|WE BRING YOU THE FOURTH DIMENSION
IN INSTRUMENT DESIGN — IT’S ALIVE
|Modern electric guitars have three dimensions. The first
dimension is the physical mechanics of guitar construction.
This consists of the type of wood, the guitar scale, the string
composition, etc. The physical parameters resulted in a
distinctive tone. The mechanics of the guitar generally only
allow one tone.
|In the 1920s and commercially in the 1930s, a second
dimension was added with pickups and radio-style tone
controls. Gibson’s Lloyd Loar was an early pioneer with
electrified instruments fully 10 years ahead of competitors
|Lloyd was followed by Walter Fuller and Seth Lover, who
began to perfect radio-style tone controls and the amplifiers
which added a new component in the signal chain. The
addition of amplification and electrical components allowed
the same guitar to have many different voices.
It was Les Paul who brought the third dimension to guitar
players. Les’s experience with early tape machines culminated
in two years of intense work from 1946 to 1948, and a black
box effect he called the “Les Pulverizer” was born. He used
this first guitar effect to create a signature sound, which was
showcased on the first nationally televised music video
show in 1950. This was fully 10 or more years before
engineers like Tom Oberheim, working for the Maestro
division of CMI, popularized guitar effects and stomp boxes.
|But we also introduce a fourth dimension in instrument design. Since the instrument has all the tone modifiers inside, and can sense exactly what the player is doing, it can do what all great acoustic instruments have done for centuries — react to what the player does. We have algorithms that respond to how you play and change what gets heard. Firebird X springs to life because it is working with you and taking you to new heights, rather than just adding some effects that are clinical and unchanging. You will immediately feel it and it will feel good.|
FIREBIRD X AND THE ONBOARD BOUNDARY MICROPHONE
A boundary microphone consists of a small condenser microphone mounted parallel or flush with a flat, smooth surface. Mounting a microphone in this manor has many advantages. Many regard the region close to a flat, smooth surface as the boundary or pressure zone. This region is where direct and reflected sound waves are effectively in-phase. By orienting the diaphragm flush with the surface, direct and reflected sound waves arrive at the microphone’s diaphragm at the same time. This eliminates phase cancellations and results in a smooth frequency response.
In addition to phase cancellations, boundary microphones have greater sensitivity, lower noise, and reach. Since the direct and reflected waves add together in phase, the sound pressure doubles at the diaphragm, giving a 6 db increase in sensitivity. When sensitivity and S/N are improved, quite distant sounds can be clearly picked up.
Since the reflect path length stays equal to the direct path length regardless of the sound-source position, there is no change in tonal quality as the source moves. This provides a natural un-colored reproduction of the sound.
FIREBIRD X MICROPHONE — FLUSH-MOUNTED UNDER THE TAILPIECE
Mounting a miniature boundary microphone under a guitar’s tailpiece is not ideal, but this position ensures that the player’s hand or arm will not completely cover the element during a measurement. It also protects the element from dirt and dust. Also, because of the low mass of the diaphragm, the microphone is less sensitive to mechanical vibrations that might occur in this application.
Measuring the frequency response of the microphone with and without the tailpiece allows us to identify the effect of the tailpiece and compensate in the DSP for a flat response, if necessary. A microphone with a smooth, flat, uncolored response will allow us to sample the true ambient environment and provide accurate data for necessary adjustments.
AMBIENT CONDITIONS FROM GUITAR MICROPHONE
A player adjusts the guitar based on what he/she hears. In more professional cases, like an arena gig, there are sound people that adjust the instrumental mix regardless of what the guitar player perceives, and if the player is lucky, the monitor mix satisfies his desired stage mix. The amplifier is typically miked, and fed into the overall house mix which the player really can’t hear. He/she may hear the raw amp volume and the sound from stage monitors. In this case, the volume knob on the guitar translates to SPL from the amplifier, which the player hears. The sound technician adjusts the sensitivity of the microphone to get the appropriate house mix.
A microphone does not adjust perception, but is scientific in providing an always accurate output. By having this very accurate reference point, we can better accomplish what a player is after, because the microphone is not subject to stimulus desensitization.
Innovative Accessory Items to Enhance Playing Experience
The Firebird X guitar comes with several accessories that enhance the playing experience. Like a fine sports car, every detail of this guitar system makes it a joy to use, and maximizes your ability to create and play.
The case is light, very portable with straps, pockets, etc., and ultra-protective, allowing the guitar to be checked as baggage. It is like a gig bag with structured reinforcement. High-tech, shock-absorbing foam molds tightly around the instrument with a beautiful velour-like interior beautifully setting off the wood.
The exterior looks rich, showing the owner is both discriminating and willing to get the very best. Robust and light, this is an instrument that is ready for traveling in this very protective case.
COMPUTER SOFTWARE TO SUPPORT THE PRODUCT
Firebird X comes with a powerful editor which will allow you to create patches and do sound design in your home or professional studio. Many more options will be available in a powerful yet intuitive software package.
In addition, we include a full package of Guitar Rig 3 and Gibson Ableton Live.
GUITAR RIG 4 PRO is the ultimate all-in-one guitar and bass solution for perfect custom tone. The powerful and intuitive software comprises a vast array of amps, cabinets, mics and effects, recreated in stunning detail. The latest version includes three new amps, four new super-flexible effects and above all, the revolutionary Control Room for that “big bucks” studio tone.
ABLETON LIVE KEY FEATURES:
The guitar, each pedal and the G-Node™ interface all use the same battery, for a total of four rechargeable batteries. They are the same batteries used in the Dusk Tiger product.
We include eight batteries total (one spare for each device) plus a four-battery charger with the system. The batteries are standard cell phone-type batteries available in many stores for a very modest price.
Applications Environment and Store for 3rd Party Developers
3rd Party App Store
We are only using about 20% of the power of the Pure-Analog™ Engine. This leaves enormous possibilities for future enhancements without any hardware changes. The entire Firebird X system is designed to a new Gibson standard which will allow other companies to develop hardware and applications that can integrate with any guitar that uses this standard, including the Firebird X.
Gibson will set up an authorized store – very much like the Apple iPhone/iPad environment – where all vendors can sell their applications, which we will verify are compliant with our system. Like Apple, this involves a sophisticated e-commerce site that removes the hassle and overhead for a development company and just generates a pure revenue stream for the developer.
It is our intention to roll this out to hundreds of thousands of guitars in different price points, giving all fans and consumers the ability to take advantage of this new technology. This eco-system, with a well-specified and published Gibson environment, will open up thousands of enhancements for our customers.
EASY FIRMWARE UPDATES AND UPGRADES
Product enhancements, both paid and free, will be very easy to install via a simple firmware update option in our Tone Editor software. The firmware is downloadable, and updates and upgrades take about a minute.