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Make: Lego and Arduino Projects by Adam Wolf, Matthew Beckler, John Baichtal

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Chapter 8. Project: Keytar

IN THIS CHAPTER

Parts List

Assembly Instructions

Program the Keytar

Play Some Music!

The Next Chapter

Got Lego and a Bricktronics Shield? Start a band, man!
Figure 8-1. Got Lego and a Bricktronics Shield? Start a band, man!

For our next project we’re going to explore the realm of electronic music by building a working guitar-shaped Lego synthesizer! We call it a Keytar, because you mainly play it by pressing buttons. The name may be a stretch, but the project is fun to play with nonetheless!

This project creates crazy electronic music similar to the sounds generated by an Atari Punk Console, a classic electronic instrument of the earliest days of DIY electronic music (see the Atari Punk Console sidebar). Let’s get building!

Parts List

This project has a large number of Lego parts as well as buttons, wires, and other electronic components. We’ll also use new Bricktronics mounting plates (Figure 8-2) to accommodate the buttons, allowing them to slickly connect to the Keytar body.

We’ll attach non-Lego buttons to the Keytar with the help of these nifty Bricktronics mounting plates
Figure 8-2. We’ll attach non-Lego buttons to the Keytar with the help of these nifty Bricktronics mounting plates

Tools & Electronics

You’ll need the following electronics and associated parts to make the Keytar:

  • Arduino Uno

  • Bricktronics Shield

  • Mounting plates for buttons and Arduino

  • Power supply rated for 9V at 1.3A or greater with a 2.1mm center-positive ...

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