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PICList Thread
'Guitar tuners.'
1995\07\13@115631 by mike

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I am glad that Nick Howard mentioned the guitar tuner idea in
the PICStart Contest Application brief again. The basic circuit
form is shown below.

If you are after a PIC based guitar tuner this has to be the
way to go. It will handle bass guitar and guitar top E string
notes with no changes.

If on the other hand you just want to sort the problems with
determining frequency from a guitar, then might I add the
following to the discussion:

- in experimentation with acoustic guitars and a scope, I
  found that the harmonic content (especially with new strings)
  was large enough to cross zero, and not always mid way
  between the crossing of the fundamental. The harmonic
  content decayed faster than the fundamental, but at
  different rates for different strings.

- when tuning a guitar using beats, it is the absence of beats
  that indicates that a string is the same frequency as the
  reference. When tuning by ear, the beat frequency can be
  percieved (rather than heard) well below the lower audible
  frequency, sometimes with a period of a second or two. If
  you are detecting beats, when is the beat frequency zero?

- Simple high or low indication of tuning is not acceptable
  (IMHO), some indication of degree of out-of-tuneness is
  required to make the tuner useful in real life.

For further thought, I heard of an add on kit for electric
guitars which tuned the strings for you. Motors on the tuning
pegs! Anyone fancy doing it with a PIC? :-)

Regards,

Mike Watson.



      ___|\_________________________________
         |/           |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
       Amp/           X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X    X=LED
        Driver        |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
                      |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
                      |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
                  |-----------------------------|
                  | RB0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7    |
                  |                             |
                  |         PIC 16c84(?)        |
                  |-----------------------------|

Each output should be switched on in turn at one eighth of the
frequency of the required string frequency. Like this...

             __                      __
   rb0 _____|  |____________________|  |_____________
                __                      __
   rb1 ________|  |____________________|  |__________
                   __                      __
   rb2 ___________|  |____________________|  |_______
                      __                      __
   rb3 ______________|  |____________________|  |____
                         __                      __
   rb4 _________________|  |____________________|  |_
                            __                      _
   rb5 ____________________|  |____________________|
                               __
   rb6 _______________________|  |___________________
                                  __
   rb7 __________________________|  |________________

1995\07\13@125303 by Tim Braun

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face
> From: Mayes uk <spam_OUTMayesTakeThisOuTspamD-M-G.DEMON.CO.UK>
> Subject:      Guitar tuners.

> If on the other hand you just want to sort the problems with
> determining frequency from a guitar, then might I add the
> following to the discussion:
>
>  - in experimentation with acoustic guitars and a scope, I
>    found that the harmonic content (especially with new strings)
>    was large enough to cross zero, and not always mid way
>    between the crossing of the fundamental. The harmonic
>    content decayed faster than the fundamental, but at
>    different rates for different strings.

On the 'B' string, the first harmonic decays much slower than the
fundamental (on the acoustic we were looking at).  The harmonic
content on any string _will_ cause more zero crossings than the
fundamental would imply.

>  - Simple high or low indication of tuning is not acceptable
>    (IMHO), some indication of degree of out-of-tuneness is
>    required to make the tuner useful in real life.

I agree, and I also think (having used both a 'switch to each string'
tuner and a 'I'll just tell you what note you're close to' tuner, that
the latter is much preferred.  Why limit the tuner to "Guitar in EADGBE
tuning"?

> For further thought, I heard of an add on kit for electric
> guitars which tuned the strings for you. Motors on the tuning
> pegs! Anyone fancy doing it with a PIC? :-)

There's a hand-held powered tuner on the market.  It was done with a
6805.  I've been to the factory (Kraus Industries), and seen the boards,
though I forget the product name.  Does this imply that there's a performance
difference, 6805 vs PIC?  Hmmm.

> Regards,
>
> Mike Watson.
Tim Braun                             |
Continental Healthcare Systems Canada | Voice: 204-942-2992 ext 228
1900-155 Carlton St                   | FAX:   204-942-3001
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3C 3H8    | Email: .....timKILLspamspam@spam@chs.mb.ca

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