This invention was inspired by the sitar. Inside the neck of a sitar there are strings that are not plucked, they just resonate and add depth to the sound
The strings in this instrument can be vibrated from any external sound, the 2 loudspeakers at the end vibrate a piece of wood with grooves cut in it to grip the strings, so the strings get vibrated by any sound sent to the loudspeakers. The sound is then picked up at the other end of the strings by a guitar style pickup.
If you play a note into it you won't hear much out of the pickup unless the note is in tune with one of the strings, or one of the harmonics of the strings. If you slide the note you play in up and down you get a really nice sparkly sound as you catch all the different harmonics of the different strings.
I usually tune it to an open minor chord. This is because the harmonics of a single string form a major type of scale already.
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Name: Nicks World Of Synthesizers
Date Posted: 21:15, 10 02 2012
Message: Reply to comment below. It was made a long time ago. I can see lots of ways to improve the design now
Date Posted: 19:42, 21 12 2011
Message: Try to make the part that touch the strings of metal, so you get more sustain than the one you made of a piece of wood with grooves. Anthe the speakers could ressonate better if it was put in the body, in the place of the neck pickup(follow me, I am a physicist).The pickup you made is amazing, are you using magnets of AlNiCo(alluminium, nikel and cobault)?
I am making a project of a semi accoustic guitar whith the top of metal. When I made the first test, still without the frets, pickups and a real bridge(I used a peace of steel), that sounded like a sitar. So I am working in a type of bridge that could make a similar sound. In the sitar, that part is called jawari. Please contact me.
Name: Nicks World Of Synthesizers
Date Posted: 18:35, 21 10 2011
Message: Reply to comment below
The pickup is homemade, because I had this idea if getting the output from each string separately. I got the coils wound by Trans-Tronic (UK).
Date Posted: 11:48, 06 04 2009
Message: Great work. This is really useful to see. I'm currently working on an installation with a sculptor and I'm composing a piece that involves sympathetic resonance in a similar way. Check out tanpuras (you may well have already done so). They are the drone instrument in lots of classical Indian music. They're tuned really finely to simulate the resonant field and compliment the sympathetic strings in sitars.
Date Posted: 23:07, 07 12 2008
Message: omg. nice idea. but, why ruining so beautifull les paul ?? :D or is it some copy ?
Date Posted: 12:05, 09 06 2008
Message: The method I have used is a good way of vibrating the strings. The material used to transfer the vibrations from the speaker to the strings has to be hard and light weight, otherwise you will loose the higher frequencies. Aluminium would probably be better than wood. Also this rod should be as short as possible. If you want vibrate 11 strings you might want to have them in 2 layers, 1 row on top of the rod a 1 row below. The closer you can pack the strings, the less distance there is from string to speaker. But if you want to pluck it as well this is probably not ideal.
I have tried using feedback, I found that it was impossible to control without a compressor in the loop. Keeping the string vibrator close to the end of the strings will increase sustain, so will using long strings and making the body of the instrument solid and heavy.
Date Posted: 00:48, 06 06 2008
Message: Oh wow! I had an idea similar to this last year, and I'm amazed someone built one. This actually makes me confident that it is feasible so I'll try building my one. My idea was based on a small zither like box with eleven strings but the principle was the same. I have yet to think of a good way to induce the vibration in the strings though. One thing that seemed like an interesting idea was a feedback control, where you could use a pot to feed some of the signal from the pickup(s) back into the amplifier that drives the speaker. With this variable I wondered if it might be possible to control the amount of feedback to the extent where it increased the sustain of the resonating string without actually self sustaining. Do you think that would be possible? You have some fascinating devices here.
Date Posted: 11:44, 11 05 2008
Message: Do you mean a self tuning guitar? The pickups can be used separately, these type pickups have been around for a long time, used in guitar synthesizers, called hex or divided pickups. I have designed a self tuning guitar but I thought it would be to expensive to be commercial because of all the special motors and mechanics. Anyway I am surprised that someone else is thinking of this idea.
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Date Posted: 19:09, 24 04 2008
Message: Do the pickups have crosstalk low enough to be able to use one string only? If so, can you imagine a way to create a robotic version of this that tunes the strings to anything requested? :)
I love the website. Especially the comment about cucumbers. Keep it up!