Build Your Own

Below are all the diagrams, schematics, code, and lists that you will need to build your very own guitar hero bot.  However, we do not provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to build one.  You may check out the “How it Works” page to get a better idea of how we put everything together.  Note that this is by no means a weekend project–it took us several weeks to get DeepNote working just right.  We do not accept any responsibility for damage that you may cause to yourself or your equipment in the process of building a guitar hero bot.  We make this information available under the following Creative Commons License:

Creative Commons License
DeepNote Guitar Hero Bot by Convolve Inc 2008 Interns is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Bill of Materials
Note: The mounting rack used was very expensive and can easily be replaced with a rack made from legos, wood, etc.
DeepNote Parts List

Propeller Source Code
DeepNote Source Code v8.0
Download the Propeller Programming Tool

PCB Files (For Upload to
To open these files, you will need the free PCB artist software.
1 Controller Board (Rev. 2) and 5 Sensor Boards

GitHub Repo

The iteams linked above plus schematics, block diagrams, and further info can be downloaded from the DeepNote GitHub Repo.

96 thoughts on “Build Your Own”

  1. not always; it is still undergoing tweaking, but we hope to be very close to that with the finalized bot.

  2. What are some projects like this that other high school students can do for their senior internships? Do you have any spin-off projects?

  3. I would totally buy one if you ever did start selling them. Email me if you ever decide to.

  4. When do you think the “How to” will be up for others to try to build? Also you should really think about selling bots I think you would make a lot of money.

  5. I’d definately buy one, if they were made available. Short of that, I’d stumble through the DIY instructions for a few weeks attempting it myself.

  6. If you sell any bots, Can you get them at a electronics store, or get them on the internet, like

  7. Heh – for drums, it’ll only need one more sensor – to sense the yellow line for foot pedalling. Is that correct?

    The microphone…could be a lot more difficult.

    Good luck.

  8. I’m interested in the bot, and the steps you need to make it. I am very good at guitar hero,I almost beat both Jordan and TTFT on 98%. But I am a computer technology geek, so I want to know how to build one. If you can give me any information on it, please email me, it would be appriciated.

  9. What is the time line for the finalized schematics, and can you post the beta or current version of the schematics?

  10. I started a guitar hero robot about the same time as jeremy blum did, but had literally no money because im only 15, if your good at electronics you`ll find that its not that hard to build, ive got almost all of it working perfectly, the only part i know need is the controller, donations welcome. Keep checking my youtube account joepage2008x2, i’ll post it as soon as possible

  11. Jay and Tyler – We’re very sorry that we do not have lists and schematics up yet. we are working on a contest submission and some other stuff, and have decided not to post everything until that is done. I promise we will try our best to get them up soon.

    Ryan- It will get a bunch of achievements, but not all.

  12. was it easy making that work of a genius!can you simply send me an easy way to make a bot playing machine on’m on in 3rd grade.and im only 8 years old.but can you send me it,i’ll look at my mail on tomorro,thanks

  13. Max-It is possible, and we have brainstormed a way to do it. The mic is only sensitive to frequencies, so that could easily be mimiced with a piezo speaker, or we could just wire right in and modulate the frequency of the voltage. For the drums, the only difficulty is the bass pedal line, which would be detected as all the notes. That could be overcome by having several levels of sensors so we know the thickness of what is being detected.

    Logan-Whatever is available in terms of information about the bot is already available on this website. I can’t just send an “easy way” to make a guitar hero bot. It took 8 weeks, 6 people, advanced programming, and a knowledge of physics/electrical systems. You can keep checking back for a tutorial here, but I’m not sure if/when that will be available.

  14. is it cheap to build because i dont personally have gh3 but my mates does and if it cost under £20 il make him 1..

  15. Would the system function (without the automated whammy, star power and delay) without the incorporation of the parallax propeller board, eliminating the need for software?
    So just using the relays as switches controlled directly by the digital input from the sensors?

  16. You may be able to get it to function in that way, but it would work very poorly. The software is needed for filtering, lining up the notes, and adding the delay for the distance between the sensors and the bottom of the screen.

  17. I think that plans should not be available to anyone on the internet, i think that people should work it out themselves. If you know a bit about programming and electronics then its not as hard as you think, the problem is the price it costs to build one, ive now spent up to £70(british pounds)on mine and thats just on the components, breadboards, prototyping, i have put this project on hold because at the moment i am spending money on my GCSE electronics project. The circuit works fine, i now just need to get and extremely cheap controller. I cant wait to compare my results to jeremy, they should be very similar.

  18. I definitely agree that the fun part is figuring out the solution to this surprisingly challenging problem on your own. Good luck with your project, I look forward to seeing the result. Maybe when you are done, we can pit them against each other in an online battle :)

  19. Not in it’s current form because it is in an Xbox 360 USB controller. So It will only work with Xbox360 and PC versions of the game.

  20. Just out of curiosity how much did it cost to make the bot in u.s. dollers + the cost of xbox and game

  21. It’s hard to say an exact price, but if you include everything (even the things we didn’t necessarily use it was probably somewhere around 6-700 dollars. That is a very rough estimate.

  22. This particular bot will not work on the PS2 because it uses a different controller. But the exact same system could certainly be installed in a PS2 guitar without a problem.

  23. Can the bot fail any custom songs? On youtube, Bl00dblitz made his bot fail on a custom song and his friends programmed the bot to do anything like face-offs, battles, online face-offs, etc. He found the bots’ true weakness and that is to place the notes extremely close together. When the bot plays, it doesn’t have time to press down the fret button, strum and let go of the fret button. Why don’t you try and see for yourself because you managed to make eruption and robot as custom songs. I don’t know if that is true, but tell me you made a custom song test that idea that I told you and it works. I am not gullible, I just came to you for an answer about that because your the one with the guitar hero bot, not me. I did not know if that movie is edited or not, or that is lying that his friends programmed the and that he did.

  24. As I’ve mentioned, it’s played all the custom songs we’ve tried. There is no editing involved, it actually plays every song. IF you put the notes close enough together though, I image it would read them as a continuous note and fail the song. That hasn’t happened yet tough…

  25. I have a very specific question. What did you do to simulate the whammying? Does it work to simply connect a relay between two points on the potentiometer? I’m not sure how one would simulate the movement of a potentiometer with a digital circuit.

  26. yes. that is exactly what we did. we just used a relay to connect and disconnect the pot. For it to work, the singnal doesn’t have to be analog, we just timed it in the program to oscillate.

  27. Probably not, it would be extremely similar to the one for the xbox and thus isn’t really worth the time.

  28. is it possible to like, have some sorta switch for the bot to turn on, then turn off? so when you turn it off you can play with your own skills, then at hard parts turn on the bot to get you through it?

  29. What I did for the auto whammy. At first I used a relay that was between the pot and the relay solenoide was controled by a clock/frequency generator(1 clock at TTL 5VDC high 0VDC low and 2 frequency generator 100% adjustiable, waveform(triangle,sine,square)/freq(course)/freq(fine)/amplitude/offset.). All you had to do was to depress the whammy bar down and hold. Doing this I found that it would mess up every now and then and you couldn’t strum or use fret buttons. So I took a GHWT guitar, 2 led diodes and the same clock/generator above and hard wired a 3.3VDC square wave @ about 8HZ. I wired the guitar like this, center whammy pot was used as signal in (8HZ 3.3VDC)Through 1 LED. The pot terminal towards the “neck” was wired to the clock through a 2nd LED. I used a common ground. I also wired the battery compartment(removed batteries) to a 3.3VDC supply. Also common ground. My outlets are hooked up to an APC smart-UPS 1500. I added a switch to the center terminal of the whammy pot to turn off this function. I use a rubberband to depress the whammy bar and BINGO PERFECT WHAMMY every time. The whammy circuit in the guitar is a wacky comparator of sorts with a high Zin. So that is why I was able to inject a botched signal and elemenate the relay. It works for me. Enjoy.

  30. Cool. Couple more questions I just thought of. I noticed the whammy seems to be controlled by the program. Is it possible to manually whammy or not?

    Also, how consistent is the device on getting 100%?


  31. Both Whammy and Star Power can be activated by the program or manually. Two switches on the front of the guitar allow to choose manual or automatic control of these functions.

    It generally gets 99%, and occasionally gets 100%

  32. Any number of things. Light interference from star power lightning bolts is a common cause. It can also be caused by the sensors being slightly misaligned, etc.

  33. We considered it, but couldn’t find the time. This bot could work on the PS3 if hooked into a PS3 controller. Right now, we’ve only wired it into an X-Plorer Guitar.

  34. can you guys make one for me for the xbox 360?? i will gladly pay u!! please reply to my email address

  35. This one works on the xbox 360, but we are not producing others, sorry. You can build your own using the info we give on the build-your-own page.

  36. If sell finished bots, I guess what you will earn lot of money. I want a BOT, but I don’t understand those graphics, and I am a normal guy, I don’t understand programming.

  37. Sorry, but we just don’t have the time to make many of these. Just one took months. If you want to try building your own, I can offer my help.

  38. If you guys don’t have time to build many bots alone , you should start a company or something. You could hire many people, so the bots would be done faster.

  39. You’ll need to download the PCB artist software to open the files. Call Advanced Circuits ( if you need help. They have really good assistance.

  40. My friends and me want to build your GH Bot on our own.
    1) So please can you send me the layouts of the boards we need (to etch the boards) ?
    2) Does it only work with the “old” wired guitar or does it also work with a wireless guitar (GH World Tour guitar) ?
    Thanks in advance

  41. Board layouts are available in the links on this page. We don’t have gerbers unfortunately. It should work with a new guitar, but you may need to double check that the button-press wires go to the same places.

  42. hi there. I’m looking to build one of these, but in your parts list the 1000 uF capacitor is paired with the part number of a 470 uF capacitor. Which one do I need to order? Also how do you order out-of-stock items from DigiKey?

  43. I’m glad you are still active on your site here Jeremy. There was another man who I followed building a rock band bot system and hes no longer active. I find that lots of parts are no longer avliable on Digikey, or are out of stock. There are lots of technical specs I don’t understand, how do you choose which, for instance 1k capcitor to buy? Digikey has ones with different watt rattings and temps as well as % of accuracy. I relize I’m going to have to find a few parts outside of digikey and was wondering what you need to pay attention to other than the, in this case, resistance rating

  44. Hi!

    Great build! I´m thinking of building one myself, using an Arduino microcontroller.

    In your plans of the sensor board it seems, there is a component that doesnt show on your parts list, a “R180”. Also, it doesnt seem to be connected to any other component, though it looks like its in between GND and the LED. Could you elaborate on this, before I go and buy all sorts of wrong parts:-)?

    Thanks in advance, and again, kudos to the entire team!

  45. OK, thanks. Being a newbie, I wasn´t aware of this…I guess I´d better stock up on components:-)

    Another thing, is there any particular reason tha you didn´t use an Arduino controller for this project? I´m not familiar with the propeller chip, does it have some special advantages for this type of build?

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