Artist creates a MIDI-controlled, portable organ

Although it may sound like a pipe organ from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Maker Matthew Steinke has packed all of those tunes into a 4”x13”x14” MIDI-controlled, portable device.


Instead of using pipes and a wind chest typically found in cathedral-esque organs, the toaster-sized device utilizes a combination of electromagnets and steel tines. Impressively, the Tine Organ is capable of producing 20 chromatic notes in full polyphony, starting at middle C, and can be attached to a standard keyboard or a synthesizer smartphone app.

“Each tine is coupled with an electromagnet that outputs PWM at its fundamental pitch. The pull and release of the tine by the magnet causes a sustaining effect. The soundboard under the bridge is mahogany and the body is made of bubinga,” Steinke explains.

An [Atmel based] Arduino unit housed inside the device receives the MIDI input that controls 20 polyphonic software oscillators, which is then sent though a trio of Darlington drivers to the magnets.

Listen to the Maker masterpiece for yourself below!

1 thought on “Artist creates a MIDI-controlled, portable organ

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

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