I’ve been confused by a feature Gibson is touting on its new Digital Guitar: the ability to route each individual string to a separate surround speaker. Sounds a little like a nightmare surround mix to me.


Leave it to the work of an interactive artist to “reinvent the guitar” in the reverse direction: who needs individual string pickups, when you can get six guitarists and give each one a one-string guitar. Then, have them climb atop a giant tower, get a percussionist to trigger drum samples at its base, and load the whole thing into a complex Max/MSP/Jitter and Ableton Live setup with donated hardware and software from M-Audio, Steinberg, Mackie, Canon, and others. Brilliant fundraising, bizarre thinking — I’m sold. IK Multimedia, can you get these crazy kids some Stealth Plug digital guitar cables in time for the performance?


What is the sound of one one-string guitarist clapping?


Six String Sonics [Pixelsumo]
Project page


Now, to work on finding 88 pianists to play 1-note keyboards . . . one note jamming will never be the same.

  • egan

    You have perfectly expressed my own ideas in this regard…. ( I am still mad at Gibson for destroying Opcode, Steinberg, etc. -but also amazed at the thinking involved there! )

    Yes, WHY "Invent" New Hex Pick ups…. when they could slap RMC Piezo/ 13 pin Roland MIDI bridge into ALL Products now, with actual ability to do things… with lots of products, already on the market…. and finally, working with zero delay on Guitar Synths – on Brian Moore, etc. ( I imagine Parker, etc. are also quite playable – but only tried brian moore personally so far… )

    Yes, what the heck do we do with ethernet on a guitar….. Who would stay quiet for this long….. and now, a decade later…. Surround Sound for the strings on ONE guitar?

    The CEO mispelled Les Paul during on-line chat interview…. 4 times… final spell correction? "Les Pal" I SWEAR!!!

    I am mystified….. and horrified….. A Solution in search of a problem…… Now, maybe they ought to find a CEO who is….. from Earth. (!)

    Now I like the art of 6 guitar players…. but how can they get along! ;-)

    Great post!

  • egan

    Love the Zen quote….. Baffling questions…. I CAN answer that Koan, though, and found it fairly easy….. The mystery is what Gibson is thinking…. smoking… drinking… and will they offer that to customers??

    Gibson Classic Peace Pipe!

  • 10fingerorganist

    Having each note sent to a separate speaker might not be necessary for a guitar — it would be good for sampling.
    However the reason a piano — even more so a pipe organ — recording playback never has sounded like the original is because of the sound dispersion is not accurate. Ideally there should be many more than 88 separate speakers for a piano. To reprorduce the sounds of a pipe orgran would require a as many as there were pipes on the original. These should be laid out for one octave with one being the lowest note (longest pipe) this way: 86421357
    The true sound of a piano is not just an accurate sampling of the string (same for guitar) but how the different strings are laid out and if open how the harmonics interact. Also think of the length of a bass string on a piano. Can you say exactly where the sound is coming from? Is the sound projected from the center of the string, or also from the harmonic spots of the string? What about the lid of the piano, isn't it a souind source also?
    Technology is a long way from accurate reproduction.
    So there might be something to where Gibson is going on this.