Making music with the MaKey MaKey Monome

In an attempt to create a complex musical instrument with inexpensive parts and a simple process, Maker JDeboi has developed one rockin’ device: the MaKey MaKey Monome!


The Makey Makey, as you likely know, is a printed circuit complete with an ATMega32u4 MCU that runs an Arduino Leonardo bootloader. The MaKey MaKey has been on the scene since Jay Silver successfully funded the project back in 2012, attaining nearly $570,000 in Kickstarter pledges. (For those interested, the original goal had only been $25,000.)

Now, JDeboi has utilized this platform to create a futuristic instrument that looks like it was transported back from the year 2114!

Using Makey Makey as its brains, JDeboi implemented a partnership of copper tape, NeoPixels, and cardboard to bring this monome to life. First using the NeoPixels and cardboard, she established an LED lattice that would serve as the base of the project. The Maker recommends using three different colored wires for GND, 5V, and data. “Check the label on each NeoPixel to make sure you’re always soldering the right wire to the right pad,” she advises.

Once the base was conceived, JDeboi began to affix her copper strips that would act as the touchscreen inputs. The MaKey MaKey kit translates those individual ‘touchscreens’ into sounds using Jenna’s Processing Sketch music software, which assigns a different note to each touch-square, thereby creating beautiful music with the added bonus of a light show. Once the circuits were linked, and the device was powered, she had the ability to make music with just the touch of a fingertip!

JDeboi also shares that due to the compatibility of her design, the MaKey MaKey platform can be swapped out for an Atmel based Arduino if other functionality was desired. For a full rundown on how our Maker created this dazzling design, feel free to head over to her Instructables post here.

2 thoughts on “Making music with the MaKey MaKey Monome

  1. Pingback: Coffee cups and Arduino unite to make this musical instrument | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

  2. Pingback: Rewind: 27 Maker musical masterpieces from 2014 | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

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