Guess what the above picture is? Well, it is an electric guitar that consists of six separate string-playing modules. Each string and associated servos is assigned its own MIDI channel.
Jimwmurphy has been working on this project for a while now, and it’s the second version- named as Swivel 2. It’s predecessor was heavy, expensive using bulky stepper motors and solenoids. In this latest model, Jim is using inexpensive hobby/RC servos- one for rotating the pitch-shifting “fretter,” a second to clamp the pitch shifter, a third to pick the string, and a fourth to dampen the strings.
He has constructed a PCB control boards by using an Arduino bootloader-equipped ATMEGA328, which receives the MIDI signal from a computer and moves the servos accordingly. He uses Ableton Live to send messages to Swivel 2.
The entire setup was designed in 3D CAD to give a modular look to the design. He’s even made the guitar pickups himself using 3D printed spools, and hand wrapping the coils with copper enamel wire. Lend an ear after the break to hear it in action.