From the Tackshop: Let's Arduino - Part 1: Concept

First! A note about upcoming shows! 

David. Mayfield. Parade. As in THE DAVID MAYFIELD PARADE! That's right, we're opening for the guys who open for stars, and if I remember health class properly, and who can forget a gym teacher putting a condom on a pencil, that means we're opening for the stars... Right? All humor aside, David Mayfield puts on a hell of a show. We've opened for him before and the performance does not dissapoint. (Agh, another Sex-Ed flashback). Get yer tickets here!

Wednesday, March 9
8pm
$10
Boot & Saddle1131 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19147


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Now I'm going to run for the safety of my general geekery.  OK, I'm going to paraphrase my friend Peter, of Binary Tree fame, here when I tell you, what you need to understand about computers is that if you can imagine it, you can program it. To add my own thoughts to this, with an Arduino and an imagination, you can recreate any commercial product, for less money. (Though time may be worth something to you.)

I am a long-time fan of pizza! 

I am a long-time fan of pizza! 

So why do I need imagination today? Let me discuss my use case. Like many guitarists, I like to have a pedal board. The effects are nice, and the board makes me look totally pro like my guitar heroes from movies and magazines and other such things. (Galen's a poseur). Shut up parenthetical self! Where was I? Oh yes, I use a TC Helicon Voicelive 3 (VL3) as the main component of my pedal board. I also use a Beat Buddy pedal for solo stuff, and a Fishman Jerry Douglas Aura pedal for my resonator guitars. Because of pedalboard space, as well as solo concerns related to looping, I want to keep the Fishman pedal under the board surface. Now the VL3 will send MIDI commands, and I can use those. What I want to do, is have one effects block from the VL3 (namely the Amp emulator block) turn the Fishman pedal on or off. So I'm trying to build a MIDI triggered Effects loop, right?

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Let's complicate things. When I play solo shows, I use a guitar with both a piezo pickup and a magnetic humbucker. I send both signals down different channels of a stereo cable. So, when I'm playing a solo show and I want an acoustic sound, I want the switch to select the acoustic channel and turn on the effects loop. When I want an electric sound, I want it to select the electric input and turn off the effects loop. But when I play with BHM, I want to only use one channel (for wireless reasons. Jeez, I'm a dweeb). 

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 So, here's the plan. I'll use an Arduino to read the MIDI data from the Voicelive 3, and turn two mechanical relays on or off, and a manual slide switch to select whether the switch is in BHM or SOLO Mode. Here's a switch diagram for those who are into such things. More to come in future installments. 

Switching diagram for MIDI controlled input and preamp selector. 

Switching diagram for MIDI controlled input and preamp selector. 

-Galen