'Chameleon Guitar' can emulate any tone

The guitar player's Swiss Army Knife?
The guitar player's Swiss Army Knife?

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.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.