MIT’s Chameleon Guitar, the Best of Both Worlds

Wednesday, February 11, 2009| by Will Chen

Amit Zoran at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Media Lab has combined digital signal processing with a removable sound board to create the Chameleon Guitar. The guitar uses a small wood soundboard, complete with bracing, with five piezo elements which feed a physical modeling engine to mimic the sonic characteristics of a larger full acoustic instrument. An innovative quick change mechanism additionally allows players to swap soundboards on the fly.

Zoran, under the direction of MIT Associate Professor Pattie Maes and assisted by Boston based luthier Marco Coppiardi of Italiastings, is approaching the project with the true tonal passion of guitarists at heart, experimenting with different woods for the sound board, the most exotic of which was a piece 150 year old spruce. For now, the guitar is continuing to be developed as Zoarn’s master’s thesis project, but he eventually hopes to develop it into a commercial product.

For more information, check out the MIT News article covering Zoran's Chameleon Guitar.

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