Guitarist Joey Mariano is making a unique hybrid sound, blending guitar chops with sonic techniques borrowed from 8-bit chip music. His latest adventure filters the sound of the guitar through pulse width filtering, the likes of which are used to modulate the sound of pulse/rectangle waves in chip music composition.

The invention he’s devised to do this, though, is likely to appeal to anyone wanting to work with CV. Using the Arduino platform, it’s an elegant design for a control voltage sequencer, as seen on classic modulars like the Moog. And since he’s posted full specs and Arduino code, you could easily build one yourself – the design is efficient enough that it wouldn’t make a bad intermediate build.

Joey tells CDM, “It’s just a little CV sequencer, but it adds a lot of depth to the chipmusic guitar sound i’m trying to develop. It’s a really simple device, but some of your readers might find it interesting and $$ saving if they have some compatible analog gear.”

More detailed description of the project, and helpful contributors:

Thanks to Vblank and Batsly Adams for their help. Vblank gave me some programming lessons and Batsly helped me choose the correct components to use.

Thanks to Bucky from for being my camera man on this one.

Thanks to Part Time (my cat) for trying to get into every video i post. …gives me chiptune street cred yo.

This a CV sequencer i built (with an arduino microcontroller). It Sequences the pulse width of my guitar. I got the idea from tracking (composing) in famitracker, LSDJ and Goattracker. When you compose for the NES or the Gameboy, there are tons of effects you can choose from to make square waves more complex and interesting sounding. So, once i saw that the Pulsemonger pedal had a CV input for the pulsewidth i had to buy it. There are a couple reasons i built this with an arduino: I wanted to make it expandable. In the future, I may add some tap tempo functionality or i thought maybe it might be fun to actually hook the sequencer up to my Gameboy (through the linker port) so the sequencing would happen in relation to the tempo of the song i’m playing.

Full details, specs, code:

  • nice work.

    would like a higher res version of that schematic…. might as well offer the inversed black-on-white version too as i suspect the majority of ppl using it will inverse it themselves.

    how about some pictures of your finished board as well?

  • added some pics of the inside – its kinda messy in there because i reused a pcb from something else. + my component layout sucks! some of the transistors are soldered to the pots.

    the schematic is sorta meant to be artsy – you guys can blow it up if you want – just don't screw up the aspect ratio! pixels are important stuff.

  • Thanks Joey. I've done messier jobs ;] Sounds great btw… dig that Pulse Monger, might have to look into getting one..

  • Oh.. and mad thanks for the code!

  • Nice! I played a show with Joey in Philadelphia a few years ago and his Animal Style Gameboy foot controller set was great! Good to see the expansion of the chiptune style.

  • Weird that my favorite part was that the cat cared nothing for the guitar efx?

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  • Rutger Muller


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  • Rick

    Joey- nice CV workshop. can you produce one for my rig? i'd buy an older one if you wanted to let it go. thanks