June 20, 2013 at 12:15 pm

GTar, iPhone Guitar, Releases SDK, Could Enable ‘Guitar Skrillex’

It was only a matter of time until someone built an iPhone into a guitar. We just didn’t expect the very first iteration to be so amazing.

I have played the $400 Incident Tech gTar, and it’s not a toy, although it is fun. This thing really turns the “guitar” into an instrument for apps including not only guitars but keyboards or anything else that uses MIDI, a music teacher, and more. The possibilities boggle the mind.

If you’re unfamiliar with gTar, here’s our earlier coverage to get you up to speed:

So far, 150 music apps are compatible with gTar, meaning that you can run them on an iPhone that’s embedded into the guitar, and use the guitar to play their sounds –everything from drum machines to synthesizers and so on — because gTar outputs MIDI that these apps can understand.

On Wednesday, Incident Tech, which makes the gTar, announced that it is making some tools available with which developers can build apps that integrate seamlessly with the gTar. These consist of SDKs (software development kits), as well as scripts for Ableton Live.

The SDKs could increase that “150 apps” figure substantially — especially because the Javascript SDK means that these can be web apps. Yes, you will be able to put a web app in your guitar and play it. Hey, it’s 2013, what did you expect?

As for the Ableton integration, that will enable the next Skrillex to stand before a crowd and trigger Ableton samples from a guitar fretboard.

Here’s a demonstration video, and here’s the announcement:

We’re proud to announce the release of the gTar SDK for iOS and Javascript, which will provide developers with direct access to the gTar hardware. We have always thought of the gTar as an enabler of new and exciting possibilities within the world of music and these tools will allow anyone to explore that. The SDK will be available for download and will include libraries for both iOS and Javascript, enabling the creation of gTar-compatible browser apps.

While the educational capability of our initial app has always been one of the most exciting ways to help beginners get started playing, we’ve always felt that the gTar should be able to support you as you grow and adapt to new skill levels and interests, especially when you get past the initial stages of learning. With that in mind, we’re excited to say that the gTar is now compatible with more than 150 different apps, enabling a range of fun ways to interact with the gTar, from learning to creating and performing songs. To demonstrate the range of these capabilities, we created a song from scratch and used the gTar with four different apps to play different parts.

In addition to these announcements, we’ll also be releasing an unofficial custom script for using the gTar with Ableton Live, a professional music application that is used by some of the biggest touring artists in the world. Live music has always been about creating a connection between the performer and the audience, but that’s become harder to do as more and more artists find themselves behind a computer screen during shows. With this integration, the gTar’s fretboard transforms into an interactive control surface for DJing and live performance, allowing a single performer to toggle between triggering pre-made sound clips and soloing with live instruments, all without ever taking their hands off the guitar. With the support of some world-renown recording artists and performers, we’re excited to see what the future holds for the gTar in the context of the stage and studio.

Developers can find all of these new resources on our website. The gTar is now available for sale on our website for $399 and includes a free padded backpack for taking the gTar on the road.