Hair + MIDI

For our MIDI instrument, Sandy and I turned her hair into a string instrument.  After playing around with a Yamaha synthesizer and the Arduino MKRZero for three days, we simplified our system down to using Garage Band, an Arduino Uno, a Capacitive Touch Sensor Breakout, conductive thread, and a MIDI interface/USB connector. Ultimately, we want to hide our circuits as much as possible, but for our first prototype, we honestly just wanted it to work. Getting it to function after four days was cause for celebration. Sandy bought some Pocky sticks.

System Diagram
Circuit Diagram




Once the circuit was assembled, we were able to start playing around and considering an enclosure/fabrication:

Ultimately, I think this is the project I’m going to choose to refine for the final. There’s so much potential to create something meaningful and reflect what I’ve learned so far in class. The challenge will be making it feel like magic, by hiding the circuits and conductive thread so the user really feels like they’re playing their own hair.

Here are links to code and tutorials we referenced: ArduinoGeneralExamplesMPR121 Hookup Guide | Gordophone Blog | Easy DIY Arduino Touch Sensor Piano

Links to enclosure laser cutter files: Side | Front

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