Synthfonio Makes Music Easy Like Sunday Morning

This one goes out to anyone who loves music and feels it in their soul, but doesn’t necessarily understand it in their head. No instrument should stand in the way of expression, but it seems like they all do (except for maybe the kazoo).

[FrancoMolina]’s hybrid synth-MIDI controller is a shortcut between the desire to play music and actually doing it. Essentially, you press one of the buttons along Synthfonio’s neck to set the scale, and play the actual notes by pressing limit switches in the controller mounted on the body. If you’re feeling blue, you can shift to minor scales by pressing the relative minor note’s neck button at the same time as the root note, e.g. A+C=Am. Want to change octaves? Just slide the entire controller up or down for a total of three.

All of these switches are muxed to two Arduinos — an MKR1010 for USB MIDI control, and a bare ‘328 to provide the baked-in synth sounds. Power comes from a stepped-up 18650 that can be charged with an insanely cheap board from that one site. [Franco] has all the code and files available, so go have fun making music without being turned off by a bunch of theory. Push that button there to check out the demo.

If ‘portable’ means pocket-sized to you, then let this mini woodwind MIDI controller take your breath away.

2 thoughts on “Synthfonio Makes Music Easy Like Sunday Morning

  1. Another demo of sound that is nearly inaudible at minus 14dB again same as the other midi woodwind link in this article. When I amplified it via audacity I could hear the clacking of the keys and the HVAC system on the background and the instruments sound via a tinny speaker. You have video editing software and can use it but get the audio into the system too. You can’t use a phone to talk with someone from a distance to the mic and the same applies to making a sound demo recording on a distant mic whose gain is for lips touching it.

    Hook the sound generating device to headphones (not earbuds) and place one driver against the phone or tablet’s mic hole, tape in place if needed. Use a mono setting if there is a 2 channel difference going on. Soft volume is all that’s needed. It will sound full range not like a tinny speaker if the phones are good enough. If done right though the audio should be in stereo or multichannel via a direct input.

    If not proficient on an instrument then demo it by playing it’s range in scale from low to high etc. rather than trying to play a recital.

  2. Alternative midi controllers are a wide open creative field, it is not well appreciated that a traditional keyboard is an arbitrary historic design and far from optimum for ergonomics and for music theory, it is simply taken for granted that it is. l find the strips as keys interesting. What if you attached them at both ends? stretched them out a little like a string. Now you have a means of after touch that could be extremely expressive responding to both finger pressure and position

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