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Infinite Sustain Through Controlled Feedback in Amplified Guitars

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In state-of-the-art amplified guitars, the duration of string vibration known as "sustain" is determined by the total mechanical structure of the instrument and its environment. The sustain of a given guitar may be reduced by damping; but except for compression techniques applied to the picked up signal, there has been no way of significantly increasing sustain by any added means even though this is considered highly desirable. Exactly such means are the subject of this paper. First, some typical decay characteristics of guitar strings will be described. Then the concept of the servo-controlled string vibration termed "active guitar" will follow. The controller requires a command variable generator which calculates the nominal value varying with time from the process inputs. For use with acoustic guitars, there is an additional acoustic feedback eliminator controlled by the nominal value. Finally, all the features achieved by using the active guitar concept will be summarized.

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