These are the Best Things at Musikmesse: CDM Best of Show Awards

What a week it’s been. Musikmesse in Frankfurt, one of the world’s largest gatherings of the music instruments industry, was host to a range of new gear, new technologies, and new revelations. I decided it’s finally time to crown my own picks as the most significant appearances at the show. Not because I have any particular right to do so, but I felt strongly enough about who was deserving. First, some honorable mentions:


Gibson Buys Stanton, Gets Speaker and DJ Business, Calls Itself “Lifestyle Brand”

Ce n’est pas un phonographe. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Roadside Guitars. Gibson Guitar has announced in a press release they’re acquiring the Stanton Group, which includes, aside from the well-known Stanton DJ brand, KRK monitoring products and Cerwin-Vega loudspeakers. It’d be easy to see this as a guitar company buying a DJ company, but it’s more than that. KRK and Cerwin-Vega are speaker/monitoring brands. Stanton and Cerwin-Vega each have footholds in the larger consumer arena, not just the pro world, a detail Gibson is quick to emphasize. And Gibson themselves have quietly, steadily grown beyond just guitars. The new “Gibson Pro Audio” …


More Digital Guitar Reflections: What a MIDI Guitar Can Do; Conservatism, Adoption, and Innovation

A robot guitar may not injure a human guitarist, or, through inaction, allow a human guitarist to come to harm. A robot guitar must obey any orders and tunings given to it by human guitarists, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. All human and robot guitarists must enjoy guitar hardware, so long as such gear lust does not conflict with the First or Second Law. Gibson’s Robot Guitar – speaking of recent guitar innovations. Science and art alike demand inquisitive exploration and experimentation. So, it’s encouraging that a discussion of the future of the digital guitar …


Auto-Tune for Guitars Doesn’t Have to be Like Auto-Tune for Vocals; The Digital Guitar Future?

Auto-Tuning a guitar is coming, say Antares. But if that seems frightening, it may be worth a closer look. Photo of the (classic) guitar (CC-BY) John W. Tuggle. A new tool could be for the expressive, not just the lazy. That’s the read of Auto-Tune for guitar, and it makes me excited to see what people will do with it. It could be the advent of the true digital guitar. Antares teased their efforts to bring Auto-Tune technology to guitars earlier this month, having gotten as far as working proof-of concept. (See Harmony Central’s exclusive video above, and Axetopia, Synthtopia.) …


“Music Simulation” Patent Unsuccessful, Gibson Mucks Up Own Case

Simulated guitar? Gibson gets carried away, but the law wins. Photo/bento creation (CC) Sakurako Kitsa.(Yup, this is a Fender Strat, but this is my kind of simulation of a musical instrument – in cheese form!) Gibson, the guitar company, has been on an utterly absurd campaign against music games, bringing lawsuits against the developers of both Guitar Hero and Rock Band and even against retailers. In the latest illustration of how screwed up patent law is, and just how over-litigious it has made technology in this country, the patent was based on a Gibson patent for a “System and method …


The Onion on Gibson’s Guitar Hero – Rock Band Lawsuits

American voices respond. “Finally, the name Gibson will be synonymous with fake guitars.” Gibson Sues Over Guitar Hero Thanks, Patrick.


Gibson Guitar Loses Mind, Sues Entire Planet (But Wii Rock Band Should Be Fun)

Gibson headquarters. I’m sure some rational thought is going on in there, but search me to tell you what the (*&$# that thought is. Photo via mmwm Gibson Guitar may require a new column here on CDM, titled something like “what the $&*((*&$ can you possibly be thinking??!” Sure, it was strange enough when Gibson started a patent dispute with Guitar Hero game developer Activision because it claimed to own the patent for anything “simulating a musical concert experience.” (Jeez, I’m glad Gibson hasn’t been to a couple of my gigs.) Never mind that their patent involved pre-recorded concert footage …


Gibson Guitar to Guitar Hero Maker: We Own All Digital Musical Reality

Wannabe musicians: now the exclusive legal domain of Gibson Guitar? Photo: Unhindered by Talent. Are you making music without real acoustic instruments? You know, in, like, virtual reality? Then you may have stepped into a strange, alternate dimension. Let’s call it, for the sake of argument, The Gibson Zone. They control the horizontal. They control the vertical. They invented what you’re doing … right now. Or, at least, that seems to be the message sent by a recent patent dispute between Gibson Guitar Corporation and Guitar Hero developer Activision. (Harmonix, the original Guitar Hero developer, has moved on to Rock …


Gibson to Launch Self-Tuning “Robot” Guitar

Don’t get too excited. Gibson Guitar is not, in fact, introducing a fully robotic guitar. Or a creepy robot doll that plays a guitar. Nor are they shipping you a handsome (male/female/your choice) robot assistant who will follow you around and tune your guitar for you. Too bad. But they are launching a robotic, self-tuning guitar on December 7. And most importantly, it comes in a limited-edition frost blue paint retro-robotic job, which even as a non-guitarist, I have to admit is super hot. So, what’s robotic about it? Its tuning system: In addition to its automated tuning and alternate/open …


Gibson’s Cute Miniature Les Paul 1 GB Flash Drive, Consumer Electronics Line?

Believe it or not, you’ll stick this into the side of your computer. Bizarre but adorable, Gibson has turned their iconic 1959 Les Paul guitar into a miniaturized replica, a functioning USB 2.0 1 GB Flash Drive. It will store data. It will not make any sound. But it does have specs that you, erm, don’t normally get out of a guitar: 14Mbps read / 6MBps write, 9 year data retention, LED indicator, and USB extension cable. Gibson Signature Series Les Paul Flash Drive No one told me, but Gibson has introduced an entire line of consumer electronics, including HDMI …