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making piano rolls laser burner from midi files #2739457
05/25/18 03:25 PM
05/25/18 03:25 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 2
J
jchaplain Offline OP
Junior Member
jchaplain  Offline OP
Junior Member
J

Joined: May 2018
Posts: 2
Hi All,
This is my first post to this community so first off I want to say hi.
I was lucky enough to acquire ( for almost free) a 70's era Aeolin player piano in very good condition. It sounds great, I've tuned it up, and the player action works fairly well but I'm thinking that later this year I will do a pneumatics rebuild.
I'm a long time hobbyist, computer programmer, machinist, etc.. so I decided to put myself to the task of making my own piano rolls. The process is working out well. It goes something like this;

1) Find midi files with strictly piano, one or two tracks
2) Convert them to text tiles using this site - https://tonejs.github.io/MidiConvert/
3) Using visual basic I made a program that strips out the notes, start times, and end times and write them to a file.
4) Using another visual basic program I read this file and write out a program with x values, yvalues, and laser off/on commands.
5) I built a small machine using inexpensive stepper motors using an Arduino board with a CNC shield to drive the mechanism.

Results - ok so far. I found a need a more powerful laser so I'm going from .5 watts to 3.5 watts. The choice of getting 11.25 wide suitable paper has been stumping me. I ordered a 12" wide roll of white butcher paper and I have high hopes that this will work. I widened my machine to accept 12" paper and I will simply cut it down .75 inches after printing. Will use a razor and straightedge ruler ( will make a benchtop fixture to make this quick and easy.)

I'm going to try to attach pictures of the laser burning machine.( In my initial build the holes were going off track in the x direction but I think my new improvements to this machine should solve that.)

So, if anyone would like to talk about this, the good, bad , or ugly of it, if it has been done before, or learn more about what I am doing, please drop me a message!
John Chaplain
North Port, FL

Re: making piano rolls laser burner from midi files [Re: jchaplain] #2739466
05/25/18 03:43 PM
05/25/18 03:43 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 2
J
jchaplain Offline OP
Junior Member
jchaplain  Offline OP
Junior Member
J

Joined: May 2018
Posts: 2

This is what I'm working with. Waiting for the new more powerful laser to arrive from ebay. Also waiting for the new paper to arrive so I can add a feed roller for the proper paper inside diameter.


[img]https://www.flickr.com/photos/157353992@N05/[/img]

Last edited by jchaplain; 05/25/18 03:47 PM.
Re: making piano rolls laser burner from midi files [Re: jchaplain] #2744583
06/14/18 10:34 PM
06/14/18 10:34 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 69
S
sfhombre Offline
Full Member
sfhombre  Offline
Full Member
S

Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 69
I think this is a very interesting project. It reminds me of the collaboration between the famous American actress Hedy Lamarr and her composer husband George Antheil. Together they came up with an invention -- roughly based on the design of a piano roll -- which "scrambles" a radio signal between a ship and a torpedo that guided the torpedo to its target.

Best wishes for your success!

Re: making piano rolls laser burner from midi files [Re: sfhombre] #2744737
06/15/18 05:17 PM
06/15/18 05:17 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 26,803
Oakland
B
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
BDB  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 26,803
Oakland
Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil were just friends and collaborators. Antheil was married to someone else.


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