Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Sam Cox 

BSc [Hons] Creative Media Technologies

I chose to study Creative Media Technologies because I have always had a keen interest in the audio/visual field and have always tinkered with electronics and computers. As a guitar player, I have a particular interest in music related technologies such guitar amps, pedals, and MIDI devices and this has been a constant throughout all of my projects over the last number of years. One example of this is my third-year project which involved incorporating piezo sensors into a custom laser-cut Stratocaster pickguard to allow the user to add percussive elements to their playing electronically using MIDI or samples.

Project Description

This project aimed to incorporate resonance speaker technology into an acoustic guitar allowing the playing to use standard effects pedals without the need for a traditional amplifier. The project involved the fabrication of a delay and amplifier circuit allowing the user to play acoustic guitar with reverb and delay without any external equipment and it can be run on a 9V battery or standard 9V power supply. It requires only one stereo cable to interface the guitar with the circuitry.
The product has additional functionality in regard to the FX loop added to allow standard guitar effects pedals to be used seamlessly as well as having additional mono input and output jacks. This allows for any guitar with a pickup to be connected and have the output play through an external resonance speaker add-on, allowing the user to transform any surface into a speaker, incorporating its unique properties.

Thesis: Acoustic Guitar with Resonance Speaker Technology

This document outlines the in-depth preliminary research, experimentation and prototyping carried out over the course of the year in order to create the finished product showcased. The thesis examines areas such as resonance speaker technology, traditional guitar effects pedals and guitar peripherals in order to better understand how the finished product could fit within the market and what is necessary for it to succeed. It examines competing products in the market and outlines the steps taken to overcome limitations these other products face. The document also outlines the different types of testing and prototyping used in the fabrication of the project given the limitations faced over the course of the year. It outlines how software-based testing was utilised including how circuit simulation was completed with LTspice and circuit and PCB design was carried out using Eagle and Fusion 360. Furthermore, it shows how hardware testing was carried out with limited testing equipment available through the use of mobile apps, PC audio hardware and the construction of a DIY signal generator.