The Micro:bit Accelerometer Theremin. Cool case, but no lights this time. (All Images: ME)
Continuing on the theme of the Accelerometer Tone Adjusting project, I want to use the idea of very little hardware in building another Theremin. You can see the Micro:bit Light Based Theremin project after this link. I also made an ADVANCED Light Theremin after this link.
The Theremin is a constantly adjusting tone based on some sort of analog input, in most cases. Instead of using light to adjust what the Theremin is doing, I figure I could use the onboard accelerometer. I liked the accelerometer option a little better than the light one. It’s a bit more dynamic, I suppose.
The software works as follows:
- Power it up, it will play tones.
- Move the Micro:bit around to hear the sounds change.
First, let’s gather all the necessary components you’ll need to build this project.
Laser cutter to cut the case
Video demonstration of the project:
Load the code onto the Micro:bit.
I am providing the hex file you need to drag and drop onto the Micro:bit, and the python code as two separate files. For the below process, just use the hex file.
Plug the MicroUSB cable into the Micro:bit, and plug the other end of the cable to a PC or MAC.
At this point, you are going to copy over the code to the Micro:bit. I am providing the program (code) in this post that needs to be copied over. When the Micro:bit plugs into a computer, it shows up as a USB flash drive. All you have to do is copy the file over to the Micro:bit, like it’s a USB Flash Drive, and the Micro:bit will reset, and the program is active.
You can remove the Micro:bit from the computer at this point. The program will start running, and without the rest of the circuit, it will not function.
A little bit about the code:
This is the whole program! I was surprised how clear and succinct the concept's code turned out.
I like this project a lot, since it doesn’t have a lot of steps and parts. Following is the only wiring you have to do.
Wire up the audio connector.
- Plug in powered speakers to the 3.5mm jack.
- Power it with a 5V microUSB cable from either a PC, outlet or battery. It will immediately start playing.
- Move the Micro:bit around to hear the sounds.
This is somewhat of a proof of concept project. It’s completely possible to make a Theremin this way. Now it’s time to take it to the next level.