Turning A Stylophone Into A MIDI controller

This video documents a hack that turns a Stylophone into a basic MIDI controller, and using it to control Propellerheads Reason.

Details on the hack available at Jason Hotchkiss’ site.

via hotchk155:

The technicals… Soldered wires to Stylophone PCB to use its keypad / resistor ladder.. put 5V across it and read voltage at stylus by analog input pin on arduino clone (miduino).

Found out input value for each note and sent out MIDI note on/off messages thru serial connection when notes are detected. Simple.

Used Propellerheads reason to make the sounds.

25 thoughts on “Turning A Stylophone Into A MIDI controller

  1. Now, if only this item lived up to its title, and actually explained how the hack was achieved, it would be interesting. As it is, it's a bloke miming fat synthesizer sounds on a stylophone.

    Tell us how you did it!

  2. A little tough love for Synthtopia today, eh?

    Thanks for the feedback, though. I updated the post to make it clear where you could get the details on this hack. Good luck with it!

  3. That's helpful. My original point, though, was that this is so typical of many such YouTube items – they demonstrate things (sort of), but fail to give any useful information on how it's done. Most annoying. At least it was kept short. I've sat through too many ten-minute videos watching people futz about incompetently with something that they've just built, with no artistic or educational content whatsoever. And most of them are titled, "How to…".
    [/rant off]

  4. That's a problem I keep finding with YouTube… the video was created to exist in a hosted context where the rest of the web site it was embedded in contains the essential information. But then you encounter it on its own, and it just illustrates a lot of wishful thinking without anything useful. You end up just hoping that the original poster included a link to the useful information in their posting comment (assuming you're watching the original and not one of the many many re-posted re-posts of videos). The craziness comes years later, when the original information site has vanished into the ether and all you're left with is the video without a context.

  5. 🙁 well I only created the clip to illustrate a forum post on another site (kompoz)… never expected anyone to find it on youtube… then wondered where all the hits were coming from! I added the instructions at http://sites.google.com/site/skriyl/ later on.. since I actually feel the same way as you about interesting clips with lack of any info!
    well I hope the instructions are helpful – all feedback welcome. cheers, jason

  6. Well I reckon there might be space, or you could make some… Miduino can run off a PP3 so you could make a self contained controller. If you are prepared to rip the guts out of the stylophone (leaving the keypad and resistors) you could add other controls like pitchbend/mod knobs etc using the same microcontroller board to manage them (see bottom of page at

    Well I reckon there might be space, or you could make some… Miduino can run off a PP3 so you could make a self contained controller. If you are prepared to rip the guts out of the stylophone (leaving the keypad and resistors) you could add other controls like pitchbend/mod knobs etc using the same microcontroller board to manage them (see bottom of page at

    Well I reckon there might be space, or you could make some… Miduino can run off a PP3 so you could make a self contained controller. If you are prepared to rip the guts out of the stylophone (leaving the keypad and resistors) you could add other controls like pitchbend/mod knobs etc using the same microcontroller board to manage them (see bottom of page at

    Well I reckon there might be space, or you could make some… Miduino can run off a PP3 so you could make a self contained controller. If you are prepared to rip the guts out of the stylophone (leaving the keypad and resistors) you could add other controls like pitchbend/mod knobs etc using the same microcontroller board to manage them (see bottom of page at

    Well I reckon there might be space, or you could make some… Miduino can run off a PP3 so you could make a self contained controller. If you are prepared to rip the guts out of the stylophone (leaving the keypad and resistors) you could add other controls like pitchbend/mod knobs etc using the same microcontroller board to manage them (see bottom of page at

    Well I reckon there might be space, or you could make some… Miduino can run off a PP3 so you could make a self contained controller. If you are prepared to rip the guts out of the stylophone (leaving the keypad and resistors) you could add other controls like pitchbend/mod knobs etc using the same microcontroller board to manage them (see bottom of page at

    Well I reckon there might be space, or you could make some… Miduino can run off a PP3 so you could make a self contained controller. If you are prepared to rip the guts out of the stylophone (leaving the keypad and resistors) you could add other controls like pitchbend/mod knobs etc using the same microcontroller board to manage them (see bottom of page at

    Well I reckon there might be space, or you could make some… Miduino can run off a PP3 so you could make a self contained controller. If you are prepared to rip the guts out of the stylophone (leaving the keypad and resistors) you could add other controls like pitchbend/mod knobs etc using the same microcontroller board to manage them (see bottom of page at

    Well I reckon there might be space, or you could make some… Miduino can run off a PP3 so you could make a self contained controller. If you are prepared to rip the guts out of the stylophone (leaving the keypad and resistors) you could add other controls like pitchbend/mod knobs etc using the same microcontroller board to manage them (see bottom of page at

  7. Well I reckon there might be space, or you could make some… Miduino can run off a PP3 so you could make a self contained controller. If you are prepared to rip the guts out of the stylophone (leaving the keypad and resistors) you could add other controls like pitchbend/mod knobs etc using the same microcontroller board to manage them (see bottom of page at http://sites.google.com/site/skriyl/Home/midi-sty

  8. dude, just google stylophone midi and the page that he detailed his explanation on how to make this work will show up in your search. i actually found that page before stumbling upon this. However, they should just make a midi routed stylophone. I mean this piece of dookie is close to 50 years old…..

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