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The First Wond
This is the first Wond handheld string exciter, launched in 2015 with a successful Kickstarter.
With a little help from my friends, by the end of 2015 we’d built almost 500 of these and shipped them to musicians all over the world. Guitar Player magazine wrote a great review and the Wond was chosen as one of “The 10 Coolest Guitar Gear Innovations of 2015.“
The first Wond experimentally introduced the technologies of acoustic synthesis and tactile feedback in a hand-held device for playing the guitar. I then spent 2016 figuring out how to make it much better…
Wond II Concepts
This is a concept drawing of the Wond II. During 2016 I developed a new core technology of acoustic synthesis. Significant improvements and amazing new features are now possible.
For example, microphone 134 (see drawing) will record a sound – any pitched sound. Imagine this: You press a button and record a sample of your own voice. The Wond II will drive the string’s harmonics to follow your recorded sample. It’s making your string act like an acoustic vocoder. And as you work the Wond closer to your pickups, you hear a re-synthesized sample note in unison with your electric guitar tone. This one feature turns the Wond II into a hand-held monophonic synthesizer / string-vocoder that perfectly tracks whichever string you apply it to.
Display 115 and selection buttons 117 will let you select from and manage these recordings. We’ll store several at once in the Wond II. We can all review the options for bidirectional data interconnection. Wireless and USB are two possible choices. What do you think? As a supporter your feedback will help guide such decisions.
More Wond II Concepts
The first Wond introduced tactile feedback of string proximity. This is a powerful idea that was not fully realized in the first Wond design. It’s there, but only “sort of”.
The goal with tactile feedback is to create the illusion of feeling the Wond’s magnetic field touching the string as you play. It can be something like way your guitar pick feels to your fingers as you pluck a string. To achieve this illusion convincingly the Wond II’s tactile feedback must be shaped by a far more advanced behavioral algorithm than I was able to squeeze out of the analog circuitry in the first Wond. This is why the Wond II will include a digital subsystem for advanced algorithmic control of tactile feedback.
The Wond II Project will create an electromagnetic accessory for your stringed instrument to give you vibration control, acoustic synthesis and the tactile sensation of strumming and plucking the strings with a magnetic pick. It’s analog, it’s digital, it’s even physical. And now, thanks to the strong support we received in January, the Wond II Project is funded and active. Work is going on right now, bringing the Wond II concept into reality!
I am so encouraged and motivated by all the supporters who have already joined the Wond II Project. Yes, you can still join up, and it is better to join now because the cost will go up as we get closer to delivery. Once you join you’ll be shown much of the work as the Wond II takes shape, and you’ll also have opportunities to weigh in on feature decisions. Together lets make the Wond II an indispensable musical tool for all players of stringed instruments!
Join the Wond II Project now!
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