FutureFive NZ - Starr Labs iTar

Warning: This story was published more than a year ago.

Starr Labs iTar

For years, Apple has made it their business to revolutionize the way we consume music. Now, in conjunction with Starr Lab guitars, it seems they have set their sights on revolutionizing the way music is made through their new invention, the iTar.

The iTar is a fusion of the iPad paired with a button operated electric guitar neck. It may sound like a simple novelty device, an expensive toy for those of us with expensive taste, but in truth, the iTar has the potential to really shake up modern music production, and has a number of high profile followers already including Gorillaz and Bjork.

Designed by digital instrument innovator Harvey Starr, the iTar is a way for people to experience the Starr labs brilliant custom guitar technology without having to sell their kidney to afford it. For Starr, the arrival of the iPad opened a wealth of possibilities, and of course, the ability to pair its patented 6-string, 24-fret fingerboard technology with Mac’s tablet processor technology, thus creating a flexible, powerful and original machine.

The iPad and iTar will be sold separately, but the square body of the iTar will act as an iPad dock, securing the tablet and guitar whilst performing or playing. Starr Labs also hopes that the future will bring an application providing virtual guitar strings, or even your own custom playing surface across the touch screen tablet when docked.

The iTar, however, is so much more than just a digital guitar. Tech reviewer Paul Ridden believes the big picture surrounding this gadget shows the endless possibilities available using apps to create complete digital musical experiences. "Users could create a full complement of backing musicians to support each performance, capturing great musical moments via a mobile recording studio and mixing desk, learning to play via onscreen video tuition and demos, or even running some video imagery in the background while belting out tunes. There may even be interactive, Guitar Hero-like gaming possibilities to explore.”

So, although the iTar may sound a little far fetched and over the top, the ideas and innovations behind it are solid and could result in an exciting new way to engineer live sound. For those of us not seriously into performing and producing music, it also sounds like it could be a whole lot of Guitar Hero- esque fun.

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