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A wireless MIDI controller for an acoustic guitar’s pickguard that detects note presses via capacitive touch sensing.

I perform and record fingerstyle guitar music and wanted a way to control a software synthesizer during live performances. This would allow me to perform more complex arrangements and diversify my sound.

The simplest way I could think of doing this was by adding a MIDI controller to the pickguard (known as a scratchplate in the UK) of my guitar. This is in a convenient place for fingerstyle players as the picking hand rests close to this region of the guitar in most fingerstyle techniques. Capacitive touch sensing was used as it allows larger contact areas to detect note presses.

For a microcontroller, I decided to use an Adafruit Feather 32u4 Bluefruit as it allows you to send MIDI using low energy bluetooth. Conveniently, it also has a JST port to enable charging via a Lipo battery. This makes it an ideal microcontroller to make a portable MIDI device with.”

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