Could it be possible to combine Littlebits wit a normal musical instrument ?
Yes I think so….
To experiment with this idea I made a basic three string electrical guitar unit with the possibility to add different bits for different sound effects. The design of this unit is based on a dulcimer.
In this post I like to share with you how I have built this guitar unit and during this project I will post various experimental designs I have in mind.
First about the guitar unit:
This unit is made of a wooden plank (l x w x h 710 x 95 x 28 mm), with three popnails on one side and on the other side I glued a smaller piece of wood with three string tuners.
To guide the strings I used wooden blocks with a small metal wire on top. With these blocks I also created some space underneath the strings to mount the pickup elements for the electrical signal.
I took a few old 24V DC relays I had laying around apart and removed the coils to make these pickup elements.
Underneath each coil I mounted a very small neodymium magnet. Now the vibrating strings on top of the coil influence the magnetic field and generate an electrical signal in the coils. This signal can then be amplified and it can activate the bits to make different sound effects.
Episode 1: the amplifier.
To test the basic sound of this guitar unit I connected the following bits:
USB power – microphone - synth speaker.
The pickup coils were connected in series with the microphone bit.
In the video you can hear the amplified sound with the microphone bit switched in “normal” mode and in “other” mode, the last sound is fully distorted.
The strings were tuned to A, D low and D high. (just a random selection)…