Automated Xylophone – Part 1

In continuation of examination of the arduino’s inputs and outputs I’ve decided to pick a musical instrument to focus on in this weeks assignment.

The Xylophone is a musical instrument that I thought would be a good Idea to visualize – It already has a good feedback to it, its a percussion instrument!

The first step was to visualize the idea on pen and paper, sketching some ideas.


After getting a rough shape of the interactivity, I started modeling the first module on a CAD program – a wooden stripe inlaid with LED for each note.

  1. The first functionality will indicate each note as its being hit.
  2. The second functionality will pick a random note to be played following the note previously hit. 

I started fabricating the stripe from wood, drilled and wired all the LED in their place.

I used Piezo microphones attached to each note to allow an analog input to the arduino, processing and sending signals to the LED’s.

I had some trial and error connecting the mic to the metal notes. In the beginning, i used blue tape to attach the parts, which wasn’t a good decision. the tape muted most of the sound of the note. I then used another tape which was better but the second one was conductive and short circuited the piezo mic. At last, I used two sided tape to attach the mics, the sound is better, yet not 100%, but its the best solution between the three, and the most elegant one.   

I labled every input and output and connected each module to the arduino VIA a dedicated breadboard.



First MVP:

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