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Auto-tuning guitar details on EE times


 vink
(@vink)
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http://www.eetimes.com/news/design/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=207400963

--vink
"Life is either an adventure or nothing" -- Helen Keller


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(@elecktrablue)
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Wow! I want one! :D

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ .·´
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"


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(@dommy09)
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They had one of these down at our local music store recently. Just beautiful. If it wasn't for the $4,000 price tag i would have bought it

"We all have always shared a common belief that music is meant to be played as loud as possible, really raw and raunchy, and I'll punch out anyone who doesn't like it the way I do." -Bon Scott


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(@scrybe)
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actually, there's another new guitar which features a tuning mechanism which keeps it permanently in tune via a system of pullys and counterweights. apparently, you can't bend or use vibrato on it though (as it counteracts your attempts), although you can set it up so this is more feasible. apparently, you can also use your palm on the bridge to create subtle vibrato and less-subtle pedal steel glissando effects*.

* which Jeff Beck has been doing for years on a regular stratocaster. not sure how/why the reveiwer's conveniently glossed over history when presenting that as something 'revolutionary' and 'new'

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


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(@elecktrablue)
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They had one of these down at our local music store recently. Just beautiful. If it wasn't for the $4,000 price tag i would have bought it

That price is kind of what I was figuring! Oh well, something to dream about! :D

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ .·´
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"


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(@gnease)
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This article starts out with "Gibson Guitar has been an aggressive technology adopter." Not even close to true. Roland, Line6, Godin and even Fender have traditionally been far ahead of Gibby in the commercialization of technology in their instruments.

This Robot Guitar thingy might sound like a bit of magic to some, but it looks more like a brute force design kluge to me. Where is the clever elegance of design?

-=tension & release=-


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(@hyperborea)
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This Robot Guitar thingy might sound like a bit of magic to some, but it looks more like a brute force design kluge to me. Where is the clever elegance of design?

In general, it doesn't seem either particularly innovative nor kludgy to me - just sort of the inevitable design that you would get by stepping through towards the design goal. The only possibly innovative feature is the use of the strings to communicate between the controller and the string tuners.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


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(@gnease)
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In general, it doesn't seem either particularly innovative nor kludgy to me - just sort of the inevitable design that you would get by stepping through towards the design goal. The only possibly innovative feature is the use of the strings to communicate between the controller and the string tuners.

Using the strings to xfer signals is an obvious option to someone who designs these sorts of things. Using motors at the headstock end of the instrument is a brute force solution: Good as a prototype step to prove the measurement and control systems work as designed conceptually, but a bit of mechanical nastiness that should never have made it into production. If true production was intended -- not a mere publicity piece, Gibson very probably would have designed a tuning tailpiece. This could be practical even for a limited production of a couple thousand guitars. And all the electronics you see in the pics: Even for limited run production, these could be reduced siginificantly using semicustom ASICs. The "Robot Guitar" is a cleaned-up prototype, put out to convince the public that Gibson is cutting edge. I'm not buying it.

How has that other Gibson LP innovation -- the HD.6x-Pro "LAN" guitar -- been selling?

-=tension & release=-


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(@hyperborea)
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Using the strings to xfer signals is an obvious option to someone who designs these sorts of things.

Maybe. I work around lots of stuff that is "obvious" but nobody came up with until one person decided to do it. After it's done everybody says it was "obvious".

Using motors at the headstock end of the instrument is a brute force solution: Good as a prototype step to prove the measurement and control systems work as designed conceptually, but a bit of mechanical nastiness that should never have made it into production. If true production was intended -- not a mere publicity piece, Gibson very probably would have designed a tuning tailpiece. This could be practical even for a limited production of a couple thousand guitars.

I think this ends up being a difference in the design goal rather than implementation - a choice for marketing folks. Do you want a cutting edge guitar with auto tuning or do you want to add auto tuning to the flagship, biggest recognition Gibson guitar, the Les Paul? They could clearly have done the first goal since IIRC they now own Steinberger and could have made a headless guitar with an autotuning bridge. But that would have taken a limited audience guitar and added a limited audience feature (probable mostly by cost) to it and created a model which has such limited appeal that they wouldn't sell too many. Maybe that is the better long term choice but not for a first model.
The "Robot Guitar" is a cleaned-up prototype, put out to convince the public that Gibson is cutting edge. I'm not buying it.

How has that other Gibson LP innovation -- the HD.6x-Pro "LAN" guitar -- been selling?

I'm not defending them (nor am I tearing into them for this either) but a lot of innovative products don't sell. Selling well is not a sign of an innovative product. Particularly not with the conservative attitude (and even mystical belief in things old) amongst many guitar players. Taking your existing product and selling it in a new colour or tweaking the shape of the headstock or better still re-introducing "classic" colours or shapes will more likely net you a bigger seller and for a tiny fraction of the development cost. Look at all the re-issues that Fender and Gibson do.

If being innovative was all it took to sell then the Novax fanned fret guitars or the Line6 Variax or the Chapman Stick would be best sellers. They aren't.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


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(@gnease)
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Although it may have been implied, I didn't actually suggest removing the headstock+manual tuners, but move the autotuning mechanism. The design of the first have a lot to do with the nature of a LP, plus facilitate "normal" use and string installation in case of malf. I can also think of more reasons against using the strings for signaling and power than for -- as well as other ways to accomplish the same without using the strings and a special, electrically isolated tailpiece. And on and on and on ... FWIW, my frame of reference and ready opinions are purely amateur: I lead a CE product engineering department. Obvious to me, is not obvious to everyone. I would extend your argument on innovation: Innovators are often going to be the first to fail in the market. I've worked in enough start-up companies to experience that particular misery first hand. Application and execution of innovation is just as important as the idea. Auto-tuning is not a bad idea. But this is a commercially questionable execution ... if the goal is to deliver it to the consumer. I doubt this is Gibson's real goal.

Although I would not call it original in the face of Line6 products/innovation, the VG Strat seems to be a technical update to a classic product that has a reason for existing and an actual chance of making it in the market.

-=tension & release=-


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(@rahul)
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Hmm, that IS interesting. Would like to have one. :)


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 vink
(@vink)
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Whether innovative or not, evolutionary or revolutionary, ultimately the marketplace will determine the success of this product. Basic tenet of capitalism.. :-)

--vink
"Life is either an adventure or nothing" -- Helen Keller


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(@gnease)
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Whether innovative or not, evolutionary or revolutionary, ultimately the marketplace will determine the success of this product. Basic tenet of capitalism.. :-)

The not-so-secret secret about capitalism: It's about the success of companies, not products. Products are a means, not an end. And products are rarely single items, but instead are familys of related items created in an overall sales strategy. That is why something as questionably executed (IMNSHO) as the Robot LP is important to Gibby, even if it sells none (might even be the desired goal at $4k a shot). For those who find it convincing, the Robot LP is a symbol of high technology that will boost Gibson's rep and favor among consumers, and -- this is the real goal -- get them to lay out cash for other Gibby products in the LP family.

-=tension & release=-


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(@hyperborea)
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That is why something as questionably executed (IMNSHO) as the Robot LP is important to Gibby, even if it sells none (might even be the desired goal at $4k a shot). For those who find it convincing, the Robot LP is a symbol of high technology that will boost Gibson's rep and favor among consumers, and -- this is the real goal -- get them to lay out cash for other Gibby products in the LP family.

The "halo" effect. This is why most car companies make expensive high performance cars. They won't really sell all that many of them and they probably won't make that much on them but they sell the other cars. That could very well be Gibson's plan at least for now. If the auto-tuning feature is desirable to enough guitar players though the costs will come down and it will sell more allowing further economies of scale driving the price down and it will sell more etc.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


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