Arduino theremin like musical instrument

When I got my Arduino protoshield from sparkfun, I wanted to make something cool with it. And since I had seen a few Theremin projects before, and already thought about making some, I finally made one, using the Parallax PING sonar sensor. Here are some informations about how I made it. You can see all the pictures here

Arduino Theremin

First, the schematics:

Here’s the commented code for the Arduino:

int pingPin = 7;
int buzzPin = 10;
int btnPin = 1;
int val;
void setup()
pinMode(buzzPin, OUTPUT);  //set speaker pin to output
pinMode(btnPin, INPUT);    //set pushbutton pin to input
int getPing()
//send a 10us pulse to wake up the sonar
pinMode(pingPin, OUTPUT);
digitalWrite(pingPin, HIGH);
digitalWrite(pingPin, LOW);
//get the raw value from the sonar, corresponding to the
//actual time of travel of the ultrasound waves
pinMode(pingPin, INPUT);
return pulseIn(pingPin, HIGH);  //return this value
void loop()
if (digitalRead(btnPin) == HIGH)  //only play when the button is pressed
val = getPing() / 5;  //you can tune the pitch by dividing by a different number
//generate the pulse
digitalWrite(buzzPin, HIGH);
digitalWrite(buzzPin, LOW);

Arduino Theremin Schematic

And that’s about it! Now you should start to learn how to play it… Kinda hard at the beginning, but that’s where the fun begins!

Major Components in Project



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