guitarwing

Like superhero armor, the sleek Guitar Wing fits over the edge of your guitar – your existing, beloved guitar – and gives it badass bonus powers. The crowd-funded accessory finally brings control for digital instruments and effects to the fingertips of guitar and bass players, without forcing them to change instruments or give up their conventional techniques.

Instead, Guitar Wing, via Bluetooth connection, provides pressure-sensitive pads, faders, buttons, switches, and (if you like) three-dimensional motion control right to the instrument. USB charged, rechargeable battery-powered, and with RGB color feedback and editing options, it’s ready to go anywhere and control anything. It comes with its own multi-effects suite, but more likely you already have software on a computer or mobile device you want to use.

And now, if you want one but put off buying one – just as we are late in writing about this – well, now is the time. Our friends Moldover and Livid Instruments, creator of the instrument, are bringing us the latest videos you may not have seen elsewhere. And in under 48 hours, as this week reaches its end, the crowd funding comes to its conclusion. That means it’s your last chance to get first in line for one under US$200 (or back it, starting at a buck).

Guitar Wing: Wireless Control Surface for Guitar and Bass
by Livid Instruments

Let’s have a look at how people are using this. And no, it turns out “controllerism” is not limited to minimal techno and EDM. Ahem. Like, let’s start in Spanish-language Colombian head-banging awesomeness.

En Inglés:

From the mountains of Colombia all the way to our office in Austin, TX, Headcrusher came by share their awesome breed of Metal and how they are using the Guitar Wing. Using Presonus Studio One they are triggering samples and VST plugin guitar effects with the Wing. This allows the two guitarists of this five piece sound like an entire band without having everyone in the same room. For more information visit guitarwing.com and headcrusher.net

Okay, or maybe you want to just map to Ableton Live, and make minimal techno dub reggae.

Or maybe you can’t decide between Ableton and Bitwig. Let’s do … both, looping and DAW controlling and manipulating plug-in effects:

For a little more behind the scenes, we look to Jay Smith and Travis Redding of Livid, and Living Colour Guitarist Vernon Reid:

And lastly, here’s Maestro Mastermind Controllerist himself, the incomparable Matt Moldover, bathed in the misty-white fluorescent light of Anaheim’s NAMM trade show (mmm… can almost smell the boiled hot dogs and carpet shampoo):

Of course, even better is the film about Moldover showing him using the instrument, and talking why music matters.

Moldover also provides some insight into the inspiration for the Guitar Wing, his original Robocaster. It looks like what Les Paul would enter into Robot Wars, sending an evil guitar into the arena to destroy all it meets.

Fortunately, Livid and Moldover understand you don’t want to give up your current axe, and so we have something really beautifully practical. Can’t wait to see what people will do with it. When those packages get unwrapped after the crowd funding, do drop us a line at CDM HQ in Gotham City and let us know what you’ve done.

guitarwing_closeup

Guitar Wing: Wireless Control Surface for Guitar and Bass
by Livid Instruments

  • vanceg

    Im actually really excited about this product – I’ve designed some custom instruments for people with accelerometers and touch pads in them, and it’s always a challenge. Frankly guitarists are generally quite conservative and VERY particular about their instrument (with some just cause). Having a control system that can just clamp onto any guitar and communicates via Blutooth seems like a really great solution for 90% of the jobs of this sort that I am asked about. I hopped on this Kickstarter pretty early and really look forward to seeing the final product.

    • pinta_vodki

      “people with accelerometers and touch pads in them” !

      The cyber future is now.

    • vanceg

      Yes – that was faulty grammar, wasn’t it. I believe you may have understood that it was the guitars, not the people for whom the guitars were designed, that had the accelerometers in them.

    • pinta_vodki

      Yep, but just imagine people with accelerometers and touch pads in them! How cool/creepy would that be!

  • Adrian

    Headcrusher has a sweet sound, really glad to see them featured on this site!

  • Chris R Gibson

    Not to rain on the parade but Kickstarter was recently hacked so be sure to change your passwords!:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/passwords-email-addresses-leaked-kickstarter-hack/story?id=22553952

  • Jesse Engel

    Hey Peter,

    Thanks for covering this, even if at the last minute. I got to pick one up because of it. It just makes sense, as guitarists, we try to do too much with our feet, when we’re pretty damn good with the knobs on the guitar itself

  • noodle poodle

    what an incredibly ugly thing, not many ‘normal’ guitarists will want this on their instruments, i think most guitarists have also an esthetic relationship to their guitars and not only the shape won’t really fit most guitars but it looks cheap and ugly

    i quite like the concepts behind a lot of the livid products but theyr cheapo style sucks big time … think it’s time they got themselves a proper product designer :-)

    • noodle poodle

      just watched some of the vids …

      sorry Vernon, that thing DOES make you look like a dork !!! And after having seen the Livid pictures of this thing on different guitars i stand by my initial assesement: how fuggly this looks! makes even a PRS Private stock look like a toy !

      IMHO the product itself also doesn’t really do much that you can’t do in a similar way or even easier with a good pedal board or controller. don’t forget that with this thing you can’t alter much of the sound WHILE you’re playing (using your right hand) a thing easy to do with a midi pedalboard making for much nicer stuff

    • wetterberg

      >IMHO the product itself also doesn’t really do much that you can’t do in a similar way or even easier with a good pedal board or controller.

      Tap four different functions on a pedal board. Now do them on your computer keyboard. Doing anything performative on a floor board is a hack at best, and even an intermediate player should be able to get expression out of this that a pro couldn’t on a floor model.

      Saying there’s no benefit to having it mounted on your guitar right by your hand is reactionary, at best.

      I won’t comment on the styling. I’ve seen many a guitar that could do with a bit of covering up, I’ll leave it at that, but my point is that maybe some players don’t really care as much solely about the aesthetics of a piece. Some people – like myself – are actively looking for ways to add as much utility as possible to our instruments. A non-invasive way of adding (and removing!) midi buttons to anything is always a good move.

    • noodle poodle

      >Saying there’s no benefit to having it mounted on your guitar right by your hand is reactionary, at best.

      oh dear … :) please read what i wrote and note between the lines cause i didn’t write anything there!

      with a foot controler i can alter or modulate the sound/fx WHILE I AM HITTING THE STRINGS, try doing that with your right hand on the guitar wing .. try doing a wah wah (or other modulation effect) or a swell while strumming, crosspicking or soloing … don’t see how that’s possible unless you’re extremely agile with your fingers

      >Doing anything performative on a floor board is a hack at best, and even
      an intermediate player should be able to get expression out of this
      that a pro couldn’t on a floor model.

      i think it’s time you met some real professional players or maybe just look at a drummer or hammond player and prepare to be amazed how expressive/performative feet can be :)

      i’m not per se against guitar mounted midi or OSC controls and tend to agree that in principle “A non-invasive way of adding (and removing!) midi buttons to anything is always a good move.” .. i just think it should also be esthetically minimaly invasive or good looking

    • Bill Kubina

      I look at all this stuff like high end fashion…
      We don’t wear the stuff that people walk down the runway in.. But it triggers innovation for the future “normal” guitarists.

      I’m sick of using a piece of furniture as an instrument anyway.

  • Erlend D. Handeland

    I don’t really get it. Apart from the accelerometer, what does this do that an ordinary midi pedal board don’t do better?

    -han

  • Rucyl

    I bought one. I can think of a million uses for this for interactive performances, especially if you play more than one instrument during a set and/or need to control visuals.