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Post new topic New Steel Design
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Author Topic:  New Steel Design
Dennis Manuel


From:
Hixon, B.C., Canada
Post Posted 13 Jan 2018 4:53 pm     Reply with quote

I have been thinking of ways to construct a newly designed steel. My thoughts were computer based and have the pedals control servos which in turn would lower and raise the strings. Or have the pedals change the sound of the strings thru synthesis. A player could simply reprogram or pull up a program and have their arrangement available immediately. Any thoughts?
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Michael Meader


From:
Michigan, USA
Post Posted 13 Jan 2018 5:01 pm     Reply with quote

Man, I'm still trying to wrap my head around 50 year old technology Whoa!
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Brian Gattis


From:
Georgia, USA
Post Posted 13 Jan 2018 5:16 pm     Reply with quote

No thanks. It’s beautiful as is. That would be like cutting its balls off!
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Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post Posted 13 Jan 2018 5:59 pm     Reply with quote

Go right ahead Dennis, and don't let the naysayers affect you Very Happy

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=1528210#1528210

As that old post reveals; I would prefer servos over synthesis. That's mainly because I personally want "all personal picking-flaws" to get through, as that's where the soul of the music is.
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post Posted 13 Jan 2018 6:05 pm     Reply with quote

Guitars made over 50 years ago are still operating reliably, or they can still be troubleshooted and fixed fairly easily. You can't say that for most computerized and servo controlled gizmos anywhere near that age. (Try finding someone near you who can still fix a VCR or video-tape camera.)

Sorry fellas, I can't play steel tonight. My I-Guitar has a "stack dump error", and I can't get it to reboot. Oh Well
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Harry Dove


From:
Edmore, Michigan, USA
Post Posted 13 Jan 2018 6:09 pm     Reply with quote

You can probably find links to this topic all over the place. It has been discussed many times. The consensus seems to be that a good portion of a player's style and sound depends on the feel and timing in which they engage and release the changes. I suppose this is similar to electronic keyboards. They weren't very well liked until they came up with weighted keys and variable volume response, directly related to how hard and fast the key was struck. I'm sure if one could figure out how to make the changes feel and respond like the mechanical pedals and levers, you would win a lot of players over. Being able to make a change in your copedent in two minutes, without tools, would certainly be a big plus if it was possible. I have to wonder how hard it would be to tune the changes. If you solve all those problems you will be a popular guy.
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 13 Jan 2018 9:17 pm     Reply with quote

You might enjoy this controller I designed some years ago.

https://b0b.com/wp/?p=1076
_________________
-b0b- (SGF Admin) a.k.a. Bobby Lee ♪ CopedentsRice & BeanWine Country SwingStella
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Slim Laurence


From:
Austin, Texas
Post Posted 13 Jan 2018 10:32 pm     Reply with quote

b0b, I downloaded your user guide. It was a good read, thanks!

Slim
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Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post Posted 14 Jan 2018 4:36 am     Reply with quote

When thinking "computerized" for a PSG, keep in mind that whatever the player do topside has to come out through the sound-chain as natural string-sound in real time. So, a slant and a slur, chimes, and various forms for "melodic noises", must not be counteracted, delayed, or "killed off" by some "smart" programing.
A "natural sound" requirement like that pretty much rules out syntetic (re)modeling as anything but an addition - ways to make sounds that are impossible on a regular PSG possible - like effects.
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Al Evans


From:
Austin, Texas, USA
Post Posted 14 Jan 2018 5:52 am     Re: New Steel Design Reply with quote

Dennis Manuel wrote:
I have been thinking of ways to construct a newly designed steel. My thoughts were computer based.... Any thoughts?


I was talking about such an idea with my wife the other night, what with good robot parts becoming readily available and microcontrollers cheap and ubiquitous. Heck, why not a tuning program for my iPad?

She said, "But it wouldn't be a pedal steel guitar, it would be something else...."

Oh. Right. Shocked

--Al Evans
_________________
1976 MSA D10 Classic, G&L S-500, G&L ASAT, G&L LB-100, Godin A4 Fretless, Kinscherff High Noon
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post Posted 14 Jan 2018 6:11 am     Reply with quote

You married a clear-thinking woman, Al Smile
_________________
No-name 60s D10 8x5, homebuilt Uni 12 7x5, Hilton pedal, pair of Fender 112s
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Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post Posted 14 Jan 2018 1:31 pm     Reply with quote

Replacing most of a PSG's mechanics with servos and controllers, doesn't make it any less a PSG. Doesn't even have to change the look/feel of the instrument - until one takes a look inside.

Not much point in building one unless the resulting instrument aims to beat all regular - entirely mechanical - PSG in several ways, and is no less than equal to them in every way but the parts of "personal taste" that cannot be (re)programmed.



A few points for servo-drives...

• Replacing the pedal-rods with electronic linkage - a cable - is not a simplification, as then both the mechanical resistance, position-sensor and electronics for it has to be built into the pedal-attachment itself. Much simpler and more cost-effective to integrate all that in the body.

• Servos must land on target within something like +/-0.5 cents/halfnote for the string that needs the shortest throw, also for half-pedaling and pedal/lever combos.

• Either the instrument exhibits no "bodydrop" detuning by pure mechanical strength, or the electronics has to correct for it for all pedal/lever combos.
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Stephen Williams


From:
from Wales now in Berkeley,Ca, USA
Post Posted 14 Jan 2018 2:54 pm     Reply with quote

If autotune for guitars can adjust notes in real time, it ought to be easy to just change the program to various co-pedants.
I think it works with a piezo pickup so that may be an issue but modelling is pretty advanced these days.
The advantage of this is that it could be very lightweight, maybe even retrofitting a lap steel? The pedals and Kneelevers are going to be switches after all....velocity sensitive though.
Again it might be a different instrument, but that doesn't mean it can't sound good in a different way.
Anybody own one of those Peavey geetars with Autotune? btw we are not talking Cher stuff on the PSG here!
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Paul Redmond


From:
Illinois, USA
Post Posted 15 Jan 2018 8:40 pm     Reply with quote

Dekley had this in the works back in 1981.
PRR
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