[LAA] MIDI programmed music box

Henning Thielemann lemming at henning-thielemann.de
Sat May 30 20:16:06 UTC 2015

At the Linux Audio Conference 2014 in Karlsruhe [1] there was an excursion 
to the museum of mechanical music instruments in Bruchsal. [2] In the 
museum they sold music boxes as a souvenir that can be programmed by punch 
tapes. [3] I wrote a simple Haskell program that converts a MIDI file to 
the punch tape. [4] As an example I arranged a song of a colleague for the 
music box. [5,6,7]

Unfortunately, the music box is restricted to whole tones (i.e. no "black 
keys") and it cannot play the same note again in a short time interval. My 
prefered solution would be to print the graphics on an empty punch tape, 
but I could not obtain an empty one. They are only sold with a printed 
grid. Furthermore the original punch tapes are not made of paper but of 
plastic. I do not know whether you can print on it using a plain laser or 
ink jet. I might try thick paper instead but I suspect that it will wear 
out quickly. However I already know that my laser printer cannot handle 
the length of the original stripes. Thus I printed the graphics with 
original width but shrunken length to regular paper and transfered the 
dots from there to the punch tape manually.

[1] http://lac.linuxaudio.org/2014/
[2] http://www.dmm-bruchsal.de/
[3] http://www.amazon.de/Spieluhr/dp/B001WNZOVO/
[4] https://hackage.haskell.org/package/midi-music-box
[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjnM-aRoYic
[6] http://www.amazon.de/Schlafaepfel/dp/B003IDM06I/
[7] http://hub.darcs.net/thielema/livesequencer-example/browse/Herbst.hs

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