Usually, dubstep and other forms of electronic music are made on computers. They are good at sequencing, editing, and triggering samples. But there is another way.
By mapping each note on each guitar string to various samples, software called thinkplay produces convincing dubsteppy-sounding music using only a guitar — connected of course to the software and samples. But when the player is on stage, it just looks like someone playing sample-based music with a guitar:
Cornell University student and thinkplay CEO and co-founder Jesse Orsham tells Evolver.fm, “Our patent-pending technology keeps instruments relevant by allowing musicians to trigger audio and video samples in real time from their instruments.”
It’s likely that musical instruments will continue to remain relevant, because they are awesome. However, there’s probably no harm in future-proofing them against dubstep and other electronic variants, if only as a novelty trick to use in a single song.
Thinkplay’s software is still in beta; interested parties can sign up here. It’s standalone software; to use it, you simply output your samples from whatever program you prefer, load them into thinkplay, tweak their parameters and add audio effects, and then decide which fret on which string will trigger the sample.
Interestingly, the software can also trigger videos, allowing for the possibility of playing actual music with the guitar while associating on-stage videos with specific notes: