Saturday, 4 February 2012

Strummable Resistors

Here's a quick preview of a feature that I'm rather excited about including on my guitar: strummable contacts. Many of the sensors that I am adding to the guitar are really just identical controls to those you would find on a synth or sampler, such as buttons and knobs, but I'm also really interested in any sensors that will exploit the playing style of a guitar.

My idea is to have six metal contacts, spaced to match the guitar's strings but located just below the bridge, and a metal plectrum that will complete a circuit whenever it comes into contact with one of the six "virtual strings". When twinned with a way of specifying chord shapes, this design allows for strumming or finger-picking via MIDI.

Below is a video showing a test of the design, using resistors as contacts and the end of a wire instead of a metal plectrum. Buttons are used to specify the chord shape; I hope to incorporate a more imaginative method in the final design.

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