Arduino enthusiasts looking for a new project to keep them busy may be interested in this fantastic Arduino powered Scanjet Keytar which has been created by James Cochrane and combines both an off the shelf keyboard with an old HP Scanjet scanner.
Arduino has been used to control a stepper motor driver a MIDI interface, scanner parts and basic keyboard to great effect, check out the video below to learn more.
This scanner had a hidden command set within the Scanner Control Language which allows you to send musical notes directly to the stepper motor. This is a tedious method where you have to enter the notes and durations manually into a text file (similar to G-Code on a CNC Machine). I have always used and will always use this method for my Old School music videos however I wanted to try and build a MIDI controlled stepper motor.
One day I had one of my HP Scanjets sitting on its side and for some reason it resembled a Roland SH-101 and that’s when I came up with the idea for the HP Scanjet Keytar. What a great way to merge both into a musical instrument. My one of a kind HP Scanjet Keytar consist of an Arduino Nano, Stepper Motor Shield and an optocoupler. Most of my Arduino code was readily available on the Arduino website and is free to download at GitHub. Near the end of my video I will show you how to build a MIDI controlled stepper motor in 40 seconds. I believe that maybe a world record 🙂
For more details and to create your very own Cochrane has published the code files via GitHub. If you enjoyed this article you are sure to enjoy how to build your very own Arduino wind speed meter or anemometer project which is easy to build with basic Arduino skills.