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Auto-composing keyboard creates tunes tailored to your taste


We love listening to our favorite tunes, as they provide a soundtrack to our otherwise dull and silent blogging existence. But, sometimes the lyrical stylings of Jay-Z and glorious jams of Trey Anastasio simply don't meet our musical needs. We need something different, something never before heard by human ears, to get us through the news day. Enter Cornell students Charong Chen and Siyu Zhan, who have constructed an electric keyboard that one ups Yamaha's singing piano by creating and playing its own compositions. Users simply select between two mood modes -- happy or tender -- to determine the tune's tempo, then play a couple notes and the piano sets to sating sonic cravings. There's another mode that allows users to play a melody to "train" the keyboard, which then plays permutations of that melody in an automated jam session. In that training mode, users can play as long as they like to give the keyboard a better idea of what they're into, which allows the algorithm to better tailor its audial output. The hardware making the music happen is comprised of a microcontroller (MCU) with the composing algorithm on board, a numpad for choosing the operational mode, and a 23-key piano that communicates with the MCU through a trio of encoders. The results are impressive, if not quite concert-hall quality. Hear it for yourself in the video after the break.

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