Posts with «fret» label

Unique Musical Instrument Defies Description

Since the first of our ancestors discovered that banging a stick on a hollow log makes a jolly sound, we hominids have been finding new and unusual ways to make music. We haven’t come close to tapping out the potential for novel instruments, but then again it’s not every day that we come across a unique instrument and a new sound, as is the case with this string-plucking robot harp.

Named “Greg’s Harp” after builder [Frank Piesik]’s friend [Gregor], this three-stringed instrument almost defies classification. It’s sort of like a harp, but different, and sort of like an electric guitar, but not quite. Each steel string has three different ways to be played: what [Frank] calls “KickUps”, which are solenoids that strike the strings; an “eBow” coil stimulator; and a small motor with plastic plectra that pluck the strings. Each creates a unique sound at the fundamental frequency of the string, while servo-controlled hoops around each string serve as a robotic fretboard to change the notes. Sound is picked up by piezo transducers, and everything is controlled by a pair of Nanos and a Teensy, which takes care of MIDI duties.

Check out the video below and see if you find the sound both familiar and completely new. We’ve been featuring unique instruments builds forever, from not-quite-violins to self-playing kalimbas to the Theremincello, but we still find this one enchanting.

Hack a Day 11 Apr 21:00
arduino  fret  guitar  harp  midi  musical hacks  nano  plectrum  pluck  servo  solenoid  string  teensy  

Insert Coin: Tabber lights up your fretboard, shows you the way to rock

In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you'd like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with "Insert Coin" as the subject line.
The idea of a lighted fretboard isn't a new one by any stretch (how do you think the Fretlight got its compound name?), but there's something to be said for not having to buy a brand new guitar for that functionality. The folks behind Tabber are working to make that a reality, having tested a number of prototypes for a product that you can simply slip over the neck of your axe for a quick tutorial. The company is looking to create a slicker version of the concept that it can bring to the market. Tabber's creators need your help to "transform the guitar industry," so naturally they've taken to Kickstarter, with a little under a month to hit their $45,000 goal. The Arduino-powered LED guitar instructor will connect to a mobile device via Bluetooth, accessing information to let you play along with songs, figure out chords and bend your fingers around some scales. Click the source link to send some cash Tabber's way, or to find out a bit more about the project.

Update: As a number of commenters have pointed out, there's a similar project currently awaiting your donations on Kickstarter. Great minds, huh?

Continue reading Insert Coin: Tabber lights up your fretboard, shows you the way to rock

Insert Coin: Tabber lights up your fretboard, shows you the way to rock originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 22 Mar 2012 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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