• Follow us


Guitar Machine - The Good Men Project

—We often imagine a future world filled with robots and artificial intelligence agents, where humans share their civilization with sentient beings made out of metals and plastics, that function much like we do. But we could also imagine robots that take the form of existing objects, such as tools, furniture, or vehicles. As an example, consider driving assistance features in modern cars, which offload certain driving responsibilities and automate them, creating a more convenient experience for the human driver.

Guitar Machine investigates such a possibility in the context of musical instruments. It is a “smart” or robotic attachment for a guitar that allows a human artist and a robot to share the act of playing the instrument. Of course, automation has long been part of music history—from the classic player piano to robotic heavy metal band (Z-machines). However, most of these existing apparatuses revolve around automation, relying on machines to take the place of human endeavor, in one of the prime domains of human creativity.

That divisive view between us and technology has always bothered me. To me, the division seems arbitrary, while the roles of a human artist and an instrument (a technology) have always been more synergistic (or even symbiotic) than anything.

“…I am more and more convinced that some of the essential structures of music are rooted in the body…the very close relationship which exists between ‘dancing’ with the body and producing musical sounds as a result of this activity…” —“Music and the Body,” John Baily

There is another fascinating vertical to consider, which is a more free-form, avant-garde movement in music. Musicians have long tried new ways to use specific instruments, or invented new instruments and tools for unexplored inspirations. It is also well known in ethnomusicology that an instrument governs the shape of the music played on it—not only the sonic characteristics of the instrument, but what musicians are inclined, or even able, to do with it, from a very basic motor level.

With that in mind, how can new instruments be made with today’s technology, and how can that defamiliarize the act of playing the guitar—thus inventing new ways of interacting with it? Guitar Machine is a guitar loaded with a variety of robotic components. It negotiates between conventional ways of playing the guitar and newly afforded, unfamiliar sound-making. Unlike many other automated instruments, Guitar Machine is not designed to replace the musician. The hammering, bowing, tremolo picking, or electrically driven actuator components are controlled by the musician herself as an extension of her fingertips, merging the very natural human process of playing music with the computational power of machines.

A number of musicians have tried Guitar Machine, from music professors to jazz students, through sound effects designers, and more. During those trials, I and my collaborator Abhinandan found that the robot helped them explore alternative sonic and musical spaces, effectively train complex musical patterns on the guitar, or even improvise along with the instruments. The musicians say the sounds being created become more unexpected, helping them explore new avenues.

One jazz guitarist “improvised” with the guitar, as it played pseudo-randomized patterns of beats. As their duet progressed, he shouted, “It pretty much feels like playing with another person!” I was watching him, and it was much more than playing in tandem with the machine. He was seamlessly transitioning between giving the robot the lead, taking over control, and synthesizing his own playing with the robot’s once he understood what the robot was doing.

A sound effects designer, who is also a guitarist, tried “pushing the system to extremes,” turning on more actuators than it was designed to run at one time. As a result, the motors started moving at unexpected speeds and hitting at unintended moments. It sounded beautiful and in a sense poetic, as he was just letting the machine do machine things.

Another guitarist tried training a polyrhythm pattern, with two wildly different beat patterns going on at the same time. This kind of polyrhythm is unintuitive, since the musician has to divide measures in two different ways and execute the rhythms concurrently. We automated the rhythm using Guitar Machine, and he had a short, three-minute session of “feeling it,” after which he was able to play the pattern successfully. He said it would normally take at least 30 minutes to get to this level of flow; in this case, he was able to gain the experience of being able to play in a fraction of that time.

The Guitar Machine not only showcases future applications for computation and robotics in creative domains. It also highlights how the intimate relationship between tools and humans can be extended or reshaped. As mentioned earlier, it is well known that the shape of an instrument plays a critical role in shaping the structure of music played on that instrument. The robotic symbionts of Guitar Machine push this notion further by weaving computation into the equation.

We encounter new technology in every aspect of our lives. As much as the world constructs the basis of our thinking, now that we more and more design the world for ourselves, we desire wondrous encounters with technology. There is tremendous potential as well as fear around how automation and artificial intelligence may change our societies. Although there have been numerous examples of synergy between human and machine, many of today’s technological innovations come at the expense of machineries claiming agency from what has always belonged to us. We boldly argue that a more organic and improvisational relationship with technology is necessary. Our design attempts to forge a visible path towards that, instead of suggesting convenience at the expense of human agency. Guitar Machine rather proposes a handshake to its human colleagues, through which they can explore alternative spaces.

My research practice engages technology with creative domains. We are planning to continue the work on Guitar Machine, using it in musical performances and making newer versions. An important next step will be to apply machine learning to understanding the musicians’ intention on the guitar, to make the guitar smarter. I also work on machines for painting or drawing— visual expression—and the creation of more tools for artists will follow.

[embedded content]

[embedded content]

Guitar Machine 2 – Intro from Sang Leigh on Vimeo.

[embedded content]

[embedded content]

Guitar Machine 2 – Random Mix Experiment from Sang Leigh on Vimeo.

[embedded content]

[embedded content]

Guitar Machine 2 – Random Mix Experiment from Sang Leigh on Vimeo.

[embedded content]

[embedded content]

Guitar Machine 2 – Musician Sessions from Sang Leigh on Vimeo.

—[embedded content]

[embedded content]

Guitar Machine 2 – Encounter from Sang Leigh on Vimeo.

A version of this post was previously published on Media.mit.edu and is republished under a Creative Commons license CC BY-ND 4.0.


Have you read the original anthology that was the catalyst for The Good Men Project? Buy here: The Good Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood


If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want to join our calls on a regular basis, please join us as a Premium Member, today.

All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.

Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.”

—Photo credit: Istockphoto.com

Read More

Leave A Comment

More News


Jaeger-LeCoultre debuts a new hand-lacquered dial for the 2019-08-22 09:42:14Referencing the 1970 Polaris II, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduces its latest limited edition, a Polaris Date with a new hand-lacquered, blue double-gradien

Norse Projects delivers the latest evolution of its 2019-08-22 09:30:25Norse Projects debuts its latest collection with Gore-Tex, a three jacket offering that combines materials such as a carbon layer and down insulation

Casio adds a heart rate monitor to its 2019-08-22 03:23:51Casio is adding a new model to its Pro Trek Smart series with the reveal of the WSD-F21HR. The new model adds a heart rate monitor and makes it the fi

Shinola reveals its new Detrola collection 2019-08-22 03:08:18Shinola is introducing a new take on its most famous watch style with the Detrola collection, a range of watches at a more accessible price point. The

Alex Mill releases its first fall collection 2019-08-22 03:08:02Alex Mill's re-launch continues its momentum with designer and co-founder Somsack Sikhounmuong debuting their first-ever fall collection. Key de

Nike ISPA brings full weather protection to the 2019-08-22 03:07:34Nike ISPA is giving the Vapormax its own technical jacket of sorts with a removable and protective shell that protects your sneakers against the eleme

Oakley's new Anorak frame features a sleek evolution 2019-08-21 19:42:29Oakley's Advancer technology is debuting its latest form in the all-new Anorak. The outdoor frame has a streamlined design that's perfect for the mo

Moment launches a pair of Cine Filters 2019-08-21 19:33:44If the iPhone is the end all be all of your photography and video universe, you've got some new accessory options to upgrade your kit. Moment has rel

Neighborhood and Globe-Trotter show Rimowa how it's done 2019-08-21 12:21:09Neighborhood and Globe-Trotter are getting together to introduce a new collaboration that's based on the luggage brand's upcoming Aero collection. D

Hodinkee celebrates the 50th anniversary of the El 2019-08-21 09:00:00Hodinkee is joining in on the 50th anniversary celebration of the El Primero and it's bringing a new Zenith to the party. The Revival G381 looks back

Audi's highly-coveted RS 6 Avant is finally coming 2019-08-21 07:17:12Long requested by both Audi fans and car fans alike, the RS 6 Avant has never made its way across the Atlantic and now the company has announced that

Seiko issues a modern version of their 1982 2019-08-20 12:29:50Seiko is returning the 80s with a modern version of its popular 1982 Hybrid Diver's Watch. The new SNJ028 has a solar-powered design that requires no

The Good Men Project

A Mini Manifest on Conscious Dating New! 2019-08-22 20:30:34You deserve to feel wanted. But sometimes you have to wait. The post A Mini Manifest on Conscious Dating appeared first on The Good Men Project.

6 Targets To Teach The Way The Brain New! 2019-08-22 20:00:32There are many teaching strategies which may make learners’ brains work and absorb information passionately. The post 6 Targets To Teach The Way

Well-Fed World Can Slow Warming Too New! 2019-08-22 19:30:36The well-fed world scientists say is possible by 2050 could also halve global warming emissions. But it would have to lose its appetite for meat. The

MARVEL AVENGERS / A-Day Prologue Gameplay Footage! New! 2019-08-22 19:00:51  Lighting strikes, shields fly, repulsers blast and very impressive effects fill the screen as recognizable signature moves are on display! Duri

Why Your Toxic Ex Keeps Coming Back New! 2019-08-22 18:30:23You don’t ever have to feel guilty about entirely removing your toxic ex from your life. The post Why Your Toxic Ex Keeps Coming Back appeared f

City Conscious of Optics as Search Begins for New! 2019-08-22 18:00:40The city’s managing director said that while the administration can’t be homogeneous, diversity won’t be a litmus test in the search

Kim Kardashian, Cultural Appropriation, and Genocide New! 2019-08-22 17:30:54Is cultural appropriation really just a harmless exchange of ideas? The post Kim Kardashian, Cultural Appropriation, and Genocide appeared first on Th

Build Your Business Around Being Heroic New! 2019-08-22 17:00:10Here are some ways you can make your business more heroic, and in doing so you can find a deeper purpose that goes beyond the bottom line. The post Bu

What It Means to Live A Life with New! 2019-08-22 16:30:06And why you should be doing it. The post What It Means to Live A Life with Passion appeared first on The Good Men Project.

Changing Gods New! 2019-08-22 16:00:49My divorce changed everything. I mean everything. After I asked for a divorce, I stopped going to church. The post Changing Gods appeared first on The

Athletes’ ‘Killer Instinct’ – In Words. In Pictures. 2019-08-22 15:30:45Examining the masculinity of sport---and the meaning of the 'killer instinct'---through the chilling words of NFL players, past and present. The pos

The Time I Decided to Chase a Dream 2019-08-22 15:00:50And, why you should too… The post The Time I Decided to Chase a Dream appeared first on The Good Men Project.


Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Tops Forbes 2019 List 2019-08-22 13:37:08Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson really needs to write a book on how he does it. The former pro wrestler has had a long run at the top of the Hollywood hea

Lagavulin 10-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky Is a 2019-08-22 12:49:35Top Islay distiller Lagavulin has released an exclusive premium single-malt scotch that promises to tickle all of your taste buds.   Th

Inside Château L’Hospitalet, the South of France's Luxurious 2019-08-22 10:46:06The terracotta buildings juxtaposed with the green of the grape vines feels as if it was pulled straight out of a Wes Anderson movie; a swirling color

Vince McMahon's Rebooted XFL Reveals 8 Team Names, 2019-08-22 10:25:00The XFL is happening. It seems like just yesterday it was defunct and enough of a relic it merited an ESPN documentary about its rise and fall. But no

Shinola Gets Big And Bold With Detrola Watch 2019-08-22 09:00:00Shinola, the Detroit-based watchmaker and all-around lifestyle brand, just launched a limited-edition Detrola watch that comes in a veritable rai

Where to Eat, Drink, Stay and Play in 2019-08-22 08:00:00Is Portland, Oregon, the quirkiest big city in America? Quite possibly, yes. This famed hipster mecca is home to a 31-foot tall Paul Bunyan statue, re

Salma Hayek, 52, Flaunts Incredible Beach Body In 2019-08-22 07:00:00At age 52, Salma Hayek just dropped a smoldering dispatch from her oceanside vacation that's causing a buzz among her 11 million Instagram followers.

You Can Now Rent a 65-Foot Pirate Ship 2019-08-22 07:00:00Your childhood dreams of being an actual pirate are about to come true because Airbnb is now renting out a super legit-looking, 65-foot pirate sh

Seiko Reissues Iconic 'Predator' Dive Watch 2019-08-21 14:35:11The 1980s are cooler today than they actually were. That's okay because good movies like Predator came out of that decade. So did some great timepiec

Porsche Taycan Will Be World's First Apple Music-Integrated 2019-08-21 13:41:15The forthcoming Porsche Taycan won't just be the first ever all-electric offering from the performance German automaker. It'll also be the world's

The World's Sexiest Accent Has Been Revealed 2019-08-21 12:23:56According to a survey of 5,000 people from OnePoll, the sexiest accent in the world is none other than Irish, because why the fook not? A spokesperson

Conor McGregor Wants Trilogy Fight With Nate Diaz 2019-08-21 11:23:29Conor McGregor is ready to go to war again with Nate Diaz in the Octagon.  The Irish fighter took to Instagram to congratulate the Stockton-bred


Novak Djokovic and Montblanc Launch Special StarWalker Fineliner New! 2019-08-22 16:29:38Djokovic and Montblanc also spoke about the importance of early childhood education at an intimate event in New York City.

Shaq Loves Big Guys, Hates Super Teams 2019-08-20 17:37:14The Hall of Fame NBA player and J.C. Penney big and tall style ambassador also unveiled the winners of a model search.

Tailored Brands Sells Corporate Apparel Division for $62 2019-08-19 08:44:57The retailer also raised its guidance projection for the second quarter.

Bergdorf, Goat Partner on Sneaker Installation 2019-08-16 10:45:45Rare sneakers will be on display and for sale in the men’s store through New York Fashion Week.

Men’s Trend Spring 2020: Man as Muse 2019-08-13 00:30:04The men’s runways for spring took a softer, more gender-fluid approach.

Tie Bar to Relocate New York Store 2019-08-08 12:16:46The new 1,400-square-foot flagship will be located at 340 Madison Avenue.

Knot Standard to Dress Spring Place Staff 2019-08-07 12:42:30The deal is for the collaborative workspaces in New York and Los Angeles.

Nick Graham Expands Into Sportswear, Swimwear 2019-08-07 11:48:49The collection will be shown for the first time at the Project show in Las Vegas.

Men’s Wearhouse Names Three New Execs to Management 2019-08-07 01:00:08The merchant, marketing and e-commerce executives were handpicked by the company's president, Carrie Ask.

Exclusive: Chief Merchant Tom Ott Exiting Saks Off 2019-08-06 17:00:13Ott was with the retailer for 24 years and is among the most respected men's merchants in the business.

DXL CEO Sees Growth in Engaging Customers, Expanding 2019-08-06 00:01:48Former Blue Nile ceo Harvey Kanter took the reins at the big and tall chain in April.

Columbia Taps DJ and Artist Zedd to Release 2019-08-05 21:00:16The company tested the collection with the electronic music DJ, who wore the pair on tour and hikes.

Breaking Muscle

5 Common Rowing Mistakes 2019-08-20 22:24:53Though simple in theory, if you haven’t been taught the one skill (the rowing stroke) properly, it’s easy to butcher it and make all sorts

Add Tempo to Your Training to Optimize Performance 2019-08-19 19:58:56You can get more out of your strength training by understanding how to change the speed of your reps and using pauses, otherwise known as tempo traini

Eliminate Poor Reps to Build More Muscle 2019-08-19 05:00:00Every repetition is an opportunity to get better. If you’re not making weekly progress with your training plan right now, then listen up. Chance

The Wisdom to Back Off; The Maturity to 2019-08-18 10:30:54This isn't about quitting when things get tough. Sometimes it’s pivoting and going a different way. You ever listened to the Kenny Rogers song,

The 30-Day Challenge that Actually Works 2019-08-17 07:45:58This 30x30 challenge synchronizes training to spur big results. Before you start any fitness program or commit to a new way of eating, you have to rea

How to Pace Yourself During Distance Rowing 2019-08-15 14:26:12Each stroke on the rower should be at a deliberate and consistent speed regardless of the distance you’re rowing. As a former college rower, it&

'How To' Is Pointless Without 'Why' 2019-08-13 13:56:35Are you running toward something or looking for a way out? “He who has a 'why' can bear almost any 'how.'" - Nietzsche   Back in the

No-Equipment Needed Upper Body Pulls 2019-08-13 07:43:56Sometimes gravity is the best form of resistance in your training. All you need to train is your body. Mastery of that one machine makes the world a p

5 Exercises to Better Wrist Health 2019-08-11 21:12:08If you can find 10 minutes twice a week, your wrists will return the love through greater mobility, increased strength, and best of all, less wrist pa

How to Say No: A Guide to Guilt 2019-08-11 07:26:08Treats are such a common staple today that you couldn’t possibly eat them every time they were offered without gaining unwanted weight. “I

How to Create a Gym on a Bare-Bones 2019-08-06 08:25:07Bootstrapped gyms have to be about passion, commitment, and ultimately, service to the community. Let me tell you about a character. A character you&r

Whys Are For Beginners 2019-08-05 07:08:00Knowing what your "why" is can be helpful in getting started, but you'll need more if you plan on sustaining your efforts. What is your “why

T Nation Articles

Can YOU Pass the New Army Fitness Test? 2019-08-22 08:00:00All soldiers have to pass the new combat fitness test. Could you? Here's how to prepare yourself.

Tip: Foods and Supplements That Control Cortisol 2019-08-22 07:00:00Cortisol is necessary for bodybuilding, but too much at the wrong time can put the brakes on your gains. Here's how to take charge of it.

Everything You Heard About Sugar is Wrong 2019-08-21 08:00:00Give it a rest, will you? Sugar didn't kidnap the Lindberg baby, it didn't shoot Tupac, and it didn't cause every health problem in America.

Tip: The Landmine Exercise for Athletes 2019-08-21 07:00:00Build explosive core strength with this powerful move.

4 Reasons You've Got No Rear Delts 2019-08-20 08:00:00The rear delts are arguably the hardest muscle to isolate. Here are 4 things you can do to start feeling your delts, probably for the very first time.

Tip: The No-Cheat Lateral Raise 2019-08-20 07:00:00Get a stronger mind-muscle connection with this exercise and get ready to get wide!

Your Guide To Heavy-Light Training 2019-08-19 08:00:00You don't have to choose between looking great and performing well. Achieve both goals with this training plan.

Tip: The Full-Body Lunge 2019-08-19 07:00:00This drop set will annihilate your legs AND your upper back, traps, biceps, and abs. Check it out.

Tip: Build Big Shoulders With Bodyweight 2019-08-18 07:00:00Develop this skill and you'll not only build your delts and triceps, you'll also improve your shoulder health. You might even have some fun.

Tip: The Cure For Stubborn Medial Delts 2019-08-17 07:00:00Can't get your side delts to grow? You may be training them wrong. Here's what to do instead.

The Best Damn Cortisol Article Ever 2019-08-05 08:00:00It's been called the stress hormone, the belly fat hormone, and the thief of gains. But it doesn't have to be any of those. Here's how to control i

Tip: Do You HAVE to Count Calories? 2019-08-05 07:00:00Maybe not, but you have to be very aware of your SHMEC. Here's what that means.


These Tiny Houses Would Make Awesome Hunting Cabins New! 2019-08-22 17:52:10Prefab homes give you a relatively inexpensive, quick option when purchasing a home. If you aren’t ready to permanently set down roots, here are

Three Things To Know When Buying Kids Camouflage 2019-08-22 14:40:32Nothing beats a day in the blind or a morning on a deer stand with our kids or grandkids. They love being with us in the field, but they also want to

Three Things to Know Before Buying Winter Boots 2019-08-22 14:06:53Choosing the right pair of winter boots for your kids has a lot to do with where you live and how much snow your kids will have to face. Here’s

Thing Things to Think About Before Buying Kids 2019-08-22 13:46:58Today’s gloves are a far cry from the soggy woolen versions grandma used to gift us at holiday time. New, high-tech materials have all but elimi

Three Questions To Ask Before You Buy Your 2019-08-22 13:06:35While not great for run-and-gun hunters, ladder stands are safe, comfortable, effective and easy to use. When leaned against and strapped to the right

How To Pick The Best Treestand Climbing Sticks 2019-08-22 12:55:54For deer hunters who use treestands, climbing to and from those stands are the most dangerous few minutes of the hunt. Hang-on platform-type stands ar

Three Important Considerations When Buying A Climbing Stand 2019-08-22 12:55:33Climbing stands are the perfect tool for the deer hunter on the go—here are three important factors to consider when selecting your next climbin

Three Things To Consider When Buying Bird Seed 2019-08-22 11:58:34Watching birds at your feeder is a great way to spend less time watching mindless programs on television. Here are three things to consider when shopp

How To Pick The Best Travel Coffee Mug 2019-08-22 11:47:39A quality travel mug can be just the tool to ensure you get the coffee you want and need, here are three important things to consider when choosing a

Three Things To Know Before You Buy A 2019-08-22 10:25:05Harnesses keep your binoculars out of your way and right where you want them, and for bowhunters, especially, keep them out of the way of other equipm

How To Pick The Best Camp Towel 2019-08-22 10:04:41Here are three things to consider when shopping for a camp towel.

How to Hunt Pronghorn Antelope During the September 2019-08-22 10:00:11DIY tips for one of fall's most exciting hunts—the pronghorn rut.

Men's Journal Latest Health

The Truth About Red Wine’s Ability to Lower 2019-08-01 15:27:39If your favorite way to unwind at the end of the week (or, let’s face it, day) is a glass of red wine, there’s some new evidence that sugg

Why Exercising at Night Is Extra Hard 2019-07-31 15:13:37Work was particularly rough, and you’re at the gym to blow off steam. Building up a sweat relieves stress, after all. But the workout is tougher

Stem Cell Treatment Could Cure Baldness in the 2019-07-30 15:03:56Although haircare companies might tell you otherwise, there’s no silver bullet cure for thinning hair. Whether it’s tried-and-true remedie

Eating Between These Hours Can Help You Lose 2019-07-29 16:04:41If you’re looking to lose weight, new research shows that timing is everything. That’s because harnessing the power of your circadian rhyt

This Top-Rated Outdoor Water Filter Is Under $20 2019-07-25 19:30:47

Fish Oil Supplements Might Help Your Post-Workout Soreness 2019-07-25 16:22:45To reduce post-workout soreness, try fish oil supplements. They contain two omega-3 fatty acids that seem to ease the ache, suggests research from Hos

It’s Not Too Late to Get in Shape 2019-07-25 09:56:20If you were big into sports in your youth and fitness is still a huge part of your life, good on you. However, if you were an indoor kid, or if your a

How to Get Out of the Pool and 2019-07-24 11:29:26Sure, splashing around in the pool is fun, but nothing beats the thrill of open-water swimming. Whether it’s in the ocean, in a lake, or against

Here’s How High Your SPF Should Be This 2019-07-23 13:37:46While lathering up with SPF is an easy and important task, there’s a lot about the process that is difficult to comprehend. For starters, what d

Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.