Songbird
(by VIZIBLE)
Songbird is a free to use parametric Multiscale Fretboard Generator for Rhino.
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Luthiers rejoice - Songbird is a parametric Multiscale Fretboard Generator for Rhino. You can use it to generate fanned fretboards for guitars, mandolins, bass guitars, ukuleles or whatever instrument you want to cook up. It also generates standard single scale, non fanned fretboards just as easy, simply input the same scale length for both first and last string. The plugin exposes a single command called "fretboard".

Installation:

Download the Songbird.rhi file from Food4Rhino, double click the file and the installer will take care of everything.

How to use:

Once installed, (re)start Rhino and type "fretboard" to generate your first fingerboard. You will be asked for the following parameters (presets are built in, hit Enter to accept the preset value for each parameter):

  • Number of strings
  • Number of Frets
  • Last string scale length (this is the long, thick string usually in a fanned fret guitar)
  • First string scale length (this is the shorter, lighter gage string in a usual fanned fret guitar)
  • Perpendicular fret distance (the distance along the fretboard where the corresponding divisions or frets for the first and last string form a line normal to the centerline of the fretboard)
  • String width at the nut
  • String width at the bridge
  • Last string fretboard overhang at the nut
  • Last string fretboard overhang at the bridge
  • First string fretboard overhang at the nut
  • First string fretboard overhang at the bridge
  • Fretboard placement location (you can pick a point where you want your fretboard drawn, or simple press ENTER to default to the Origin.

The generated Fretboard will be placed with the Bridge center in the origin and along the World X axis, as you would see a right handed person playing guitar in front of you. The Fretboard will be drawn in the Top View. If you enter the same scale length for both first and last string, you will end up with a single scale fretboard, as expected. The 12th fret, if present, will be marked in Red colour. Pressing ESC will cancel the generation of the fretboard. Songbird uses the 12th root method for calculating the fret spacing, meaning it will give you precise fretting, free from approximations.

Songbird is free to use for Educational and/or Commercial purposes, don't hesitate to get in touch and please spread the word about Songbird, have I just made a rhyme ?

Upcoming Songbird v1.1 TODO list:

  1. Save each parameter set in a .txt file for reference, and hyperlink the generated fretboard to the .txt file.
  2. Remember last input set and always show the last inputs as Preset values.
  3. Add a Grasshopper component (coming soon) for on the fly fretboard generation and changes.
  4. On request...
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