MIDI-module

Recently, I’ve had the idea of building my own midi-marimba. There are companies that build midi-malletinstruments (Alternate Mode e.g.), but unfortunatly, being a poor student, I don’t have $2000 to spend. :’(
A cheaper solution is using the Megadrum-module to convert piezo-signals into midi, but because I’m determined to extend my electronical knowledge, I’m playing with the idea of building my own midi-module from zero. ‘Zero’ is to be taken literally: my only programming experience is Visual Basic and I have a very elementary knowledge of electronical components. Now I’m wondering, is it feasible for someone like me (with yet a minimal technical background) to build a midi-module? How difficult is it to convert piezo-signals into midi within the Arduino platform? I’ll certainly have to start with some beginner-projects, but do you really have to be a professional to build midi-modules? Should I better just buy the Megadrum-module ? Another question: are Arduino-chips powerful enough to handle at least 36 inputs? I read about the Arduino Mega, having only 16 analog inputs?
I’ll certainly read ‘MIDI for the professional’ (recommended on this site), are there any other recommendations, tips, …?
Some advice would be welcome.
thanks in advance

Hermes

Try this:-
http://www.thebox.myzen.co.uk/Hardware/MIDI_Shield.html

Then any arduino tutorial should help like:-
http://www.arduino.cc/playground/Main/InterfacingWithHardware#MIDI

The MIDI part is probably not going to be a big problem.

But reading many piezos, and making sure that only the intended piezos are triggered can be a challenge.

Grumpy Mike- Do you have a complete parts list for that MIDI shield??? That looks like exactly what I need.

Do you have a complete parts list for that MIDI shield?

Sorry no, but I got all my parts from Farnell.