Acoustic & Electronic Instruments, Musicians, News, Tutorials, Videos & Interesting Finds
Acoustic & Electronic Instruments, Musicians, News, Tutorials, Videos & Interesting Finds

Bricktunes: synth glove meets LEGO and plays colours

Anyone who likes building cool new electronic toys, particularly if they’re related to synths and music, should head over to adafruit and check out Bricktunes, a synth glove which can “read” the colours of various LEGO pieces and create sounds/tones based on that.

The brainchild of John Park, the beauty of this project is that it’s laid out so that anyone (with a certain level of competence and perseverance in sourcing parts, soldering, constructing, and various other things required to build kit from scratch) can create one for themselves.

It might seem more of a proof of concept kind of thing than anything immediately practical in a performance or even studio setting, but it could also be a springboard to other projects. If nothing else, it’s fun, educational, and improves many areas of skill and knowledge in both the building and experimenting.

Bricktunes uses an eight channel colour sensor to distinguish between bricks, and plays synthesised chime arpeggios with synthio using CircuitPython running on a Feather Prop-Maker RP2040.

During development, the number of easily and reliably distinguishable colour of LEGO bricks was determined, whittling down from 64 to 25, and then 12 which not only register quickly with the device but are of course the distinct notes in an equal temperament Western chromatic scale.

It’s all rather beyond my level of understanding, I’ll be honest, so the best thing to do would be to head over to the project page and see for yourself.