Updated: 7/16/2024

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.

A simple two mouse project. Midi Cello My first Arduino project - a Midi guitar

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.

Midi Cello made using two optical mice and an Arduino UNO controller. I made this project the week after I made the violin. The violin project prototype has a few issues that I was able to fix in the Cello. The bow rest that keeps the bow in the sweet spot of the mouse camera, is made of a piece of square section dowel with the bow resting on one of the corners. The violin used a round dowel.

On my way back from Moogfest 2012, I realized that I could modify my Bob Moog Google Doodle controller and make it control the Les Paul Google Doodle. This is the mark II version that has a midi output instead of being an add-on to the previous controller. Basically it is just 10 switches and a joystick connected to an Arduino micro controller. You can build the guitar for around $50 which is less than the cost of a video game!

The Animoog for iPad, iPod and iPhone is a great tool. It has over 40 controls. I built this midi controller so that you can adjust the controls in realtime without having to select different menus.