Good-looking Martenot MIDI controller by Fluxwood – I especially dig that microswitch barely peeking up out of the top instrument body.
The Ondes Martenot is a French electronic instrument that was invented in the 1920s. It is a synthesizer that uses a pulley system for controlling and playing notes. Instead of discrete notes like a piano, the stringed pulleys allowed the users to slide between notes and octaves without “steps”. It is very similar to a Theremin, except that there is a physical interface rather than playing in air.
My project utilizes Serial communication to route MIDI messages into a synthesizer program to mimic the sound and interface of the Ondes Martenot.
For my variation, I wanted to capture the feel and vibrato capabilities of the ringed pulley system. The main components of my project was an Arduino and a 10 turn potentiometer. The Arduino uses analogread() to measure the voltage of the potentiomenter and maps that to a range between 0 and 1023. The 10-turn capability allows for more precise control, a larger resolution, and essentially more note capabilities.
Since there is no video I’m aware of of Fluxwood’s Ondes Martenot, but I want you to get an idea of what this instrument sounds like – and how! – here’s a video of a different Martenot MIDI controller from YouTuber Mitsushi Abe (his blogs are in Japanese):
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.