Introduction: Human Synthesizer/Game Controller

Picture of Human Synthesizer/Game Controller

Introduction

You can learn how to play a keyboard solo by giving your friends a high-five! You can become a Tetromino or Squirrel champion by giving your friends a high-five, too! Follow our instructions below to make a human controller in just a few minutes.

What You'll Need:

  • Raspberry Pi
  • MaKey MaKey kit
  • One monitor
  • At least 4 friends

Step 1: Connect Your MaKey MaKey!

Picture of Connect Your MaKey MaKey!

After you have powered up Raspberry Pi and have it connected to some sort of monitor, connect it to your MaKey MaKey. Simply plug it in it to one of Raspberry Pi's USB ports.

Step 2: Assemble Your Friends!

Picture of Assemble Your Friends!

Gather four friends. Take five alligator clips out of your MaKey MaKey kit. Connect one alligator clip to an earth connection on MaKey MaKey. Connect each of the remaining four alligator clips to each one of the arrows on MaKey MaKey. Have one friend hold the free end of the clip connected to the up arrow. Have another friend hold the free end of the alligator clip connected to the down arrow. Have your third friend hold the free end of the alligator clip connected to the left arrow. Have your fourth friend hold the free end of the alligator clip connected to the right arrow. You will hold on to the free end of the alligator clip connected to earth. (Make sure that everyone is holding the actual metal tip of the alligator clip.)

Step 3: Play It!

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Open up one of Raspberry Pi's Python games, such as Tetromino or Squirrel. Remember to hold on to the free end of the alligator clip connected to earth. If you want to use your controller to go up, give your friend who is holding the alligator clip connected to the up arrow a high five. If you want to go down, give your friend who is holding the alligator clip connected to the down arrow a high five. The same goes for left and right.

You can also use this "human controller" in Scratch. You can program each arrow key to play a different MIDI note, so you can make a human synthesizer!

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Bio: Women's Audio Mission is a San Francisco based, non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of women in music production and the recording arts. In ... More »
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