Introduction: How to Make a Pencil Drawing Piano

Piano is an amazing instrument which makes wonderful music. With a Multi-Control board at hand, let’s make our own piano.

Any conductors can be used as keys for the piano. Here we make a pretty pencil drawing piano.

Step 1: Prepare Materials

Multi-Control board -

Mini USB cable

Some alligator clip cables (included in Multi-Control kit)

6B pencil or softer one

Eraser for 6B pencil



Step 2: Draw the Musical Notation With Pencil

Draw the musical stave and notation on a blank paper, drew stave with gel pen and seven notes with pencil, and mark them with C, D, E, F, G, A, and B separately.

Note: you must use a pencil or fountain pen to draw to ensure good conductivity lines, or it may fail to work.

You can add more notes if you like.

Step 3: Retrace the Drawing Lines

To ensure good conductivity, retrace the drawing lines especially the alligator clipping parts and the touching parts.

Step 4: Wiring

Connect the Multi-Control to Notes by clipping to the holes and the drawing notes one by one as follows:

Multi-Control Board------------------Notes








Then extend the GND of Multi-Control with an alligator clip cable.

Step 5: Upload Code to the Multi-Control

Visit the WiKi page of Multi-Control, you can see the related resources.

Click HERE to download the library. Click Sketch -> Include Library -> Add .ZIP Library, then include the download library, including Joystick and MIDIUSB.

Then go to Github page and download the code.

Unzip the download package. Open multi-control-midi.ino. Then select the board type (Leonardo) and port, and upload the code.

Here is the code:

* Filename : multi-control-midi.ino* Description : SunFounder multi-control midi device driver* Author : Dream* Brand : SunFounder* E-mail :* Website :* Update : V1.0.0 2017-3-15*** This code fits SunFounder multi-control product,which is used to simulate midi device functions.* 1.A1,A2 for scale adjustment:A1 conducts, shift to an octave up; A2 conducts, shift to an octave down;* A1 & A2 all conduct, shift to an transpose up.* 2.A3-A10 for tones:corresponds to tone C5, D5, E5, F5, G5, A5, B5, C6(in piano keyboard mode).* 3.Piano and drum supporting,comment out #define KEYBOARD,and uncomment //#define DRUM to shift to DRUM mode.** easy-to-do DIY:* DEBUG When it is 1, it will print the debugging information.* MINTOUCH 900 sensitivity of holes(0-1023), the larger the parameter is, the more sensitive they will be.* In header file notemap.h, you can modify the holes' midi tones and velocity parameter mapping.**********************************************************************/#define KEYBOARD // uncomment to shift to piano keboard mode//#define DRUM // uncomment to shift to drum mode#include "MIDIUSB.h"#include "notemap.h"

#define DEBUG 0 // When it is 1, it will print the debugging information#define MINTOUCH 900 // sensitivity of holes(0-1023), the larger the parameter is, the more sensitive they will be

int mod=0; // for scale adjustment, Octave parameter

const int Mode=7; // Switch, to turn on/off the touching holesconst int channelPlus=3; // button A, used to configure channel functionconst int channelMinus=2; // button B, used to configure channel functionint statusMode=0;//==============================================// Set variables// holeAX[0] the analog value to be read valueAX// holeAX[1] analog to digital one statusAX// holeAX[2] output the value only when it changes lastStatusAX// holeAX[3] note map NOTE_AX// holeAX[4] lastNoteAX, value of modified tone lastNoteAXint holeA1[]={0, 0, 0, 0};int holeA2[]={0, 0, 0, 0};int holeC[]={0, 0, 0, NOTE_C, 0};int holeD[]={0, 0, 0, NOTE_D, 0};int holeE[]={0, 0, 0, NOTE_E, 0};int holeF[]={0, 0, 0, NOTE_F, 0};int holeG[]={0, 0, 0, NOTE_G, 0};int holeA[]={0, 0, 0, NOTE_A, 0};int holeB[]={0, 0, 0, NOTE_B, 0};int holeCP[]={0, 0, 0, NOTE_CP, 0};


void setup() {Serial.begin(115200);pinMode(channelPlus, INPUT_PULLUP);pinMode(channelMinus, INPUT_PULLUP);controlChange(channel, CONTROL_VOLUME, 127); // setup channel}

void readStatus(){ // read the analog, and shift to digital one to store in array holeX[1]statusMode=digitalRead(Mode);//if(statusMode==0){ // hole switchholeA1[0]=analogRead(A1);holeA2[0]=analogRead(A2);holeC[0]=analogRead(A3);holeD[0]=analogRead(A4);holeE[0]=analogRead(A5);holeF[0]=analogRead(A6);holeG[0]=analogRead(A7);holeA[0]=analogRead(A8);holeB[0]=analogRead(A9);holeCP[0]=analogRead(A10);

if (holeA1[0] < MINTOUCH) holeA1[1]=0;else holeA1[1]=1;if (holeA2[0] < MINTOUCH) holeA2[1]=0;else holeA2[1]=1;if (holeC[0] < MINTOUCH) holeC[1]=0;else holeC[1]=1;if (holeD[0] < MINTOUCH) holeD[1]=0;else holeD[1]=1;if (holeE[0] < MINTOUCH) holeE[1]=0;else holeE[1]=1;if (holeF[0] < MINTOUCH) holeF[1]=0;else holeF[1]=1;if (holeG[0] < MINTOUCH) holeG[1]=0;else holeG[1]=1;if (holeA[0] < MINTOUCH) holeA[1]=0;else holeA[1]=1;if (holeB[0] < MINTOUCH) holeB[1]=0;else holeB[1]=1;if (holeCP[0] < MINTOUCH) holeCP[1]=0;else holeCP[1]=1;//}if(DEBUG){printValue();}}

void printValue(){ // Serial PlotterSerial.print(holeA1[0]);Serial.print(',');Serial.print(holeA2[0]);Serial.print(',');Serial.print(holeC[0]);Serial.print(',');Serial.print(holeD[0]);Serial.print(',');Serial.print(holeE[0]);Serial.print(',');Serial.print(holeF[0]);Serial.print(',');Serial.print(holeG[0]);Serial.print(',');Serial.print(holeA[0]);Serial.print(',');Serial.print(holeB[0]);Serial.print(',');Serial.print(holeCP[0]);Serial.print(',');Serial.print(0);Serial.print(',');Serial.print(MINTOUCH);Serial.print(',');Serial.println(1023);}

void holeHandle(int *holeAX){ // handle for hole functionif(holeAX[2] !=holeAX[1]){ // Status changeif(holeAX[1]==0){ // one hole conducts, produce corresponding soundnoteOn(channel, (holeAX[3] + mod), currentVelocity);holeAX[4]=holeAX[3] + mod;Serial.print("noteOn ");Serial.println(holeAX[3] + mod);}else{ // hole conducts, no sound is producednoteOff(channel, holeAX[4], currentVelocity);Serial.print(" noteOff ");Serial.println(holeAX[4]);}holeAX[2]=holeAX[1];}//delay(20);}

int channelDebug(){// configure channel// press A once, add 1 to channel value, press B once, take 1 from channel value// after configuration, we know keyboard channel is 0, drum channel is a=digitalRead(channelPlus);int b=digitalRead(channelMinus);int channel=0;if(a==0){ // add to channelwhile(a==0){a=digitalRead(channelPlus);}if(a==1){channel +=1;if(channel > 15){channel=15;}}}

if(b==0){ // take from channelwhile(b==0){b=digitalRead(channelMinus);}if(b==1){channel -=1;if(channel < 0){channel=0;}}}return channel;}

int controlOctave(){// A1,A2 is control scale adjustmentif((holeA1[1] + holeA2[1])==0) // A1 and A2 conduct, shift to an transpose upmod=1;else if (holeA1[1]==0) // A1 conducts, shift to an octave upmod=12;else if (holeA2[1]==0) // A2 conducts, shift to an octave downmod=-12;elsemod=0;return mod;}

void scan(){ // scan all the buttons status/*// configure channelchannelDebug();*/// A1 A2mod=controlOctave();// CholeHandle(holeC);// DholeHandle(holeD);// EholeHandle(holeE);// FholeHandle(holeF);// GholeHandle(holeG);// AholeHandle(holeA);// BholeHandle(holeB);// CPholeHandle(holeCP);}

void loop() {readStatus();scan();}

// First parameter is the event type (0x09=note on, 0x08=note off)http:// Second parameter is note-on/note-off, combined with the channelhttp:// Channel can be anything between 0-15. Typically reported to the user as 1-16http:// Third parameter is the note number (48=middle C)http:// Fourth parameter is the velocity (64=normal, 127=fastest).void noteOn(byte chn, byte pitch, byte velocity) {midiEventPacket_t noteOn={0x09, 0x90 | chn, pitch, velocity};MidiUSB.sendMIDI(noteOn);MidiUSB.flush();}void noteOff(byte chn, byte pitch, byte velocity) {midiEventPacket_t noteOff={0x08, 0x80 | chn, pitch, velocity};MidiUSB.sendMIDI(noteOff);MidiUSB.flush();}

// First parameter is the event type (0x0B=control change)http:// Second parameter is the event type, combined with the channelhttp:// Third parameter is the control number number (0-119)http:// Fourth parameter is the control value (0-127).void controlChange(byte chn, byte ctrl, byte value) {midiEventPacket_t event={0x0B, 0xB0 | chn, ctrl, value};MidiUSB.sendMIDI(event);MidiUSB.flush();}

Step 6: Adjust Touch Sensitivity

Open a MIDI software and complete the initial setting. Then hold the GND and touch a note, if a pressed key is shown on the MIDI, it means this note conducts. Since conductivity varies among different objects, which may affect the touch sensitivity, so set a proper value of touch sensitivity for the pencil drawing. The bigger MINTOUCH value set, the more sensitive it will be.

Step 7: Enjoy Your Hand-drawing Piano!

Now, you get a DIY touch piano! Time to play piano! Have fun!


BrownDogGadgets made it! (author)2017-07-15

Sooooo a MakeyMakey?

SunFounder Maker made it! (author)SunFounder Maker2017-07-17

This is a Multi-Control board, not Makey Makey.

BrownDogGadgets made it! (author)BrownDogGadgets2017-07-18

So HOW is it different from a MakeyMakey? It looks like you took a MakeyMakey and just attached an NES controller to it. (Shoot, the MakeyMakey is shaped and LOOKS like an NES controller to begin with.)

Just trying to understand things.

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