You can transform a toy keyboard into a highly customized MIDI controller, perfect for laying down synthwave pads on your favorite hardware or software synthesizer.

All it takes is an Adafruit Kee Boar KB2040 running CircuitPython, a Meowsic cat piano, and the desire to be awesome. Plus some soldering and a bit of paint.

Parts

Angled shot of short black microcontroller.
A wild Kee Boar appears! It’s a shiny KB2040! An Arduino Pro Micro-shaped board for Keebs with RP2040. (#keeblife 4 evah) A lot of folks like using Adafruit...
$8.95
In Stock
Angled shot of black accelerometer breakout board.
The MSA311 is a super small and low-cost triple-axis accelerometer. It's inexpensive, but has just about every 'extra' you'd want in an...
$4.50
In Stock
Angled of of JST SH 4-Pin Cable.
This 4-wire cable is 50mm / 1.9" long and fitted with JST SH female 4-pin connectors on both ends. Compared with the chunkier JST PH these are 1mm pitch instead of 2mm, but...
$0.95
In Stock
Top view of three fanned out Adafruit Perma-Proto Half-sized Breadboard PCBs.
Customers have asked us to carry basic perf-board, but we never liked the look of most basic perf: its always crummy quality, with pads that flake off and no labeling. Then we thought...
$12.50
In Stock
Panel Mount 1/8 inch / 3.5mm TRS Audio Jack Connector
What is this TRS bit? Turtle Rock Studios? Transmission Raman...
$0.75
In Stock
Close up of audio plug
Here is a gorgeous metal-covered audio cable straight from Blade Runner/cyberpunk heaven. And we have them in a couple different colors! They're a step up from plain rubber/ABS...
$2.95
In Stock
USB C Round Panel Mount Extension Cable - 30 cm
If you need to add a panel-mount connection but don't have the time or ability to cut a custom oval or square hole, this USB C Round Panel Mount Extension...
$9.95
In Stock
USB Type A to Type C Cable - approx 1 meter / 3 ft long
As technology changes and adapts, so does Adafruit. This  USB Type A to Type C cable will help you with the transition to USB C, even if you're still...
$4.95
In Stock
10 wire Silicone Cover Stranded-Core Ribbon Cable
For those who are fans of our silicone-covered wires, but are always looking to up their wiring game. We now have Silicone Cover Ribbon cables! These may look...
$3.95
In Stock

Optional

You can get some spray primer, paint, and clear coat at your local hardware or art supply store if you want to paint the keyboard.

Synthesizer

You can use any hardware synth that accepts DIN-5 MIDI (using an adapter cable from TRS-A) or TRS MIDI (may require TRS-A to TRS-B cable or adapter). You can control software synths that can be a USB MIDI host, such as an iOS device or computer.

A great free synth to use on iOS is AudioKit Synth One.

This guide was first published on Mar 08, 2023. It was last updated on Apr 19, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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