Articles, Blog

Touchless MIDI Controller (Arduino Guitar Mod)

November 15, 2019

I lost an electron! Are you positive? Request video #2! We need more MIDI stuff! MIDI! MIDI! MIDI! WOOT! WOOT! WOOT! I LOVE MIDI! You want MIDI? Let’s talk about MIDI. Manly Irish Dingleberry Incents. Oh shoot… wrong script. Musical Instrument Digital Interface. Like MIDI drums. MIDI keyboard! MIDI keyboard! See, MIDI devices are great, but I just don’t
have the space for another one. MIDI devices are so useful because you can
control music programs with them. Like… FL Studio, Ableton, Protools. What really sucks is that, when I’m playing
the guitar, I don’t have another hand for another MIDI device. Here’s an idea! Let’s integrate a MIDI controller into the
body of the guitar so that I can play the strings and control MIDI at the same time. I’m thinking we use hand movements as a MIDI
slider, and then we can map this MIDI slider to any digital effect that we want. So, let’s do that! The secret’s in the mitten.Okay! Let’s see what we got. Uhhh… MIDI effect… link… Whoa! Up. Down. Up. Down. Okay so now, let’s map it to an equalizer
sweep so that we get the hueew-hueeew-hueeew effect. Distortion? One more. Umm… phaser! Now let’s bring in some buttons. Three buttons here, one for each effect. Equalizer sweep, distortion, and phaser. Put the buttons over here. There we go. That’s a good spot. I’m still learning how to use it, so bear
with me. Here’s how it all works. You remember that Arduino project we had last
time? The metal detector? Uhh… this one? Well, here, inside my guitar, is a detector
coil. And my mitten is lined with tin foil. The detector detects the proximity of the
tin foil, and sends a signal over to an Arduino on the back. The Arduino then sends a MIDI slider signal
out the MIDI jack. That’s about it! Ugh… sweaty. Full schematics at the end of the video. Let’s go build stuff! For this we’re going to need:
An Arduino! Colpitts Oscillator! MIDI Port! Cups! We’re going to start by creating a detector
coil. Take the cups, cut off the lips, and tape
them together to make a spool. Then, let’s take apart a transformer, take
the wire from it, and give the spool 70 wraps of that wire. Solder the ends of the spool to an audio cable
and we’re done with the detector coil. Next we’ll have to make a Colpitts oscillator
circuit, exactly the same one as the one in our metal detector project. If you don’t know what this is, then check
out this video. Now we take teh Arduino, plug it in, and upload
the code. Next we’re going to connect up all our components. And I’m going to hot glue everything onto
a piece of cardboard because no one’s willing to sponsor us a 3D printer! Psst… it’s not too late. Let’s also make ourselves a lid, so that we
get something that looks like a box and not just a pile of glue on cardboard. Close it up with a nut and bolt, and place
some velcro strips on the back of the box. That’ll do it. Taaaaaaa Detector coil in here. MIDI signal over here. USB power over here. And buttons go in here. This is not a USB port. It was the only 4 pin connector I had. So if you’re going to be tempted to plug a
USB stick in here, don’t use a USB port. Now let’s make some buttons by salvaging a
broken calculator. Cut out a face plate. Sand it down and close off the sides. Then, let’s take some tactile buttons, and
solder them onto a perfboard. Like I said before, I’m using a USB connector
because that’s the only 4 pin connector I have. Don’t plug this into your computer. Now let’s close it off and add a thin layer
of blutack on it, so that it’ll stick to the guitar. Done! Let’s slip our detector coil into our sound
hole like that, and plug it in. Buttons go here, plug that in as well. Plug in the MIDI cable, and the patch cord,
and we’re good to go. Oh right! The glove! Line it with tin foil! Hey! As always, here’s the full schematics if you want to
build one of these yourself. Check out the description box for everything
you need. On another note… The technical article for the metal detector
project is now out on All About Circuits, so if you’re having trouble with this one,
go check out the article over here. I want to thank my patrons for supporting
this video. Oh… here they are. This is my first ever patron supported video,
and if you like what I do here, then you too can become a patron. And you can even win the things I make on
this channel, such as this lovely abomination. And by supporting me, you also help me invent
more kinds of these things and help me hopefully put this stuff into production so that no
one ever has to glue stuff onto cardboard again. Our first Patreon goal is right here, and
we are right here. When we get up here, I’m hoping we can invest
in a better lens so that we can get even better video. That’s all I have for you today. I’ll see you next week. BYEEEE!


  • Reply Young Savage January 14, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    How did u catch that clean tone???? I really wanna know how

  • Reply Vyacheslav Grigorev January 15, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Япошка долбаеб.

  • Reply AJ January 15, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    did u pretty much make ur own hot hand ?

  • Reply Emma Ruby January 16, 2019 at 3:49 am


  • Reply Jerome Alayon January 16, 2019 at 6:40 am

    this is the future

  • Reply Salmoneli Chickenela January 17, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    I want to hear moosic wid diasssss

  • Reply EnFriqe January 20, 2019 at 5:41 am

    Guess you could say it was a… Mitty controller.

  • Reply quinxx12 January 21, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    Sry I'm a noob, but will it work with any other MOSFET transistor as well?

  • Reply Jorge Zepeda January 21, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    Hi! nice work!! how do you select which Arduino input goes to into fl studio midi port? how select “which button (physical) turn on the digital button on fl studio”

  • Reply Daniel McCormack January 21, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    Stop making fun of people from Ireland

  • Reply Threezus January 23, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    I really wish you would use your amazing talents on making dumber things

  • Reply BlipBoop Blap January 24, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    Foot pedals

  • Reply LaylaEatsTrees January 26, 2019 at 7:21 pm


  • Reply Stenly Spa January 27, 2019 at 1:42 pm


  • Reply guitarras 38 January 27, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    You have a new suscriber

  • Reply noel saguid January 28, 2019 at 2:53 am

    can you pls make a mini guitar efect …

  • Reply good content? January 28, 2019 at 11:23 pm

    I'm a chop on gta online for free for a hand in my game don't know but it I just want to got the way to end and I don't care will drop you be on are phone the way to end a great parent company is the end of the and then I start you on gta chop the end of the and then I start you get the end of reaper and then I have to go been commenting on the a chop headed to the home of my phone but ya while commenting every time we leave at a birthday card number is not to offend any body get out and you don't have to go a long day of work for free to boot on roblox jay and then I start you get a heart attack on gta online and then ignores I have to go will expose you get your own a great day and you have to don't know I just but it I don't care file know care file know know but it I will expose the end you have a chop headed to the home oh ya ya ha yabahahhahahayya my phone page for a hand out chop God kid u suck music in my driveway and then I start you 9th to boot on roblox jay jay jay and then I start you on gta online for free for and

  • Reply good content? January 28, 2019 at 11:24 pm

    Oh yeah yeah oh yeah

  • Reply w a V e January 29, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    That shirt he wore, Tom Holland wore in Homecoming too.

  • Reply Alexander Vilar January 31, 2019 at 1:53 am

    Distortion sucks

  • Reply Jhoan Restrepo February 1, 2019 at 8:05 am

    ¿Por qué pone el título del vídeo en español?

  • Reply Frank Ilagan February 2, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    You're a genius man!

  • Reply Ziggy Doug February 2, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    Keep it up you are a beast

  • Reply Weird Boy February 3, 2019 at 6:55 am

    Next Episode Make a 3d Printer.

  • Reply Colin De Vries February 4, 2019 at 5:51 am

    Uuuhhhhmmm……………there are amplyfiers for that……

  • Reply shem laguda February 5, 2019 at 3:54 pm


  • Reply Aki Shing February 5, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    Ya sabemos el truco de Tom Morello xd v:

  • Reply Michael Angelo Diga February 6, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    Awesome man.

  • Reply Musical Visual February 6, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    What programming language do you use buddy ??

  • Reply jose gabriel .hontanosas February 7, 2019 at 5:06 am

    soo did you get a sponsership?

  • Reply kaitlyn lozano February 7, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    I here arduino in every one of these. Videos

  • Reply The white beast February 10, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    Now let "the dooo" do the rest

  • Reply Eemin February 10, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    I want to buy this item pls. Touchless midi awesomeeee

  • Reply Skkrrty Boi February 12, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    Holy crap this guy is genius

  • Reply Demo Twix Set February 14, 2019 at 4:25 am

    At 2:38 I thought he was about to play roundabout

  • Reply dying pc February 15, 2019 at 8:39 am

    i use whewwhewwew effects to my songs

  • Reply Lucy Faaiuaso February 17, 2019 at 6:26 am

    U look like a rockstar 😄😄😄😄😄😄

  • Reply Ruxi Wang February 17, 2019 at 4:45 pm


  • Reply Retro Plus February 20, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    Pretty dope

  • Reply Roberto Correa February 21, 2019 at 4:35 am

    why did you ruin your les paul'

  • Reply Furaha February 24, 2019 at 3:36 am

    You look like an asian Philip DeFranco. lol

  • Reply Omar faruqe Rony February 27, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    Please make a smartphone

  • Reply Michael Camacho March 7, 2019 at 10:59 pm

    I would like you to make something for me, if possible. I would like a MIDI foot controller with switches that captures an Incoming midi channels notes and then adds +/-12 , 7 , 5, 3, 1 semitones to the signal. Please help, will pay.

  • Reply Lou Edward Flores March 9, 2019 at 1:34 am

    Sooo is it called a MIDIN?

  • Reply john nics March 14, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Hi dude it would be great if you make a DIY bluetooth midi footcontroller for amplitube just like irig blueboard 😅

  • Reply John Martin Cantorne March 15, 2019 at 3:17 am

    That Ibanez tho

  • Reply War Dippy March 16, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    So you are a musician engineer youtuber. Respect

  • Reply Slad3 March 16, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    why do you use wor drums and not rb3 drums

  • Reply Samuel Jorge March 26, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    Not the Gibson

  • Reply Zephyr March 28, 2019 at 11:40 am

    Subscribe to PewDiePie

  • Reply Kromium April 3, 2019 at 3:18 pm


  • Reply Esteban Rodríguez April 5, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    Rip Evan 😔🙏 he’s in a better place

  • Reply DJ TIKA April 8, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    Yooo men ur on firee

  • Reply David Rodriguez April 10, 2019 at 7:06 am

    Epic genius

  • Reply Ryan Mayo April 14, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    Am i watching a motherfuckin' asian Einstein doing music??

  • Reply NinGeer April 16, 2019 at 11:37 pm

    So much underrated and such a genius!

  • Reply XxpaysagorxX April 17, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    That face }:) 0:02

  • Reply musting76 May 23, 2019 at 1:30 am


  • Reply griffin gibson May 24, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    Bro… I needs to make one of these.

  • Reply The Last N-Word pass !!!!!!!!!! May 25, 2019 at 7:05 am

    This guy reminds me of Han but for gadgets.

  • Reply Tunir Ghosh May 25, 2019 at 7:59 am

    It's basically a midi theremin.
    Struck and flattened by realisation.
    Where did he go damn it.

  • Reply LolyJr May 26, 2019 at 12:55 am

    I’m rewatching this old video and I realize you have the same keyboard I had. XD

  • Reply ASMRsta May 29, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    Could I pay you to build me this???

  • Reply unknown Knife May 30, 2019 at 10:46 pm

    Haa remember the good old days

  • Reply Salty Medpac May 31, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    What the fuck do you eat?! Your so skinny dude. Dont die.

  • Reply MR. BOOM June 1, 2019 at 2:44 am

    I’ve finally found your channel

  • Reply Allan Seda Esquenazi June 5, 2019 at 6:06 am

    Looks like he played the game of thrones theme

  • Reply Raf June 6, 2019 at 7:21 am

    Your shirt is the same shirt in spider man home coming in the seen when Peter Parker meet tony stark in the avenger building

  • Reply DJ LanZer June 6, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    You deserve 5 million subz or more

  • Reply Heavy Hitters June 9, 2019 at 12:11 am

    I knew there was an inductor inside the guitar…with the proper array you could get very technical with this….don’t forget you gave feet …maybe a play/record/repeat function?

  • Reply Daniel Zappia POA June 9, 2019 at 6:43 am

    I miss these videos

  • Reply CursedDevil YT June 9, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    Hey make a midi phone controler that can do anything

  • Reply Anuradha Kansal June 11, 2019 at 4:20 am

    Can you make a respberry pi thin pad

  • Reply TheGhost 03 June 12, 2019 at 9:15 am

    1 question, how don't u have 10 million subs already

  • Reply seckioniki June 15, 2019 at 5:43 am

    ya know its funny hr could be making millions with the stuff he makes

  • Reply John Reskusich June 16, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    Amazing work. Joining your patreon for awhile

  • Reply pastorkev777 June 24, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    A metal pick may be a good substitute for the glove.

  • Reply Samuel Trencher June 26, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    That's real cool.

  • Reply GD shaker July 2, 2019 at 12:02 am

    Yamaha took your idea

  • Reply Notorious F.A.T July 6, 2019 at 3:18 am

    Super missed opportunity to use a midi wah effect

  • Reply Mr. Thonk July 7, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    Gotta play Buttercup with that

  • Reply Alessandro Dikatarina July 15, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    Muito inteligente

  • Reply FuryRust July 30, 2019 at 2:49 am

    Is a smart guy always looks/speaks like crazy?
    Me: Sometime I did that when explaining a complicated things.😂

  • Reply MA XENON August 18, 2019 at 10:03 am

    When are you going to come back? Oh yeah you're dead

  • Reply mimamaiks mika August 20, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    can you turn it into a piano guitar?

  • Reply Don Alder Acoustic Guitarist August 28, 2019 at 11:58 pm

    is the glove system avail for purchase.. id use it on acoustic mostly for reverb swells

  • Reply Swift_horton 14 September 13, 2019 at 1:27 am

    Yo can u like make this for me

  • Reply Swift_horton 14 September 13, 2019 at 1:27 am


  • Reply sour kort September 15, 2019 at 1:18 am

    That shirt brought back 7th grade science teachers jokes

  • Reply THE INVENTOR September 17, 2019 at 9:07 am


  • Reply fersaNMole October 4, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    eres lokizimo

  • Reply fersaNMole October 4, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    eres lokizimo

  • Reply lumie barber October 10, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    Play the Tokyo drift beginning song when the dude goes to Tokyo on the gutiar with the touchless midi

  • Reply Иван Григорьев October 16, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    DIY MIDI controlled carillon-

  • Reply Alen Augustine October 24, 2019 at 6:32 am

    Hey man nice video. How connections are made….
    I dont get how you connect guitar.
    Does the guitar has midi out or did you just connect the out of the guitar to the line in pc

  • Reply Zulu Awesome November 4, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    Nice. I like it. But can you or someone explain to me the connection? From guitar to the MIDI port controller ? Or else the MIDI port to speaker or something?

  • Reply Isaiah Higgins November 8, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    hey im bouta get a midi keyboard, any sub 100$ recommendations?

  • Reply mimamaiks mika November 11, 2019 at 11:53 am

    how to play this like a piano??

  • Reply Fernando Cordova November 13, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    so… how's latency? could it be used in a live situation?

  • Reply Alone Name65 November 14, 2019 at 2:33 am

    Bruh what happened to you like you used to make all these cool and pointless inventions and now you're barely uploading and making videos on wood working and aliens. Your videos used to inspire me and now I'm just sitting here like wtf happened.

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