[chuck-users] Guitar Zero

Les Hall inventor-66 at comcast.net
Fri Jan 9 06:36:34 EST 2009

Hello fellow ChucKists!

I may have spoken about Guitar Zero on the list before.  The program is 
an interactive ChucK program for practicing guitar.  I have made major 
updates to it, so if you are interested you can get the source here:


The way it works is that first you get a menu with a little bit of fun 
ASCII art on it, and you select an option that will determine what quiz 
game you get.  Let's say you choose random notes.  Guitar Zero will 
print a guitar fretboard with the notes labeled and one of those notes 
will be highlighted with a box of text.  You play that note and Guitar 
Zero will actually recognize it using comb filters made with the magic 
of ChucK!  If you play the right note Guitar Zero beeps and you get 
another note.

The program keeps track of how fast you play, then at some point you 
type spacebar or "z" to exit and you get an exit screen with a 
performance summary.  I should also mention that Guitar Zero accepts 
input from the line-in jack or from a soundcard.  The microphone does 
not work all that well in testing.

I am testing this program with some forum members of the 
www.justinguitar.com community.  JustinGuitar is a site that offers 
free guitar lessons via youtube video, and really good ones too, all 
done by a guy named Justin in Australia.  He accepts donations and that 
enables him to expand the site, offering 100 free videos and now he 
travels the world playing and teaching guitar.  Enough about that.  
Anyway, the test users are international and the main problem they have 
with ChucK and Guitar Zero is the keyboard.  It seems that 
international keyboards such as a British or Belgian or German keyboard 
are handled improperly by ChucK and they can't use the menu options 
properly.  I am writing about that little problem so that maybe the DEV 
team will notice and perhaps look into it (hah, as if they were not 
busy already).  Anyway, it's a minor issue because if I recall 
correctly from Ge's holiday email, ChucK will soon have...

*** CROSS PLATFORM MAUI ****  and also *** FILE I/O ***

Wow!  That is amazing news, as it is just the thing for Guitar Zero 
which is turning into it's own little application for guitarists.  I 
just exchanged some forum messages with one of the forum admins and he 
has suggested creating some sort of abstraction layer in which chord 
construction can be done and also in which scales can be represented, 
among other guitarish things.  I feel that file I/O will greatly 
enhance Guitar Zero, enabling input files that store such an 
abstraction layer without having to embed it in the code.  Also Guitar 
Zero can play songs, or rather prompt the user to play songs, and these 
songs can be stored in text files.  In addition it is desirable to 
store calibration data for each user's guitar so that proper signal 
recognition can occur.  So here's three cheers to Ge and his 
code-wizard DEV team members for providing all of us with such a great 
upgrade to ChucK.

OK, I'll close now, I've rambled on enough.  Happy new year everyone 
and let's make this year a good one for music lovers everywhere!


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