As evidenced by Tindie’s extensive sound section, coming up with new and interesting electronic audio devices is a widespread hacking pursuit. There are lots of interesting concepts out there, but here’s a new one, the T. Chordstrum pocked-sized chord strummer.
With this instrument, you simply select which chord you’d like to play via a series of buttons, then run your fingers across a series of eight pads to play notes electronically, like a guitar. The device can be powered by a Teensy 3.2 for line level audio output or a Teensy LC for MIDI capability only. As seen in the video below, it’s capable of making some very pleasant music:
If this seems a little familiar, the same concept is used in the — entirely mechanical — autoharp. As explained by Andrew Huang in the second video, autoharps use a series of pads to mute certain strings as you play, forming the desired chords. Though this should be easy to play in theory, they contain 36 strings, all of which need to be in tune. Contrast that with, say, a ukelele’s 4 strings, and you’re talking about a massive amount of prep time for a performance!