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This 8-Bit Life | December 22, 2014

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Beautiful Music - This 8-Bit Life

Leland Flynn

I see a lot of really amazing things every day. I live in a world filled with 3-Dimensional printers, robots, homemade electric vehicles and perhaps most important, the people who make these things. My wonderment at the next neat gadget or gizmo is never dulled by what might well be sensory overload to some. But, every once in a while I see something that is absolutely stunning and elegant.

Enter the Rainboard.

Built by the awesome Canadians at Shiverware, the Rainboard is a musical instrument called an Isomorphic keyboad. More on what that means here. Isomorphic keyboards are certainly nothing new but, I have never seen one quite so beautiful before. The instrument consists of 61 arcade buttons lit by RGB LEDs and a touch sensitive potentiometer that acts as a pitch control. Each button represents a note but this note will always maintain its shape regardless of octave, key, or tuning. These 61 buttons are made useful by way of an Arduino Uno, a 64 button shield for the Arduino, tons of ribbon cable, and a serial breakout to an iPad running the company’s Isomorphic keyboard software that also allows for MIDI input called Musix.

Even better than the pretty pictures and videos that they have put out though is the build log they have written on their website. I would highly recommend checking it out as it is painstakingly detailed and a very interesting read. Be sure to leave a comment below to let me know what you think about this instrument and/or share some interesting homebrew instruments you’ve come across.

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