Arc Attack suits up for lightning-proof MIDI guitar

Thanks to ArcAttack, rock and roll concerts no longer need to be postponed by massive thunderstorms. All they need is the new lighting proof MIDI guitar, and of course, a giant Faraday cage suit to keep from getting cooked.

While ArcAttack has had guitars in their act before, this is the first time the Tesla coils are being controlled directly from the guitar, live, instead of being pre-programmed via a computer.

You can check out ArcAttack playing Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man,” (an appropriate choice), in the video below, via Wired’s GeekDad.

And here’s some information on the specifics of Arc Attack’s MIDI guitar via Gizmodo:

The fret board is 72 optically isolated switches. The fret board, instead of frets has 6 brass contacts per fret. When the string is pushed down to the contact, it makes a connection.

From there the signal is optically isolated, to protect from EMF and sent to a micro controller thats only job is to priority encode the fretboard, and keep tabs on which string is pushed down to each fret.

So priority encoding means this basically: if you are playing the 6th string on the 12th fret, then the computer ignores if say the 11th and 10th frets are pressed on that string also, since the 12th fret needs to take priority – just like a real guitar.

If you want to see more ArcAttack, they’ve performed on America’s Got Talent recently, and we’ve done video coverage of ArcAttack ourselves, where you can check out their renditions of Popcorn and the Doctor Who theme.

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7 Responses to Arc Attack suits up for lightning-proof MIDI guitar

  1. wait, so playing a cord activates the telsacoils to send out an apropriate charge to form the right note?

    if so… thats awesome!

    • Well, if you press on the 10th 11th and 12th frets of one string at the same time only the 12th fret will sound. On a strung guitar this is not an issue because on only the 12th fret can sound in this situation, but for this kind of midi controller guitar they have to specify which fret sounds., so frets that are closer to the bridge are programmed to have priority over ones that are behind them.

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