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Well I've got this guitar and I've learned how to make it chat
March 3, 2006 6:43 AM   Subscribe

The Intel-Fender Concept Telecaster Guitar, or Intelecaster, is exactly what you think.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (62 comments total)

 
This was announced late last year. For those who are inclined to call vaporware: I saw a guy play around with one on Dutch tv last night.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:44 AM on March 3, 2006


My Tele would never forgive me if I placed one of these on the rack next to it.

I wonder if it could be loaded with Pro Tools? However, the belt rash would be disastrous.
posted by sourwookie at 6:50 AM on March 3, 2006


Interesting.

By the way, today is shaping up to be quite interesting on the blue. Lots of great posts. It has been pretty tepid and anemic as of late but today is looking great! Nice post GNFTI.
posted by caddis at 6:52 AM on March 3, 2006


The model I saw ran Windows, probably XP but I couldn't tell. It ran some sequencer app I wasn't familiar with for basic multitrack recording, possibly Garageband, but definitely not Logic, Cubase or ProTools. It also had Amplitube Live, which does a decent job for on-the-fly modelling. I wonder what the latency is.

Although I do wonder why the hell someone would want this, novelty aspects aside. For starters, it's basically useless for basic desktop/web apps, unless you're actually going to write your mum an email in between songs. And the musical apps, well, you have to actually flip the guitar over to tweak your sound or even press the Record button.

Cool as hell, sure, that it is.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:02 AM on March 3, 2006


Is this just a promotional item for Gibson's maGIC technology?
posted by skallas at 7:05 AM on March 3, 2006


Why did this have to happen to the best guitar they make. I can understand making a strat shittier, they do it by themselves, but a tele?
posted by jon_kill at 7:06 AM on March 3, 2006


I see this more as "proof of concept" than as "ready for market".
posted by mischief at 7:25 AM on March 3, 2006


I think you guys are missing the point. This is so when you pull a wicked solo, you can hold the guitar in the air and show the audience some porno on the screen.

Gibson ought to have picked this up, though. Shoving a computer inside might have actually made a Les Paul a few pounds lighter.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:30 AM on March 3, 2006


Help is on hand for all aspiring rock gods thanks to Fender® and Intel, who’ve teamed up to create a concept guitar that explores the possibilities and redefines the term ‘music on the move’ – an internet-enabled super guitar**.

My 14 year old self is in awe.
posted by blacklite at 7:32 AM on March 3, 2006


I see this more as "proof of concept" than as "ready for market".

I was thinking "bad idea poorly executed."
posted by jon_kill at 7:33 AM on March 3, 2006


However, now that I've read the rest of the links, I can confidently say that this is one of the most ridiculous things I have seen in a while. Good work, Intel.
posted by blacklite at 7:34 AM on March 3, 2006


By "exactly what you think" I presume you mean 'dumb.'
posted by leftoverboy at 7:36 AM on March 3, 2006


"bad idea poorly executed."

Quite often, "just getting the thing to work" can be an ugly affair. That's the nature of R&D.
posted by mischief at 7:37 AM on March 3, 2006


Surf rock.
posted by rxrfrx at 7:38 AM on March 3, 2006


I have one simple word in response to this: Why?

... that said, I did get a kick out of the photo caption on the CNN story: "The original Telecaster is popular with rock stars, including Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos (center)."
posted by lodurr at 7:41 AM on March 3, 2006


Is this an early April Fool's joke?
posted by Ynoxas at 7:42 AM on March 3, 2006


Now that software like ProTools has made "singers" out of people who can't sing, making "guitarists" out of people who can't play guitar was inevitable.

I predict that in 2010, bands will consist of nothing but networked instruments playing Van Halen licks, leaving humans to argue whether or not it's "indie".
posted by tommasz at 7:46 AM on March 3, 2006


Kids rejected Van Halen many years ago.
posted by mischief at 7:50 AM on March 3, 2006


Quite often, "just getting the thing to work" can be an ugly affair. That's the nature of R&D.

What if the thing is an ugly affair to begin with? The idea was pathetically poor. Executing it at all is bad form in that situation.

Way to dilute your respectability, Fender. I like to think that Leo Fender would be comfortable living without the revenue this will bring in. This worries me because Fender makes the only good guitars.
posted by jon_kill at 7:52 AM on March 3, 2006


"Beginning with the iconic FENDER Telecaster ® - made famous by legends from Bruce Springsteen to Franz Ferdinand"

So, Franz Ferdinand is a guitar legend?
posted by stavrogin at 7:52 AM on March 3, 2006


lol Van Halen lick
posted by thirteenkiller at 7:53 AM on March 3, 2006


Marrying a guitar with a computer with a guitar is a bad idea? You may want to ask Line6 about the success of their GuitarPort which pretty much does just that.

Sure, this thing has a big old screen and a clunky interface now, but how else do you work out the kinks and improve the product if you have nothing physical to work with?

"Fender makes the only good guitars"

That's arguable.
posted by mischief at 7:59 AM on March 3, 2006


This worries me because Fender makes the only good guitars.

Glad you think that; more SGs for me.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:02 AM on March 3, 2006


The press release made me sick to my stomach.
posted by zonkout at 8:10 AM on March 3, 2006


I guess since my piano is also an interurban phone switching station, I can't complain.
posted by jon_kill at 8:12 AM on March 3, 2006


Marrying a guitar with a computer with a guitar is a bad idea?

Yep. I'm building a guitar that has a coffee shop in it. Now that's a good idea.
posted by jon_kill at 8:13 AM on March 3, 2006


Oh, well. As once written in Guitar Player, "Guitarists can be some of the most conservative musicians in the world."
posted by mischief at 8:27 AM on March 3, 2006


I didn't know "resistant to terrible ideas" was "conservative".
posted by jon_kill at 8:28 AM on March 3, 2006


Marrying a guitar with a computer with a guitar is a bad idea? You may want to ask Line6 about the success of their GuitarPort which pretty much does just that.

Well, the Guitarport *does* that, while the Intelecaster *is* that (the marriage between pc and guitar). Not that that is some kind of line one shouldn't cross or something, but I think it's sensible to be okay with the existence of different devices for different things - having an Ultimate Everything Machine, while appealing on the surface, will corrode artists' originality and uniqueness even further, and be inconducive to experimentation. Not that the sky is falling, but I'm convinced it plays a role. For instance, what you can do with the Guitarport you can also do with a DI, a sound card, and some modelling software - all things which you can then use on their own to other ends, as well.

Sure, this thing has a big old screen and a clunky interface now, but how else do you work out the kinks and improve the product if you have nothing physical to work with?

Just curious, mischief: how would you imagine an ideal execution of this concept, form-wise?

(I guess, as Tom Waits said, "Don't you hate it when people come up to you and say, 'Hey, my cell phone is also a camera?' I always tell them, 'Oh yeah? Well, my watch is also a gun.'")
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:29 AM on March 3, 2006


This is indeed good news for the insane.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:31 AM on March 3, 2006


the tele, with most of its body routed out and replaced with laptop guts, surely makes both a shitty laptop and a shitty sounding tele.
posted by quonsar at 8:37 AM on March 3, 2006


Bookmark this people! In 5 years, when this idea has taken off, we'll all have egg on our face. Seriously, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

I want the reanimated bodies of Albert Collins, Roy Buchanan, and Danny Gatton to bust out of their caskets and go kick some ass.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:38 AM on March 3, 2006


Just off the top of my head, something like a PSP crossed with a Blackberry. Put the screen on a thickened upper horn so that the player can always see it. The buttons down with the analog controls.

The press release is half bullshit, especially the email part. This is more about getting an operating system on board that will accept 3rd party applications.

Thusly, Linux.

On preview: quonsar, the semi-hollow Tele has its adherents.
posted by mischief at 8:41 AM on March 3, 2006


Oh yeah, slap wifi in the sucker too.
posted by mischief at 8:44 AM on March 3, 2006


the semi-hollow Tele has its adherents.

indeed it does, but this isn't that.
posted by quonsar at 8:47 AM on March 3, 2006


Not yet.
posted by mischief at 8:48 AM on March 3, 2006


Looks to me to Fender and Intel have both indulged in the brown acid.

I love guitars, dig computers, but to echo the sentiments others here have expressed, this is just ridiculous. Yup, concert's about to start, the audience is screaming, but Jake's guitar is stuck in the Blue Screen of Death.

I want to believe this is an early April Fools joke, and George Harrison is spinning at the "my guitar gently beeps" line.
posted by dbiedny at 8:49 AM on March 3, 2006


I'll bet Pete Townshend or Ritchie Blackmore have a move or two you all would enjoy seeing played on it. ;-P
posted by mischief at 8:50 AM on March 3, 2006


Thanks weapons-grade pandemonium, one more for my collection. ;)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:52 AM on March 3, 2006


I get the feeling mischief probably bought that microwave spaghetti back in the eighties.
posted by jon_kill at 8:57 AM on March 3, 2006


If it could do a live-feed of your playing to the guitar forums you could also get 1000 people telling you why you suck in realtime...
posted by TeamBilly at 9:05 AM on March 3, 2006


Eighties? Try the seventies, sweetheart! I'm an old fart. heheh
posted by mischief at 9:20 AM on March 3, 2006



I can understand making a strat shittier, they do it by themselves, but a tele?


I'd assume it was basically a size issue there's just more body on a tele. Otherwise I'd assume Fender wanted to go with their flagship strat.
posted by bitdamaged at 9:23 AM on March 3, 2006


[I was going to link to the keith richard's post that showed him whacking hell out of some stage interloper with his guitar but looks like that link is dead.. so imagine that post if you will]
I bet you can't do that with the WinBlows guitar and have it still working after the fact.

I gotta chime in say this seems like an idiotic idea. I can think of a few things that make it questionable but I guess number one is, it's a freeking guitar, if you need something done to the sound or whatnot plug it into something.

Can you imagine what it would take to cool the processor in this POS? Do they use fans? The additional shoved in electronics would killl any sound you would actually get from the body thus you'd need to rely on the computer to get decent sound, but if the computer is down because of 1 of 50,000 reasons you better have a backup ready, and lord help you if you where in the middle of a song when you system goes down. Yeah lets put WiFi in it. perhaps it could be hacked in the middle of a concert... now that would be almost worth it.
posted by edgeways at 9:48 AM on March 3, 2006


That's just stupid.

When (not if, when) windows Blue Screens, does the guitar still work?
posted by jaded at 9:58 AM on March 3, 2006


From the second link: Perhaps the guitar's strings could be the joystick.

Actually, a real guitar is one of the most versatile and expressive human interfaces going. Maybe Fintel should make some effor in THAT direction.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 10:19 AM on March 3, 2006


Since nobody seems to have pointed this out: As designed, it's impossible to actually use the guitar and the computer interactively at the same time.

Think this through: There's really just no reason for this thing to exist. What would make much, much, much more sense is to take the audio stream out to a box or to a computer that's not part of the guitar.

If the point is to directly digitize and store the guitar music, then mod a bloody xscale-driven handheld. It would have more than enough horsepower.

This device is so ridiculous that it can't possibly be real. Nobody would be stupid enough to finish building it.

This is clearly an elaborate gag on the part of some geeks at Intel. They're probably rolling around in an agony of laughter right about now.
posted by lodurr at 10:20 AM on March 3, 2006


"just show'em we can put a computer in anything"
posted by marvin at 10:43 AM on March 3, 2006


Man, you guys sure have a narrow world view. You know, think outside the box, use a little imagination, step away from the group-think...

Ever see a picture of the first vacuum tube? heheh
posted by mischief at 10:53 AM on March 3, 2006


I heard about this last year; it is of course an atrocious idea. As far as I know, the computer isn't in the circuit so there's no way to use it for effects or anything, which would be the only logical use (some players build stompboxes into their instruments). Even then, the sacrifice in tone of taking a giant hunk out of the body would make it worthless.
posted by abcde at 10:58 AM on March 3, 2006


Er, just had a better look at the comments. Well, that it is used for effects is a relief, though they never seem to mention it in their promo
posted by abcde at 11:01 AM on March 3, 2006


I don't know why you people can't see the brilliance of Intel's desire to build computers into guitars and surfboards. I mean, look at the convenience factor! If you want to go to an internet cafe for a little online time you'll have your guitar or surfboard there with you too!
posted by turtlegirl at 11:08 AM on March 3, 2006


I just realized, you can probably watch the show in which it was featured online: asf real

It's in Dutch, of course, but the bit about the guitar might be entertaining to all, as the guy actually, you know, plays it. I will look up the start and end times of the relevant portion as soon as I get home (work pc won't let me play the streams). My wild guess, however, would be about 8-15 minutes in.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:10 AM on March 3, 2006


I found a media player on a work pc after all.

The relevant segment starts at 17:40. After some banter he boots up pinball first (19:00), fiddles around with Amplitude at 19:30-ish, and shows off the recording capabilities at 20:40. Obviously, he then goes on to break a string. :)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:40 AM on March 3, 2006


Amplitube
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:40 AM on March 3, 2006


I'm having a real hard time imagining anything that couldn't be done better with a regular guitar plugged into a regular laptop.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:49 AM on March 3, 2006


Well, let's see, it's not enough that lugging around a guitar is a pain in the butt, but you want to carry a laptop too?

Oh, to able to sit on a rock by a stream in the mountains with a blue sky and chirping birds as I compose my death metal masterpiece.
posted by mischief at 12:30 PM on March 3, 2006


Yeah, this might be cool if they put some thought into it, but it's clearly just as much of a gimic as their computer-in-surfboard (surf the web while waiting for waves? Who would ever want to do that?)

A screen on the front, allowing you to interactively change the sound of the guitar, control recording, etc, etc, could be a lot more useful.
posted by delmoi at 12:31 PM on March 3, 2006


Well, let's see, it's not enough that lugging around a guitar is a pain in the butt, but you want to carry a laptop too?

You're right. It's a great boon for one-armed guitar players everywhere.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:33 PM on March 3, 2006


You're right. It's a great boon for one-armed guitar players everywhere.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:33 PM CST on March 3 [!]


Oh Snap!
posted by Ynoxas at 7:11 PM on March 3, 2006


Does it have a B-bender?
posted by rlk at 6:19 AM on March 4, 2006


Surely you can download one.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:14 AM on March 4, 2006


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