Monday, 16 April 2012

Guitar Update Number Three

Well, it finally exists in a form that can be played. Sort of. Here is my guitar, working, with the following caveats:
  • Powered by a USB cable, not a 9V battery (battery was a bit flat)
  • Jack socket is connected by crocodile leads (need to drill a hole)
  • Only two strings (couldn't be bothered to string up the whole thing)
  • Most sensors still missing but it should be pretty easy to add them
    • Currently have six knobs and an infra-red sensor
    • Missing various push buttons, rocker switches, light sensor and accelerometer
    • Missing the "virtual strings" and fret sensors, which will require many extra weeks of thought
I feel I need to take a break from this time-sapping project for a while. But, in the meantime, enjoy:

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The Home Straight?

I've been silent on here for a while. This doesn't mean that I haven't been busy; it simply means that the tasks with which I have busied myself have been dull in nature. Wiring, soldering, swearing, rewiring, resoldering and so forth. Now, though, I have made a breakthrough that I feel is worth sharing. The main circuit is now not only WORKING but also FITS INSIDE THE GUITAR. Previously, the LCD display was mounted on a sprawling prototype breadboard and hence was far too big to fit in the guitar. Now, after several frustrating evenings of circuit board design, assembly and repair, IT FITS.

The guitar now has the following features:
  • Power distributed to sensors via blocks of screw terminals with LED power indicators
  • Three working MIDI output ports
  • LCD screen with four-button menu system (up, down, enter, back)
  • Ability to add as many sensors as there is room for on the guitar without horrendous wiring issues
The next steps are as follows:
  • Wire in six knobs, two push buttons and a light sensor
  • Add 9V power socket and latching on/off push switch
  • Attach guitar pickups to smaller output jack and restring guitar
This will give me a fully functional version of the guitar with the ability to play guitar as normal and have a lot of control over the sound on the amp, as well as some basic control of my synth and sampler, via knobs, buttons and a light sensor. Just getting this far would be a massive success, given that I only took this up as a hobby a few months ago! But there is also a list of totally feasible upgrades that would come next:
  • Fret detection and strum detection (as seen in a previous video), with note data sent to a synthesiser
  • Miniature keyboard
  • Accelerometer
Okay, bedtime now. Just wanted to get my excitement out there into cyberspace. Videos coming soon.