Most electronic musical instruments use knobs, buttons, pads or piano keys for input. For their senior design project at the University of Pennsylvania, Digital Media Design students Dave Sharples and David Glanzman set out to make a new instrument that was physical and expressive. The result is Joytone, a synthesizer that uses joysticks. Lots of them.
The Joytone is powered by a Raspberry Pi and a Cypress Programmable System-on-a-Chip (PSoC). It has 57 notes, each represented by a small joystick. A touch-sensitive strip on one side of its surface is used for pitch-bending.