Kickstarting a new project!

I’ve been stewing on an open source ribbon controller for a while now.

(spoiler HERE)

On investigation, it turns out that there’s very little in the market that is under $200 AND does USB. (and I’d always prefer <$100!) If you’re into 5-pin MIDI, check out the Coagula controller,  it’s killer and has an awesome LCD for setting tweakers.

What I’ve been thinking about has more to do with this:

This is “One String” Sam posing with his Diddley bow at the 1973 Ann Arbor Blues Fest. (Image from the Ann Arbor Sun,Sept. 24, 1973).

A true folk instrument is cheap, easy to make, and super expressive. What I’ve come up with is this:

Based off of the spectrasymbol position sensor and a second pressure sensor, it’s cheap, simple, USB, easy to make, and runs MIDI via op-source drivers and Arduino firmware which will be released in late spring. The second sensor allows for an unusual percussive attack on volume and effects (yeah,video is coming!). 15 modes will allow setings from pitchbend mode, to octave span variation, and … an “open string note” mode that will be tunable on the fly via a tuning knob. (Think Blues D backbeat drones…)

The trick to this project is to leverage a big parts buy with pre-orders, and get the cost WAY down!Those position sensors are a bear at $30-$50 a pop.

If you’re interested, give the project a link or a pre-order via the project’s

Kickstarter page!