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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 48, Iss. 14 — May. 10, 2009
  • pp: 2735–2741

Recording the sound of musical instruments with FBGs: the photonic pickup

Hans-Peter Loock, W. Scott Hopkins, Christine Morris-Blair, Rui Resendes, Jonathan Saari, and Nicholas R. Trefiak  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 48, Issue 14, pp. 2735-2741 (2009)

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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 record ings made with FBG pickups were of comparable quality to those obtained with other recording methods.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.7280) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Vibration analysis
(230.1040) Optical devices : Acousto-optical devices
(060.3735) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber Bragg gratings

ToC Category:
Fiber Optics and Optical Communications

Original Manuscript: October 31, 2008
Revised Manuscript: February 15, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: April 12, 2009
Published: May 7, 2009

Hans-Peter Loock, W. Scott Hopkins, Christine Morris-Blair, Rui Resendes, Jonathan Saari, and Nicholas R. Trefiak, "Recording the sound of musical instruments with FBGs: the photonic pickup," Appl. Opt. 48, 2735-2741 (2009)

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