Designed to make learning the guitar as easy as pressing buttons, the LUMIN is a MIDI-operated electric guitar that uses a set of illuminated buttons to teach you hand-eye coordination.
MIDI, which stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface, is a widely accepted standard behind most synthesizers and electronic music equipment. The basic idea behind MIDI is to transform physical actions into digital signals that can then be interpreted and interpreted as musical note. The LUMIN uses the same technology and implements it on a guitar, with multiple buttons running across the fretboard, and six string-like sensors on the guitar’s body. Hit the button on the fretboard and pluck against the string sensor and the guitar registers the corresponding note, playing it through a device like a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Unlike an electric guitar, which takes electrical signals and passes them through filters, LUMIN is an electronic instrument that creates lines of code that can then be recorded, edited, and manipulated in tonnes of ways.
Designer: Marcus Hsieh
Although the Lumin has potential to become a professional instrument, Marcus Hsieh envisioned it as a more gateway device that would teach how to play guitar. LUMIN can be connected to an external device like a laptop that runs software similar to Guitar Hero. These modules teach you how the guitar works, guiding through progressions and chords. LED lights built into the individual buttons on the fretboard act as additional visual cues, helping you learn finger placement and chord formations. The lights also change color to let you know if you’ve pressed the buttons correctly, serving as key visual feedback.
“The positive cycle made of learning, practice and positive feedback allows users to improve their skills more and more”, says Marcus. Marcus says that video games encourage gamers to learn new skills. Musicians should also do this .”
He’s not wrong. Video games provide a strong feedback response through a platform that’s much more engaging than real life. If you channel it correctly, this can help train your brain to develop real skills such as timing and coordination. The only thing missing in this equation? A real ear for music is the only thing missing in this equation.
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