Hacked Gadgets Forum

June 24, 2009

Super Mario played with Three Stepper Motors

at 4:45 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks, Funny Hacks


Playing music using steppers is lots of fun, we have seen lots of stepper motor music in the past but this Super Mario tune sounds very nice. 🙂

Via: Adafruit

"The sound you’re hearing is coming entirely from the motors. The motors are screwed into some pieces of aluminum from an old project to help them resonate. I’m taking requests for other songs to play. Currently, the information for the song is stored on the Arduino. Plans for implementing a realtime MIDI stream are underway. Eventually I’ll be able to plug in a keyboard and play the motors as though I were playing piano."


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9 Responses to “Super Mario played with Three Stepper Motors”

  1. Tanner Smith Says:

    How exactly does one get the motors to make such frequencies? I know probably turning them on and off at different speeds, but how do you link those speeds/stuff to the frequencies and thus creating music?

    Just something interesting I’ve always been wanting to try…

  2. Pouncer Says:

    Awesome! I love it! I’m gonna go listen to it again. 😀

  3. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi Tanner,

    The stepper motors are stepped which allow you to control the step frequency, the side effect is that it also makes an audible tone when it is turning.

  4. Mike Abraham Says:


    I’ll be posting a YouTube video with an explanation of how exactly I get such accurate music out of these motors. Check back in a week or so and it should be up. Glad you liked it!

  5. Muris Says:

    Here is another Super Mario theme player 🙂


  6. Chris Says:

    I never get sick of those songs lol

  7. Pouncer Says:

    What I find most impressive about this is not only were you able to build this but you obviously have an ear for music to be able to nail the song so well and make it polyphonic with the steppers. I don’t think I know a person who doesn’t like the mario music, but this is exceptionally pleasing to listen to, as it’s done so well. BTW: my 4 yr old son even likes watching the video.

  8. Mike Abraham Says:


    I’m nuts about music. I’m actually the student director of the Georgia Tech Symphony Orchestra, so yes, I’ve got a decent ear. 🙂

    I payed a lot of attention to making sure that I got the motors to turn at a speed that is as close as possible to the required frequency for each note. Any person (not just those with musical training) can easily detect a 5 cent error in frequency (there are 100 cents between adjacent notes). With the frequencies involved in the video, a 5 cent error corresponds to missing the correct step timing by only 6 microseconds.

    This particular arrangement is a composition I did several years ago for Clarinet, Saxophone and Trombone. We were quite a hit at the talent show.

    As I said before, I’ll be posting more music (Beethoven’s 5th) and a “How it all works” video by next week.

    Thanks again for the enthusiastic compliments!

  9. Yeags Says:

    Ha! I love it! Almost as good as a singing tesla coil.

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