all images copyright Tim Jacobs

Ever Wanted a MIDI Synth That Fits In Your Pocket? We Found One!

Have you ever looked at your synth and thought, “I wish this was absolutely tiny!” Well, someone out there did and his name is Tim Jacobs.
First, he created what he claims is the smallest MIDI synth ever. You can check out how he achieved that on his website, Mitxela. That was perhaps too small to be practical, so Jacobs set his sights on making an a mini-MIDI that fits in your pocket, but still plays a tune. So, he decided to see if he could cram a MIDI synth into a USB port. Apparently, he can!

All photos by Tim Jacobs,
All photos by Tim Jacobs,

Jacobs describes the tool as a Silly Synth. He’d be the first to tell you that the Silly Synth (or mini-MIDI) completely impractical as a real instrument: there’s no facilitators, oscillators and it only functions if you plug it into a USB port. Like many tech innovations, it exists because it was fun to make.
Ok, but here’s the real question: how do you fit a MIDI player into a USB port? It’s similar to building a ship in a bottle, if the bottle was the size of your thumb. First, Jacobs cleared out the original parts of the USB, leaving a metal shell and a plastic port to work with. Then he filed down all the parts of the MIDI, did a bit of fusing and behold! The mini-MIDI lives! He estimated that the whole project took around five hours. Jacobs did an excellent tutorial for this project that you can watch below.

If you were suitably impressed by the silly synth, you really should check out Mitxela, where Jacobs tracks his progress on projects ranging from making tiny synths to woodcutting. He’s done some incredible work; we particularly like his wireless sustain pedal, the precision clock and the bluetooth hip flask. Regular readers know we love DIY ingenuity and crazy who-thinks-of-that projects. Mixleta is full of Jacob’s impressive projects, brave attempts and seriously cool tech gadgets that will spark your imagination.

Post a Comment!