Drawing a MIDI controller with conductive ink

Maker Daniel Sanz has put together this funky MIDI controller that employs conductive ink and a few capacitive sensors to produce sounds. The DIY nature of this design makes the possibilities for musical creation endless!


Sanz is a member Music Technology Group (MTG) at University Pompeu Fabra of Barcelona and devised this project for his Interactive Music Systems Design Course.

The device allows Bare Conductive Electric Paint drawings to be used as MIDI input push buttons. An internal Arduino Uno (ATmega328) and two capacitive sensors enable the unit to determine whether each individual buttons is being pushed or not.

This model allows for custom templates to be created for the MIDI controller itself. This is ideal for children to experiment with, as it is also incredibly inexpensive compared to consumer level MIDI controllers.


Sanz breaks down his machine in his detailed Instructables post, “The push-buttons are connected with conductive ink to the case, where the Arduino and the sensors are.” He goes on, “The case has 20 small metallic sheets, where each of the buttons are connected. The capacitive sensor is managed by an [Atmel based] Arduino, and it charges and discharges every pin continuously to measure its capacity and check if there is a human body touching it.”

You can read more about the Maker’s ATmega328 based design over at Draw It Yourself’s official Instructables page.


1 thought on “Drawing a MIDI controller with conductive ink

  1. Pingback: Video: The world’s first interactive album cover lets you spin music | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

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