Nav

How to make a MIDI piano with the Touch Board

Discover how to make a MIDI piano with the Touch Board

The Touch Board has a powerful MP3 decoder chip that can also decode MIDI notes from its on board MIDI library, which is capable of playing multiple samples simultaneously. To use the Touch Board’s stand-alone MIDI functionality, also known as real-time MIDI Mode, you have to make some physical changes to the board with Electric Paint.

Ready to put your own code on the Touch Board? Follow this tutorial to get started.

Setting up your Touch Board with the Arduino Installer

Use the Touch Board to re-imagine the Theremin!

How to make a MIDI Theremin

Create a hackable MIDI controller!

How to make a MIDI piano Interface

Step 1

Set-up the Touch Board

Before you get started, you first need set up the Touch Board. You can do this by following the Touch Board set-up tutorial.

Once you have set-up the Touch Board, we are going to upload the sketch “Midi_Piano”. First, open the sketch in File->Sketchbook->Touch Board Examples in the Arduino IDE and upload it to your Touch Board. When you have uploaded the code, turn the board off and disconnect it from your computer.

Links

Step 2

Solder the MIDI solder bridges

In order to use the onboard MIDI functionality, you need to connect two solder bridges on the Touch Board. If you want to go back to MP3 playback mode at a later stage you will need to remove these solder joints. You can cold solder the bridges with Electric Paint. Alternatively, you can use a soldering iron, although Electric Paint allows you to easily remove the solder joins.

Leave the Electric Paint or solder to dry.

Links

Step 3

Test the board

Once the solder joints have dried, connect your board to some speakers and to power. Turn the board on and touch the electrodes. You should hear the default piano instrument playing!

If there are any issues check that the solder connections are properly bridging the two pads.

Links

Step 4

Attach the keys

The electrodes of the Touch Board are simulating the piano keys and you can use any conductive materials to connect to the electrodes. For example, you could use Electric Paint, crocodile clips, or copper tape.

For this tutorial, we have screen printed 12 piano keys with Electric Paint. To find out how to screen print with Electric Paint, have a look at our screen printing tutorial. You can download the piano stencil as part of the digital toolkit. We then cold soldered the Touch Board to the piano. Leave the paint to dry. Also, it’s easier to cold solder, without any speakers or cables attached to the board.

Links

Step 5

Plug and Play

When the paint has dried, once again, connect your speakers and power supply to the Touch Board. Now try touching the piano keys, you should be able to play the piano now!

We’d love to see your creations, so feel free to send us images or videos at info@bareconductive.com or via Instagram or Twitter.

Also if you have any problems, check out our troubleshooting guide or send us your questions. If you ever want to revert back to the MP3 functionality, you can simply remove the solder bridges.

Links

Suggested Tutorials

Ready to put your own code on the Touch Board? Follow this tutorial to get started.

Setting up your Touch Board with the Arduino Installer

Use the Touch Board to re-imagine the Theremin!

How to make a MIDI Theremin

Create a hackable MIDI controller!

How to make a MIDI piano Interface

Categories

Bare Conductive

Instructions

Touch Board

Date Posted

2014/09/09

Rating

[rate]