12 Inspiring DIY Music Tech Projects – MakeUseOf


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Years ago, DIYing music equipment was a thing for audio experts only because resources were hard to find and expensive. However, today’s DIY market paints a different picture. There are many hardware and software platforms and a sheer amount of information on various projects.

Most tasks require only a screwdriver for assembly and a few components, while others need complex circuitry knowledge. Are you feeling adventurous, but don’t know where to start? Well, consider this guide as an entry point to the world of music tech DIY.

1. DIY Synthesizers

This is a project that music enthusiasts will take pride in as it opens doors for more complex tasks. Anyone with basic to moderate soldering and electrical skills will have a easy time designing one.

Some components required are an audio-frequency oscillator, low and high-pass filters (LFOs), voltage-controlled amplifiers, and low-frequency oscillators. It’s best if you incorporate many modules to make the synthesized tones interesting. Although DIY Synthesizers are time-consuming, you’ll love the final product.

2. Toy Piano

The project is a simple (yet engaging) way of making a musical instrument for youngsters. The materials needed are a cardboard, jumper wires, aluminum foil, Arduino Uno, a computer, and a plastic slide blinder.

Additionally, you’ll need tools like a pencil, ruler, hot glue, electric tape, and polystyrene cutter. Remember to install processing software on your computer. Painting the outer cardboard with your kid’s favorite colors will make the piano look fancy.

3. Circuit Bending

Here is an interesting way to create new sounds from your synthesizers or your kid’s toys. The technique is pretty easy, even for people with little experience in electronics. You only need basic knowledge on power, switches, resistors, and some soldering skills. You’ll need a screwdriver and a drill or dremel to make holes.

It’s advisable to use an old toy because then, you won't mind it becoming inoperable. You can use your phone camera to take pictures, and use them to retrace your steps if necessary.

4. DIY Audio Mixer

Further your electrical skills while having fun at it with this project. You’ll need stereo cables, 1K resistors, 10K dual log potentiometers, knobs, 1/8 inch stereo jacks, and split back sticker paper.

Looks are essential, especially if you need something that’s near-perfect, so make a well-labeled enclosure showing input and output jack. You’ll use the labels to drill holes and connect the knobs. A schematic diagram showing the right and left channels helps avoid confusion when creating the actual product.

5. Arcade Warrior

Experience a great tactile feel and low latency action with this classic DIY arcade warrior. Designing the enclosure is a crucial step since the build process becomes straightforward. By doing this, you’ll know where to place the arcade buttons, a couple of dials and sliders, and a joystick.

You’ll need 16 arcade buttons, all of which are inexpensive and easy to find in most stores.

6. DIY Electric Guitar

Have you ever wanted to make guitars? You can build one or several electric guitars without scratching your head. Make a pre-design on a piece of paper, so you can rectify everything from there rather than getting stuck in the middle of the project.

Unlike guitars from manufacturers, this project doesn’t need fancy stuff, only a few readily available tools. DIYing an electric guitar isn’t a few hours thing, so be patient.

Would you like to make other interesting gadgets on a shoestring budget? Here are some budget-friendly DIY electronics projects we’ve compiled for you.

7. Edison Keyboard

Create a vintage light display controlled by a MIDI keyboard. You can get Edison bulbs from various online stores; you just need to make sure that they are low wattage. Such bulbs reduce eye fatigue, especially if you’ll be using the keyboard for hours.

You’ll use the Arduino microcontroller to map the bulbs to particular MIDI notes, or to light up in a sequential order.

8. Pyro Board

Do you love visualizing your music? Well, this project is for you. The Pyro Board requires you to make holes on a tube, add a speaker on one end, and then pump some propane to get mind-blowing fire visuals. The Pyro Board shows the relationship between sound pressure and sound waves, a process science and audio enthusiasts will love. Each guitar solo, drum beat, and bass riff is represented by sound and flames.

9. V Motion Project

The V Motion Project feels like a next-level DIY since you’ll be crafting a machine that turns motion into music. Elements like real-time tracking and other projected visuals add authenticity to the performance.

The technology behind the V Motion Project is quite intriguing, and you’ll be surprised by how much knowledge you’ll gain after the process. Here, the build process highly depends on your creativity and technological know-how.

Would you like to recycle your old gadget? Check out these creative ways of turning old gadgets into future technology.

10. ScrubBoard

Create unique DJ-style scratch sounds and have a glimpse of what your favorite DJs do with this epic project. You’ll need to modify a cassette player by removing the enclosure to create space for a handheld device that slides across the lines on the tape.

The rocker cuts the audio in and out while quickly switching between the two audio sources. Creating a scrubBoard isn’t complicated as it sounds, so don’t be afraid to try it.

11. Incantor

Incantor music streams are fascinating, the reason any music enthusiast needs to tackle this project. You’ll need four C cell batteries, among other electric components. An incantor has 12 modifications, including three voice bending switches, three looping switches, one pitch/speed dial, and more.

12. DIY Violin

Wooden instruments are intriguing, so here’s a chance to create one. You’ll need several violin parts, tools, and wood for this project. All the supplies are inexpensive.

Remember to be extra careful when using wood glue. However, you can file the excess adhesive to create a premium look in case of any imperfections. It’s one DIY project you can’t wait to show off during the next music concert.

Create Your Own Musical Instruments

The satisfaction that comes with creating your piano, synthesizer, or violin is ultimately high. Hopefully, you’ve spotted several projects you can work on soon. Besides saving a few dollars, these projects will inspire you to tackle more challenging DIY tech ideas.



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About The Author

Robert Minkoff
(37 Articles Published)

Robert has a knack for the written word and an unquenchable thirst for learning that he applies wholeheartedly to every project he tackles. His eight years of freelance writing experience spans a range of web content, tech product reviews, blog posts, and SEO. He finds technological advancements and DIY projects quite fascinating. Robert is currently a writer at MakeUseOf where he enjoys sharing worthwhile DIY ideas. Watching movies is his thing so he is always up-to-date with netflix series.

From Robert Minkoff

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