Feedback Lapsteel : Exploring Tactile Transducers As String Actuators

Harriman, Jiffer

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

The Feedback Lap Steel is an actuated instrument which makes use of mechanical vibration of the instruments bridge to excite the strings. A custom bridge mounted directly to a tactile transducer enables the strings to be driven with any audio signal from a standard audio amplifier. The instrument can be played as a traditional lap steel guitar without any changes to playing technique as well as be used to create new sounds which blur the line between acoustic and electronic through a combination of acoustic and computer generated and controlled sounds. This introduces a new approach to string actuation using commonly available parts. This demonstration paper details the construction, uses and lessons learned in the making of the Feedback Lap Steel guitar.