After all that fuss with USB and FireWire guitars carrying audio, what a lot of guitarists want to be able to do is just to plug their guitar into MIDI so they can trigger soft synths without a keyboard. Aside from instruments like the Brian Moore iGuitar, as of last week you have a new option:

Hoag Guitars Optical Guitars MIDI-Max, via

I mentioned the optical guitars in my Unusual New Guitar Tech roundup in January, but since then Hoag has added MIDI capabilities to his guitars. You’ll notice that’s not a MIDI jack in the photos; it’s a 13-pin connection as found on the Brian Moore instruments. You’ll have to plug this into a box with MIDI out, but that’s generally the most flexible solution (even if it does mean you have to carry another device like the Roland GI-20).

The Website is a little hard to follow, but here’s my big question: has anyone gotten to play these? Are they any good? The only guitars of this type I’ve seen in the wild are Brian Moore’s.