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Hardware Hacking Music Linux Build

Misa Digital Guitar Runs On Linux 125

conner_bw writes "Imagine strumming a guitar without any strings, on a touchscreen. Think the idea is too far-fetched? The Misa digital guitar claims to be exactly this. Overcoming the natural limitations of a traditional guitar, this new instrument eliminates the need to pluck strings while using the right hand to control sound. Specs: Linux kernel 2.6.31 (Gentoo); 24 frets; touchscreen; MIDI out; RJ-45 Ethernet. My favourite parts of the site are the FAQ (How do you SSH into the guitar?), and this quote from the developer: 'Because the software is open source I'm hoping people completely change the instrument and share new "firmware" with others. Different graphics, different control ideas etc. It would all be free of charge. So I'm hoping that happens as the instrument becomes more familiar.'" The developer, Michael, has not yet promised a delivery date or set a price for the instruments he is manufacturing.
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Misa Digital Guitar Runs On Linux

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  • Video (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 24, 2010 @09:14AM (#30877696)

    Skip the words, watch a video []

  • Re:Bending strings (Score:5, Informative)

    by Aneurysm ( 680045 ) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @09:35AM (#30877790)
    The point is there are no strings, therefore no string bending. If you watch the video though you can see the the right hand uses a touch sensitive screen to control pitch etc. so you can simulate a bending effect. It's not a guitar, just an electronic instrument inspired and shaped by a guitar
  • by WED Fan ( 911325 ) <> on Sunday January 24, 2010 @11:31AM (#30878464) Homepage Journal

    I hate it when companies use patent claims in their marketing. Won't buy.

    Such BS doesn't even make a good soundbite. I would be willing to bet that the computer you are posting from has all sorts of patents and patent-pending notices in its documentation and stamped on the body.

    If I were to go into your kitchen, your bathroom, your bedroom, and your living room, I'd see all sorts of little gadgets, gizmos, appliances, and devices that have patents or have a patent pending.

    Worse yet, I bet you have a lot of software patented material.

    Yeah, you're a rebel. Yep, you got street cred. Power to the masses.

    No wonder you're hiding under the AC label, you know how ridiculous you sound on the surface and under the surface.

    Of course, this kind of self realization indicates that deep down, you know you're an idiot and blowhard, filled with self loathing 'cause you are THAT guy. You are the guy that has the permanent coffee mug grip that wanders through the cubicle farm espousing your ill founded, self contradicting, absurd opinion on matters political, economic, and such.

    It's the weekend, so you have to do it here.

  • Re:Patent pending? (Score:3, Informative)

    by mejogid ( 1575619 ) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @12:19PM (#30878956)

    What looks unique to me is the use of the touchscreen not to interact with virtual strings but to control midi parameters - the neck is used to finger chords, and all notes fingered are played no matter where on the touchscreen you tap. The touchscreen is used to modify pitch and distortion with multiple fingers at the same time for multiple chords.

    In comparison, your example involved fingering chords and 'virtually' strumming them - much closer to a typical electric guitar. If it's an effective instrument this does seem innovative enough to be patent-worthy IMO.

  • Re:Bending strings (Score:3, Informative)

    by manicb ( 1633645 ) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @01:09PM (#30879438)

    As long as you weren't wanting to give a guitar performance:

    With this, the right hand gains options, and you actually lose options with the left hand. On a guitar the left hand provides fretting, bending, vibrato, harmonics, muting and probably more techniques that I don't know about. Triggering all the notes at the same time is also limiting as it rules out sweeping and slow strumming. To actually give a performance that's expressive in the same way a guitar is you're going to have to fill the touch pad with different regions controlling different kinds of expressive playing. Not ideal.

    That's not to say this doesn't look like a great toy, a cross between instruments being used by a couple [] of well-known [] bands at the moment.

  • Re:Tactile feedback (Score:3, Informative)

    by dunkelfalke ( 91624 ) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @01:12PM (#30879470)

    I play guitar for almost a decade and I've built a couple of electric guitars by myself. But it seems you don't know shit about the history of electric guitar. The only reason for solid body was to avoid feedback at high volumes. All the effects came much later.

    And no, playing an electric guitar is not fundamentally different from playing an acoustic guitar. There are some additional tricks that differ, but most things are pretty much the same.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser