misa digital guitar

  • http://misadigital.com/

    Price to be announced soon. (24-48 hours, it says. but how long has it said that?)

    So, what do we know?

    * it's a MIDI controller.

    * it's got a touchscreen and a guitar neck. and an ethernet port.

    * the firmware is open source, so whatever it's programmed to do right now is basically irrelevant.

    Put another way, it's just a matter of time before this thing runs monome apps. It's a monome with a guitar neck waiting to happen.

    What don't we know...

    * Is the screen multitouch?

    * Is the screen color or monochrome?

    * Can you bend notes on the neck?

    * What does it cost?

    * When is it available?

    That's all I got. Discuss.

  • that thing looks awesome

  • I just like the fact that you can log into your guitar using ssh.

  • looks like got multitouch...


  • The screen doesn't look like multitouch to me -- he never had two fingers on the surface in different spots at the same time.

  • Well, those 24-48 hours wherein they were going to hopefully post pricing info have long since passed. Instead of said info, or a revised timeline, he removed that promise from the site.

    I signed up for the "notify me when you know anything" list. Until that announcement, the subject's all but dead.

  • this would be maybe an interesting toy:


  • The You Rock Guitar is actually a pretty nice midi controller. I was pleasantly surprised. I went in expecting a crappy toy and, after playing with it, I came out with the impression that it is actually a very nice instrument. The price is good too... The plastic version they say will be around 179 and the pro (Wood version) will be around 299.


  • Hmm. No sign of the pro version on their website. (on either of their websites) Did they mention a timeline?

    (that's the factor which pulled me back from pre-ordering the plastic one just now)

  • The said the pro version was coming out shortly after the plastic version. I kind of like the plastic version. It comes apart in two pieces in order to transport it. It has a nice feel and I like the kind of cheap appearance. It makes it more impressive when you get some sick sounds out of it. :-)

  • @mchenetz

    u tried playing "non-guitar" sounds with it?

    should be realy weird to playing a drumset on a guitar!!

  • i want to know if there will be different features on the pro version...wood construction is nice too, i guess. but $120 nice?

  • I actually brought Jon Marqulies and Chris Petti over to the booth and Jon played drums and other Synths from Logic 8 through it. It is very responsive. It actually has built-in sounds that are very realistic too. One of the features I liked was the, "You rock" mode that locks it to a certain scale and if you hit a note that is not part of the scale it will not play it.

  • One other thing... They are releasing a free SDK to program with. They indicated that they would send me one as soon as it enters production. So, look for some M4L/You Rock Guitar goodness.

  • You Rock may handle this better, but every controller I've had to replace for Rock Band and Guitar Hero has been because of the detachable neck. I don't think of that as a feature anymore; it's planned obsolescence.

  • Houses and cars are expensive and not everyone can buy it. Nevertheless, credit loans was invented to help different people in such kind of hard situations.

  • finally a press release on this thing.



  • freelance writer

  • Looks to be $959 now. But it's finally shipping in September.

    New screen interface seems more intuitive, pretty well thought out.

    Sadly, I'm still not a guitarist, and the money situation is forcing me to acknowledge that for the time being. I won't be buying this right away.

  • i wrote up what i think was the first real press piece on the kitara back in january 2010, before the ipad came out three months later. i |interviewed its creator (http://www.gentoo.org/news/20100125-misa-guitar-interview.xml), since the thing (at least at the time) ran gentoo linux as an embedded OS, which was pretty exciting for me, as a gentoo developer! it was originally just a midi controller, but now it seems like it includes onboard dsp: http://misadigital.com/index.php?target=kitara&lang=en|polyphonic synthesizer and effects

    but . . . i'm kind of worried that it's too late, and too pricey. i've been seeing knockoffs of the "touchscreen guitar" idea before people had really heard of the kitara. why? because the ipad beat it to market more than a year ago. the ipad was a mass-produced, low-cost, accessible, multitouch device let folks easily implement similar software ideas. there are a few DIY ipad-in-the-guitar designs in the wild. i guess the kitara itself is more like an evolutionary idea, rather than revolutionary; the guy from muse has been playing with a touchscreen kaoss controller in his guitar for at least 5 years.

    i question the utility of the particular touchscreen setup in the video demo. looks like he's using play position on each string to determine pitchbend, rather than the usual whammy bar. nice. shift fingers along the strings, rather than up and down, to get different sounds. but this means you can't have a separate timbre change effect on the same direction of movement, which means now you need to add your own whammy bar if you want pitchbend and timbre available separately. already the thing is crying out for modding, which means ruining that beautiful finish, and possibly jeopardizing the electronics inside.

    in the end, though, this thing really makes me wish i could play guitar. because making music with this looks hecka exciting, just like the monome did when i first saw it . . .

  • looks terrible to me i have to say. its the sound and feel of strings that make a guitar unique, not the shape of it.

    touchpad "strings"? wrong.

  • @oootini:

    read through misa's description and raison d'etre for the device, the "digital vs. electric" section. it's too long to repost here verbatim, but basically, they have already met your objections and refuted 'em.

    they don't intend to replace a guitar! they acknowledge that the guitar is made wonderful by its strings, wood, and plucked interaction. digital/electronic music requires a less limited means of interaction with your instrument. you need to be able to control the sound in in multiple simultaneous ways that you just can't achieve by plucking a string, kicking a pedal, or twirling a knob. you need more immediate hands-on control to shape the sound. really, read the full article, which closes with this statement:

    "So don't compare the kitara to acoustic guitars or electric guitars. Those are different instruments, for different art forms, for different music."

  • fair enough. i'm still not even remotely convinced though :)

  • if they're trying to distinguish it from being a guitar, they should make demos of it doing non-guitar things. The pad at the beginning of one of the demos was cool.

    I hear what oootini is saying. Even though it's not trying to be a guitar, there's something to be said about physically moving something to produce a sound.

    It's cool that it's both a self-contained synth and a MIDI controller. Overall I'm glad that there's another option for us guitarists.

  • Yeah. It struck me last night that the "Misa killer" is simply a MIDI guitar with an iPad dock. We could probably hack one ourselves with a Rock Band 3 "Pro" controller and an Arduino, cutting $750 or so off the price tag.

  • 'kitara'
    hmmm.... shit name.

    this thing looks as awkward as my face.

    they shoulda made the whole neck one long additional touch screen(or maybe the neck buttons are velocity sensitive and they also move perpendicular to their length to do pitch bend?).

    "where's the beef?"

  • It looks like one, and your traditional guitar skills carry over. That's really the appeal of it. Unless, like me, you don't have any traditional guitar skills.

  • I can 'play' the guitar, in the sense that I can put my fingers on the frets and make some sounds. Skills? Ah, there's the rub.

  • i actually borrowed my mates really nice semi acoustic recently and have been playing with nick drake capo tunings of late. i don't have a clue how to play guitar. it sure sounds nice though.

  • Interesting point. I don't think any of the electronic / MIDI guitars support the use of a capo.

    Admittedly, you can just retune in software, which solves the same problem. But that's a less intuitive interface in some ways.

  • Poking around the website...

    * MSRP dropped to $789.
    * You can no longer purchase directly through them; only through their dealers.
    * I don't think any of their dealers actually carry it.

    I'm not sure if it's still gentoo based, but it is definitely linux, and open source:

    I don't know if there'd be any benefit to compiling that without the hardware, but it's an interesting thought.

  • Not sure how I missed the this one completely. It's got multi-colored LEDs in the fretboard.