Geert Roks

Onset effects

Guitar effects augmented by onset detection

In my bachlor thesis I researched the use for onset detection in guitar pedals. I looked into which onset detectors work well on electric guitars in a real-time environment. Also, I looked at the the creative possibilities that adding an onset detector to a guitar effect provides.

I found multiple possible configurations. I presented these configurations to professionals in different music-related fields. The results were quite mixed, but one configuration had a clear preference. This configuration is the swell mode and can be listend to in the following audio clip.

The swell mode fades an effect in and out based on the onset detection. Effectively changing the dry-wet balance automatically.


Currently, I am developing hardware to facilitate this effect.

Hardware prototype