Incredible home-brew MIDI and USB guitars

Doug writes: "I liked the Kaoss Pad Guitar very much. I like complete control over my digital music and I have built two guitars that do just that. One controls midi parameters, the other uses a usb interface into max/msp." Doug's page is here, with some noise-tastic sound samples here. The Steinberger style guitar on the right is "equipped with two cds cells (light sensors), two pressure sensors, internal feedback loop and four sliders rescued from a salvage yard. It uses MIDI to control parameters to virtually any electronic device.", while the one on the left "Has all electronics built inside of it. It has one infrared sensor, one internal kill switch, 8 external switches and 12 potentiometers to control external electronics via USB interface". Amazing work, Doug!

Cool guitar mods, but what a godawful racket they make!
yes those are definitely cool. i've built a few guitars in a similar vein. here is a video with a brief description -

these days the guitar is being used with a G2 engine and DSI Poly rack, what an amazing combo for guitar synth!

- b
Egad, do they have to make that noise? (Or, are my speakers broken?)

I've been looking do something similar, but I'd like to sound mostly guitarish at least when I'm done. Maybe I'm just not avant-garde enough, but the one solo piece was just cacophony to me, lacking even discernable structure. What is the artist trying to say? Perhaps just "I have a guitar with 14 knobs on it."
I have extensive music training in jazz, classical and contemporary classical music. What's the point of doing a music that is not your own if you create an instrument of your own? These instruments have taken me years to build, not only that, but the time involved programming the software is years in the making. Along with technical problems that come up constantly. Much more difficult to make this music than it is to be a musician. I've been a musician my whole life buddy...
but, each to their own i guess. have fun!
the first guitar based[is you can call triggering max/msp guitar based in any sense of the term, though through the medium of expression the artist chooses to trigger the sounds still bring the mindset at point of a guitarist] music i have heard in a long time that is actually inspiring to me.

and structure is found within his pieces, you just have to understand where to look for it, and listen to the way sounds repeat. then again, not everyone can do this, and not everyone can write a simple pop tune or a classical piece[i sure as hell cant, and not for lack of trying].

even noise has a structure to you, you just have to be exposed to enough of it to start to understand how structure works within sound.
Sorry, I didn't mean to come of as crassly as I did. I'm honestly trying to understand the whole thing. Like I said, maybe I'm just not avant-garde enough.

I'm a long-time guitarist just getting up to speed on the whole electronica thing. I'm looking for ways to integrate the two, but the examples I'm coming across don't really appeal to my sensabilities.

"Much more difficult to make this music than it is to be a musician."

That seems inherently odd to me. The value lies in the amount of work involved? Music has the ability to speak to the soul, I was curious what yours was trying to tell me.

If it's invention for invention's sake, then OK, does it have to sound like that? If it's a new way of expressing yourself, what are you expressing? I'd honestly like to know the answer to both questions, and did not mean to come across so rudley in my haste.

Again, pardon me for not "getting it", and maybe help a poor lunkhead who just doesn't grok the whole thing.
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I think it's just the music in my head. I always had an attraction to demolition derbys, so maybe that's it?

Being a musician is about repeating forms and patterns that are not interesting for me to play. I find it to constrictive of an environment. As someone who sat in front of a piano for 14 hrs in a day I know! Now I sit that many hrs in a day working on my electronic setup, so really nothing has changed. Accept that the music I make is more based on 'sound' and 'listening' and it is all done live. It's not everyones cup of tea I know...everyone should do the music they hear in their head, that would be nice wouldn't it? I guess that's up for question...
I guess I didn't answer the question about music.? Is this music? what am I trying to tell with my music? i wish i could give a good answer to that question. it's more about where is the music taking me than anything else.
I have a guitar with 14 knobs on it

Should be the band name. Awesome.
Doug, thanks for the reply.

I came up through symphony, and I guess what I realy dug is the way that 100 people can all come together... So I guess I always appreciated that structure was important to getting all the different hands and lips on the same page.

Now, as a songwriter, I work very hard to get good tension and release, as well as a catchy hook people can sing along with.

I'm sure I'm not the first guitarist to notice his Syth players "pitch bend" wheel, and think "Man, I could use one of those."

Do you perhaps know of anyone doing this on a smaller scale... Borrowing bits from the Synth geeks while still remaining a guitar god?

Again, apologize for the confusion, and mad respect for what you're doing. Frankly all the DSP, DSI, G2, G4, whooziewahtsis confuse the bleep out of me, and I program in C for a living. I have no doubt that you have invested coutless hours on this.

Also, I notice you mentioned 14 hours in front of a Piano... Do you still consider yourself a keyboardist, or is guitar your primary now, and if so, what triggered the switch? It would seem as someone with a keyboard background and the music you make, it would have been far easier to simply stay with what you knew. Curious as to what benefits prompted you to sail uncharted Guitar waters when they already sell Moog ferry tickets.

Again, thanks for your time in trying to explain this to me.
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