Since CDM broke details of the new Brian Moore USB-based guitar, many of you have been asking: if you can carry audio over a USB cable, why not simultaneous audio and MIDI data? With both, you could both record audio and control soft synths. Electric guitars, of course, don’t transmit MIDI directly since they’re analog instruments, but could the circuitry that made the conversion be included on the instrument for a single-cable, plug-and-play solution?

You’re in luck. Robin from the Brian Moore factory says:

We are currently in the development of an iGuitar USB that will transmit both stereo audio (magnetic and piezo) AND control all software instruments as well. This patented technology is still in R&D stages but will be coming soon. Check out the What’s Happening section of our website or this site
(createdigitalmusic) for future product updates.

Of course, if you don’t want to control some wacky software synthesizer with your guitar or input notes for notation, the current models may still make sense. For about US$500, you have an all-in-one, USB audio guitar solution.

But the mobility of the system is certainly increasing: one guitar, one USB cable, one laptop, and nothing else.

  • Guest

    One guitar!
    One USB cable!
    One laptop!
    Nothing else is acceptable! All bourgeois stomp boxes must be despatched to the collective farm!
    Soon the Midi Kontrol and the Universal Bus will have usurped all capitalist phallocentric 1/4inch jack plugs!

    Dissenters will be reported to Petrovich Kirnovich!
    And shot!

  • Guest

    so how long before we get USB stomp boxes?

    Could be a useful way to get around the cable length limits too ;>

  • egan

    I wrote the iGuitar.USB reply in the FW guitar thread…and was pleased you knew what I meant…quality, honing classic guitars with improvements which are not just gimmicks, or marketing (Gibson!), they actually got MIDI to work with zero delay on guitar, and it blows my mind!

    Again, my 2.13 is a Les Paul, which is better than the Gibson models in quality, playability, and only 7 .lbs ( Les Pauls are not for bad backs!) Piezo acoustic ( which Gibson still doesn't offer! ) plus the whole MIDI that works, and works phenomenally well…. Mahogany, figured maple top, gold hardware, sperzal locking tuners, Seymour Duncan humbuckers w/ coil taps, and MIDI – I guess it was $1340. ( How can they afford the parts at that price?) – Parker with same pick ups, tuners, Piezo – but not RMC is about that price – but you can't see the wood ( is their wood in there?) No remarkable decoration, and assembled in Korea at the same price (MIDI Fly Parkers are over $3000 ! ) but never tried MIDI Parker…

    Anyway, if I had to bet on anyone delivering technology, on a guitar which is likely your Favorite guitar just using 1/4" and amp – compares to the finest Gibson, PRS, Fender, you can buy ( but costs less, and is better!)

    These guys are heaven sent. Keep what's good, modest improvements only if they are… and actually work well, which even Gibson doesn't do anymore, quality issues, etc.

    Still seems no one has heard of them though! Maybe if Guitar Center sold them? The wall mart of music supply…

    Yeah, figures these guys are already working on MIDI over USB. That just rules!!! Now that saves a LOT of cables, you have stereo audio + MIDI cables – or slap any printer cable in and that's it. WOW!

    You guys keep mentioning cable length. According to some, we have like a 21' limit on 1/4" cable. ( Monster wont sell longer ) because signal degrades at that point ( not that I believe everything I hear )

    Don't most of us plug into pedals, then maybe other pedals, then out to amplification?
    ( Currently use Digitech GNX 4 Amp sim/ multi FX/ 8 track recorder on board!! – also has USB which does Audio I/O – Midi control commands 4 FX – etc.
    The outputs on the thing offer balanced, unbalanced, XLR, S/PDIF, so since I need to step on pedals – needs to be close by – and long cable runs have always needed a balanced cable )

    So, for ME, seems like USB is everywhere now… I think any USB hub would double length – and no shortage of USB hubs/ at inexpensive levels at almost any store…which is a bonus.

    I know of some people in the business, like a Linux box running VST's but works like a knob based FX unit Muse Research (?)

    USB stomp boxes? So you take Line 6 Pod Port ( USB I/O ) or Native Instruments – the idea is to allow you to run all those computer FX say 48 at a time, so would it be OK to stuff just one or two in a pedal??
    ( why not just use MIDI CC on any MIDI pedal – assign to whatever you want? )

    Muse was saying lots of people HATE looking at the computer, and seeing sound does seem to suck all your attention – so like White Stripes guy was saying he wont use them…
    ( Most players even close their eyes when they play )

    I guess guitar players have a large segment of purist – and in not using a mouse & computer to play…I can see where they seem poorly suited to making sound on an instrument.
    ( Oh, and GNX4 seems an attempt @ 8 track even guitar players can use – and start/stop/overdub while playing with foot control )

    Simplicity is lost when software makes all of us become recording engineers, producers, writers, players, mixers, and complex software only adds more layers….but good to know you can use 1 cable & a Powerbook – and make a CD!

    Now, Brian Moore was doing demo's in Apple booths w/ garage band – does Apple offer an iGuitar yet, like at Apple Stores?
    ( I'd love to visit even more then! 😉

    Thanks so much 4 keeping me in the know on this stuff!


  • Guest

    Les Paul solved the cable length problem years ago by using low impedance pickups as the "source" of the sound wave. The trick in creating a digital guitar isn't the AD conversion – it's identifying the "note waveform" in less than 1.5 cycles to minimize latency. I may be wrong, but it takes a bit more "processing" to identify the analog note being played and get it converted to the proper MIDI data stream. I'm hopeful the folks at Brian Moore can make this happen without a bulky power supply and an expensive internal CPU board. Good luck, guys!

  • admin

    Yes, fast tracking of MIDI notes is a challenge — but it's nothing new. Devices from Roland, etc. have already pulled this off quite successfully. I assume Brian Moore is doing something similar. The only thing no one has tried yet is the obvious solution of, once you have MIDI, carrying that + audio on USB. That's been done before for other instruments, but not guitars, and certainly not in a single instrument that does everything: converts analog signal to digital audio, analog guitar notes to MIDI events, and piping that all through a single USB cable connected to guitar. That'd be really elegant, and that's the idea. Gibson doesn't seem to be working on that particular problem (at least, they haven't said they are). Brian Moore is.

    In fact, to those who want to keep their stompboxes, this would also be a great solution: you'd run MIDI to your computer via USB, but keep audio coming via the normal 1/4" jack to your stompboxes and whatnot. And not having to carry another piece of digital gear to do the MIDI conversion means you're free to bring more analog effects. 😉

    Oh, and in response to the question about Brian Moore and Apple, I don't think you'll see the iGuitar in Apple Stores for sale (as far as I know), but you will see Apple and Brian Moore teaming up to demo the product in the US and UK. Check the what's happening at for more on that.


  • Guest

    iGuitar vs. Gibson's ever coming soon Digital Guitar
    I used to use Opcode Studiovision Pro for Audio/MIDI – when I stopped in 4 a quick tech support question message boards had the actual engineers reply to my questions!
    Anyway, Gibson bought the half company , then sort of took over, only to shut it down. Which is illogical, if it works, you can sell it…if you don't want to, then why own it, sell company??

    So, the Drama, trying to get them to open source OMS ( free software, 1st ever music OS ) and no one could get the CEO to be reasonable….or understand anything but glue & wood…
    ( anyway, we got the guy to do Core MIDI in OS X – so we are good )

    I diid extensive research, and the sheer scope, and total lack of ANY technological understanding, anywhere in the company ( having experts & firing them – say to make a Digital guitar? ) Is a level of incompetence I have rarely seen ( OK, some bad managers @ Apple 4 a while )
    Taken as a whole, I know Henry Jerkowitz has no clue what MIDI is, and actually wants to get folks to need Upgrades to Les Pal

  • Guest

    If Brian Moore can deliver both MIDI and stereo audio via USB, I'll have that in a heartbeat.

    For the foreseeable future I would like to see the regular 1/4 jack in place. Sometimes i need the leg hairs blown about from my Marshall..

    Until Roland/Boss make their MIDI guitar floorboards available as software better hang on to the 13 pin output as well.

    To be able to plug my guitar straight into my Mac would suit me.. I could retire loads of progressively redundant outboard gear. and most importantly cut down on all that cable clutter.

    What's next?
    Make the connection Bluetooth, WiFi or something similar.
    Also make the USB connection replaceable as faster connections (Firewire & USB ) progresively become available.
    Also lets have a higher sampling rate at some point and Mr Moore do a deal with Pro Tools so that it can replace an MBox…

    I spent years dealing with photographic purists, and painful it was – thats my real job – lets not get hung up this.
    Digital is here to stay.. plugins are sounding better all the time, computer based recording is liberating for most of us bedroom/project studio guys. The horsepower of computers is not getting slower.

    I do wish Fender would bite the bullet and jump in. I have a bit of thing for Telecasters so a Digital '52 reissue butterscotch blonde Tele would make my day.. if not van Brian Moore do a Tele.. ish guitar please?

    I'd sell my Strat and LP (scratch plate signed by Robben Ford and Andy Summers) for that..

  • Guest

    Technology has brought high end studio level capabilities into my house. As a newbie to this I am all about cuttin' out the clutter (read GEAR) and Virtual is the bomb!

    Forget that sweet 57 Strat, use a vst plug-in. No feedback buzz. And who is really gonna know?? A lot of "romance" in that dream…

    This USB guitar is the future…it needs to be MIDI mappable (with onboard knobs,faders and trigger pads)like an M-Audio Trigger Finger.

    Next is should be wireless.

    Go Brian Moore (shout out to Abelton Live as well)

  • There should be a place where real musicians could express opinions. Thanks for this. I wonder why engineers don't ask us what we want, instead of giving us loads of features THEY THINK we want. For example, I would like a portable battery-operated Guitar Synth. And I'm sure that such a product would make a kill. They keeep giving us pedals (the same bulls****) with 999 amp models and 899 effects that we never use. They keep coming in different shapes and prices, but they do the same ineffective work. I tried to contact unsuccessfully Roland's R&D. I wonder where they get their new ideas.


  • Billy Henderson

    Hello I am not in to the midi or synth stuff. I love Brian Moore guitars but seems like every one in the universe is a rocker. I AM NOT I am into three chord country, blues and throw down chikin pickin. Do you make at least one guitar for that??? Please answer

  • Guest in the know

    Brian Moore guitars is not making guitars anymore. They closed the custom shop and let go all outside sales people in 01/07. Sad, sad state of affairs!!

  • anonymous

    make it wireless.

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