I started this site while I was doing the 3rd Annual Moog Circuit Bending Challenge . A long time ago in a far, far away place I used to do electronics as a hobby. Twenty three years ago when I moved to the USA, I stopped doing hardware and just continued doing software. This year, I have got interested in electronics again since my kids are now teenagers and can appreciate what electronics and programming are about.
I was asked why I build controllers that mimic existing instruments such as the Cello, Accordian, Violin and Guitar projects. So with the Box of Mystery, I decided to make something that was not obviously mimicing an existing instrument. It has a central box and several plugin/on pieces and can be made into many forms. The box itself has six Infrared 'strings'. In the box is a mouse that is controlled by whatever stick you want to use with it.
Using a PS/2 compatible mouse and an Arduino microcontroller you can build a simple Midi Controller. Recently I have added a simple RC filter so the microcontroller makes the sound. The X movement specifies the pitch and the Y movement is used to specify the timbre.