I have been working with Arduino for around a year.  I am very interested in synthesizers (both analog and digital) and various other musical instruments.  I had been fooling around with the code to Auduino--a basic “direct digital synthesis” grain synthesizer for some time.  I had a few half-finished projects where I modified acoustic and electric guitar bodies with softpots and capacitive sensing metal buttons to control notes.  I felt limited by the monophony of Auduino, so I started to work on ways I could do polyphony or expand the sound.  Arpeggiating notes turned out to sound very good, and the idea grew from there.

Step 1: The Idea

For a while I have wanted to design and build a synthesizer for my 2 year old daughter (aka BUGGO).  She has quite a few store bought instruments, pianos and musical toys, that she really likes.  I had a few design requirements.  It had to have lots of LEDs that responded to the music.  It had to have a mechanical/animatronic component.  The keyboard would be an array of capacitive sensing metal that would be easy for her to activate by touch.  It would also be easy to play, sounding good and “on key” with minimal effort.  Simple controls but also a lot of depth.  It would have a music box mode that would play automatically, which could also be modified manually.  I didn’t originally plan to make this project an Instructable, so while I didn’t have pictures of all of the steps and many failures along the way, I did have enough pictures to document most of the process and successes.  I will go into detail about some of the failures along the way and how they shaped the design.
<p>I have been in experimental music making for a long time, and can tell you this is a very comprehensive mashup. I enjoyed how you squeeze in a lot of different ideas, and orient it to the child's level (: ... in all of us! Nice instrument. Have you made that follow up?</p>
heh awesome job. Keep them projects coming and documented ;)

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