Liz Clark over at Adafruit has a great DIY project. It’s compact. It’s beginner-friendly. It teaches you some simple embedded Python with Circuit Python. It’s… a skull.

The basic ingredients:

  • A badass 3D-printed skull enclosure (all nicely sized)
  • CircuitPython code that converts MIDI to voltage
  • Digital-to-analog converter (MCP4725 DAC, which has its own tutorial)
  • A cute little chip to handle the python – aptly named QT Py (“cutie pie!”) – aka the Raspberry Pi RP2040 – check their dedicated guide

If you want to start at the very beginning, see also their awesome MIDI for Makers guide, also by Liz.

This being Adafruit, there’s an immaculately organized project guide:

CircuitPython MIDI to CV Skull

Watch it in action:

I was going to write “pink” or “red” – seems a dark salmon. It’s colored awesome. Let’s say that.

In any event, what’s equally beautiful is all the parts are in stock, including that 12-bit DAC, which is something no one takes for granted in 2022. (Okay, the hookup wires is out of stock at the moment, but that’s literally the easiest thing here to locate.) I also love that cute little proto-board, which looks handy for Teensy and whatnot, too.

No affiliate links here – sort of the reverse, as I think I might have just sold myself on this, too. And yeah, Adafruit Industries team, you all continue to demonstrate how to do these guides of guides!

Images here (CC-BY-SA) Liz Clark.