MIDI Marimba Project


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Hey guys, I made a 5 octave marimba from rosewood I got in Guatemala. It took about 4 years, but just completed it. I want to make a MIDI player attachment with solenoids attached to mallets. I also have a Baldwin L Series Grand with a QRS ConcertMaster Player with MIDI out. My question is the hardware. I would like something compatible with my ConcertMaster that would accept a MIDI cable and control the solenoids. There are so many boards out there I am not sure what would be the easiest to get started. I am rounding up solenoids and will work on what voltage and force I need and how to arrange the mallets, that will be easy for me, but then finding the hardward and setting up the MIDI channel to control things will need some support. Thanks, Mark
 
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happyrat1

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Usually the easiest way to roll your own controller is with an Arduino. If you have all the specs you should be able to interface an Arduino with your controller.

Gary ;)
 
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Here's some existing examples.





I'd suggest contacting the authors of those videos for additional support.

Gary ;)
Hey Gary, thanks so much for the information and inspiration. I like the Fur Elise design with the direct push solenoids with the finger cots. Seems like it would cut out some of the noise compared to moving mallets with fulcrums. Having said that, I hear quite a bit of background noise, but could be the recording. I am getting ready to take a closer look at the Concert Master and see what I can figure out what kind of electronics it is using. Thanks again, Mark
 
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happyrat1

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I think the noise is coming from when the spring loaded solenoids reset and jump back up.

A couple of approaches to minimizing the noise could involve cushioning the solenoids' return mechanisms and/or constructing a sound deadening enclosure around the finished apparatus.

It may also be possible to find noiseless solenoids to eliminate the problem entirely.

All of these projects, from what I could see are driven by an Arduino controller.

If you google Arduino music projects you will come up with tons of design notes from hundreds of projects posted on the web.

Good luck with your project :)


Gary ;)
 

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