A LEGO Drum Machine That Turns The Colored Bricks Into Beats
LEGO is capable of doing many, many things, least of all amusing a small child for an hour or so. Instead it’s used to craft all kinds of elaborate contraptions, you name it it’s been built in LEGO—probably. Mark Crosbie has used the construction toy to build his SoundMachine, a LEGO midi sequencer that turns the colored blocks into beats.
It was built using a LEGO Mindstorm kit, which contains software and hardware so you can build robotic devices. Crosbie used a standard blue LEGO plate to create four tracks of eight beats, he then scanned the LEGO bricks using a color sensor and the colors were converted into MIDI notes and then played via a laptop in Ableton Live.
Crosbie says: "I’ve built three SoundMachine units to work together to compose more complex musical pieces. I’m not much of a musician, so for now I play drum-machines and other “techno” instruments on my laptop controlled by data from SoundMachine." So there you go, start simple with a few LEGO blocks and before you know it you’ll be playing to sold out stadiums of adoring, screaming fans.