Charlie Williams

Viscount Organ-Donor Bass Pedals

Problem: A 1970s electric organ that's definitely not going to fit into a teeny London flat. Also, some keys are dodgy; the fun bits are the beats and playing the bass pedals while jamming on a ukulele or whatever.

Solution: Pull out the good bits (the pedals and the beat circuitry) and make those into standalone instruments.

Next problem: Needing to know more about woodworking.

One community-college class later, I had this really nice hinged, handled box. Now I just needed to figure out how to make it into an actual instrument.

My initial plan was to use the Mozzi library with a Teensyduino to make it a standalone synth, but after lots of tweaking I realised that there wasn't going to be a single sound I'd be happiest with, and that it would be simpler and better to just have it send out MIDI, so it can serve as a foot control for other synths.

The final form uses a Teensyduino to read the pedal states, run a status LED and control both MIDI and USB MIDI connections, so it can connect to a computer directly via USB, or to a 'hardware' synth without the need for a computer intermediary.

Thanks to Rick Hewes for troubleshooting circuitry and helping me level up my soldering skills, and to Paul Gilmore of City of Bath College for his woodworking wisdom.

Code on Github.

40% Arduino/Teensyduino
40% Circuit design
20% Woodworking
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