The first time I played on a keyboard was at a family friend’s house after pounds of homemade Italian pastas, salads and breads (I was too young for the red wine generously poured around the table). The host fancied himself a gondola singer and serenaded the house full of plumped guests. One of the daughters accompanied the tenor with the keyboard adding programmed sound effects new to me. Afterwards, the kids could play with it and I had my turn, out of sync, but having fun nevertheless.
So what has prompted this nostalgia fix?
Pixil 3D has launched its first open source instrument, the Slixtar, and after watching the video and reading what it can do, the nostalgia kicked in.
Pixil 3D released the 3D printable Slixtar design files on thingiverse, making it available to the masses. The video (that can be viewed below) shows the stealth bomber designed guitar with buttons that can be programmed based on the user’s need and whim. The montage breezes through this part of the process, but those familiar with the wiring and programming or those eager to learn should be able to set up the open source instrument accordingly. Because Slixtar is under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, it is possible to build on top of the design. Pixil also makes kits or completely assembled Slixtars available through their website.
The guitar synth form factor is reminiscent of a cross between a bomber model and Guitar Hero, but the format allows for musical meanderings and creation. It is a fun design that allows for ambulant musings. I like the idea that you can walk around a room searching for inspiration, playing with keys for the next note or just the right harmony. The Slixtar offers that experience, they are practically giving it away.