Hands On: The Digital Gibson Les Paul

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

As I was wandering past a group of goth kids playing some violent video game at Digital Life, I noticed an Intel booth with a cool blue Gibson Les Paul. A gentleman was demoing the new Digital Gibson Les Paul with Sonar 5. In addition to a standard 1/4" guitar jack, the Les Paul features a special ethernet jack where you plug the guitar into a special box. The box then converts the guitar signal to a digital signal allowing complete control over each string. I started to play some Police and Rush songs and they sounded incredible. Each string was hooked up to a seperate channel which was connected to a seperate speaker per channel. The speakers were set up around in like a circle so I was totally zoning out to my own guitar playing. The amount of effects that are possible are incredible as well. I was told the guitar will be available to the general public in about 8 weeks, but I suspect around the beginning of 2006, which is well worth the wait.

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DISCUSSION

Gibson's guitar is the *only* manufactured product intended for hex OUTPUT to six amplifiers and six speakers. Think about that. Do we really want to have six amps and six speakers? Why?

Perhaps you think it would be cool to have a different effect or instrument associated with each string. MIDI has been doing that since the 80's. Can anyone play it? Well, a few can, but not many.

This is not a product yet; it's a toy. Not until someone (a musician) can figure out how to effectively use six speakers and six amps.

Professor John Amaral www.usschoolofmusic.com