Saturday, September 30, 2006

Variax and Line 6

No, I don't just develop games. I actually play a fair bit of guitar. A couple of weeks ago, I was at Tom Lee Music in Downtown Van. Apparntly Line 6 (makes awesome amps and amp simulators) had released a while back a new guitar line called the 'Variax'. What's different about these guitars? They have no traditional pickups. What they have is a set of digital piezo pickups mounted into the bridge that work on a string by string basis. What's that mean? If you've ever tried doing the old "Midi Guitar/Guitar synth" route as I did when I was a kid, it means that you've essentially a digital system for modelling on a string by string basis the tonality of any guitar. Want to change the tuning of your guitar, without actually changing the tuning of your guitar? Just model the tuning that you're interested and away you go. Want to have the guitar sound like a 12 string? Again, just model that behaviour. It's a bit pricy, and I didn't like the way the one I played felt, but it was the bottom of the line model. And you have to pick up a fair bit of extras in order to get the most out of this guitar. But it really has some interesting potential. Check it out at: http://line6.com/variax/overview.html