Key-tar Lets You Jam at the Hackerspace

We’ve seen our share of stepper motors making music, but [Tanner Tech’s] key-tar takes it to a whole new level. Incorporating an acoustic drum to accentuate the stepper motor sounds and a preamp to feed a guitar amplifier, the key-tar is a fully playable instrument.

Moving the stepper via an Arduino at different speeds creates different notes. The user interface is an old PC keyboard. Apparently, [Tanner] recycled most of the parts in his model. The stepper came from an old printer and the keyboard was a dumpster rescue.

The drum is just an ice cream bucket that gives the stepper a little more sound projection. A wooden support holds the stepper at the bottom of the drum. Even with the drum, the instrument is pretty quiet, but an LM386 preamp connected to a piezo pickup can send the sound to a larger amplifier.

[Tanner] says the instrument is easy to play, but he is also an accomplished pianist, so we aren’t sure how the non-musically inclined would fare.

We’ve seen a stepper motor organ and another keytar that used a stepper motor that was still in an HP scanner. It won’t be long until we are going to see a stepper band going on tour to a hackerspace near you.

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