YouTuber Turns a 1920s Typewriter Into a MIDI Drum Machine

It might have been a primitive keyboard once, but now, it's a dance machine.


YouTube user William Sun Petrus brought a 1920s Remington typewriter back to life as an unusual instrument using an Arduino. This vintage typewriter might have been a primitive keyboard once, but now, it's a dance machine.


While the idea is rather absurd, it most definitely makes for an easy-to-learn instrument. The engineering behind it is a tiny bit challenging than learning it, though. Petrus' contraption wires transfer, what would normally be transferred as a character onto a paper, signals to an Arduino Mega whenever a key is struck. 


The Arduino sends a corresponding signal linked with that key to the Ableton software package running on a PC.


Petrus wrote, "Ableton sees some MIDI information and understands that it needs to trigger that specific sound. This song is composed of 17 different sounds, played live for you, right here, right now."


Pretty cool, right? The beat is quite catchy too! Moreover, for the sceptics out there, the unedited version is available with keyboard sounds unmuted, which means you hear a lot of mechanical clacking noises. You can find the code for the build on GitHub


by Interesting Engineering

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