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Motor Music: Play MIDI Files using Phidget Stepper Motors

How to Play MIDI Files using Phidget Stepper Motors

by Kat


If you've ever played with motors, you've probably noticed their musical hum as they turn at different speeds, but have you ever thought of putting your motors to use as a musical instrument? While this project probably won't be something that'll make you go out and buy motors and controllers, it's a great project to take on if you have some extra material lying around.



  1. If you haven't already done so, follow the instructions to install the Phidgets drivers and libraries (direct download link) on your computer. You can get a quick tutorial on using Phidgets in Visual Basic on the Phidgets wiki, but it's not necessary to cover this beforehand.
  2. Connect stepper motors to the computer with the stepper controllers. Connect each controller to a12VDC 5.0A power supply, like the one that comes with the controller.
  3. Download the StepperMidi program files. Open the project with Visual Basic and run it.
  4. Open a midi file by going to File in the Stepper Midi Player and clicking on Load. You can download a selection of midi tracks here, or use your own. Press Start and the motors will begin playing your song!