The Very Cool DIY Light Bulb Organ MIDI Mod

The Very Cool DIY Light Bulb Organ MIDI Mod

Joelle Alcaidinho
Mar 22, 2011

What's more fun that DIY MIDI music making? Adding light bulbs of course! Check out this incredible DIY project that creates a vintage looking light bulb organ that works with any MIDI instrument.

Designed for the band Future Dancing, Instructables user Capricorn1 created this vintage looking light bulb organ to add a bit of "nostalgic ambiance" to their MIDI instruments.

How does it work? Capricorn1 explains: 12 light bulbs correspond to the 12 notes in an octave (minus the octave note). The rectangular box unfolds to position the light bulbs vertically for display, while at the same time providing a platform for the keyboard in use. Playing a note on the keyboard directly via MIDI, or through the USB port illuminates the light bulb for a particular key. Releasing the note, releases the key.

This project is made up of: 12 MIDI/OSC controlled light bulbs via DIN-5 MIDI port or remotely over USB, an integrated USB hub providing 2 additional powered USB ports, a case that unfolds into keyboard platform allowing for mounting on just about any keyboard stand, and a bright LED that indicates to the player where the control is coming from.

As you can probably imagine, this project is decidedly not for the novice. The project is made up of three main components, construction, electronics, and software, and you should have at least a medium level of expertise in these areas in order to successfully duplicate this project.

Check out the project on Instructables for more details and instructions. Watch the video below to see the light bulb organ in action.

Future Dancing - Telling Stories from Future Dancing on Vimeo.

For some more MIDI fun, check out these posts:

(Image: Instructables User Capricorn1 licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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