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vulpineCrafter's avatar

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So I had the idea that for a miniature keyboard as a prop for a plushie like so. Of course, being the obsessive person I am, I decided that I want a working one. Would it be possible to create a 13 key piano that is fairly small (maximum 4 in) and not super duper expensive?

Thanks!
With the right kind of hardware and software, you can make any instrument you want.
vulpineCrafter's avatar

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With the right kind of hardware and software, you can make any instrument you want.


Well, yeah, but the question is could I make it small enough and cheap enough?
Saruwatari Kooji's avatar

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hydr0ph0en1x
God Emperor Akhenaton
With the right kind of hardware and software, you can make any instrument you want.


Well, yeah, but the question is could I make it small enough and cheap enough?


Define small enough.

Define cheap enough.

It would also be useful to know if you have any ideas on how to go about doing this, if so, what are they?

We're happy to help you, but you have to come to us with more than the very vague bit you posted.
vulpineCrafter's avatar

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Saruwatari Kooji
hydr0ph0en1x
God Emperor Akhenaton
With the right kind of hardware and software, you can make any instrument you want.


Well, yeah, but the question is could I make it small enough and cheap enough?


Define small enough.

Define cheap enough.

It would also be useful to know if you have any ideas on how to go about doing this, if so, what are they?

We're happy to help you, but you have to come to us with more than the very vague bit you posted.


I already said under 4 inches, and I suppose under $30 would be reasonable.

I know some stuff about electronics and programming, but not that much. Actually, programming should be pretty simple. The idea that I had would be to have a push-button for each piano key. I would want it to play midi sounding notes (I assume that's the only reasonable option anyways). I'll take care of the visual part, as long as I can fit all the electronics inside.

Other than that I don't really know. Feel free to ask more questions and I'll try to help.
You might look around at some projects that people have done with arduino piano's. There are a few different ones floating around.
vulpineCrafter's avatar

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You might look around at some projects that people have done with arduino piano's. There are a few different ones floating around.


Yeah it looks like there are some pretty nice arduino pianos, but I think the arduino itself is more than I would be willing to spend. That probably means the whole project is out of my price range. Ah well, I'll probably just keep an eye out for a toy piano and see if I can take it apart and make it smaller. (Though I guess that's kind of unlikely too)

I may just go the route of a mini xylophone type thing?
hydr0ph0en1x
Computers and Technology
You might look around at some projects that people have done with arduino piano's. There are a few different ones floating around.


Yeah it looks like there are some pretty nice arduino pianos, but I think the arduino itself is more than I would be willing to spend. That probably means the whole project is out of my price range. Ah well, I'll probably just keep an eye out for a toy piano and see if I can take it apart and make it smaller. (Though I guess that's kind of unlikely too)

I may just go the route of a mini xylophone type thing?
What is your price range?
hydr0ph0en1x
I already said under 4 inches, and I suppose under $30 would be reasonable.
Hm. $30 might be difficult to push. most of the electronics that would fit in a case that small tend to be a little on the pricey side.

You could get something like a Teensy ($20), but I'm hard-pressed to think of a small synth you could add that would stay under a $30 total, short of just using a little piezo tweeter ($1.25), but those are hard to make sound like anything but an annoying buzzer.

Piano-like keyswitches that small will be hard to find. You could use SP-ST momentary switches, but they have a tendency to "bounce" and it would only make the whole circuit all the more complicated to get rid of that problem. As an alternative to keyswitches, you could use something like MaKey MaKey with conductive tape, but the MaKey MaKey alone is $50.

Doing proper synth will run over $35, too, unless you can find something more specialized than an Arduino Wave shield. Other than that, you'd have to make your own synth, which isn't as easy as it might sound. Making it sound reasonable is a pain.

If you're willing to bump your budget up past $70, I'd just say get some conductive tape, a Wave shield, and an Arduino. You won't be able to fit it in a 4" box, but you can still make it.

If you have to go smaller, we can discuss options, but they're not many.
vulpineCrafter's avatar

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Computers and Technology
hydr0ph0en1x
Computers and Technology
You might look around at some projects that people have done with arduino piano's. There are a few different ones floating around.


Yeah it looks like there are some pretty nice arduino pianos, but I think the arduino itself is more than I would be willing to spend. That probably means the whole project is out of my price range. Ah well, I'll probably just keep an eye out for a toy piano and see if I can take it apart and make it smaller. (Though I guess that's kind of unlikely too)

I may just go the route of a mini xylophone type thing?
What is your price range?


About 30 bucks. sweatdrop
vulpineCrafter's avatar

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hydr0ph0en1x
I already said under 4 inches, and I suppose under $30 would be reasonable.
Hm. $30 might be difficult to push. most of the electronics that would fit in a case that small tend to be a little on the pricey side.

You could get something like a Teensy ($20), but I'm hard-pressed to think of a small synth you could add that would stay under a $30 total, short of just using a little piezo tweeter ($1.25), but those are hard to make sound like anything but an annoying buzzer.

Piano-like keyswitches that small will be hard to find. You could use SP-ST momentary switches, but they have a tendency to "bounce" and it would only make the whole circuit all the more complicated to get rid of that problem. As an alternative to keyswitches, you could use something like MaKey MaKey with conductive tape, but the MaKey MaKey alone is $50.

Doing proper synth will run over $35, too, unless you can find something more specialized than an Arduino Wave shield. Other than that, you'd have to make your own synth, which isn't as easy as it might sound. Making it sound reasonable is a pain.

If you're willing to bump your budget up past $70, I'd just say get some conductive tape, a Wave shield, and an Arduino. You won't be able to fit it in a 4" box, but you can still make it.

If you have to go smaller, we can discuss options, but they're not many.


Hmm yeah I think any electronic option would be too expensive for me. Ah well. I may just see if I can mod a toy piano or make it like a xylophone or something. Idk. Thanks for the help anyways!

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