I previously created a sound installation using contact mics and computer (ableton+max msp) where sound would be triggered when people touched/tapped on the object/surface. Now I want to do something similar but want to get rid of the computer as it will be at a night club space where people will be walking around so I don't want to leave the computer there. What I exactly want to do is to be able to load some sounds into arduino and again use contact mic on the object and when people touch it, the sound will be triggered. I know it won't be as creative as doing it with ableton where there is live-editing possibility but I'm happy with one type of sound in this one. I can probably find some codes here and there but I'm not sure what I exactly need to use to be able to do this. I have few uno boards and lots of other bits that I've collected but haven't used before, so I would be very happy if you could help me as a novice.

Thank you

2 Answers 2


I'm using piezzos too, for making art installations, and I used max-msp too, but I don't like it too much. It's a whole new world change from the computer to the Arduino. Because it's not only the code, you must deal with electronic components I'm quite a novice too and I don't know how much you know about music and electronic components so maybe I say things wrong or that you already know, but I will say:

  • AC Adapter

I will use an AC Adapter better than batteries, because the batteries will run out in a couple of hours and in a night club almost for sure you will have access to some power extension. Arduino usually works with 9v 1A, but it'll go for 2A.

  • Music Shield

And you need a music shield, you can buy a cheap one, but I recommend the Adafruit ones, because they come with a lot of more information, and more people are working with them, but they're usually more expensive. With the music shield you need a SD card. Arduino don't have enough memory so you need a music shield with a SD card to storage the sounds.

  • Speakers and amps

and finally the speakers, it depends in what kind of speakers are you using, if you're using a big ones like some Yamaha MSP you will need and amplifier, but if you're using little ones like 8ohm 0.25W with the music shield will be enough

  • some kind of box

you will need to put the Arduino in some kind of box, and I will secure it in the wall and not in the ground


If you're asking what kind of sensor you'll need, look for capacitive sensors or there's even this instructable that could be implemented with a conductive material (see link below).

You can definitely do this project without a computer, you just need to figure out the following things:

1) Power consumption - How much current will your Arduino, speaker, sensors, etc use? Calculate your "mAh" from this and determine what kind of battery (my recommendation) will fit your needs.

2) Housing for the arduino+circuitry. If you're doing this in a nightclub you want this to be waterproof/somewhat durable.

3) SD card shield/adapter to store the sounds you want.

I have lots of experience as a hobbyist so please do not hesitate to ask for more questions. Good luck!!

Link to instructable: https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Touch-Sensor/

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.