Lots of crazy-cool updates below!

I’ve been working with a friend of mine, Nat Emerson, on a midi organ project.  Nat wanted to keep some of the retro-style of organs from the 60s and 70s, but instead of controlling actual analog components, it would output a midi signal to control software running on a laptop.

We’ve been using the laser cutter to etch panels for the front of the organ, and I’ve had a few good ideas regarding how they’ll attach.  Basically, the front panels will be modular.  They’ll use some high power neodymium magnets coated in nickel as the contact surfaces/electrodes, so you can hot swap panels during a show.  This would also allow us to sell individual panels.

Here’s the midi unit I’m basing the circuit on, and a few potentiometers we’re considering.

I’m currently in the process of reverse engineering a midi-panel we bought online so I could print a modified and more economical version.  I’ll have some photos in thecoming days once school is let out for break.

Nat just did some work on the frame, and I’m about to begin laser cutting the holes for the modular panels (the illustrator documents are ready to go!).  Just trying to afford a better version of EAGLE at the moment so I can make a board with more layers.

UPDATE 12/28/11

I’m currently working on the circuit board at the moment.  You can view progress on the circuit design here.

UPDATE 1/9/12

I just finished the board that will be powering the digital side of the organ.  It’s called the Chomp — more details here. (Update: I ended up using this instead)

UPDATE 3/22/12

Nat and I have made TONS of progress in recent weeks.  Check it out!

Putting the panels on

Here's the organ with the new legs on.

We’re getting there!  Nat and I aim to have the organ done for bash, our school’s prom-equivilent, where he’ll be playing it with the band.  All that’s really left to do is wiring!

UPDATE 4/16/12

It’s done! That wiring took a long time. Each panel goes to its own multiplexer, which is then converted into a MIDI control change signal that can be interpreted by music software.


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