Hybrid Six String Bass With Midi Capabilities

Introduction: Hybrid Six String Bass With Midi Capabilities

This bass guitar was made for a University assessment in which an original instrument was to be designed and constructed and be able to communicate with a computer in some way. However, this bass can be created without the midi capabilities as it sounds great and is cheap to make depending on the materials you use. I bought a cheap $100 bass guitar and used all the hardware on that including the bridge and headstock, the body was made from scratch.

Step 1: Gathering the Required Materials

01. 6x 8mm x 40mm wooden dowels

02. 2x pieces of 200mm x 50mm x 400mm wood (In my case I used pine)

03. 1x Wood Glue

04. 2x pick ups

05. 3x potentiometers

06. 4x bass guitar machine heads

07. 2x electric guitar machine heads

08. 1x bass guitar bridge

09. 1x set of bass strings

10. 1x set of guitar strings (use two heaviest gauge)

11. 1x bridge system

12. 1x RCA male and female jack

13. 1x 1/4'' female and male jack

14. 2x strap locks

15. 1x strap (optional)

16. 1x AA battery power pack with batteries.

17. Arduino Board (I used a Makey Makey, you can find them here <http://littlebirdelectronics.com.au/products/makey-makey-standard-kit>)

Step 2: Create the Body

01. Plain the edges of the two pieces of timber so they fit together neatly.

02. Mark and drill holes for the dowel pins and glue together evenly.

03. After glue has dried plain and sand the front and back faces of the timber

04. Measure the size of the bass guitar bridge and mark position on body (make sure this is perfectly straight)

05. Draw design of bass on timber and mark out where the potentiometers and pick ups are going to fit.

06. Cut recesses into the body where pick ups and potentiometers are going to be placed

07. Drill holes through center of body to connect wiring

08. Cut out body shape

09. Drill mounts for RCA and 1/4'' jacks

10. Temporarily fit everything in body to make sure everything fits

11. Then remove when everything is right.

12. Plain and sand overall shape in preparation for painting.

13. Paint body with undercoat

14. Sand paint smooth

15. Paint recesses for pick ups black

16. Paint rest of body green (Or whatever you desire).

17. Sand body down smooth and then coat with clear paint.

Step 3: Assemble Hardware

01. Mount pick ups and feed wires to the potentiometer recess.

02. Drill 2 extra holes into bridge for the extra guitar strings.

03. Run earth wire to bridge and attach the bridge/ saddle to the earth wire.

04. Mount potentiometers and connect wiring

05. Mount RCA and 1/4'' jack and connect one potentiometer to the RCA jack and the rest to the 1/4'' jack (If you did not want the midi capabilities skip all RCA components).

06. Run a battery pack connecting the negative wire to earth and the positive to the RCA potentiometer.

07. Mount machine heads to the headstock

08. Connect fingerboard and headstock to the main body.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

01. Attach strings and tune to E E A D G G

02. Screw the cover on the back of the body to cover wiring.

03. Connect the bass to an amp and an Arduino board and then the Arduino to the computer.

04. Add whatever filter you would like the potentiometer to map to

05. Enjoy!!!!!!!

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    3 Discussions


    3 years ago

    So, the midi triggers when you touch the strings? Makey Makey is just capacitive sensing aye? Or are you doing a frequency analysis code off the pickups?


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Really cool idea! Thanks for sharing and welcome to the community!