Guitar foot controller uses DSP for audio effects

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This a screenshot taken from [Pierre's] demonstration of an electric guitar effects pedal combined with DSP and Pure Data. He pulls this off by connecting the guitar directly to the computer, then feeds the computer’s audio output to the guitar amp.

The foot controls include a pedal and eight buttons, all monitored by an Arduino. Pure Data, a visual programming language, interprets the input coming from the Arduino over USB and alters the incoming audio using digital signal processing. [Pierre] manages the audio connection using the JACK Audio Connection Kit software package.

In the video after the break he’s using a laptop for most of the work, but he has also managed to pull this off with a Raspberry Pi. There’s no audio input on the RPi board, but he’s been using a USB sound card anyway. The other USB port connects the Arduino and he’s in business.

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Fabbing a guitar tremolo stompbox

There’s a lot of builders around whose first foray in electron manipulation was building effects pedals for guitars. It looks like [Dino] might be getting back to his roots with his tremolo effects box how-to.

Last week, [Dino] found an old 5-watt tube amp in someone’s trash and decided to bring it back to a functional state. With his new trem effect, it looks like [Dino] might be getting the band back together.

Apart from tiny boost circuits, a tremolo is generally the simplest effect pedal you can make. All you’ll need to do is vary the amplitude of the guitar’s signal at regular intervals. After that, it’s only a matter of pretending you’re playing through a rotating Leslie speaker.

To get his trem working, [Dino] set up a 555 circuit to flash a LED at regular intervals. This LED is encased in heat-shrink tubing along with a photocell. This setup controls an LM386 amplifier. The build is really simple, but from the video after the break we can tell it sounds great.

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Feel like we do with a bass guitar talk box

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Hacker [Dino Segovis] wrote in to share the latest hack from his HackAWeek series, and this time around he has constructed a talk box for his bass guitar. Providing you are old enough, you probably remember when the talk box made its way into mainstream music, on the “Frampton Comes Alive” album.

The concept of a talk box is pretty simple. A small speaker is built into a sealed enclosure, which carries the sound from the musician’s guitar to his mouth via a plastic tube. The tube is placed in the musician’s mouth, near the microphone. When his mouth is moved, the sound from the guitar is modified and reflected into the microphone.

[Dino] built a similar system using his bass guitar and an amplifier hacked together from an old tape deck. He initially ran into problems with the sound not making it all the way up the tube due to the bass’ low frequency. He had an ‘Aha!’ moment and mounted the speaker on the mic rather than down on the floor, which seems to have fixed the issue.

Be sure to check out the video below to see his talk box in action.

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