The Prism laser synth-guitar

Music Technology

MAKE subscriber Jeff made this really sweet laser synth-guitar that he calls The Prism.

The Prism is a laser guitar, with four laser beams acting as “strings” that can be held to produce a tone. A Sharp IR range finder detects the musician’s hand on the fretboard to change the pitch. You can select sine, tri or square waveform outputs, and introduce classic synthesizer effects like sync, skew and LFO.

Full instructions (it’s quite a complex project) are up on Instructables.

8 thoughts on “The Prism laser synth-guitar

  1. Matt says:

    But is it solar powered?

  2. Mig says:

    Excellent project and no programming too = no arduinoez.

    How the hell did this get onto Make?!

    1. Mig says:

      I put some joke html tags in the above post suggesting I was only kidding about the Ardweenoaz.

      But seriously I think it just goes to show, as is often bemaoned on HackaDay, that sometimes people use a microcontroller when one is not needed.


  3. jeff-o says:

    I have to agree. I think the Arduino is a fantastic piece of tech (and I do own one myself!) but once the prototyping is done it’s time to yank out the Atmel chip and build a smaller dedicated circuit around it.

    In this case, I wanted to keep everything all analog, to keep things “pure.” Plus, my programming skills are not so hot either. ;)

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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