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4 MIDI controlled slide guitar
Area Award: Controls Area Award: Art and Music
Angad Bector
Joel Spadin
Ruichen Zhao
Our project is a slide guitar-like instrument with a single string. A microcontroller reads MIDI input and controls two motors to play the instrument. One motor moves a metal bar along the string to control the pitch and the second motor controls a wheel of guitar picks to strike the string. A guitar pickup convert the string vibrations to an analog signal, to which the microcontroller reads and applies audio effects. The resulting digital audio is converted back to an analog signal and sent to speakers.
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VoxBox Robo-Drummer

Craig Bost, Nicholas Dulin, Drake Proffitt

VoxBox Robo-Drummer

Featured Project

Our group proposes to create robot drummer which would respond to human voice "beatboxing" input, via conventional dynamic microphone, and translate the input into the corresponding drum hit performance. For example, if the human user issues a bass-kick voice sound, the robot will recognize it and strike the bass drum; and likewise for the hi-hat/snare and clap. Our design will minimally cover 3 different drum hit types (bass hit, snare hit, clap hit), and respond with minimal latency.

This would involve amplifying the analog signal (as dynamic mics drive fairly low gain signals), which would be sampled by a dsPIC33F DSP/MCU (or comparable chipset), and processed for trigger event recognition. This entails applying Short-Time Fourier Transform analysis to provide spectral content data to our event detection algorithm (i.e. recognizing the "control" signal from the human user). The MCU functionality of the dsPIC33F would be used for relaying the trigger commands to the actuator circuits controlling the robot.

The robot in question would be small; about the size of ventriloquist dummy. The "drum set" would be scaled accordingly (think pots and pans, like a child would play with). Actuators would likely be based on solenoids, as opposed to motors.

Beyond these minimal capabilities, we would add analog prefiltering of the input audio signal, and amplification of the drum hits, as bonus features if the development and implementation process goes better than expected.

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