#1
Could exist already? I don't know.

I know that guitar players are very traditional and I know that electronic gadgetry can be a tough sell, but after looking at that crazy Korg Ibanez guitar I was wondering about this one little idea.

Rather than deal with the expense and trouble of a tremolo bridge, why not just include an active pitch-shifter on a fixed-bridge guitar?
I assume that a pitch-shifter could be designed to feel however you want it to feel (via springs if need be) and I'm guessing it wouldn't be hard to make it sound however you want it to sound. You wouldn't be emulating tube distortion here, it's just a simple pitch-shift.

So the tuning would be as stable as a fixed-bridge guitar, setups would be simple, retuning would be a snap and broken strings wouldn't affect you much.

Now this might not appeal to those of you who have expensive guitars with high quality bridges, but you could definitely replace every crappy tremolo in every crappy beginner guitar.


Other possible advantages - you could add a button to tune the guitar up or down instantaneously. You could go from Eb to E and back again in a snap. I'm guessing that you could include any tuning that you want. You could probably even set the whammy bar to control other effects. You could use it as a wah or a volume control.

Disadvantages? The need to replace a battery? Could be more expensive?

The more I think about it the more it resembles the Korg kaoss pad in my head, but without making the guitar look like a toy or having to deal with touchscreen controls. A whammy controller would be perfect.
#2
There's the digitech Whammy which does the thing through a volume pedal.

No need to mod the guitar though.
#3
Quote by paul.housley.7
You wouldn't be emulating tube distortion here, it's just a simple pitch-shift.

Pitch shifting is easy. Tracking is hard. Polyphonic tracking with isolated strings is even harder. You've misunderstood what makes your idea difficult to implement.

It's not a bad idea, it's just nowhere near as trivial as you say it is.
#4
I had a similar idea a while back about building an on-board octave dropping effect. Like a pot that de-tunes the pitch of the note you play when you turn it. I don't know if I'd ever try to build one, don't even know of a schematic to base it off of.
#5
The Variax guitars can change tunings and other sounds with the onboard knobs and the Whammy pedal takes care of the trem.
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#6
I have to admit that Roc probably knows better than I do. I'm full of assumptions.

But to be clear - this is very much about the ergonomics and manufacturing for me. I know that there are multi-fx units and variax guitars and whammy pedals and stuff like that. It wouldn't really give anybody anything that hasn't been done before.

The main thing that I'm interested in is decoupling the whammy effect from the bridge, and if anyone could figure out how to use the electronic whammy bar to do other cool functions then that would be kickass.

Example:
Mode 1 - whammy bar functions just like a whammy bar
Mode 2 - whammy bar functions like a wah pedal
Mode 3 - whammy bar functions like a variable phaser
Mode 4 - whammy bar functions like a volume pedal
etc...

And I guess some of those might be harder to do than others.

If it's not possible to detune individual strings then would it be easier to treat the whole signal as a single sound and detune it all uniformly? Or does it need to be able to pick out individual strings? I really don't know anything about that part of it.
#8
In addition to the Digitech whammy the EHX Pitch Fork can be used with an expression pedal to do this. But it doesn’t sound anything like using a real vibrato. And unless you have excellent hand/foot coordination a foot pedal can’t get you the kind of soft subtle vibrato that a Bigsby can.
#9
Quote by paul.housley.7
I have to admit that Roc probably knows better than I do. I'm full of assumptions.


Piezos and hexaphonic pickups can pick up individual strings. The best environment available to do all the things you want to do would be MIDI, and you'd need a programmable controller to implement some of those ideas. They're routine for a keyboardist with a decent setup, but guitars generally don't have this available.

Look up the (now discontinued) Axon 100 controller.
#10
Quote by paul.housley.7

But to be clear - this is very much about the ergonomics and manufacturing for me.

If it's about the ergonomics, I have to wonder if you've thought about it much. The whammy design is by necessity and is not designed primarily for convenience or practicality. There is a reason most guitar effects are at your feet - you can use them while playing. Putting more controls at your already-busy hands does not strike me as particularly ergonomic. The Hot Hand controller attempted to do roughly what you're asking about, and has not been regarded as successful (or at all...).
Brushing off all the technical hurdles so you can tell us how cool your idea is - that's marketing. If this is "very much about" manufacturing you're going to have to actually think about how your imaginary product is going to work.

The main thing that I'm interested in is decoupling the whammy effect from the bridge, and if anyone cou
ld figure out how to use the electronic whammy bar to do other cool functions then that would be kickass.

Decoupling the whammy effect from the bridge has been done. What you're suggesting, to me, seems like taking the Whammy pedal and taking away what makes it a more ergonomical, foot-controlled unit, and turning it back into the inconvenient, cramped format that it originally was. You've re-invented the wheel, and now you're asking if there's a good way to go back to dragging it along on the dirt for the sake of familiarity. Embrace the wheel.
If it's not possible to detune individual strings then would it be easier to treat the whole signal as a single sound and detune it all uniformly? Or does it need to be able to pick out individual strings? I really don't know anything about that part of it.

It's possible. I just said it was difficult. Detuning a monolithic guitar signal "uniformly" goes out the window the minute you learn the first thing about pitches and polyphony.

This is all an idle pipe dream if you just hand-wave away the practical difficulties of the design. Without engaging the technical realities, you might as well be doodling spaceships. Spaceships are cool but you're not actually designing anything.
#12
why take all the fun out of using a whammy bar. i kinda doubt you'll get the precision of a standard bar out of an electronic unit (at least at this point). besides you look much cooler using a trem bar
#13
I'm back to accept my lumps. I definitely don't have an idea about how to solve the problems.

But touchscreens suck, and I don't like using my feet.

I don't have a good solution to my problems unless by some miracle I was able to make my idea work. A whammy-bar controlled effect sounds more ergonomic to me than the alternatives that have been shown. Especially touchscreens. I hate touchscreens so much.

The ring thing seems a little goofy. Thanks for showing it. I have never heard of it before.
Last edited by paul.housley.7 at Jul 30, 2015,
#14
Quote by paul.housley.7
I'm back to accept my lumps. I definitely don't have an idea about how to solve the problems.

But touchscreens suck, and I don't like using my feet.

I don't have a good solution to my problems unless by some miracle I was able to make my idea work. A whammy-bar controlled effect sounds more ergonomic to me than the alternatives that have been shown. Especially touchscreens. I hate touchscreens so much.

The ring thing seems a little goofy. Thanks for showing it. I have never heard of it before.


no lumps really. we all have ideas that's the easy part. making them work is the hard part. no biggie and worth discussing.