From Around the Web 02.03.2014

by | Feb 3, 2014 | Gear, Good Finds


So, Denver got spanked, right?  Also, the snowpocalypse shut down my town.  So it was an interesting week…

I’m kind of interested in how guitars fit into dance music.  This is not a surprise for anyone who’s watched this space for even the shortest amount of time.  Merging synthesis and guitars has been somewhat of a musical goal for the past…very, very long time.

Apparently the new hotness is trying to meld an XY control pad, a la Korg’s Kaoss pad, to the face of the guitar.  There have been a couple of different attempts to do this, but they each come with their own drawbacks.

Here, Ben from Crimson Guitars shows you how to install an XY pad behind the bridge (I believe this is the cheap guitar kit project body).  The most famous user of the XY pad in the guitar, Matt Bellamy from Muse, uses this set up.  I don’t get it, really.  I mean, I understand that there’s a bunch of empty space back there for you to mount stuff, but as a player you have to be super into your left hand technique to make this work well.

It looks like a few guys at Ibanez had nothing better to do one day and hacked up a perfectly good pair of instruments to mount Kaoss Pad Minis to the front.  It’s nothing that you, dear reader, couldn’t do with a router, a hand drill and an afternoon off from work.

It’s easy to judge this aesthetically as an abject failure.  However, again, this appears to be more some bored guys in the custom shop did because they had free time more than something that’s even remotely ready for production.  The interesting thing here is that it gets the pad closer to the playing hand.  You could, for instance, do a sweep arpeggio while controlling an envelope filter to follow your sweeps.  That’s an improvement over previous designs.

It should be pointed out that the commenters on Premier Guitar’s website hate, Hate, HATE this.  That being said, the internet is an asshole that exists primarily to spread misery.

I’ve never quite gotten Twitter for regular people.  140 characters seems perfect for ads and jokes, but if you aren’t a company or a comedian it seems odd.  That being said, I do have Vernon Reid’s Twitter account bookmarked, which is where I came across this Kickstarter project. The Guitar Wing can slide onto the lower horn of, apparently, any guitar and provides wireless MIDI control of whatever.  While I think the face of it may be a bit cluttered and confusing, I think it may be the best implementation of the Kaoss Pad for guitar idea.

Anyway, here’s some people futzing around with XY pad enabled guitars.  Sorry, no car video this week, maybe next time…