Blog - Sketching with Hardware

Team 2 | MidiMassOrgel

Published on: | Author: Manuel Hartmann | Categories: 2017a, Best Projects, Projects

Sketching with Hardware exclaims:

It’s time for madness – MIDI Madness!

So our answer is the MidiMassOrgel (MMO).

  • MIDI – Musical Instrument Digital Interface
  • Mass – In our case not really a Maß but at least a beer crate is used.
  • Orgel – An instrument that produce sound by channeling wind through pipes.

All this components combined create an instrument with monumental sound*!

(*That it could have, if the double action hand air pump would not be so noisy ;))

We built this beauty in roundabout a week full of blood, sweat and tears. With some throwbacks, the final version consists of seven pipes, whereas we initially planed it with 12 … However, space and air pressure problems made cutbacks inevitable. Such a shame … SAD!


Things we tried using for establishing constant air supply:

1st: Compressor – way too loud, unfortunately you could not hear the beautiful sound our tuned bottles make.

2nd: An air mattress with the crate on top of it, pushing out air – we had difficulties channeling the air such a long way through thin tubes.

3rd: A trash bag – bad idea, it just didn’t not work.

4th: Some sort of device to blow dry your bbq set – whatever the name is. Nice thing, works with batteries, not too loud but unfortunately also very weak.

5th: Finally, our tool of choice. An air pump, unfortunately not to use without physical effort and also quite loud, but for now the best option we had …

After all, we tackled and solved all the challenges like the air distribution and the pipe flaps to get the MidiMassOrgel up and running. Every traditional Bavarian will be ecstatic because of our neat design with the skyline of Munich and an alpine panorama. On top, we tuned the bottles with different water levels in order to play a full scale, starting with Mi … Fa, So, La, Ti and so on. Basically you could play every song you like (excluding half-tones so far) 🙂

You can read all the details on “how to build your own MMO” in MidiMassOrgel | The Missing Manual and check out the source code on GitHub.

Enjoy our gallery of making and creating this wonderful piece of midi mess, uhm … art!


linked categories 2017a, Best Projects, Projects


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