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The Freshest Instru-mint Whistle (FIW) is a proof of concept for a project I had in mind for a while as well as the opportunity to do something useful with the PIC32 Starter Kit I bought earlier. I did a blog post of my thoughts on the starter kit earlier found here


This project makes use of the touch screen found on the Nintendo DS to play some tones and light up corresponding LEDs on the bottom. The end result works fairly well. However, there are a few glitches where touching the screen lightly will trigger false notes.



In addition to the PIC32 Starter Kit and the touch screen, the FIW makes use of the Sparkfun Music Instrument Shield (yet again) to generate tones as well as a 4×4 LED matrix right underneath the screen. Now, this isn’t exactly a new concept since there are controllers out there that integrate a touch pad to change things like modulation and volume but I figured this would be a fun project to do anyway.

What a messy bunch of wires

What a messy bunch of wires



For the final version, I plan to use a much larger screen with capacitive sensing instead of resistive to support multitouch. I’m a little unsure whether or not to use LED matrices like this or use individual LEDs and multiplex them.

In the video I mention one of my biggest influences, Toshio Iwai. His work on musical interfaces really struck me as profound and it is partly responsible for my start in electronics. Most of my projects to date involve different ways of making music and I imagine I will be continuing on that theme for a while.

Note: As you may have already guessed, the Freshest Instru-mint Whistle is neither “fresh,” “minty” nor a whistle as its name implies. The name was derived from an episode of “Adventure Time” called “Five More Short Graybles” in which the theme is the five senses. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out the connection.