Recording the Sound of Musical Instruments with FBGs: the Photonic Pickup

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Loock, Hans-Peter
Hopkins, W. Scott
Morris-Blair, Christine
Resendes, Rui
Saari, Jonathan
Trefiak, Nicholas R.
Recording , Musical Instruments with FBGs , Photonic Pickup
Fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) have previously found many applications as strain and vibration sensors. Here we demonstrate that they may also be employed as pickups for musical instruments and, specifically, for acoustic guitars and solid-body electric guitars. By fixing the FBG to a vibrating part of the instrument's body, e.g., near the bridge of an acoustic guitar or on the headstock of a solid-body guitar, a number of sound recordings were made and compared to those obtained with either piezoelectric pickups or with magnetic induction pickups. The change in attenuation at the FBG's midreflection point is found to be correlated to the amplitude of vibration of the vibrating structure of the instrument. Acoustic frequency spectrum analysis supports the observation that the FBG acoustic transducer has a frequency response range that is comparable to those of commercial piezoelectric pickups. The recordings made with FBG pickups were of comparable quality to those obtained with other recording methods. Recording the Sound of Musical Instruments with Fbgs: The Photonic Pickup (PDF Download Available). Available from: [accessed Mar 18, 2016].
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