#1
Hello all!

I have recently graduated from Georgia Tech and for my senior design project I was part of a team that made digital touchscreen wah controller. We are now entering an invention competition (https://inventureprize.gatech.edu/ ) and are trying to get some market data for our device.

There is a youtube video of our original prototype here: http://youtu.be/uviqezxvPdg
And I have a survey here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2K6RQBZ
so if anyone wants to check it out/fill out the survey I'd greatly appreciate it!

Also keep in mind the device in the video is more of a proof of concept than an actual playable device, the final product would have an interface, have multiple effects to choose from etc. The basic idea is to have a digital effects processor affixed or embedded into a guitar that can be adjusted and controlled during a performance. We were inspired by the Kaoss pad that Matt Bellamy has on one of his guitars, but this will be an effects processor rather than a midi controller.

Thanks again for your time!
#3
Quote by AcousticMirror
i'd need another hand right.


Maybe it could be a TOEchscreen...?

This is really symptomatic of the problem with so many 'engineers' today, so busy building solutions to problems that don't exist that they forget that somebody actually has to need a product before it's worth anything.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
Last edited by Arby911 at Jan 21, 2012,
#4
Quote by Arby911
Maybe it could be a TOEchscreen...?

This is really symptomatic of the problem with so many 'engineers' today, so busy building solutions to problems that don't exist that they forget that somebody actually has to need a product before it's worth anything.


kinda goes with the problem of too many people becoming "engineers"
#5
It's been done before. Matt Bellamy has something similar on his guitars. You can just attach a Mini Kaoss Pad to your guitar also. A wah is just a filter and Kaoss Pads have plenty of those. It's just a matter of sorting out the electronics. You also have to consider that you won't have complete control over the effects if they're attached to the guitar. You can't mess with effect order and put things in the loop. The Gibson Firebird X has effects on the guitar itself. The problem is that is guitarists don't really want it. There's no use for it. Having everything at your feet is much easier than having to stop playing to change an effect. Plus, every guitarist has their own preferences when it comes to effects. There's a reason why most guitarists prefer using individual effects over processors. It's a tough sell.
#6
I think it's a cool idea honestly, BUT I don't think anyone will buy it. I wouldn't. I can't think of anyone who would. But I'd totally be down for taking a trip to guitar center to test out a guitar using the system. lol
Originally posted by primusfan
When you crank up the gain to 10 and switch to the lead channel, it actually sounds like you are unjustifiably bombing an innocent foreign land.


╠═══════╬═══════╣
τλε τρπ βπστλεπλσσδ
╠═══════╬═══════╣
#7
Pointless...aside from the impracticalities and niche appeal of such a device guess what, we're already awash with touchscreen devices that would provide the hardware platform.

Also zoom did this nearly 20 years ago. It wasn't touchscreen and was designed to affix to the strap, but it flopped for the exact same reasons that have already pointed out to you. The reason there's so many guitar gizmos that are foot-operated is because guitarists are usually using their hands for something else.

The far more sensible thing is to save the money you'd spend on costly and ultimately redundant hardware development and concentrate solely on the software. Code an android ap, although even an apple dev licence isn't all that expensive.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#8
^^^^^

Making the software into an app that guitarists could then use to practice or even use with a phone mounted to their guitar would be more much beneficial to you.
Originally posted by primusfan
When you crank up the gain to 10 and switch to the lead channel, it actually sounds like you are unjustifiably bombing an innocent foreign land.


╠═══════╬═══════╣
τλε τρπ βπστλεπλσσδ
╠═══════╬═══════╣
#9
Exactly, going down the app road means you're initial capital requirements are greatly reduced, designing hardware and producing prototypes is a big outlay. It also means your "manufacturing" costs are practically nonexistent and your distribution costs are effectively accounted for by your sales. Those reduced costs mean you can sell it at a price that isn't going to put people off - someone will pay a few dollars for something if they think it might be a bit of fun, they're less likely to spend a hundred or more. As far as revenue goes you've also got the option of being ad-supported or supplementing the revenue stream with well-thought out in-app purchases.

I guarantee that if you attempt to put a device into production you'd never make enough money to get a return on your investment, because to cover your costs it'd have to be too expensive for guitarists to want to shell out for it on a whim. At least with an app you've got a fighting chance, but even then you need to be careful you don't end up re-inventing the wheel and simply doing a worse job than the likes of Amplitube and Garageband - i can certainly see an angle where'd you could have some kind of visual interface for real-time manipulation of effects.

Also bear in mind that your two "base" effects are utterly useless, a wah effect would be unusable because you need to use your hand for picking notes, you wouldn't actually be able to play any recorded song that used a wah pedal. Likewise volume is a bit pointless as a guitar alreay has a hand-operated volume effect on it, it's called a volume knob ....although having said that a touch-operated killswitch could actually be a great thing to produce provided it didn't lag. I know you've done volume and wah because they're the easiest effects to create, just volume and tone shaping, but you'd be better off doing a flanger or chorus, maybe leaving delay and phaser as your paid for add-ons.

In summary, there's an invention there but it needs a lot of work and isn't really a business idea yet...and for that reason, I'm out.

Duncan Bannatyne ain't got shit on me.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#11
Thanks for all the feedback guys!

As a guitarist myself and having played this thing, I have to agree that it's rather impractical. And yes, we have definitely thought about going to mobile app route, the problem there would be differentiating ourselves from the apps that use the iPod/android device as a replacement for your practice amp/effects.

Like I said this was a senior design project for a bunch of electrical engineering students which is the reason we built a device, and the reason the effects we chose were wah and volume. (as someone already stated those were some easy ones to do).

One of the things I thought would be interesting is the ability to control 2 effects at a time (2 axes) versus just one with a traditional expression pedal. But as some already pointed out it's nearly impossible to manipulate them in a cool way while you are playing.

Anyway we will keep kicking ideas around see where it goes, thanks again for the input!