A broken string instrument into a sound generating electronic instrument

These days, I am more interested in building something  that I can contribute myself, put more of my taste into it. In other words, I love analog synths and some other devices that are already designed by someone. I buy and assemble them because they are worth, and they are ones that I don’t have enough time and knowledge to design myself. It’s a whole different world. But I can probably build something much simpler, yet it is more what I want to do with.

So I grabbed the arduino again after few years. First time when I picked up the arduino, I thought I had lack of understanding in general. I could follow the instructions but I didn’t have enough ideas what to do with it. Now after assembling and building few electronic devices, I kinda wanted to go back there and see if I could do something more interesting.

Then I also had this broken string instrument that I got from a second hand market for 2 euro. The string is simply metal wire, and I could imagine that the electronic current can flow into it, and make something, just something!

So, I tried to feed the voltage into it. The feeding tool is the Arduino. I used the 330k ohm resister in between and simply let the voltage flow. Then I put a piezo into a body of the instrument and it is not to detect the sound of the instrument body as in general use of it, but I connect the wire of the voltage into the piezo, and it more works like buzzer.

Most important element is the human body : this works only with the human body as the conductive object, like a switch, -or could work with any conductive material-. Any part of my body needs to be wired as well (one hand attached to the wire, and the other hand touching the instrument), otherwise there is no current flow between the body and the instrument.

I am very happy with the result. Now I am on the stage of feeding some various voltages into different strings to make some different sound pitches, and so far it works. I put a metal in between and connect that into the ground. By this grounding, it can cancel the voltage, meaning that it can also reduce the voltage in time to generate some glissando effect, or a very distorted noise.

After finishing this design, I am going to make it as a performing tool, connecting with the computer to process the sound as well. This is already on going.


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