Head Shot 11

I’ve been reading some comments. Reasonable questions.  I’ll try to answer one at a time as often as my bandwidth permits.

How is this different than a sustainer / E-bow?

Think about driving a car down a winding mountain road. Staying on the road takes a certain kind of concentration. You are processing visual data, (mostly), and using it to figure out how to turn the wheel to stay on the road. (You are a living control system.)

Now imagine you are in a different car where the windshield has been replaced by a wide screen camera image of the road – exactly what you’d see in real life, but the image is delayed by just 1-2 seconds. Could you drive?

Put yourself there in your imagination. Both cars move forward when you step on the gas, but only one can be moved forward accurately along a winding road. Both are capable of sustained motion, but there is a very important difference… see where I’m going with this?

Sustainers:  It turns out that the simple old idea of “using a guitar’s pickup in reverse” acts rather like that car with the delayed windscreen. The system sustains, but the sustaining magnetism isn’t synchronized with the string’s actual motion.  The information in the magnetism has been delayed and warped by transmission down the string to the other guitar pickup in the sustain loop.  A sustainer can’t steer along the string’s winding waveform without going off the road.

The control system I invented does one conceptually simple but very tricky thing – it overcomes that delay. This makes it possible to respond to string motion instantly. Makes it possible to control string motion accurately. And opens up a vast territory of sound and instrument behavior to explore.

It took a very long time to build the “car”. I’ve only been driving these mysterious roads for a while and it’s already way more fun than doing random circles in a parking lot. You can go somewhere.