Austin’s ArcAttack on America’s Got Talent demonstrates how to do Iron Man with 1,000,000 volts of MIDI-controlled Tesla guitar.
Here’s what they have to say about their MIDI guitar setup for the America’s Got Talent show:
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.
Now there is a second computer that is located on top of the fret board underneath the metal box. This computer detects when the strings are strummed, and is also updated by the first computer whenever the fretboard changes state.
It is also the second computer’s responsibility to process the fretboard and strumming data, and output midi messages accordingly. The midi signal is converted to a fiber optic light pulse, and is sent down as optical data to the Tesla coil’s main computer, which is responsible for processing the midi commands and outputting a pulse rate modulation signal to control the pitch of the tesla coils.
The end result: The most rock and roll display ever. Real lightning guitar, while the player plays the guitar, he is being struck by lightning that produces the melody that he is playing.
Pretty insane, eh?