There is a new kind of guitar. It is the electronic version of a guitar in the same way that a MIDI keyboard is an electronic version of a piano. And, it runs on Linux and is OpenSource!

The Misa Kitara consists of three main components: a full fretboard, a multi-touch screen and an onboard polyphonic synthesizer with sounds and effects.

The kitara’s neck has 24 frets, but instead of strings each fret contains buttons.

You play notes by touching on the screen. The position and movement of your touch determine how the sound is generated and processed.

You can assign one sound to all six strings, or assign different sounds to different strings. The kitara can control compatible MIDI devices too. Everything is configurable. It runs Linux and is open source.

Get yours here!

Huxley already has his:

Hat Tip: Joe

Comments

  1. #1 JM
    January 8, 2012

    Umm, yes, well. I don’t think this is going to go anywhere.

    Now the Kitara people make a fairly decent case for “digital” guitar being completely unlike electric guitar and “more flexible, blah, blah”

    BUT, their instrument relies on the very, very physical skills required to play real guitars. They then say I can use my right hand to replace the actions required of electric guitarists – namely taking my hand away from the strings to manipulate the volume and tone controls, and using my feet to control pedals. Instead they offer a multi-touch panel that I can use.

    As far as my right hand is concerned that’s a pretty small return. I rarely touch the volume and tone controls, no more than once or twice in any particular number, and my feet work just fine for pedal effects.

    But things really get bad when I consider the left hand.

    On a real instrument the combination of fret and string can be manipulated almost endlessly and in incredibly nuanced ways. This is not possible with buttons which are binary, on or off.

    And yet these physical nuances are the essence of guitar playing and what separate the merely average from the genius.

    Now Kitara argue that this doesn’t really matter because their instrument is actually “different” and shouldn’t be compared any more than a keyboard synth should be compared with a grand piano.

    Perhaps so. But unlike a piano, the guitarists left hand skills (and his right also if truth be told) are the very essence and center of his/her skills. (A piano is a pretty mechanical instrument and there’s no a lot of nuance involved in banging a key*)

    So what they’re asking us to do is:-

    1. spend ages acquiring these very physical skills, skills that their instrument also requires to play

    2. give up all the nuances for stuff we can do just fine with our feet.

    They’re got no hope

    * In fact this analogy probably shows how hopeless their position is. In the case of keyboards, the electronics industry has spent literally decades trying to reproduce the very, very primitive – compared to guitars – nuances of the keyboard in the form of velocity sensitivity, weighted keyboards etc, etc. Guitars are vastly more physically complex to play than pianos and yet it has taken well over 30 years for electronic keyboards to come close to the physicality of a real piano.

    Asking your customer to be physically accomplished in a particular skill and then denying them the use of it in your product is not a recipe for success.

Current ye@r *