Keytar

SPONSORED BY

Maker Camp Project Sponsor logo
Maker Camp Project Time Icon

1 Hour

TO COMPLETE

Maker Camp Makey Logo

WHAT WILL YOU MAKE?

This electronic instrument uses a winning combination of Synth modules starting with a keyboard, moving through 2 oscillators, the envelope, the filter, the delay, and ending up with the speaker! Plug in to exterior speakers to rock out super loud!
PRINT THESE INSTRUCTIONS
Maker Camp Project Materials Icon

WHAT WILL YOU NEED?

STEP 1

Power + Keyboard + Oscillator + Splitter + Envelope + Filter + Delay + Speaker, and an other Oscillator goes between Splitter and Filter.

STEP 2

Use a laser cutter to cut both the upper and lower levels of the keytar body out of ¼ inch-thick acrylic. The template file for the laser cutter can be found here. In the file, the littleBits logo should be etched with the laser cutter (this will prevent bubbles from forming when applying acrylic glue to the surfaces.

STEP 3

Glue up the five layers of littleBits letters. Make sure that the three upper layers have a big cut out of the ‘e’ and ‘B’ and the two lower layers have only a small cut out of the ‘e’.

STEP 4

Before you add the circuit to the keytar body, apply 3M VHB tape to the top of all the Bitsnaps (colored connectors) that are positioned after the splitter.With these same Bits, we used adhesive shoes to lock the modules together and stick them down to the lower body of the keytar. 3M VHB tape will also do the trick. Do not peel the film off the adhesive tape until you determine where exactly to place the modules on the lower body. You will also want to add VHB tape to the backside of the speaker.

STEP 5

Place all the Bits Modules into their corresponding holes. The modules before the splitter go on the neck of the Keytar and modules after splitter will go in between the two layers of the body. The two wires of the splitter pass down through the rectangular hole on the neck. You can disconnect and reconnect the JST connectors on the wires in order to do this.

STEP 6

Glue the letters to the upper part of the keytar body using acrylic glue.

STEP 7

Cut two 1” pieces of ¼” brass tube.

STEP 8

In our template file, the holes for the brass tube on the lower body are a little tighter than the corresponding holes on the upper body. Push the two brass tubes into the holes on the lower body – you may need to use a mallet.

STEP 9

Add a strap. Place the ends of the strap around the brass tubes on the lower body.

STEP 10

Now, peel off all the film from the modules with VHB tape and stick them down in their proper place.

STEP 11

Glue the upper half of the keytar body to the lower half. Put some acrylic glue on the letters and close the lower body quickly. The two brass pipes will help guide you when positioning the upper and lower bodies.

STEP 12

Clamp the whole Keytar body together until the glue dries completely.

STEP 13

Cut the 9/32”d brass tube to about 8” in length and bend it to look like a vibrato arm on an electronic guitar. Stick the tube onto the oscillator knob at the center of the body. Because the knob on the Oscillator Module is slightly smaller than 9/32”d, we made a small cut along the length at the end of the tube and squeezed it so that it fits tightly around the knob.

STEP 14

Print 6 plastic knobs with a 3d printer. Use glue dots to secure the 3d printed knobs to the black knobs on the modules.

STEP 15

Hit the power and rock on! For big sound, you can plug into exterior speakers!

WHAT'S NEXT?

This project can be made in a variety of ways! The instructions above are for a more complicated version. For an easier version that uses common household materials, see instructions from the Synth Kit Booklet (pp.30-31) or click here to buy the SYNTH KIT on the littleBits website.

littleBits

WHAT IS
LITTLEBITS?

littleBits is a platform of easy-to-use electronic building blocks that empower you to invent anything, from your own remote controlled car, to a smart home device. The Bits snap together with magnets, no soldering, no wiring, no programming needed.

BROWSE MORE MAKER CAMP PROJECTS FIND EVEN MORE PROJECTS AT Make:

Please Note

Your safety is your own responsibility, including proper use of equipment and safety gear, and determining whether you have adequate skill and experience. Power tools, electricity, and other resources used for these projects are dangerous, unless used properly and with adequate precautions, including safety gear and adult supervision. Some illustrative photos do not depict safety precautions or equipment, in order to show the project steps more clearly. Use of the instructions and suggestions found in Maker Camp is at your own risk. Maker Media, Inc., disclaims all responsibility for any resulting damage, injury, or expense.

Collaborate on making projects here at Maker Camp

COLLABORATE

Make friends with Campers from all around the world and swap ideas!

JOIN THE COMMUNITY
Share your ideas and what you build on social media

ALL DONE? SHARE IT!

Share pictures and videos of your cool build! Be sure to use #makercamp

POST YOUR PROJECTS

Getting Started with Wearables

Start Making!

Spinbot kit

Maker Camp Gear

Getting Started with Wearables

Can your clothes send you an email? They will with this kit!

BUY NOW
Start Making!

Six great projects guaranteed to spark your imagination and get you making.

BUY NOW
Spinbot kit

Spinbots are easy-to-make drawing robots that kids love to build, tweak, and enjoy.

BUY NOW
Maker Camp Hat

Keep your campers cool with an official 2016 Maker Camp hat!

BUY NOW