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Great Innovations


Digitally Controlled Electric Guitar

Innovators: Pouria Pezeshkian

Developed At: Cornell University



Invented in 1931, the electric guitar was one of the most revolutionary advances in the music industry. It gave birth to generations of everlasting music created by Beatles, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin to name a few.  All in all, it is only with innovation in technology that new music is created. In the quest of imagining the future, an important question has come about: What is the next innovation that will further enable musical creativity?

Today, there are many electric guitar manufacturers; such as Gibson, Fender, Ibanez, etc, but independent of the manufacturer, the standard electric guitar has several pick-ups, knobs, switches that enable the guitarist to control the guitar’s tone and volume. This fantastic combination of components enables the guitar to have a range of different sounds…

The Problem…

Current technology enables a guitarist to play many genres. Even more so, musicians can find the perfect sound they love for the song they love to play. Finding the perfect sound involves changing the switch position to choose pickups, then adjust the two tone and volume knobs. Moreover, in order for a musician to find one “sound configuration,” they must make a series of mechanical adjustments. What if they want to play a different song or different genre? Well, it means they will have to readjust all of those components again. And now, they lost the previous “perfect sound”… Musicians who play electric guitars or similar instruments understand the burden of having to make so many adjustments during their musical development. All in all, this burden is not only eminent in day-to-day performance but impossible
to achieve during a live performance… Or is it?

The Solution:

Imagine a generation of musical instruments that can be personalized. Meaning, they can save and upload a musician’s sound configurations… This enables musicians to save sound configurations for different genres or songs, allow them to quickly change them during a performance or practice, and synchronize better with other musicians. A generation of instruments that are customized by the user without the “customization” cost! This is the start of the era of personalized instruments.
Different tones can be saved into presets before the performance, enabling the guitarist to instantly change pick-up and tone configurations during the performance with the push of a button. Moreover, the user can save many “perfect sounds” for their favorite songs. The control mechanism with saved or preset configurations can be integrated into the instrument or used as a standalone external kit. On another note, the reliability and life of digital components are much higher than analog components. Analog tone/volume are noisy components. Not only does this idea improve performance of musical
instruments, but it can potentially reduce costs, increase quality and reliability of them as well!

Our Need:

The original idea was implemented on an electric guitar for proof of concept. The first prototype had processing delays due to Embedded design quality. We are also adding a functionality that will enable the instrument to continue producing sound in the event of power loss. We need $9,400 in order to
develop the embedded system and optimize the circuit. This idea can impact not just the electric guitars, but all electric string musical instruments! We look forward to your assistance to allow our vision of impacting musical instruments. Thank you so much for your time and consideration!

Funding Period Over
This project will only be funded if at least $9,400 is pledged by March 28th. You credit card will not be charged unless the funding goal is met.
You credit card will not be charged unless the funding goal is met.