'Chameleon Guitar' can emulate any tone

Slot-in soundboard meets digital processing

A student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has created an instrument that's said to be capable of sounding like a variety of different guitars.

Billed as a 'Chameleon Guitar', this has a removable soundboard – the idea is that you can slot in 'boards made of different wood to produce a wide range of tones.

This isn't the end of the story, though: sound from the pickups is sent to a computer, which then emulates the effect of a user-definable size and shape of resonating chamber.

The guitar is the work of Amit Zoran, who claims that a player could easily switch soundboards during the course of a gig.

"The original signal is not synthetic, it's acoustic," says Zoran. "Then we can simulate different shapes, or a bigger instrument. We can make a guitar the size of a mountain."

Amit plans to continue developing the guitar as part of a thesis project for his master's degree. After that, he may attempt to turn it into a commercial product.

Check out the MIT website for a video of the Chameleon Guitar in action.


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