Touchless MIDI: The Secret’s In the Mitten

MIDI is a great tool for virtually any musician. Unless you’re a keyboard player, though, it might be hard to use it live. [Evan] recently came up with a great solution for all of the wistful guitar players out there who¬†have been dreaming of having a MIDI interface as useful as their pianist brethren, though. He created a touchless MIDI controller that interfaces directly with a guitar.

[Evan] set up an Arduino Nano to handle the MIDI interface to the computer. A detector coil from a previous project was installed onto the guitar can recognize how far away the guitarist’s hand is from the body of the guitar, giving the musician control over an effect of their choosing. The guitarist simply needs to be wearing a special mitten for use with the detector coil. [Evan] also added three tactile buttons, meaning that this MIDI usefulness can be extended to three different selectable effects.

Be sure to check out the video below for a demonstration of how the interface works. [Evan] has also made the schematics and Arduino code available if you decide to build your own. This isn’t [Evan]’s first MIDI rodeo, either. He’s also created a MIDI drum interface from a Rock Band drum set, too.

7 thoughts on “Touchless MIDI: The Secret’s In the Mitten

      1. Mainly, I think it needs a transport layer that isn’t Ethernet. Part of why MIDI is so appealing is that you get a protocol AND a five-pin plug spec. While you can do OSC protocol decoding on a microcontroller, it’s gotta be a pretty beefy uC to decode Ethernet frames.

        I just saw that you can do OSC over SLIP though, which may be the answer to our prayers. Imagine a world where the 5-pin DIN does either SLIP OSC or MIDI depending on … cable detection? autonegotiation? something else?

        1. I’ve run OSC from an ESP8266, so I don’t think the hardware requirements are a problem.

          The lack of a specific hard-wired spec is a mixed blessing. But I’ve not yet run into a situation where that’s been an issue for me.

  1. That’s actually pretty rad.
    I’m a fan of OSC. It’s not for everyone but it’s pretty slick on recentish hardware. Adding real buttons and a thereminy thing would bring back some of the tactility that it might otherwise lack.
    Nice work.

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