This is a quick demo of the Misa Digital Guitar – a new open source based musical instruments.
From the Misa site – the reason for the Misa Digital Guitar:
Guitars by their very nature have limitations. To create sound you need to hit a string, so that the sound at its most intense point is always the beginning of the pluck. The left hand controls what notes to play, and the right hand controls when to play these notes and the intensity of the notes. Effects can be inserted into the signal chain, but they are usually foot pedals which makes the experience of controlling effects disjointed from what your hands are doing. Plus, you can only really make use of one pedal at a time. Even in the (rare) case that controls are mounted on the guitar, the hand needs to switch between strings and controls. This may be okay if you only use effects occasionally, but when every note you play needs the controls set differently – good luck with that.
Electronic music cannot be played effectively with such constraints. In electronic music, the timbre (or colour) of the sound can be morphed in an infinite number of ways. For a guitar to accommodate this, the right hand needs more control than just plucking strings. You need to be able to control elements of the sound, such as sustain, pitch, filter cutoffs, contour or any other synthesizer parameter, in a way that has no physical constraints.
This was my thought process when designing the Misa digital guitar. There are no strings on this instrument. The right hand doesn’t pluck strings, it controls sound.
So don’t compare Misa digital guitars to acoustic guitars or electric guitars. Those are different instruments, for different artforms, for different music. This is electronic music.
Tech details: Linux kernel 2.6.31 (Gentoo); 24 frets; touchscreen; MIDI out; Ethernet; and SSH server.