Accelerometer gives guitarists a hot hand

Sept. 14, 2006
Until now, musicians playing electric guitar relied on foot-operated pedals to control filters and other special audio effects.

But pedals are limited in speed and range, and they restrict how much a musician can move on stage. Engineers at Source Audio LLC, Woburn, Mass. (sourceaudio.net), have come up with an alternative, Hot Hand, that uses a dual-axis accelerometer from Analog Devices (analog.com). The device frees guitar players and gives them more flexibility in shaping the sounds coming out of their guitars. It also lets them add some showmanship to their performances.

The micromachined 5-g accelerometer is small enough to be worn as a ring, usually on the guitar player's strumming hand. It detects accelerations in two planes, sensing motion and tilt of the guitar player's hand. Signals from the ring are converted from analog to digital and fed into a 56-bit audio processor with a 100-dB dynamic range.

They are sent through a low-pass filter to eliminate unwanted frequencies due to jitter in the guitarist's hand and other sources. The guitarist can also adjust the filter's cutoff frequency to match a playing style or to get a particular sound. The motion knob on the Hot Hand control unit changes the filter's cutoff from 2 to 20 Hz. In the first-generation Hot Hand, the signals control various resonant filters and let the musician dynamically sweep these filters, creating what is known as wahwah effects. The device can be easily calibrated and runs for up to 20 hr on four AA batteries.

Sponsored Recommendations

A closer look at modern design considerations for food and beverage

April 9, 2024
With new and changing safety and hygiene regulations at top of mind, its easy to understand how other crucial aspects of machine design can get pushed aside. Our whitepaper explores...

Condition Monitoring for Energy and Utilities Assets

April 9, 2024
Condition monitoring is an essential element of asset management in the energy and utilities industry. The American oil and gas, water and wastewater, and electrical grid sectors...

Strategizing for sustainable success in material handling and packaging

April 9, 2024
Download our visual factory brochure to explore how, together, we can fully optimize your industrial operations for ongoing success in material handling and packaging. As your...

Fueling the Future of Commercial EV Charging Infrastructure

April 9, 2024
Miguel Gudino, an Associate Application Engineer at RS, addresses various EV charging challenges and opportunities, ranging from charging station design strategies to the advanced...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!