Digital Wind Chimes

Quality wind chimes are not cheap. No matter how much you spend, though, they generally sound the same year after year. If that bothers you, maybe [sensatroniclab] can help. They’ve posted a simple design for a digital wind chime using the Ototo music generator.

The Ototo is reasonably priced and promises to let you make music from anything (well, anything conductive, anyway).  Because the Ototo handles all the music production, the only real building part of the project is the wind sensors. The sensors are made with conductive fabric with a marble at the end for weight.

In the video below you can see [Matthew Ward] talk about the device and actually play it like you might a harp. This would be a good school project owing to the simplicity of using the Ototo, although [sensatroniclab] is actually working on accessibility music projects.

One challenge for students would be to make up new kind of sensors. After all, why wind chimes? Why not rain chimes or a hamster-driven instrument?

Of course, musical devices are nothing new at Hackaday. We’ve even looked at the black side of MIDI, which might be a bit much for the Ototo.

13 thoughts on “Digital Wind Chimes

      1. Yeah that’s a bit of an omission from the headline.
        it’s a dumb interface like there are so many and which any arduino or compatible can do that triggers ableton, well ladida, let me sit in a studio and invoke disabled people to make it seem something else than primary school introduction to electronics.

    1. Yeah I know, right? I think he meant for it to work with wind but choice of materials prevents anything below a gale from working. He basically said it’s proof of concept. Plastic pipes covered with conductive fabric arranged like a real windchime should work!

    1. Maybe DIY synth based on 8-bit micro, that stores a wind chime sound sample and plays it back using pentatonic scale in sequence generated with Markov chain algorithm?

    2. I have no idea for sure. But how programmable are midi keyboards? A windchime has a very distinct profile that seems difficult in my mind to replicate. The standard ‘slap an arduino on it’ doesn’t seem like it would work. (I still want to buy one, maybe after the summer work season.)
      I would joke about solenoids smacking a windchime, but no. I can’t listen to the video right now. (F-ing phone keeps buffering, restart and clearing system cache doesn’t work) How close to realistic has the Ototo got it?

  1. I had an idea for a standard windchime modified so that individual tubes/pipes could be silenced with solenoids connected to a microcontroller. That way I could know the time or the temperature by what tones were/weren’t produced. Would make an interesting device. I could never decide what tones to use! So it never went beyond planning stage.

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