Jared D Friedman

A new musical instrument made out of four walkmen and a broken guitar.


The Skronkophone is an attempt to recycle old music technology into a new instrument. The user plays a guitar with no strings, just position sensors on the neck and force sensors on the body. The output is four modified walkmen and four modified sets of computer speakers. Each walkman is loaded with a cassette with a loop of tone corresponding to the “string” it is reproducing: E2, A2, D3, G3. The position of the player's finger on the “string” determines the speed of the walkman's motor – as the player moves his or her finger up the neck, the motor goes faster and the pitch of the note changes correspondingly. Then the FSR data is used to control the volume of the speakers – when the player is not pressing on a button, that string is silent, and the loudness can then be fairly accurately manipulated by pressing harder or softer. Additionally, switches on the headstock will allow the player to choose whether the output is chromatic (i.e. touching at or behind a fret will make the note associated with that fret) or not (so every tiny movement of a finger will make a tiny change).


Introduction to Physical Computing