Kofi's hat

Kofi's hat

MP3s, music news and reviews, and a sprinkling of pop culture. Named by Aqualung's Matt Hales, after his son.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ink in my blood, a song in my heart. Metaphor is my middle name.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I, For One, Welcome Our Robot Guitar Overlords

Via BotJunkie, comes word of the self-tuning Gibson Robot Guitar, which goes on sale December 7th in "select locations". It will be the first run of a limited edition, with only ten guitars available at each store. The "regular model" will be available in late 2008 and everyone knows it won't be as "cool" by virtue of it having gone on sale at a later date and its "regular" status.

The Gibson is a shiny, attractive guitar, and could prove useful to many—perhaps even a necessity for some players (can everyone tune a guitar?). In the "con" column, BotJunkie points out that the Gibson is not the first robotic guitar on the market. Not only does it lack that "it's the first!" botstreetcred, the Robot Guitar lacks a cool robot name. "The Robot Guitar" is seriously unimaginative.

Plus, this instructional video reveals all sorts of human intervention and effort is required to tune the guitar, change its strings, and such. Isn't it enough that work is still required to play the thing?

"Feed string through hole in post and hand-tighten post screw"? Didn't I get a robotic guitar to avoid that sort of labor? "Turn knob to appropriate string symbol position. Press twice. Push and hold for three seconds." Three seconds?! Isn't this thing supposed to be a time-saver? I don't have three seconds to waste hanging around pressing robot knobs!

However, I like that people are required to "push power head tuner knob back in to engage" because it sounds vaguely futuristic, and makes it sound like they're going to have a conversation with their robot guitar.

"What song should we play, ShredBot?"

"Do you want to give 'Little Wing' a try? I think you're ready for it."

"Don't you mean, "I think we're ready for it?"


That was not part of a sitcom spec script, so no striking writers should be horribly offended. Fans of humor and enemies of tangents are free to be offended.


Blogger Pete P. said...

The guitar snobs will probably just hate it, but I wouldn't mind having a guitar that tunes itself. I think I'd name it G.I.T.T.

What was quite bizarre, was that the video referenced an Oasis song named "Quick Peeper". Unless it's on some secret promo album aimed at parents who are doing potty-training with their kids, I don't think it actually exists.

However, there is a song by Oasis called "A Cuick Peep". That one's a very short and boring instrumental track from their least good album, Heathen Chemistry (2002). I wonder why Gibson didn't bother to come up with any better song examples for that particular tuning.

7:09 AM  
Blogger trill42 said...

You're so sharp. I do think they meant "A Quick Peep", which isn't one of my favorite Oasis songs either.

The only reference I've found to an Oasis song ostensibly called "Quick Peeper" is in this forum post, so I'm guessing that forum may be the source of both the mistake (which still shouldn't have slipped by unnoticed) and some of the inspiration for the song examples.

In any event, I wrote to Gibson to tell them about what appears to be this mistake you spotted, and ask them your question about why they used this song... heh. It's possible that they consider the song fun to learn how to play (and I asked about that) or a really good exaample of the key (ditto)... or maybe the robot guitar recommended it (didn't think to ask, d'oh).

BTW, they are having a contest to win a robot guitar. It requires making a robot guitar video, uploading it to YouTube, getting your video picked as one of "the best" chosen by Gibson to be posted on their website, then and winning a popularity contest there. Whew. It seems easier to build a robot that makes and sells lemonade to raise enough money to buy one yourself.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Pete P. said...

Hahah! Well let me know what Gibson answers... if they ever do! :-D

(I also noticed I'd written "quick" starting with a peep-ing "C" there. So apparently A Quick Peep is both quite difficult to write and quite difficult to enjoy.)

4:31 AM  
Blogger trill42 said...

Your mind probably tried to reject information related to that song in an effort to protect itself.

As for whether Gibson will ever answer, I really wanted to respond, "O, ye of little faith..." and then, like, be able to follow up with information regarding their response... only they haven't responded yet. But there's probably a very important International Robotic Guitar Conference today. Attendance by all Gibson personnel was likely mandatory. Or maybe they're away at a retreat, doing team-building exercises. I hope when they return and see this email it doesn't turn team-member against team-member. I really think they'll respond, though. My official guess is: a reply before (US) Thanksgiving on Thursday. (Guess, not bet. =) ).

6:41 PM  

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