The Fretin


Reporting on the project

The name 'Fretin' comes from 'FRETed INput device'

The Fretin is being built to serve several purposes: first, it provides a MIDI signal into a synth that has the right 'fingering' to be a guitar; second, it will work with tutoring software to teach guitar technique; third, it provides 'proof of idea'; and, fourth, it will be used to record some better music for the website (the current music was hand-punched into Power Traks from a fake-book over two weekends..).


The Fretin has a 'guitar' body, reduced to 3/4 size (instead of making 'horns' to get down to the last fret), made from Birch plywood. The body styling includes clefholes routed into the top and sunburst coloring, with blue binding. The neck is oak and runs through the body. The fretboard, on top of the neck, is masonite with the frets cut into segments, each segment wired to a diode. The strings are .017 steel, strung 'reverse', with the bobins at the head and adjuster/tensioners at the tail. Operation has an 8031 microcontroler strobing each fret in sequence, and reading back closures to the strings. (The name, the styling, and the details of the circuitry, as well as the final code are protected under Copyright Law, and I hearby assert full rights as the originator.)


Here are some pix of the Fretin, with the body finished, only the bridge area still needing work, of what will be visible. As of mid May, 1999, the internal circuitry has the fret wiring at 90%, the CPU board at 90%, the interface board at 50%, and the power/output board finished. And, a pix of Deputy Sito holding the Fretin


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