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Mini UpRightBass Cigar Box Conversion

Mini UpRightBass Cigar Box Conversion

posted on #1
GlezBass Supporter
Posts: 106
Joined: 23 lug 2013
In this post I show you the conversion of a cigar box to use it as a MIDI controller and play any string instrument or VST sound

Use for the project:
1. 4-string cigar box EADG
2. 0.52-0.12 gauge flatwound strings like touch upright string
3. USB interface , in my case I use the USB of a Behringer guitar, but any small interface would work well attached to the body or external through a jack cigar box out
4. Audio to MIDI conversion software : Jam Origin Midi Guitar 2,Dodo Midi
https://www.jamorigin.com/
https://bedroomproducersblog.com/2021/10/25/dodo-audio-midi-converter/
5. DAW record ... in my case Reaper


First I adapted the interface in the best possible place, in this case after the string bridge screwed to the body, you just have to solder the pickup outputs (ground and signal) either directly to the USB interface or through a tone potentiometer 250K to eliminate most high-pitched noise.
It would stay like this.....

[img]https://i.imgur.com/WPloMEm.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i.imgur.com/gUgHM5v.jpg[/img]

Then, just for aesthetic reasons, I have covered the electronic system with a P bass type electric bass plate, it also serves to eliminate more parasitic signal by placing the hand on top of the plate when playing

It would stay like this....

[img]https://i.imgur.com/wOxGDeq.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i.imgur.com/Sh8gfNz.jpg[/img]

On the side would be the inputs of the USB port and in this case the audio input with 6.5mm jack

[img]https://i.imgur.com/2xJiZOu.jpg[/img]

Connect the cigar box through the USB interface to the laotpop and then any audio to MIDI signal converter, modify the audio signal to a midi signal on the laptop to use it in any VST as a signal trigger

With my USB card, Midi guitar Jam Origin and latency settings I get a latency of 5.8 ms, enough to play without perceiving signal delay

You just have to spend time adjusting the midi parameters for a natural playing on the strings

And the result..!!

You can comfortably play in the Cigar Box scale (almost similar to a conventional electric guitar) the sound of a conventional EADG-tuned double bass with the same scales and note positions.

It sounds like that....for the styles that require double bass sound ;)

https://www.wikiloops.com/backingtrack-jam-261401.php

https://www.wikiloops.com/backingtrack-jam-261563.php

https://www.wikiloops.com/backingtrack-jam-261496.php
+12
posted on #2
Diamant Supporter
Posts: 5
Joined: 12 feb 2014
Doctor Mario strikes again:o
Great job and amazing result with your new double bass<3
Thanks for sharing my friend
+1
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posted on #3
GlezBass Supporter
Posts: 106
Joined: 23 lug 2013
Diamant wrote:
Doctor Mario strikes again:o
Great job and amazing result with your new double bass<3
Thanks for sharing my friend


Thanks Olivier!!

It's an idea that occurred to me a long time ago, it really is to create a non-key MIDI controller, where obviously the double bass sound would also work; rather it is a way of playing string sounds, plucking strings... therein lies the difference
It can also be done with a conventional guitar, but I have two strings left over to have that real double bass feeling in your hands.
I can also play it comfortably on the sofa hahaha!!!
posted on #4
SoulFingers Supporter
Posts: 55
Joined: 7 ago 2021
You are a great source of engineering inspiration Mario, thanks for sharing ;)

So you are using heavy gauge jazz guitar strings and the bass tuned up one octave higher than a normal bass guitar, right?
+1
posted on #5
GlezBass Supporter
Posts: 106
Joined: 23 lug 2013
Very observant Michael!!

In fact, the gauge is like a 052/012 jazz guitar with a flatwound finish, so the 4 low strings are like mini-bass strings he he

Regarding the tuning, it is in fact an octave more, and that is very important because the midi-audio conversion program detects the high notes better, if it had used a conventional bass it does not detect the low notes

In addition to this technical detail, it is more comfortable to play "a double bass" sitting on your sofa than a vertical one ha ha ha
+1
posted on #6
GlezBass Supporter
Posts: 106
Joined: 23 lug 2013
SoulFingers wrote:
You are a great source of engineering inspiration Mario, thanks for sharing ;)

So you are using heavy gauge jazz guitar strings and the bass tuned up one octave higher than a normal bass guitar, right?


I like to experiment with the instruments and give it another life....

If you have the opportunity to buy a second-hand behringer USB guitar (Iaxe model), you have the USB interface that you can remove by just removing 4 screws... it has excellent latency with the drivers for Windows 10
posted on #7
SoulFingers Supporter
Posts: 55
Joined: 7 ago 2021
GlezBass wrote:
Very observant Michael!!

In fact, the gauge is like a 052/012 jazz guitar with a flatwound finish, so the 4 low strings are like mini-bass strings he he

Regarding the tuning, it is in fact an octave more, and that is very important because the midi-audio conversion program detects the high notes better, if it had used a conventional bass it does not detect the low notes

In addition to this technical detail, it is more comfortable to play "a double bass" sitting on your sofa than a vertical one ha ha ha


That's a very clever solution Mario - yes, bass notes are a lot harder to sample in realtime ;)

And the VST plugin will generate the "singing" sound of the fretless board of an upright anyway so you can use a conventional fretted neck.

I'll have to find a second hand Danelectro now for modification I think :D
+2
posted on #8
GlezBass Supporter
Posts: 106
Joined: 23 lug 2013
I've tested it and it works with VSTs that emulate fretless quite well!!
You don't get the same slide as a fretless fingerboard but it sounds very good... when I upload something with this VST I'll send it to you, for now I love the sound "and the real touch" of strings with double bass sound!!!
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posted on #9
GlezBass Supporter
Posts: 106
Joined: 23 lug 2013
SoulFingers wrote:
GlezBass wrote:
Very observant Michael!!

In fact, the gauge is like a 052/012 jazz guitar with a flatwound finish, so the 4 low strings are like mini-bass strings he he

Regarding the tuning, it is in fact an octave more, and that is very important because the midi-audio conversion program detects the high notes better, if it had used a conventional bass it does not detect the low notes

In addition to this technical detail, it is more comfortable to play "a double bass" sitting on your sofa than a vertical one ha ha ha


That's a very clever solution Mario - yes, bass notes are a lot harder to sample in realtime ;)

And the VST plugin will generate the "singing" sound of the fretless board of an upright anyway so you can use a conventional fretted neck.

I'll have to find a second hand Danelectro now for modification I think :D




https://www.wikiloops.com/backingtrack-jam-255483.php

In this jam you can hear and see in the comments a guitar that I converted to fretless...
I have extracted the USB interface from that guitar, and I have left it as a fretless instrument... a very curious sound

Hey it!!!
posted on #10
ulfberth Supporter
Posts: 3
Joined: 25 mar 2024
Yes - good explanation - good project. I did see this...

An exam[ple of playing style I wish for.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKxB-D8v6hs
and taking to Bass and Chords. Hybrid Guitar - 2 signal paths

Song is great Brass excellent. But to jump to relevant section about the middle of the video.
Shows Bass and melodic / Chords
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXIP-xOhMo8

I want one - or the Bacci Leonardo.
Cost is a consideration, but hesitate about the learning curve.

Keep up your sound - it's special and your guitar is only part of it.
Real good musician.

Ulfberth
+1
posted on #11
Ray Sugar Supporter
Posts: 26
Joined: 6 dic 2023
Looks great and sounds great.
+1
posted on #12
GlezBass Supporter
Posts: 106
Joined: 23 lug 2013
Hi folks

The evolution idea of cigar box is this mini bass of 28" scale... the Squier Fender Mini Precision

[img]https://musicaladn.com/262899/squier-mini-precision-bass-laurel-fingerboard-dakota-red.jpg[/img]


The idea is the same as the cigar box, but now it has more of a bass body feel when playing on the strings, a better neck and a better fingerboard. The sound is the same VST (or whatever you want...), but the sensation of playing on a bass is much more real now. The small technical modifications that I have been able to verify and that I transmit to you are the following:

The technical details that you should observe after my experience are these:
- you must use a low latency sound interface, mine achieves 5.8 ms, otherwise you will play with too much latency sound from the moment you press the string
- The string gauge must be 024, .034, .044, .056 to generate the exact frequency that the midi software triggers, and have a certain sensation of bass strings. Thicker calibers don´t trigger sounds well (even with the Jam Origin MidiBass they do not work well)
- the instrument must generate little parasitic magnetic noise to avoid notes triggered by these interference noises, therefore you must close the high tones on your guitar
- the reliability of the notes with my system is more than 95%... sometimes 98-99%, so then you only have to edit some midis notes for a perfect sound
- to avoid interference or triggering of wrong notes due to "sympathy" frequencies, I have improved the system by muting the non-active strings with a foam under the bridge near the strings at the exit of the saddle bridge (like any damper mute system).

The result here ... #292966

I hope that the idea and the new reforms are useful to those interested!! ;)
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