Imaginary Marching Band


What's cooler than playing the clarinet? Playing the imaginary clarinet, of course. In all seriousness, check out this very cool project from SparkFun customer Scott Peterman.

Scott has created what he called "The Imaginary Marching Band." Using an Arduino board, an MPX4115A pressure sensors, and a host of other parts, the Imaginary Band lets its user wear specially outfitted gloves that mimic a variety of instruments.

The result is really cool. Scott does an excellent job of documenting the project on his website. If this project inspires you to get up and march around, maybe consider donating a little to his KickStarter project (Scott's looking to start touring - really!). Maybe he'll come to a town near you. Nice work!


Comments 14 comments

  • Very creative. I want to see him/them in concert at SFE.

  • I love it!

  • Hey thanks for all the comments everybody!
    Good news is the kickstarter closed just ahead of our goal! Yes, @Janus, it’s definitely golden for coolness/brassiness, we just thought it would look a little more special that way. Eventually we’ll be designing our own PCB boards but for now we thought the simple spray paint job looked pretty sweet. Panic at the Nexus will have to wait for the real musicians, who I'l; be starting rehearsal with in about a week, as it’s WAY above my clearly low skill as an actual musician ;) @G1, played around with the Musical Instrument Shield, love it and have used it in a couple of generative music projects but really wanted to make this as inexpensive as possible so kids/educators could easily reproduce it (my biggest passion, even more so than music, is getting these tools in the hands of middle and high schoolers since I sure wish someone had introduced me to all of this when I was a kid instead of when I was 30). I also was not too thrilled with the onboard MIDI samples, and wanted these tools to be able to be used with a variety of audio editing software (hence the use of the uno - it let’s us make the device a stand alone usb device without having to use software on the computer) as well as be adapted for controlling video or any other use that artists wanted to put them to. Finally, for the wire haters out there - don’t worry! A bluetooth version is on the way (hopefully with ipad garageband capabilities to come)… keep checking the site as we’re going completely open-source with this, so I’ll make sure to get every scrap of code and diagram we’ve ever made up there as soon as I get a sec between web design gigs.

  • awesome job scott. this is so exciting!!!!

  • Pretty innovative use of spatial sensors. As for the tour, I wouldn’t give up my day job just yet if I were you.

  • I was hoping to see a Music Instrument Shield but the marching is tethered by USB. Maybe next time.

  • A portrait of a man who has had the same haircut for 20 years…

  • It’s cool :), but i really don’t see how this would be a kickstarter project.. getting kinda commercial. but yeah, he’ll buy the parts from SF, so no blame to you guys :).

  • But can he make an arrangement for ‘Panic at the Nexus’?

  • why is his arduino golden..

    • It helps with the coolness quotient. Plus he’s simulating a brass instrument, so a little brass color goes a long way to connect the viewer’s eye to the ear. Nice touch.

  • Very…um…novel. Interesting project and it looks like fun, but I’ll be keeping my cash for more SF goodies, thank you.

  • Ok. That’s damn cool.


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