Rock Out Without Getting Knocked Out

It’s a constant battle for musicians — how to practice your instrument without bothering those around you? Many of us live in apartments or shared accommodation, and having to wait until the apartment is empty or only being able to practice at certain times of day can be restrictive, especially if you need to practice for an upcoming gig or if the creative juices start flowing and it’s 3 AM! [Gavin] was having this issue and started developing Porter, a guitar/bass practice device which works with all effects pedals and is portable and rechargeable. So you can grind away your epic heavy metal solo no matter the time of day!

While there have been similar solutions, many musicians weren’t satisfied with the sound and often couldn’t support inputs from distortion pedals. They usually chewed through batteries and were just not a great solution to the problem. [Gavin] has spent the last two years fine-tuning the design. It’s a fully analog design, with built-in rechargeable batteries to boot. So it not only sounds great, but it can last as long as your practice session does with a 15-hour runtime when fully charged!

Initially, the project began as a headphone amplifier but morphed into a design specifically for guitar and bass, with preamp and power amp stages and adjustable input impedance – 500kΩ for guitars and 1MΩ for bass. The latest revision also changed to a different power amp that further reduced THD and led to an even better sound. The schematics are up on the Hackaday.io project page, but [Gavin] is also hoping to do a crowdfunding campaign to get these devices out into the hands of guitarists everywhere!

20 thoughts on “Rock Out Without Getting Knocked Out

  1. > you can grind away your epic heavy metal solo

    Only… 2000s were 20 years ago. Guitar music is for losers.

    Nowdays listening to Iron Maiden or KoRn is just as cringe as blasting Hastune Miku out of your VW Polo.

    1. I don’t denigrate the loops and samples on FLStudio, that’s the music you’re into. Leave the metal gods out of this, although I’ll give you Korn as cringe.

    2. Yeah, heaven forbid that music that is played by actual people is enjoyed, vs. machine-made mumble crap with enough Autotune to completely remove any humanity from it.

      1. Most kid’s music is just Disco.
        Sure it sucks, but it always sucked. (Still have the T-shirt. One of the oldest things I own.)
        70s too.
        Maximum cringe.

        I blame the drugs.
        Disco was cocaine.
        EDM is E, cocaine and a thousand different ‘test chems’. Still just Disco, but even worse, never ends, never changes (listeners aren’t putting down long term memory). House music plays in Hell.

        Best reason not to do street drugs these days? They might make you like EDM. (Puked in mouth a little.)

  2. I don’t have any briny opinions about what music people must play or what hardware they’re morally obliged to use. My question is about the premise that your neighbors / roommates won’t hear your guitar practice just because you’re not using an amp. It might not be loud enough to bother them, but is it quiet enough to not embarrass you?

  3. Homegrown solutions are a great avenue for musicians to explore if they want an style that cannot be copied easily. My math based toolset for audio and music composition is far more useful than any lifestyle-brand options available from Roland or Yamaha. Always hack where sound is concerned, the standard tools here are meant to be broken, misused and explored. By the book for audio is more career than hobby.

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