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Oct 26, 2015 5:34 PM ET

Archived: ACPAD – The Electronic Orchestra For Your Guitar: Play hundreds of instruments, samples, effects and loops – on your acoustic guitar. ACPAD puts an electronic orchestra in your hands!

iCrowdNewswire - Oct 26, 2015
This is the latest ACPAD prototype. Read this page to learn more about the final design of ACPAD.
This is the latest ACPAD prototype. Read this page to learn more about the final design of ACPAD.

ACPAD is the World’s First Wireless MIDI Controller for Acoustic Guitar. With ACPAD, you have access to hundreds of instruments, sound effects and loops – right on your guitar.

And because we set ourselves to build an amazing MIDI controller, ACPAD is also:

ACPAD has a gentle adhesive surface and attaches to your guitar in seconds, without any screws, wires or permanent alterations made to your guitar. It can also safely be removed and replaced without leaving any residue.

 miniatura de video del proyecto

Plug the USB dongle in your laptop or mobile device and ACPAD syncs wirelessly with your favourite music apps and DAWs (Ableton, Logic, etc.) – no complex setup or cable mess. If you prefer, you can also connect ACPAD with a standard mini-USB cable.


Pressure Sensitivity

Pressure sensitivity is essential for the expressivity of the instruments played on ACPAD. To make pressure sensitive surfaces possible on such a thin device, the contacts of the pads are plated with gold (yes, actual gold). Thanks to this technology, ACPAD is only a few millimeters thick, but it can detect how hard you press the pads with remarkable precision!

The contacts on ACPAD are plated with real gold to make them pressure sensitive.
The contacts on ACPAD are plated with real gold to make them pressure sensitive.

The Layout

ACPAD offers a lot of features, so the layout had to be carefully thought-out. We tested extensively with guitar players to develop a button layout that feels intuitive.

The Final Design 

Compared to the prototype seen in the video, the production model bears a few design optimizations, such as smaller footprint and more ergonomic button layout. Below is a side-by-side comparison between the prototype seen in the video and the pre-production model.

ACPAD was made to accommodate all guitar players – from the hobbyist to the performing artist. Whatever your skill level, ACPAD is extremely flexible and will grow with you on your musical journey.

If you’re not yet comfortable playing multiple instruments at once, simply pre-record loops or samples, trigger them on ACPAD and focus on strumming your guitar – while ACPAD manages the orchestra for you.

If you’re feeling more confident and want to play percussive-style guitar, then you have the ability to get even more creative and play drums, bass or trigger effects and samples while strumming at the same time. ACPAD becomes the perfect companion for improvisation and jamming.

ACPAD also fully supports your favorite DAWs such as Ableton Live and ProTools, which means possibilities are limitless. Let your imagination go wild!

We have already put in countless hours of work and lots of our own savings into the development of ACPAD. We now have working prototypes with which we created very cool music (some of which you can hear throughout our Kickstarter video).

However, the next step is manufacturing, and we need to secure 40,000€ in pre-orders to be able to finance the tooling, molds and materials for the first batch of production of ACPAD.

This is where YOU come in.

We need you to help us bring ACPAD to the world, by pledging and supporting our campaign. In return, we want to make you the very firsts ACPAD users in the world.

We absolutely can’t wait to listen to the amazing music you will create with ACPAD!

ACPAD is extremely thin so that it doesn’t damp the sound of your beloved acoustic guitar. But despite its incredible thinness, ACPAD has a whole lot of technology inside. Here’s more details for all the nerds (like us) out there:

  • Adhesive: Sticky polymer mat (residue-free)
  • Dimensions: 300 mm X 365 mm; see below for details
  • Thickness: 3.5 mm for the PAD; 9 mm for the battery area
  • Battery life: 4-5 hours of continuous play; Rechargeable via USB 
  • Connectivity: Wireless via USB dongle; Wired via USB Mini cable
ACPAD - Key Dimensions
ACPAD – Key Dimensions
 miniatura de video del proyecto

We are a small but dedicated group of musicians, engineers, designers and tech lovers building something we love. And since we released our first official ACPAD demo video, we know we’re not alone. We’ve been blown away by your messages, feedback and encouragements about ACPAD, and we can’t wait to put the final product into your hands!

The Birth

The idea for ACPAD is born when Berlin musician Robin Sukroso needed a device that would allow him to bring his love of both electronic and acoustic music together. Robin first began experimenting in 2009 by building his own devices. 

First iteration, attachable prototype (2009)
First iteration, attachable prototype (2009)

With the help of a friend, he heavily altered his guitar – drilling holes and running cables through it – which finally let him perform the music he had envisioned.

Second iteration, prototype guitar (2011)
Second iteration, prototype guitar (2011)
Third iteration, prototype guitar (2012)
Third iteration, prototype guitar (2012)
Robin performing live (2012)
Robin performing live (2012)

The Teenage Years

Robin’s original style of music got him to perform with his prototype guitar in different places around the world. It was in India, after his guitar and prototype was accidentally damaged that he met Amaldev, Deepak and Avinash, three graduate students from the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, India’s top engineering institute.

What first began as a repair mission soon led to the development of something much more ambitious: a mountable, wireless and super thin MIDI controller for guitar. This was the birth of the ACPAD vision.

Fourth iteration, attachable prototype (2013)
Fourth iteration, attachable prototype (2013)
Fifth iteration, attachable prototype (2014)
Fifth iteration, attachable prototype (2014)
Sixth iteration, attachable prototype (2015)
Sixth iteration, attachable prototype (2015)

Into Adulthood

After almost 3 years of research, development and prototyping, ACPAD is ready for manufacturing. Robin and his Indian friends have spent countless hours making sure ACPAD not only uses the most reliable technology, but also beautifully preserves the acoustic guitar’s tonal quality.

1. Does ACPAD pick up the sound coming from my strings?

ACPAD itself does not pick up the sound of your acoustic guitar’s strings, however, it can accommodate a MIDI pickup (such as the GK3, Fishman Triple-play and others) to give you the power of modulation and effects on your guitar sound.

2. Do I need a MIDI pickup to use ACPAD?

No, you do not need a MIDI pickup to use ACPAD . It is an independent device used to trigger programmed sounds via software.

3. What software do I need to use ACPAD?

You would require either a DAW (Garageband, Ableton, Pro Tools, Logic, etc.) or a standalone VST MIDI software to use ACPAD. We will release ACPAD initially with a companion software for your laptop or desktop, to help map functions easily.

4. Do you have an ACPAD app? Is it iOS or Android?

ACPAD already works with iOS and Android devices if plugged in via USB. We intend to develop a mobile app for iOS and Android devices in the near future.

5. How is ACPAD mounted to my guitar?

ACPAD mounts to your guitar with a rubber-like material that will stay sticky no matter how many times you apply or reapply ACPAD to your guitar. It is a special non-marking, non-staining substance that will not ruin your guitar’s finish. If if it picks up too much dirt or dust, you can simply wipe it clean with a wet cloth or napkin and it is ready to use again in a couple of minutes!

6. What is the latency when using ACPAD?

One of our most important goals when developing ACPAD was to keep the latency low. Through continual testing and tweaking we have achieved this – to a point where we can perform comfortably with it. Latency figures, will however, vary depending on your system configuration.

7. How many different designs are available? Are there different colors or button arrangements?

The first ACPAD is the black model. We will shortly offer extra colors as stretch goals – so you, the user will be able to decide what colors make it to production.

8. What guitars will ACPAD fit?

ACPAD fits most standard full-size acoustic guitars. To see if ACPAD fits your guitar, check the dimensions in the tech-specs section above. If you need additional information – drop us a line and we will get back to you!

9. What equipment do I need to make music with ACPAD?

To get playing with ACPAD you will need: A laptop/desktop with a DAW (Pro Tools, Ableton, Logic, Garageband Cubase, etc) or any software that accepts MIDI input. A USB port for either wireless dongle or direct connection, and laptop speakers, Headphones, monitors or an amplifier for audio out; Or even any MIDI device you would like to trigger from ACPAD.

10. With what presets does ACPAD come with?

ACPAD will ship with standalone software to edit your MIDI data, assign sounds and map it to trigger any notes/sounds/effects using your MIDI instrument of choice. Also included are basic presets used in the ACPAD demo video – so you can play right out of the box!

11. Can I put my own sounds on ACPAD?

You cannot store any sounds on ACPAD but you can use it to play/trigger sounds you have prerecorded using your software of choice. You can also use ACPAD to record sounds or riffs on your DAW then save them as samples and assign them to be triggered by any pad that you wish.

12. Are there any modifications to my Guitar? Will it leave residue or ruin my favorite guitar?

There are absolutely no modifications needed to place ACPAD on your favorite guitar. Our super special sticky material will leave no residue – so you can remove and reapply ACPAD whenever you want.

13. Is there an ACPAD for my ukulele, violin, banjo or other instrument?

Initially we are focusing on ACPAD for the acoustic guitar. However we hope to develop several more variants for other instruments in the future.

14. How much does the app cost? Do you have a trial version?

If we meet our stretch goal (to be announced soon), the app will be free for all of our backers.

15. Do you ship anywhere?

We will be shipping ACPAD to customers worldwide. Shipping prices will vary and be available at the checkout page.

16. What is the battery life of ACPAD?

Our prototypes have seen a battery life of approximately 4-5 hours for continuous usage and we’re working to try to improve that.

17. Can I choose between wired and wireless versions?

There is only one version. ACPAD ships with both wired and wireless capability. It is completely up to you how you connect your ACPAD.

18. How long will it take to get my ACPAD?

Delivery will depend on what perk you have selected. Most units start shipping in May 2016. You can check our updates on the campaign page.

19. I want to know how to play the songs from your videos, do you have TABs?

Yes we do! Just head to this video and you’ll find a short tutorial and a link to our TABs.

20. How thick is ACPAD?

ACPAD for the most part is 3.5 mm thick, and 9 mm in the region just south of the bridge where the battery and electronics are located.

21. Does ACPAD send MIDI out or audio?

ACPAD only sends a MIDI signal out.

22. Can ACPAD be used as a looper?

Yes! We offer two loopers that can be used no matter what mode you are in. If you would like more looper function you can edit your settings in the user mode.

23. Do you offer a left handed version of ACPAD?

Unfortunately at this stage we can only offer ACPAD in a right handed option. However we hope to develop an ACPAD for left handers in the future.

If you would like a left handed ACPAD please visit this page and tell us. The more interest we receive in a lefty model the quicker it will happen – so share with your lefty friends!

Contact Information:

Robin Sukroso

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