DIY Paper Disc Music Boxes

This site is awesome for DIY strip music boxes, but does anyone know of an equivalent resource for creating custom 7" diameter paper discs for Sankyo or Mr. Christmas music box players?
posted by captaingoodnight1984 on June 19, 2018, 9:27 p.m.


New user here. A couple of features I would like to see that would make this tool much more useful for me:
1. Expanded View - Can the view be "shrunk" in order to see the entire 30 note field? Having to continually scroll the view is a bit of a drag and compressing the view by about 50% would eliminate this in both directions. The note "boxes" would still be large enough (on all but the lowest resolution displays) to be accurately clicked.
2. Step Playback - It would be VERY helpful to be able to analyze melodies and harmonies by stepping through the sequence one step at a time, say each press of the spacebar advances to the next chord.
3. Designated Start Position - Being able to designate where the playback starts would also be helpful from an editing standpoint, particularly on longer sequences. Having to always start at the beginning is very time consuming when editing in the middle or toward the end of the sequence. <Edit> I found the option to start at a specific position, but it only continues from there to the end of the sequence. I have a sequence with a "pick-up" measure that repeats at the end of the last measure. I'd like to start there, then return to the first full measure and then loop continuously. Once I finish the sequence and publish it, you'll see what I mean.
4."Roll" the Chord - Very helpful in editing would be the ability to stop on a chord and roll (or arpeggiate) the individual notes bottom-to-top and vice-versa.
5. Continuous Voices - If a step-time mode is implemented, I'd like to be able to choose a continuous voice, like an organ tone, in order to further analyze the harmony structure. This is not possible with a "plucked" tone that decays quickly.
6. More Time Signatures - I do a lot of "swing-time" entry and composing. For this I usually am in the time signature 12/8. It would be helpful to see the "measure" divided (and numbered) into 12 segments instead of 8.
7. Micro Positioning - Just thought of this one: Right now the "resolution" of placing a note in this composing tool is + or - an eighth note (at 4/4). However, it is possible with careful positioning of the punch (when punching an actual strip) to effectively enter "grace" notes. The ability to do this would greatly expand the capability and versatility of the tool. Perhaps you could code it so that a right click on a particular note would bring up a menu in which you could (typically) "advance" the sounding of the note by a given percentage (of BPM?) to achieve this effect.
<And another>
8. Transposing - It would be EXTREMELY helpful to be able to transpose the pitch of the notes played back to agree with "real world" tuning standards. I.e., on my 30-note mechanism, "C" sounds as "F", and all other intervals are "offset" accordingly. This makes trying to use a standard keyboard to compose and transfer to this tool essentially impossible.
<Yet another>
9. Text/Notes - This would be the icing on the cake: I'd like to be able to add text (lyrics) or other performance notes on the sheet to help me keep my place in the composition process.
Thanks for considering these suggestions.
posted by RedDawgEsq on June 10, 2018, 4:26 p.m.

many wrong notes!

Hi guys, I'm having trouble with my first music box creation.. I've punched out the holes on my paper strip but when I play my melody through the music box it sounds all wrong, like it's in a minor key or something. I've double checked the notation and I can't see any errors.. the timing of the music is perfect but the melody is way off. Any ideas where I could be going wrong? Any help appreciated.
posted by tristandickenson on June 5, 2018, 12:41 a.m.

I feel pretty dumb right now but...

I've just registered a few moments ago and I can't seem to find where/how to export melody drafts to mp3? Is it even possible?? If not, then it would be a really nice feature...
posted by cocorico on June 9, 2018, 9:10 p.m.

I don't know how to read the 30 notes strip to punch holes

Hello, I recently bought a song that was made into a 30 note strip. I just bought the strips today but the notes are not lined up the same way as my online strip. My online strip runs top to bottom as: E D C B A# A G# G F# F E D# D C# C B A# ...etc. But the blank 30 note strip I bought is labeled with two rows top to bottom: D3 B2 A2 G2 F2 D2 C2 B1 A1 G1 etc and the second row being E3, C3, A#2...
I'm not sure how to punch holes from the first into the strip.
When there is a dot on the first G does that mean G2 on the 30 note strip? and when there is a dot on the first A is that A1 on the 30 note strip? thanks
posted by nadiasb on June 9, 2018, 1:03 a.m.

Reporting a Bug

Hi. I found a bug that occurs when I try and sort my melodies by popularity. It sorts by latest instead.
posted by Robobermann on June 3, 2018, 11:13 a.m.

Why there is not a 60 notes mechanism yet???

If there are 60 notes melodies, why there is not a mechanism that actually can play them? there is the technology ... I will love to help in the project, one important thing is to do metal gears instead of plastic ones :)
posted by EranduRodriguez on May 19, 2018, 9:26 p.m.

How to fix a broken gear??

Hello everyone, I have two 30 notes mechanisms with one broken gear near the crank, and I will love to know how to fix it, I've tried with epoxy plasteline, recreating a gear but it doesn´t work, take in consideration that by the moment, I don´t have money for doing a 3d printed recreation or a metal gear, please nothing expensive, I will be greatful if someone help me :)
posted by EranduRodriguez on May 19, 2018, 9:22 p.m.

This is is awesome, but some flaws.

Hello, this site is amazing. I don't have any experience composing stuff, but I've really enjoyed making little pieces on here. There are some things I've noticed that could be improved: 1. Music drafts cannot be played back, unless they are open. This causes a problem when playing a back a melody on a smartphone, because...

2. You could make it easier for people using smartphones to use this app. When you open a melody and try to play it, it comes out as a jumbled mess at least for me.

3. My drafts are not organized by date or size, or any other way it seems. I try to rename them but the names don't show up unless I open the melody. You could have an option to sort by date,size, etc.

Some suggestions:

1. Maybe people could comment on melodies they like.

2. There could be more options to create more loose rhythms( I don't know if this would be beneficial to everyone, but it would be nice for me at least.). I mean have the option to make the notes/holes just a bit to the left or to the right, like a real music box.

That was a lot. But anyway, thanks for making the site. It's very useful for me. And I can tell by how many melodies there are, many other people like it too.
posted by Kevincubed on May 16, 2018, 6 p.m.

Hello! Want to get a DIY, questions...

Hello everyone, I've recently become very interested in these DIY music boxes. There's someone on YouTube Daniel Mytnikov, his music box sounds amazing. It rings like a bell, I've seen other videos and was not really impressed, their music boxes just sound really tinny and weak. So is this a matter of finding the right resonance chamber? Or is it that the mechanism he uses itself is different?

Also, his music box is in tune, which is not the case for many of the Videos for Kikkerland music boxes. Does anyone know how he managed to keep it tune so well?

I think he is using a standard 30 note box from kikkerland or that you can buy, just not sure how it sounds so good.
posted by Kevincubed on May 16, 2018, 3:50 a.m.