Blog How to Make a Pencil Drawing Piano with Multi-Control

How to Make a Pencil Drawing Piano with Multi-Control

Piano is an amazing instrument which makes wonderful music. With a Multi-Control board at hand, let’s make our own piano.

Any conductors can be used as keys for the piano. Here we make a pretty pencil drawing piano.

You can check the video here:


Prepare Materials

Multi-Control board

Mini USB cable

Some alligator clip cables

6B pencil or softer one

Eraser for 6B pencil





Step 1: Draw the Musical Notation with Pencil

Draw the musical stave and notation on a blank paper, drew stave with gel pen and seven notes with pencil, and mark them with C, D, E, F, G, A, and B separately.

Note: you must use a pencil or fountain pen to draw to ensure good conductivity lines, or it may fail to work.


You can add more notes if you like.


Step 2: Retrace the Drawing Lines

To ensure good conductivity, retrace the drawing lines especially the alligator clipping parts and the touching parts.



Step 3: Wiring

Connect the Multi-Control to Notes by clipping to the holes and the drawing notes one by one as follows:

Multi-Control Board                                Notes








Then extend the GND of Multi-Control with an alligator clip cable.


Step 4: Upload Code to the Multi-Control

Visit the WiKi page of Multi-Control, you can see the related resources.

Click HERE to download the library. Click Sketch -> Include Library -> Add .ZIP Library, then include the download library, including Joystick and MIDIUSB.

Then go to Github page and download the code.


Unzip the download package. Open multi-control-midi.ino. Then select the board type (Leonardo) and port, and upload the code.


Step 5: Adjust Touch Sensitivity

Open a MIDI software and complete the initial setting. Then hold the GND and touch a note, if a pressed key is shown on the MIDI, it means this note conducts. Since conductivity varies among different objects, which may affect the touch sensitivity, so set a proper value of touch sensitivity for the pencil drawing. The bigger MINTOUCH value set, the more sensitive it will be.



Step 6: Enjoy Your Hand-drawing Piano!

Now, you get a DIY touch piano! Time to play piano! Have fun!


 Also published on Instructables: