Introduction: Makey Makey "Not Quite a Keyboard™"

About: Student at The College of New Jersey!

Hello, and thanks for viewing our Instructable! We are students at The College of New Jersey, and this project is part of our Interactive Music Programming class. Using two Makey Makey kits, we created NQAK. We utilized one Makey Makey board to play the infamous four chords (I V iv IV) and the other to be able to play a 12 note chromatic octave in G-flat. We'll show you how we made our "Not quite a Keyboard™" so you can make your own!

Mistee Branchek

Kevin Chan

Ev Huynh

Wesley Peña


Two Makey Makey kits

18 Alligator clips

12 wires

Copper tape

A surface to tape the wires to (we used paper)



Logic X

Backing track from (we used the 'Membe' beat and slightly modified it)

Step 1: Acquire Code

The program we used to use to create the keyboard is Max8/Jitter/MSP. We used a template provided to us by our class instructor, Dr. Nakra, and modified it to accommodate the MelodyMakey and ChordMakey parts.

There are two main components to our code. The left bit of the code sets up all the notes we need to play four chords (Gb major, Db major, F minor, Cb major). Max will listen to the inputs on our Makey Makey, and decide which notes to select depending on the chord button we touch. Once it detects input, Max will use the "makenote" function to make a chord out of the selected notes, with a velocity of 100 (maximum is 127, minimum is 0), and a duration of 500 ms (half of a second). Lastly, it sends the chord to Logic Pro X.

The right bit of the code gives us a Gb chromatic scale, including the octave. It works identically to the chord portion of the code, except it only sends single notes to Logic Pro X.

Here's a link to the code: link

Step 2: Incorporating Logic Pro X

To get our project to output the sounds we wanted, we used Logic Pro X. We used two instruments in Logic: the Classic Electric Piano, and the Acoustic Guitar. To get Logic to communicate with Max, we set each instrument's MIDI channel to 1 and 2 respectively. We also had to make sure both tracks were armed to record in order to hear them, and that the "Auto demix by channel if multitrack recording" option in the project settings was checked. Once all of this was done, we were able to hear our instruments.

Step 3: Melody Makey Remap

The up arrow and the right inputs of the melody Makey must be remapped to allow the proper usage of all of the inputs on Max.

The image above shows the new key configuration for the inputs.

Step 4: Melody Makey Wiring

This is how the melody Makey is wired up. Connect those wires to gator clips and then to copper tape.

Make sure you are always grounded in a way that's comfortable to you, by connecting yourself to the "Earth" section of the Makey with an alligator clip and copper tape.

Step 5: Chords Makey Wiring

This is how the chords Makey is wired with gator clips.

When connecting the Makey Makeys to the computer, make sure the chords Makey is connected first, and then the melody Makey.

Step 6: Groove Pizza

We used Groove PIzza, a beat generator designed to introduce kids algorithmic musical programming.

Here is the link!

Step 7: Finished!

See the video for a demonstration!

Makey Makey Contest

Participated in the
Makey Makey Contest