Guitar Hero and the ImageCraft AVR C Compiler

One of the hottest console games currently is Guitar Hero. It’s hugely entertaining and you get to enjoy some good music. On the downside, it doesn’t have anything to do with playing real guitar per se as the primary task is to push the right buttons as shown on the screen. To address these shortcomings, Zivix has developed a guitar with an Atmel ATMega168. The designer, Dan Sullivan,  says

We have been using the Imagecraft C compiler for the Atmel AVR for many years, and it has been a great workhorse for code development. We use an Atmel MEGA168, so having efficient code is important to squeeze in the many functions into the small memory space available.

I am very glad that we can be a part of Dan’s ingenious solution. In Zivix’s guitar, since the game requires “chords” on one string, Zivix has patent-pending sensors integrated into the fretboard. This makes the guitar act as a bridge between game playing and learning a real musical instrument. Instead of pressing colored buttons on a simulated plastic guitar, the user places their fingers on the frets, and instead of using a plastic paddle switch, a string must be picked using a conventional pick or finger. In this way a game player can learn to fret and pick strings on a real guitar, and this provides a first step to learning to play it. The guitar can then be disconnected from the game, plugged into a normal guitar amplifier, and used to learn the real songs.

For more information, please visit their web site, http://www.zivix.net.

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