Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Guitar controller – Part 1

I’ve taken apart an old keyboard to scavenge the analogue to digital converter and the USB interface (the green board in the picture below). I followed parts of this excellent tutorial to get me started on this project.

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Keyboards are rather simple circuits. There two groups of pins (top of the green board above) and every key is connected to one pin from each group. When a key is pressed, a circuit is closed between a unique combination of pins and the chip interprets that pin selection and sends the appropriate signals via the USB interface.

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So far, I’ve soldered connector wire from both pin sets to a project board. I selected four from one side and seven from the other, for a total of 28 unique combinations, which should be more than sufficient. I’m thinking of having 12 buttons on the guitar neck and a few on the guitar body (including the strum button). I’ll connect buttons to the project board in columns, according to their pin assignments.

Next step: finding switches!