Go Down

Topic: Sensor for stringed instruments (Read 695 times) previous topic - next topic


Hi Forum,

I'm new to Arduino, so sorry if this is a really basic question. I'm wondering what the best sensor would be to use on a stringed instrument such as a violin. I'm wanting to be able to pluck the string and for the Arduino to pick up the string being plucked, send a message to Max/MSP  which will then activate video in Jitter. Its for a PhD project, so any help much appreciated.



Electric guitar pickup?

I have also seen suggested that a piezo disc can be used to detect the vibration of the string.
Arduino Libraries https://github.com/MajicDesigns?tab=Repositories
Parola for Arduino https://github.com/MajicDesigns/Parola
Arduino++ blog https://arduinoplusplus.wordpress.com


I would use a microphone because unlike a piezo element the mic has a much flatter response as the frequency is varied.  The signal would need to be amplified and then I would run the amplified signal into a comparator the output of the comparator could be fed into a digital input on an Arduino.  The Arduino could measure the time between signals coming and get the frequency and then use a look up table to determine which string got plucked.

This is not as hard as it sounds.  One issue that you will have to watch out for is harmonics of the fundamental freq of the string, the string will not give a pure tone but there will be signals at multiples of the fundamental freq. present.  By setting the threshold correctly on the comparator you will be able to filter out the harmonics.


Go Up