MIDI-Controlled Robo-Trombone Blows

iSax Laboratories shared this demo of their MIDI-controlled robo-trombone, the RoboTrombo Music Machine.

The music robot may not be entirely successful as a MIDI-controlled virtual musician, but it does demonstrate that you don’t need a complex modular synthesizer system in order to make fart noises.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“The original idea was to produce a MIDI controlled music machine that could play any song. It was however extremely difficult to control it reliably. When a human trombone player produces a tone it is a combination of lip tension, pressure against the mouthpiece, airflow, air pressure, resonance in the mouth and probably some other variables.

The lip part proved too hard to recreate. The machines will not take over the trombone playing profession any time soon and I’m left with an over-engineered noise machine.”

If you’re wondering how the magic happens, here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how the RoboTrombo works. Sex toys are involved:

Build details are available via hackaday.

21 thoughts on “MIDI-Controlled Robo-Trombone Blows

  1. Here we get a rare glimpse into the life of an archetypical inventor. Is it any wonder they often work in seclusion, regularly ridiculed when their efforts are exposed to the world? But where would we be without the rare successes to which these seemingly endless recursive efforts lead?

    1. Wow. No offense but…
      This is like me hooking my Jeep up to a team of six horses and watching them struggle to pull it 5 feet lol.
      How is mechanically blowing air thru an instrument you um are supposed to blow air thru considered inventing something. Watch my video where I toast my bread with my wife’s hair dryer… look at my new cooking invention.

      Meanwhile in the world of stuff that actually matters…Brian Clevinger releases Plasmonic. Beep Sreet releases Radio Unit. Plug-In Guru’s Unify is becoming more awesome with each new update. But please gives us more Caractacus Potts videos lol.

  2. Its a clever & amusing project, but not exactly playable. I sound like that before coffee every morning. I expect to see Look Mum No Computer build a polyphonic version that plays on pitch. His “Fart Of The Bumblebee” will become a hit for rave breaks.

  3. As a trombone player, I can definitely say, “Yup. that’s pretty much what a trombone sounds like.”

    But seriously, that represents job security for us trombone players. Trombone has an amazing range and versatility. It can sound mellow or brassy, and has very interesting options for pitch & amp LFO, as well as micro-tonal capability (deliberate or otherwise).

    1. Also a trombonist, and would have liked to see what his silicone embouchure looks like. Also, he should have used a rotary valve instead of the trumpet button, LOL

  4. The inventor’s worry that he has created “an over-engineered noise machine’ is too modest. He has given inspiration to countless players and inventors.

  5. The inventor’s worry that he has created “an over-engineered noise machine’ is too modest. He has given inspiration to countless horn players and inventors. Well done, sir.

  6. It’s not a complete failure, at the end, if you are still able to use midi technology by converting everything again into a sex toy…

  7. “I DO beg your pardon, but I’ll have you know this ‘Fleshlight’ has a Master’s from Juilliard and has played some of the world’s greatest stages and serenaded the crowned heads of Europe!”

  8. The implications for future Fleshlight advancements could make this guy a legend. And to think it started with little more than an old, rusty trombone.

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