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Sequencing Kids Toys – Part 1 of the Bent Orchestra

December 21st, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

This is an ongoing project that I hope to end up with 15 to 20 circuit bent kids toys, that will eventually become a circuit bent orchestra that will all be controlled with Ableton Live.  The keyboard in the video only has the drum section connected as of right now.  Unfortunately it only has a polyphony of 2, so that limits me quiet a bit.  I am using a sequencer I wrote in Pure Data running into an arduino board that controls some reed relays.  The switch time of the relays is to long so I plan on changing them out with some solid state relays.  The arduino is running standard firmata and I edited the Pduino program to include my sequencer.  I have also wrote a patch that has Ableton control the arduino instead of my sequencer.  Check out the video.  Let me know if anyone wants to see the code.


Sequencing Kids Toys – Step One of Bent Orchestra from Mike Tron on Vimeo.

– Miketron

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  1. tron
    September 28th, 2010 at 10:33 | #1

    Hi! I wondered if you had refined this sequencer? Could you make it do random triggers like the sequencer Sailormouth displays on getlofi.com? Would love to see a more detailed pos about it! 🙂

  2. allbuttons
    March 7th, 2016 at 20:30 | #2

    nice one! could you point me in the direction of any schematics for adding a ‘midi in’ port to a keyboard? been finding lots of stuff with midi out, but not as much interest to me!

  3. James
    March 29th, 2016 at 08:16 | #3

    When considering adding MIDI in functionality to a non-MIDI compliant device it is crucial to know how you will interface with such device. Here we have demonstrated a very simple form of digitally controlled analog switches. The buttons on the device are being triggered by electrically controlled relays. The circuit board of the kid’s toy is responding to button presses. There are limitations to doing a build in this way but there also some advantages:

    Pros:
    – Easy to install. There is no logic probing, no part looking up parts. You simply find the switch you wish to control and wire up a relay to it.
    – Modular. You could build a control bus and use it to drive any switches on the entire device.

    Cons:
    -Delay. Your relays that you use will dictate the firing speed of any switches.
    -Power. You must created an electrically isolated circuit from the device being controlled for the relays to work.

  1. January 6th, 2009 at 00:41 | #1