[Charles] wanted to put some LEDs in his guitar. He also wanted individual notes to output certain colors, but he couldn’t find any projects with tone-based algorithms to convert sound into colors. After about a year of work, his ColorChord guitar was born.
Unlike every other color organ build we’ve seen, the color of a note does not relate to the absolute pitch of the note. Instead, the colors are mapped within a musical key. A I chord will always be Yellow, a IV chord will always be purple, and a V chord will always be blue. Playing in the key of C will have the LEDs output yellow, purple, and blue for a C, F and G chord, respectively.
Right now, the processing the guitar’s audio output is handled by a PC. [Charles] says that latency is a big issue, so we’re guessing that’s the reason he hasn’t moved over to an embedded solution yet. He hasn’t quite figured out how to automatically determine the key of a song, but he’s working on that.
[Charles]’ build reminds us of the Rickenbacker Lightshow from the early 70s. It feels wrong to compare a Rickenbacker to a lucite Strat copy, but we’re going to say the ColorChord is superior to the hand-painted automotive tail light bulbs of the Rickenbacker.
Check out the hott lixx that are just way up high on the tiny strings and you mash your fingers on ’em below: