Make Music with This Fruity Music Synthesizer!

Building the Bananiano

By Ryan Winters

Description: How to Build Your Own Banana Piano
Assembly Time: 1 hour
Skill Level: Beginner

What's a creative way to combine your love for electronics, music, and pop culture all in one DIY electronics project? Try building the Banana Piano, or as we like to call it, the Bananiano! It's an Arduino project inspired by the ever popular Minions™ movies and there's no soldering required.

There's nothing despicable about this project. In no time you'll be making music with fruit. You'll need an Arduino, a breadboard, some 1MΩ resistors, a small speaker, some jumper wires, and alligator test leads too. If you have a fondness for other fruit or veggies, keep in mind that you can use just about anything that is conductive so feel free to experiment.

We offer two different kits, one includes the Arduino, and the other does not. Sorry, you’ll need to bring your own fruit, it is not included in either kit.

The Kit (with Arduino) Includes:
(1) Arduino Uno
(1) Mini breadboard
(10) 1MΩ resistors
(1) Jumper wire pack
(1) Alligator clip lead pack
(1) Small speaker

The Kit (without Arduino) Includes:
(1) Mini breadboard
(10) 1MΩ resistors
(1) Jumper wire pack
(1) Alligator clip lead pack
(1) Small speaker

Alright, let's make it! Follow the video for the circuitry setup or use the schematic below.

Connecting Arduino to banana

Programming the Arduino

Make sure your Arduino is connected to your computer and that you have the right Arduino board and port selected from the Tools menu.

Programming the Arduino 1

Explore the resistance value of the banana using the serial monitor. Initialize the serial monitor in the setup, and print the reading from the first analog input.

Programming the Arduino 2

Read one analog port at a time because the serial monitor will report data quickly. The serial monitor should show values around 1023, and they will fluctuate a little. Observe how the resistance value changes when you complete the circuit. To complete the circuit, hold the loose ground wire and touch the banana attached to the analog port you read. The number should drop significantly. Change the analog port from A0 to A1...A5 and re-upload to see how the resistance changes for the other bananas or objects.

Programming the Arduino 3

Programming the Arduino 4

Upload or type in the code below to setup the speaker as an output. The loop contains an if statement for each analog input so when the resistance drops on a given input, the speaker will play a note. Only one note can be played at a time. The syntax for tone is tone (pin number, frequency, duration in milliseconds). The specs of your speaker will determine what notes it can play.

I chose to make the Arduino react when the resistance drops below 1000 so there would be less of a delay when hitting a key.

Programming the Arduino 5

That's all it takes to turn ordinary fruit into a music making machine. We had a great time building this and are dying to hear about your Banana Piano experience. Share with us at [email protected].

Minions is a trademark and copyright of Universal Studios. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLC. All rights reserved.

Ryan Winters is a Bay Area, California native. He is mostly self-taught and his hobbies include working on cars and computers, fiddling with electronic gadgets and experimenting with robotics.