Bass Pickups

The SMARTune self tuning guitar system is being developed by The Tune Squad at Calvin College for use by musicians who are eager for innovation in guitar tuning systems. The SMARTune system will be integrated into the body of a bass guitar and will provide the added functionality of automatic tuning. The team is striving to provide an intuitive and reliable system for musicians from beginners to professionals.

Thus far, the team has organized the basic concept behind how this system will function. There are five main subsystems within the product: the user interface, the pickups, the microcontroller, the tuning mechanism, and the power supply. The system will operate by utilizing digital signal processing technology to repeatedly analyze the frequency of a string. The result of this frequency analysis will determine whether a string requires an increase or decrease in tension. The micro- controller manipulates servo motors that are mounted on the tuning pegs of the bass guitar. Using this concept, the team has begun procuring components and making preliminary design decisions. The system is expected to achieve a tuning accurate to within +/- 2 cents of the desired tone.

By the end of the year, the team will deliver a fully functional prototype, a user manual, a marketing brochure, technical documentation, and a detailed final report.

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