Thursday, April 30, 2009

kaoss padded guitar

Lately the guitar internet is buzzing about Manson's MB1, Matt Bellamy's signature guitar, with its famous embedded KAOSS pad. Since I know this guitar, I love the idea - I used some heavy electronics on guitars myself and I much prefer this use of digital technology than the modeling of 50-year old electro-acoustic devices. But I've always been disappointed with Bellamy's guitar, since it seems obvious to me than the MIDI screen should not be behind the bridge where it cannot be really integrated in guitar playing, then just adds some special effects on sustained notes. So it should be just below the strings and usable while hitting them, like the volume knob. I guess that it wasn't done because it would have meant a complete modification of the guitar's quite classic design, and forced to explore the dire paths of experimental design.

So I made a little sketch of what I expect from a KAOSS padded guitar with an easier access touch screen, trying to keep it ergonomic, and rebalancing more or less the same amount of wood to keep the same sound. It looks then a little bit like these Soviet guitars of the 70s when they used constructionist design - the form follow the function - though I try to keep it a little bit more sexy...

Monday, April 27, 2009

wuxia & guitars

Lately I've been watching many wuxia movies and it gave me the idea of designing some guitars inspired by antique chinese weapons. I wrote somewhere else how pathetic most metal guitarists seem to me, with their pointy instruments that are supposed to look fierce but are just grand-guignolesque - they all look like old fans of Kiss. But if you want to show genuine machismo, your guitar has to be really dangerous, and mainly for yourself of course (also for rogue managers)! So my guitars should be made of steel and sharp for real (OK they'd be heavy, but what kind of sissy wants a light guitar?)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

more sketches

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

back to cardboard


My last research in guitar design led me to go back to some sketches I made a couple of months ago and rework them with a different perspective. I mostly like big bodies (probably because I'm big) and my first idea was to create thick chambered solid bodies - with the influence it would have on the sound of the guitar. For this guitar I would rather go for a thin and sculpted body, removing material in the most ergonomic way to make it very comfortable. From was I could judge from the cardboard model, it's well balanced and quite enjoyable to wear already, I will make it heavier for a more accurate feeling. I used a baritone scale of 30 in.

I mainly use recycled paper and cardboard but I got myself good pencils recently - it helps for better drawings.

Friday, April 17, 2009

more sketches

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

more sketches

Sunday, April 12, 2009

more elaborated sketches

You might have noticed that in my last sketches I'm been busy with beveled designs. Unless it's deliberate - like for the minimal telecaster - I realize that I don't like so much plank guitars, but I'm not into arch-top either - so beveling is an interesting option.
I'm quite desperate to have no time to start building my projects but this delay allows me to slowly mature them and these new sketches show an interesting step in my process. This implies further modification of the shapes, also front plates and chambering...

A comment on a previous post showed interest in the red model I resketch here more precisely - Les Paul based with some material removed for lighter weight that make it look like nothing I ever saw before. I have to say that I enjoy the Holy series of Gibson but I think that they are too shy with their modifications.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

more sketches

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

more sketches

Monday, April 6, 2009

some music

OK, this blog is about guitar design, but however beautiful and fascinating the object is, its primary function is to produce music. So for the first time I post here something with me playing guitar. It is far from being the best thing I've done (well I hope so), but it's a curiosity worth listening - or at least knowing about.

Sonic Youth's bass player and singer Kim Gordon conceived with artist Jutta Koether the installation Reverse Karaoke in which they invite audience to pick an instrument and improvise together with the pre-recorded voice of Kim. I saw this installation in MAK in Vienna with my friend and Viennese artist David Jourdan and we played the game - that is we listened to Kim's song once and then improvised - one take. The song was roughly mixed right away and 10 minutes later we left with a CD of our recording. So yes, I kind of recorded a song with Kim Gordon. Some info here and pictures here.

Completely forgot about the guitar - can anybody recognize it on this picture ?

Reverse Karaoke by bertramD
More of my guitar stuff on my SoundCloud account.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

more sketches

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