Midi to Guitar

I like composing music and I like acoustic sounds and I don't always feel like convincing friends to learn the music I composed.

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Inspired by a number of the Musical Instrument Challenge entries, I am building a few musical items that take in midi data and play real-world sounds corresponding to it. The first instrument I want to start with... is the electric guitar!

I'd prefer to stay minimal with v1 (and not spend $$$ on motors) so my idea is to have each of the 6 strings auto-pluck based on midi data, and have 2+ cheap guitars tuned differently to give a variety of notes. It will play almost more like a harp than guitars, but with the ability to send all that sound through some crunchy effect pedals to get just the right sound.

  • Better Pick, but still not quite

    Stephen Tranovich11/08/2018 at 23:21 0 comments

    I went to Noisebridge and spend too long modelling and trying to 3D print the pick shape I wanted before realizing none of the printers here had the resolution for the small part I needed.

    I then went to the laser cutter, cut out a few circles, and sanded the edges to get the rough shape I was looking for. 

    The same problems remained, which make sense because the sloping part of the pick only take effect on the last few mm of the pick itself.

    I then tried cutting circles in some thing acryllic to see if the pick would bend to create a strumming-like effect. The acryllic was still to stiff to help.

    The problem is much more prevalent on the back swing, because it's not actually the strength of the solenoid but the strength of the spring that is pushing it back.

    Next tests will include: Trying a flimsier material for the picks, trying a fully circular pick, and trying a stronger return spring. The issues with finding a return spring with the right chance is the only store I've found with the specs I need is, and they have a $40 min order. I'd rather not drop that much money on a few test springs.

  • Good Pick Bad Pick

    Stephen Tranovich11/08/2018 at 23:14 0 comments

    The solenoids are working based off of hardly edited "blinky" code and basic circuitry. These solenoids seem to be enough to pluck strings which is great because I can get them extra cheap off alibaba, but they need just the right amount of spacing between the string and the edge of the pick or else it will get stuck.

    I realized that when you strum a guitar the pick goes back and forth at an angle, rather than head on like I have it. I am wondering if I have a pick with some rounded edges that will help push the string under the pick and reduce the chances of it getting stuck.

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