Guitar maker Gibson thrashes out more robo-axes
Self-tuning to replace roadies?
'Leccy guitar pioneer Gibson has unveiled two additional automated strummers in its self-tuning Robot line.
Gibson's Robot Les Paul Studio
The Gibson Robot Les Paul Studio and Gibson Robot SG Special build on the success of the Limited Edition Gibson Robot Guitar, which was released late last year. The manufacturer claims demand has been so overwhelming that it decided to create two more of the self-tuning designs.
Although neither model will instantly turn you into a Guitar Hero, the system will at least ensure your strings are in tune. The design, which took over ten years to develop, relies on special pick-ups underneath the guitar’s strings that control a mechanism for adjusting each string's tension to keep it vibrating at the correct pitch.
Gibson's Robot SG Special
Digital signal processing identifies the frequency of each string as it’s strummed, and a software algorithm then compares that sound to the one each string’s supposed to make.
The software then sends commands down each string to small motors that tighten and loosen the strings accordingly. This ensures each string always hits the correct note – no matter how bad the guitarist’s playing is.
Both of Gibson’s latest model’s will be available in a metallic purple colour, but for a limited time only. So far, Gibson has only announced availability in the US, where the Les Paul costs $4000 (£2000/€2200) and the SG costs $3600 (£1800/€2000).
Purple Riff Eater
It seems Gibson still likes to crank out SGs with the awful full face scratch plate, instead of mounting the p'ups directly to the body like the '61 vintage model. Even in purple it reminds me of the awful Kyle I started playing on back in '75.
Mine is the Carvin windbreaker.
1. I've got a Variax. It was £350 and you can use the Workbench software in it to set up any tuning that you like, instantly, and store up to 10 presets. While it's not a 'real' guitar, it works brilliantly in a gigging situation and sounds really great about 85% of the time. Which is better than most modern Gibsons.
2. Who plays in a band that tunes to the guitar? Most bands tune to the keyboard.
3. This Robot thing, if you use it to constantly retune to alt tunings, sounds like an invitation to break strings.
4. Being absolutely in tune is really overrated. Chuck Berry reputedly detunes all his strings. And I play banjo quite a lot. It actually sounds better when it goes a little out of tune.
Although it's not mentioned in the article, Gibson is actually just the distributor for this system. It was actually developed by a German company Tronical (http://www.tronical.com) as the PowerTune system which is designed to be a retrofit to *any* guitar. Gibson secured the worldwide distribution rights in early '07. The system is actually capable of doing several different tunings (not just standard), however, you can't tune and play at the same time (you need to strum the open strings, press a button then wait a couple of seconds for the instrument to retune).
one way to stop it tuning
I just don't think the thing would work as well once its been belted through a few drum kits, hammered over a couple of monitors and jumped on.
And lets face it, "unsmashed guitars just don't sound as good as their smashed brethren!"
The devil knows how to rock!!!
Yeah, if you need to change tunings something along the lines of a VG8 and MIDI pickup are the way to go, then you can change tunings at the press of a pedal, with no waiting for strings to be re-tuned, no chance of them breaking through doing so and no differences in string tension (ever tuned a set of .8's down to drop c/b??, it doesn't work...)