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Interactive capacitive touch music table with embedded microcontrollers

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This paper presents the design and construction of an interactive display that lets users create and modify their own tunes through the use of capacitive touch sensors, multi-color light-emitting diodes, and multiple microcontrollers. This table, called an “interactive music table,” uses capacitive touch sensors on a twelve-by-sixteen matrix. Each of the twelve rows will represent one of twelve different sounds. The user will touch the sensor to activate or deactivate a sound. A “beat bar,” or “counter bar,” similar to the steel comb of a music box that is plucked by pins on a cylinder, will scan the table one column at a time to determine which lights are activated, thus “reading the score.” Using these data, the system determines which sounds to output to the speakers. The Arduino microcontroller as the “conductor” directs or “conducts” the two PJRC Teensy microcontrollers, or “Symphony,” each one controlling six of the twelve programmed sounds, based on the input “score” from the sensors. The Teensys are multi-channel devices, which allow multiple notes to be played simultaneously. The Teensys are connected to amplifier boards which output audio signals to the four built-in speakers.

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Correspondence to Bassam Shaer.

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Shaer, B., Ray, L., McBee, J. et al. Interactive capacitive touch music table with embedded microcontrollers. J Supercomput (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11227-020-03167-4

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  • Arduino
  • Mega
  • PJRC
  • Teensy
  • Capacitive touch
  • I2C
  • NeoPixel
  • Microcontroller
  • Multiplexer
  • Adafruit
  • Interactive music table
  • Embedded system