The guitar project

An exploration of possible ways to control effects while playing the guitar.

 

Inspiration

The fact that the first electric guitar models, Gibson Les Paul and Fender Stratocaster, are still the most popular ones proves the genius of their inventors. They remained mostly unchanged since the 1950's. But that doesn't stop one from experimenting...  

 

This first prototype uses an accelerometer, a proximity sensor and a thumb-stick to control a delay effect. An Arduino Micro takes the values from the inputs and drives digital potentiometers based on the delay. 

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Delay and distortion/overdrive were always my most essential effects and I often find myself on my knees fiddling with the knobs while playing. 

I have replaced the analog potentiometers with digital ones, which allowed me to tie their control to the sensors. 

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This first prototype will need many iterations and fixing before it’s ready for some Rock’n’Roll, but I have learned a lot from it already.

Not all the features are very practical. The design should eventually be simplified for easier use and longer battery life.

The delay effect isn’t very suitable this application. I will try other modulation effects next. 

Future Vision

A ‘modular guitar’ could be the future of this project. The guitar would have a built-in circuit ready for effects and sensors to be swapped. A digital effect processor could also be used instead of analogue effects.