MIT guitar combines acoustics and electronics

A prototype guitar built by US student Amit Zoran combines the natural acoustics of wood with the power of electronic processing

"A normal synthesizer synthesizes the fundamentals of a sound and is something created on a computer, but here we don't create the sound from nothing," Zoran said. The strings vibrate and attenuate the bridge of the guitar and then the sound moves like any other acoustic instrument.

Wook Yeon Hwang, a guitarist for 20 years and MIT Media Lab associate agreed. "The problem with synthesized instruments is that they pick a sound at one particular moment so every time it sounds the same," he said. "It's almost impossible to put my feelings into the music." Being able to play on a guitar that uses the natural acoustics of the wood, instead of synthesis, is much better and much more important to musicians, said Hwang, who gave Zoran feedback as the guitar was developed.

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