If you are a musician looking for some fun new projects to turn your iPad into an instrument, or maybe you’d like something to make your musical endeavors on the iPad easier, we have a list of some clever DIY creations that will put the wheels in motion for you to create your own musical iPad invention.
DIY iPad Hands-Free Case for Musicians– This handy iPad holder wraps around your neck so you can move about freely while playing a virtual instrument on your iPad. Imagine a cigar box holder from the 1920s or a steel drum strap for traveling street musicians. According to the creator, it will take about an hour. You’ll need straps that clip, a sheet of bent zinc iron, some duct tape, a basic hard plastic iPad cover that snaps onto the back of the tablet, some screws, brads, and tools to assemble, Once complete, you’ll be able to hold your iPad flat at waist level while you walk around. You’ll be able to play a virtual keyboard, strum a virtual harp, and tap out a virtual steel drum.
Steel Drum Conductive Mallets– Speaking of steel drums. Instructables has a great how-to guide for creating conductive drumsticks that you can use on your iPad. Using conductive material that can be purchased from your local fabric store, wrap up some cotton pads and tie them to a metal dowel. Cutting the metal dowel down to size is the hardest part of this project. The metal conducts your heat and sends it down to the material at the base, causing the display screen to read the cotton-filled mallets to act like fingers. Combine these drumsticks with the Hands-free case and you’ll be a street musician in no time.
DIY Guitar-to-iPad Adapter– Tim Cox at CultofMac figured out a way to make a homemade iRig-type adapter so that you can plug your guitar into your iPad or iPhone without having to pay $30 for it. All you need is a set of audio/video RCA cables (red, white and yellow) with a 1/8-inch jack on the other end, a stereo to headphone adapter (RCA to 1/4-inch), a stereo RCA to 1/8-inch female cable, and some headphones. Chances are, you already have these cords stuffed into a closet somewhere. Most television sets, stereos, speakers, video game systems, etc, come with these types of connectors. Even if you don’t you can pick them up at your local electronics shop for practically nothing. It may not be as clean as the iRig, but it sure does cost less.
DIY iPad Wireless Page Turner– If you use both hands to play your instrument, but still want to use your iPad for your sheet music, you should check out this clever automatic page turner. Using a cheap Logitech wireless keyboard, various switches and a metal enclosure, you can create a device that will turn your virtual sheet music with just the touch of a button. The box sits on the ground and you touch the direction you want to turn the page. The hand-made device will flip to the next sheet, every time you tap on it like a foot switch on a stomp box. For this project, you’ll need some confidence in your electronics know-how, but the instructions are clear and easy to follow.