Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Misa Kitara and Hyper Touch

It has a guitar body and a neck, but I don’t think it qualifies as an actual guitar. However it sure has that Unique factor. So I'll feature it in today's blog.  As the manufacturer says, We took an electric guitar, removed the parts that we didn't need for electronic music, and replaced them with the latest touch technology.”

The instruments name sounds like something Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars fame might say.

Despite the guitar-like appearance, the Misa Kitara is a digital MIDI controller and musical instrument. It allows for a guitar player to produce a synthesized sound using techniques and similar motions to guitar playing.

It is manufactured in the shape of an electric guitar, complete with a full twenty-four fret neck. Although the frets function only as position markers, since this guitar has “no strings attached.”

The instruments name, Kitara, comes from the Finnish word for "guitar".

The Kitara makes use of touch buttons in the spaces between each fret to simulate strings. An 8.4-inch 800-by-600-pixel resolution LCD touchpad screen is used to control the instruments sounds by allowing the player to controls sound effects and parameters through on display.

The display allows for comprehensive control as well as a wide-variety of noise/effect production. The produced sound changes based on the position, number, and movement of fingers on this display.

The player triggers notes and sounds by touching the screen, how you place and move your hand determines how the sound is processed. Strum, tap, drag, multi-touch, whatever, every touch is control over a parameter, instrument, or effect. You get to choose how the instrument functions.

The touchpad is set up on an x/y coordinate pair where you will assign your desired effects. Striking or dragging your fingers in different areas around the touchpad will produce different modulations of the effects.

The touchpad is also pressure-sensitive, so the harder you strike it, the louder the notes will ring, just like a real guitar.

The Kitara fretboard lets you choose the notes, much like a keyboard. Unlike a synth keyboard that has up to 88 keys, the Kitara has 144 keys/buttons on six rows which in fact are sensors. Each button corresponds to a musical note.

It's configured out of the box like a traditional guitar neck. This instrument allows the user to change the tuning. The neck is modular - and new neck types will be available soon

The Kitara uses an internal wavetable synthesizer with effects to generate sound and is actually an advanced type of MIDI controller that is powered by a 500MHz AMD Geode CPU.

Uniquely, the instruments processor is powered by a Linux based CPU. Being that Linux is open-source, it is possible to reprogram the Kitara, modify existing sounds, and even program new ones.

Although the Misa Kitara looks like a guitar, it is actually a polyphonic synthesizer designed to provide the player with a guitar feel. Other company’s such as Casio and Yamaha attempted similar projects in years past.

The Kitara has a layout that is very familiar to guitar players. A guitarist can easily use the chord voicing and runs they play on guitar to this instrument. The synth unit has lots of guitar-like tones, plus a bevy of out-of-this world sounds and effects.

Because the instrument is MIDI based, the player can use it as a controller to play other synthesizers.

With the built in synthesizer engine, the user can experiment with internal sounds and apply any number of digital effects, including distortion, delay and modulation.

You can save sounds as presets, and you can swap preset files online. You can assign one sound to all six strings, or assign different sounds to different strings.

Manufacturers suggested retail price is $899 USD.

The Hyper Touch Guitar is an instrument with a premise similar to that of the Kitara.

This instrument enables the user to change the setup of the instrument at the touch of a button, so one can go from six-string to twelve-string.

Recalling double neck guitars, the Hyper Touch delivers six and twelve string sound and and so much more. Hyper Touch makes certain you can have your sound and still travel light.

This instrument is designed and marketed by Max Battaglia at Givingshape Design Studio.

Much like the Kitara, this unique instrument replaces the strings with a multi-touch screen, which allows the user to adjust the number of strings and frets and provide tuning changes and sound effects. A wireless command center permits customization and expression.


Young Vic said...

Many of the instruments we know and play today, like the piano, the guitar , and the oboe, evolved from these older instruments

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Anonymous said...

Talk about an upgrade for the key-tar!

Anonymous said...

definitely an upgrade for the key-tar!

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