Turning Lego Into A Groove Machine

lego

Last weekend wasn’t just about Maker Faire; in Stockholm there was another DIY festival celebrating the protocols that make electronic music possible. It’s MIDI Hack 2014, and [Kristian], [Michael], [Bram], and [Tobias] put together something really cool: a Lego sequencer

The system is set up on a translucent Lego base plate, suspended above a webcam that feeds into some OpenCV and Python goodness. From there, data is sent to Native Instruments Maschine. There’s a step sequencer using normal Lego bricks, a fader controlling beat delay, and a rotary encoder for reverb.

Despite being limited to studs and pegs, the short demo in the video below actually sounds good, with a lot of precision found in the faders and block-based rotary encoder. [Kristian] will be putting up the code and a few more details shortly. Hopefully there will be enough information to use different colored blocks in the step sequencer part of the build for different notes.

10 thoughts on “Turning Lego Into A Groove Machine

    1. Yea, he really does… I actually thought it was him at first, but when he yelled I quickly realized it wasn’t…

  1. Here I was hoping for a more…mechanical…solution, but instead we have this.

    I just recall the old manuals from Lego Expert Builder sets; one included an image of this machine that used a mechanical “cam-like” sequencer using the linked-belt treads and small bricks (with about four or five “channels”), a motor/gear-train to drive it all, etc; it was a simple “programmable” system…

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