make:

Hi Grumpy_Mike,

This is great. I look forward to seeing the details! What did you use to generate the sound? If the Arduino is producing the sound as well as running the controller, I'm in awe.

It's unfortunate that the comments on engadget seem to have been made by very stupid people.

What did you use to generate the sound? If the Arduino is producing the sound as well as running the controller, I'm in awe.

Sorry it's just MIDI out you will have to put your awe on hold until I make the sound module with an Arduino MEGA.

Its cool! I would make somethink like that :o

What has fascinates me about this project is the way it has spread across the net from blog to blog. However at some stage it must have been subjected to an automatic translation into another language and once there it has been automatically translated into English again. The results can be absolutely hilarious as illustrated:-

Original We see all sorts of instrument-mods around this part, but most of them are trying as hard as they might to look like regular, every day instruments. Translation We see all sorts of instrument-mods around this part, though many of them have been perplexing as tough as they competence to demeanour similar to regular, each day instruments.

Original That's why the Arduinocaster is so fascinating — it's got no interest in looking normal — just like us! Translation That's because a Arduinocaster is so erotically appealing — it's got no seductiveness in seeking normal — only similar to us!

Original An Arduino-based MIDI instrument that makes use of switches and LEDs to control the “strings,” and an opto reflective switch for strumming. Translation An Arduino -based MIDI instrument which creates make make use of of of switches as well as LEDs to carry out a “strings,” as well as an opto contemplative switch for strumming.