Acoustic to Electrical instrument converter

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by Clip-on Electrifier

Project Overview

This device uses a piezo pick-up to convert vibrations from instruments into an electrical signal. The signal is then run through a pre-amp, an Electra distortion pedal, a Super Hard-On pedal, a bandpass filter, and a buffer in series to achieve an amplified signal with the signature fuzzy effect associated with electric instruments. Finally, the signal is played through a speaker.

Tools and Materials

  • 1N4148 diodes * 4
  • capacitors with various capacitance
  • resistors with various resistance
  • BS170 transistor
  • 2N3904 transistor
  • LF411 Op-amp * 3
  • 5k potentiometer
  • Piezo vibration sensor
  • speaker

Step-by-Step Instructions

connect the piezo pickup tightly to the instrument, and check if we get a signal

Send the signal through a pre-amplifier to boost it to approximately 1 volts peak-to-peak

Pass the signal through an Electra distortion pedal, where it is amplified again to approximately 5-6 volts, and the fuzz effect is introduced via a hard diode clipping stage.

Send the signal through a Super Hard-On pedal, which acts as a clean amplifier with variable gain and very high input impedance. The signal we get out of the Super Hard-On is amplified without changing its original shape.

Run the signal through a bandpass filter to reduce noise. Note: the cutoff frequencies are determined by the specific instrument you want to convert.

Use a buffer to isolate the load (speaker) from the main circuit. And play the final signal through the speaker.