Lo-fi Arduino Guitar Pedal from Kyle McDonald on Vimeo.

CDM regular Kyle McDonald keeps cranking out wonderful projects. Following up on a tangible music sequencer powered by Skittles (taste the rainbow of fruity beats), and last week’s cheap-but-effective DIY 3D interface, he’s now put the popular DIY electronics platform Arduino to work as a lo-fi effect. He writes:

There have been a bunch of projects bent on getting audio out of the Arduino, using them as synths — even Lady Ada’s more recent Wave Shield (http://www.ladyada.net/make/waveshield/). A friend of mine was looking for a sample rate reducing/bit crushing pedal, and I thought "I could probably do that with an Arduino". It turns out the audio isn’t as terrible as you’d expect (except when you want it to sound terrible!) so I put together an instructable for anyone interested in making their own.



Kyle’s site, complete with lots of other projects

Great stuff! Of course, the advanctage of these lo-fi digital effects is just that – they’re cheap digital effects to achieve. But this makes me wonder, will anyone be able to hack these effects for some twists of their own?

  • Thanks Peter — I think it's totally hackable. Once you get over normalizing audio signals coming in and out of the Arduino, and setting some things in software (so the PWM runs at faster than the default 400 Hz, and the ADC faster than regular) everything else is normal Arduino hacking! If anyone develops/has developed more in this vein, leave a comment here/on the video/instructable — I'm curious to see what happens.

  • I really like this, well done! We've been making some progress with the Arduino Pocket Piano kits here at MetaLab.at lately, added MIDI, even designed an 'expander' version (no keys) to plug into the PP .. it turns out that the Arduino really is a serious little audio processing machine, when you get things rolling along ..

  • David Schembri

    Forgive my ignorance, but would you need a computer to use this pedal during a performance? It's really what I'm looking for right now, much cooler than the so-called "boutique" analogue distortion pedals and such.