Extreme piano transplant

We always wondered what happens to ancient pianos when the internals can no longer be kept in a playable condition. [Jean Philippe Roch] gutted his elderly upright and fit a Korg Triton inside. After the break you can watch a few videos including a slide show of the work log.  [Jean] separates the Korg keyboard from its case and places it in the empty upright piano rank. He then mounts the Korg’s controls in the front panel and adds motorized control to reveal this hidden secret. The project is finished with speakers in the bottom portion of the upright and blue LED lighting effects.

The result is a pretty nice show-piece. It’s not as hacky as vocoding, but we really love the finished look.

Construction log

Case automation

Playing demonstration

[Thanks poisoMike]

29 thoughts on “Extreme piano transplant

  1. The blue leds look sooo tacky… If he painted the whole thing white (or black) it would look ok maybe, but with the dark wood?!

  2. @Oler

    Ultraviolet of course.

    j/k – nice project (hopefully the blue LED’s have a master on/off switch).

    Sounds way better then I thought with those buried speakers.

    What about cooling?

  3. I doubt he would want to paint the wood – I don’t think it was ever intended to be painted. I think it look alright as is. Color of the led isn’t exactly a big deal :) nice.

  4. not painting the wood is good, the blue leds are cool, his piano skills are good. what’s not to like. I mean he’s dedicated in taking a full keyboard device to put in there, making it work, making it pretty, AND the skills to use it? I look forward to more from this guy

  5. Now if you could feed it midi and it light up the keys to be pressed by the student… probably not popular with classical piano teachers! Colour is a matter of personal taste so could cater for other tasts with tri-led. I for one definitly like the music. Thanks

  6. very very nice! UV lights sound very good, maybe mount a few above the keyboard and paint it with flourescent paint??

    how about as an extension project try to fit a pianodisk system with a floppy disk player? even better try to rig it so the actual keys move??

  7. just yeah, awesome, there is nothing like sitting down to a beautiful instrument, and todays awesome sounding equip leaves much to be desired of beauty, great work there, enjoy your new toy.

  8. Regarding the lighting… Personally I prefer nice warm incandescent for applications like this… goes well with the wood.

  9. “Please tell me this piano was already broken beyond repair before it was hacked…”

    as someone who works in the industry, I can assure you there are millions of 100+ year old dumpy uprights with loose pins and cracked plates

    sure you can rebuild them but then you just sank 5-10 grand into a no name dumpy old upright that even in factory fresh mint condition would only fetch 500bucks

  10. Blue LED choice may have been to match the Korg’s display.

    Either way, insanely well done and props for originality!

  11. TRANSFORMERS- Pianos in disquise..
    UV leds are cool. it’s not like he can’t swap them out later. i would have them mounted in sockets anyway so you can just pull them out, push them in. but to paint that piano would be a crime.
    i’m sure theres plenty of room in there to add a real keyboard, monitor, etc. and have a pimped out piano-puter that nobody would take the time to try to steal. plus nobody would know there was a computer in there, cuz its all Bruce Wayne-ified.
    an off switch for the LEDs is really simple and necessary as well. i either unplug my blue leds or cover them with electric tape.
    to pimp it out with UV and some UV reactive artwork/components would be cool

  12. Looks great, Jean Philippe! I totally get the blue lighting.

    Q1. What does it weigh?
    Q2. Did you hook up the pedals?

  13. Great Job! Very stealth, which I like, nobody would expect what is lying under the hood. Another interesting mod would be using 3 color LEDs and having them change color when you press certain keys near them, it would add a visual element whilst you play. You could even add a dial to the control panel to change the color to better suit the mood of the piece you are playing. Just an idea :)

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