Musical Instruments Week, Day 3: The Midirimba (Video)

It's Musical Instruments Week here on the SEAS News & Events page. Each day, we'll feature a different instrument created as part of the course Musical Acoustics & Instrument Design (ENAS344/MUSI371), taught by Larry Wilen, a Yale senior research scientist and design mentor in the Center for Engineering Innovation & Design, and Konrad Kaczmarek, a composer and lecturer in the Department of Music. The students presented their instruments May 4, 2016 at the CEID in the John Klingenstein '50 Design Lab.

Today, we feature the Midirimba, created by Max Farbman, sophomore History major who performs both with orchestras and as a solo marimbist. Here's Max's explanation of how he made the Midirimba:

"The instrument is a portable digital marimba that works as a MIDI controller. Each key of the instrument has a piezoelectric sensor that generates a voltage when hit. This voltage is detected by a Teensy arduino microprocessor that converts the voltage into a MIDI note message and sends this message to whatever music software you are using. The idea behind the instrument is to provide an incredibly portable instrument that has the feel of a standard marimba and can play standard marimba literature. It was also my goal to make the instrument very versatile. Because the instrument is effectively a MIDI controller, it can be mapped to whatever digital sample the players wants. Thus, it can sound just like a marimba if you are using a marimba sample or it can be used to trigger other samples."