MIT Student Amit Zoran and associate professor at MIT’s Program in Media Arts and Sciences, Pattie Maes, collaborated with luthier Marco Coppiardi to create the very first ‘Chameleon Guitar’ – a guitar that incorporates an inter-changeble soundboard enabling a musician to easily alter his guitar’s sound by simulating other type of guitars (sorry for the excessive use of the word ‘guitar’ :-). Not that I’m feeling lazy or anything, but the video bellow will explain it far better then I ever can:
This is a very interesting concept that could very well be on the verge of something big if Zoran can commercialize it (something he counts on doing after having presented his Chameleon Guitar project for his master’s degree). It goes far beyond the realm of those dodgy amp simulators we see everywhere nowadays (although the Native Instrument’s Guitar Rigs can come up with very satisfying results, provided you have a good sound card and speakers).
Very curious to see what is to become of this project.
I also browsed through Zoran’s website and took a look at the different ideas he’s been working on. Check out his ‘Imitation of Harmonic Connections in Polyphonic Music Series’ – an attempt to simulate harmonic progressions by analylizing polyphonic structures (such as fugues).
Have a listen here.
A very close friend of mine, Ben Servoz, had developed something extremely similar a couple of years ago, meaning I have friends that are MIT material! Wouhou! :-)
The technology being used here is probabilistic random generation. I applied this algorithm to word and sentence generation with very successful results and gave it a try on music. The results are still really good but there are multiple dimensions to music – the sequence of notes and their timing, but also the way different channels synch with each other. While this is not a final version of the program, it’s certainly a nice proof of concept.