If you’re looking to start a band or pick up an instrument, but are bored by the prospects of the traditional guitar-bass-drums line-up, I have five words for you: Dude, plug in that eggplant. Or that piece of broccoli, a turkey baster or a coat wrack. In fact, any fruit, vegetable or household object will work — just plug it in.
Now you can, thanks to designer Yuro Suzuki. He’s created a circuit board called Ototo that’s actually a customizable synthesizer that can be attached to any conductive material to make music with your fingers or mouth. Touch any object that’s been connected by a clip to one of the synthesizer’s contact points and it makes notes.
Ototo includes a rotation control that functions as a variable know, allowing musicians to turn it to alter sounds. A light meter transforms sound based on how much light it receives and a slide control can be swiped for sweeping pitch changes. There’s even a breath sensor that adjusts the loudness of a note depending on how hard a person blows on the object.
The circuit board contains a built-in speaker, a stereo jack for headphones and a USB port for audio output. The DIY device is powered by batteries or a standard USB cord. Suzuki has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Ototo, and is looking to raise just over $82,000. Orders for the basic kit start at $75 and a kit with all additional sensors goes for $162. The the project gets funded, Suzuki expects to deliver Ototo in June.