Friday, 10 May 2019


Digital Delay Footpedal (Figure 1)

Having seen the performing article in practice developed it as in inspiration from many other guitar foot pedals such as the BOSS digital delay pedal. Linked up via an interface connected to a laptop computer the pedal was easily performed with inclusive of distinctive features that other commercial foot pedals offer.  

An ability to turn the product off from use of a delayed signal between 250 milliseconds and one second proved successful and there were very few overall design flaws. 

Further development of the foot pedal would include optional reverb settings of which at the time of presentation were left out due to unwanted errors or over complication also being aware it often rare for commercial foot pedals to offer further options that otherwise specified. 

Boss Digital Delay foot pedal (Figure 2.) 
The basics of digital delay used in more commercial products along with other aspects found and used by guitar players worldwide were not only achieved but also demonstrated.

Please note that this blog post is one of 8 found and able to be accessed to the right-hand side of the page. These include performance principles undertaken and include research and reading undertaken.

Thank you very much

Michael David Curley
Student of Music Performance & Technologies
University of Wolverhampton - United Kingdom
FD1 Semester 2 

Thursday, 25 April 2019


In attempting to maintain a simplistic approach to the overall pedal design found the use of a wooden box with solid copper top worked well.

The observer will note that there are currently five grove encoders in place however the relevance of need only requires three (shown on the left of the picture).

On/Off with two pre-settings of 250 milliseconds and 1000 milliseconds or one-second delay In also providing a digital GUI unable at this stage to get that working. The main volume for the foot pedal is set to the side as on the graphic user interface is set at the bottom of the screen.

The simplicity of the design requires a very basic understanding of how to use the foot pedal itself by stepping on one of the required three settings. Nearest push button switches the delay effect off and use of the middle switch will set the delay to 250 milliseconds the third switch then places the delay at the desired effect of one second.

Friday, 12 April 2019


The word 'Horsepower' is itself a skeuomorph, remaining long after the horses had disappeared.

A general idea for a physical delay foot pedal is to be able to reproduce its looks and feel within the operating patch, therefore, if the patch contains the same or similar elements of the design are easier to operate by an end user. Some have argued that the more modern term of Skeuomorphism is, in fact, a visual metaphor by example many larger organizations have over a period of short years begun to move away from the overall concept in use of the word.

‘Unintentional side-effects of technological evolution’ whereby the designer is responsible for the overall look of the idea which in many cases is referring to simplistic ideas such as an app that has the appearance of a trash can in order to place unwanted files in. To design it in the concept of wishing it to look like that is can be referred to as Skeuomorphism, however, to have placed it there because that it is what is also remains arguably a simple visual metaphor. There is also now a fashion for rejecting iOS styles as over-dependent on the aesthetics of analogue technologies (Baraniuk, 2012).

Baraniuk, C. (2012). How We Started Calling Visual Metaphors �Skeuomorphs� and Why the Debate over Apple�s Interface Design is a Mess. [online] The Machine Starts. Available at: [Accessed 12 Apr. 2019].

Judah, S. (2013). What is skeuomorphism?. [online] BBC News. Available at: [Accessed 5 Apr. 2019].

Friday, 5 April 2019


Figure 1 (PureData Patch Working Through Interface and Foot pedal).

The first day of physical tests between the artifact and software has proved to be important based on the needs of adjustments to the software patch. Introduction of integers at points of milliseconds for the delay was required in order to make the overall product work. The development of a graphic user interface (GUI) is still within the realms of development however, early tests now have three main options available on the product with on-screen abilities being required.

250 milliseconds or 1000 milliseconds are selectable by placing your foot on each desired switch and you may note that two of those are currently dormant switches due to both being pre-designed during the conceptualization of the artifacts manufacturing.

At this stage of development and with initial tests having been completed the simplicity of the pedal in use of two stages of delay, with an off switch and use of overall reverb inclusive of a general volume switch; encouraged to have also received offers by end users to use the physical product for entertainment purposes.

The electric guitar is plugged into a Behringer U-Phoria UM2 via a new Dell laptop connected via firewire. 

Figure 2 (PureData Patch with Amendments via Arduino Artifact).

Friday, 29 March 2019


Figure 1 (The Multidisciplinary Field of HCI)

Algorithm & blues?

A brief introduction to although not yet concurrent in relevant music technology are exampled in human-computer interaction by three specific areas of.

Computer Science
Cognitive Science
Human Factors Engineering

From the early days of computers simple tests, sounds have been generated thus creating musical tones.

All great composers at some point have developed compositions based on musical theory as algorithms in computers have helped develop the greater technical aspects of advanced mathematics within the field of algorithmic designs and developments from websites to social media (Servick, 2013).

Early tests on the foot pedal included simple stages of making sure the original patch adequately performed to the standards required by example does it work by pure determination of skeuomorphism?

The fourth area not listed in the picture above covers the simple onscreen computer design or does the physical artefact resemble it's working on-screen counterpart?

The answer in question is ‘YES’. 

Connected to the design a series of effects are available when playing the guitar through the patch represented by a GUI (Graphic User Interface) and currently being detailed in production. 

Delay with multiple settings is available, inclusive of an off switch further commands include settings from 100 milliseconds of delay to 1000 milliseconds.

Reverb, as stated in the initial prior proposal, is a process whereby currently permanently on, however, can and should available, be turned off dependent on the difficulty expressed during the learning curve from the overall connection of the computer to physical foot pedal artefact.

Servick, K. (2013). How computer science and music work in harmony. [online] Out of the Fog. Available at: [Accessed 29 Mar. 2019].

Friday, 22 March 2019


Assessment 1
Music Interface Design Report
Michael David Curley
The attention of Chris Payne

The task includes information for a musical interface design based around a foot pedal for a guitar using three types of effects
being reverb, delay, distortion. An ability to use five (5) digital grove encoders push buttons connected to a PureData
original patch software via an Arduino user interface.

Technical Aspects Include

As the effect pedal contains both analogue and digital components the difference in use can best be described as an analogue
signal has a continuous signal which represents physical measurements and denoted by a sine wave. ‘A digital signal
is classed as a discrete time signal generated by digital modulation and denoted by a square wave’ (Diffen, 2014).

Both digital and analogue sensors have been placed into an Arduino circuit board including a delay on and off operated
by digital grove encoders that get pushed and/or selected to the required setting by placing a foot on the five individual
button(s). A choice of [off] for the delay was selected due to the overall need of a musician to turn the effect off, should the
effect not to be required.

The reverb contained in this device is an adjustable constant based on an analogue slider that employs the overall amount of
dryness to the sound. This is connected to the object [freeverb] and will be placed onto the physical hardware setting with
use of one further slider also attached to the foot pedal casing controlling the overall volume. ‘Freeverb uses four Schroeder
passes in series and eight parallel Schroeder-Moorer filtered-feedback comb-filters (§2.6.5) for each audio channel, and is
said to be especially well tuned’ (Smith, 2010).

‘Clip Distortion is a nonlinear distortion effect that produces unpredictable harmonic spectra. It can simulate warm, overdriven
tube sounds and can also generate heavy distortions’ (Apple, 2019).

The volume itself within the software is connected to PureData volume object [*~ 40] set to a higher volume value as to help
produce natural distortion often selected by guitar players. Other technical aspects of the patch include [clip~ -0-5 0.5] and
[lop~ 500] the latter being [lop~] is a one-pole low pass filter with a specified roll-off frequency set to 500; with the first
being the [clip~] object which passes its signal input to its output, clipping it to lie between two limits as shown in figure 1
acting as compression (Nair, 2013).

Figure 1. (PureData Effects Patch)

Human Aspects Include

The principle being that often delayed effects produce what is known to the ear as repeated note structure and/or ambient
sounds. A delay unit works by sending the input signal at a later time defined in milliseconds or seconds. The signal can be
combined with the original in an amount set by the overall mix control with a number of delays repeated being determined
by a feedback control - ‘the higher the feedback control, the more repeats’ (Teach, 2016).

The variable delay is triggered by stepping on the Arduino Grove sensor and connected to the physical housing after drilling
simple holes in the wooden box. settings of delay between 100 milliseconds to 1000 milliseconds connected directly to the
PureData software object of [delread] can then be accessed via the Arduino interface.


‘The user interface is the part of every computer system that determines how people control and operate that system’. ‘When
it is well designed, it is comprehensible, predictable, and controllable; users feel competent, satisfied, and responsible for
their actions’ (Shneiderman, 1997).

The human interface element of the project will include a wooden housing large enough to be placed on the floor with an
ability to be controlled by the foot (see figure 2). Five holes will be included in the fabricating of the wooden housing with a
further two sliders controlling the overall volume and reverb setting for use of a dry element that will be part of the overall
software project. Often referred to a ‘Skeuomorphism’ whereby digital objects created are resemblant to their physical
counterparts (Bollini, 2017).

Further notable aesthetics include although currently not on display, a copper top and black coating to the box with an
ability to open it up via the removal of two screw placements. It was decided that an average foot size designed for a
running shoe would be a suitable size.

Figure 2 (Wooden housing for reverb/delay pedal).


Work taking place after the initial assignment date will concentrate wholly on the manufacturing of the product with a
specific view to what works best in terms of the PureData software protocol by pre demonstration testing (see figure 3).
Specifications during trials have seen slight errors between both software and computer links, this may be due to a physical
computer error.   

Figure 3 (Arduino showing grove encoder inputs)


Apple, (2019). Logic Pro X: Clip Distortion. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Mar. 2019].

Bollini, L. (2017). Beautiful interfaces. From user experience to user interface design.
The Design Journal, [online] 20(sup1), pp.S89-S101. Available at: [Accessed 22 Mar. 2019].

Diffen (2014). Analogue vs Digital - Difference and Comparison | Diffen. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Mar. 2019].

Nair, V. (2013). Tutorial: A compressor in Pure Data. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Mar. 2019].

Smith, J. (2010). Physical Audio Signal Processing. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Mar. 2019].

Shneiderman, B., Plaisant, C., Cohen, M., Jacobs, S. and Elmqvist, N. (1997). Designing the user interface. 3rd ed. Boston:
Addison-Wesley Longman Publishing Co., Inc, p.Introduction.

Teach, J. (2016). Human-computer interaction issues in Clinical Trials Management Systems. PubMed.Gov, [online]
(PMC1839415), p. Abstract. Available at: [Accessed 13 Mar. 2019].

Friday, 1 March 2019


Lesson Objectives

1. Complete first installation of Grove Encoder.
2. Research Human Computer Interaction.
3. Update Blog.

Initial conceptualisation of a software/hardware interface that has simple design abilities to be used as a functioning electric guitar foot pedal are as follows.

Figure 1. PureData patch of a Reverb/Delay Foot pedal.

The purchase of the first Arduino/Grove encoder (£7.99 each) for use in what will be a five (5) switch foot pedal inclusive of wooden casing has been completed.

Figure 2. Grove Encoder Digital Switch
Grove encoders being both digital (push) and analog (rotate) achieve an ability to complete the necessary useable qualities and have been been tested for latency making solid use of an instrument interface. The behringer U-Phoria UM2 single channel stereo is an ample tool for one instrument being plugged in to the computer via PureData. 

Figure 3. behringer U-Phoria UM2 Instrument Interface

With currently four (4) selections of delay being used inclusive of an off switch or (0) within the coding as shown in figure one, the encoder is able to control setting values varying from milliseconds of 100, 250, 500, 1000 and connected digitally as plugged in the Arduino/Grove hardware as shown in figure 2.

Figure 4. Arduino PureData Software required within the patch

With only two 'groves' placed in being a volume slider and encoder will this week purchase a further five (5), prior to preparing the wooden box casing that will be used to house the foot pedal mechanic from view. You will note from elements of figure 4 inputs for both digital and analog have been selected. Digital being zero's and one's, analog being both however smoothed mathematically as see to the bottom left of figure 4.

Please note as this uses Human Computer Interaction (HCI) research on topic inclusive of and not excluding [delay audio], [reverb], [clip distortion], [user interface design], will become a major part of the final written analysis.

Other areas of note will see improvements to the reverb side of the multi functional software pedal, providing three main elements for the guitarist, distortion, reverb, delay

Michael David Curley
Student of Music Performance & Technologies
University of Wolverhampton - United Kingdom
FD1 Semester 2

Friday, 8 February 2019


February Friday 8th 2019:

Lesson Objective(s) below.

1. Begin to design a PD (PureData) patch for the electric guitar
2. Find a solution to connect a PD (PureData) patch to Arduino code.
3. Assess what works best?



The objectivity of the lesson was to begin a working patch designed with use of PureData software incorporating specific elements included that would allow an electric guitar to be played through it; this included and not excluding other ideas of both 'reverb' and 'delay'.

Picture 1 
(PureData Patch)

In creating the patch included a specific sound gate that would generate natural distortion set to an object level of *~ 40. Under many or most volume controls following an audio object of adc~ a far lower amount is required to prevent feedbacks set to levels of around * 0.5~. In making the decision to employ specific required effects the guitar is connected via an audio interface with recommended levels considerably higher.

Other effects incorporated are both Clip~, Lop~, Env~, Delwrite~, Delread~ connected at points to provide a sustainable delay with reverb. 

The yellow vertical slider provides control from the physical Arduino/Grove casing controlled by a send and sub patch Arduino code connected as detailed above by picture 1 and below by picture 2.

Picture 2. 
(Arduino PureData Coding inclusive of Sends) 

Signals from the Arduino/Grove casing were downloaded via Arduino IDE which once received with Arduino software began to read as 'port 4'. All information was picked up relatively with ease and physically controlled by the real time fader switch.  All required math being indicated to the lower left of picture 2 inclusive of the object (s volume).

During initial tests included an object DSP which within the next few classes will be included to the Arduino protocol and controlled by a physical on/off foot switch.

Picture 3. 
(Arduino/Grove With Volume Fader)

Negotiated Targets Achieved. 

  • Both elements of reverb and delay have worked successfully.
  • Achieved send/receive.
  • Real time fader use via software.
  • Designed an on/off switch

Needs For Next Update(s)
  • Still require a physical Arduino/Grove button
  • Still require wood based casing. 

Michael David Curley
Student of Music Performance & Technologies
University of Wolverhampton - United Kingdom
FD1 Semester 2