Visionary Instruments intros the Robocaster MIDI hybrid guitar, we go ears-on (video)

Visionary instruments has been tinkering with the not-so-humble guitar for a long time now. The latest offering is the Robocaster MIDI guitar. As you can see from the picture above (or gallery below) the Robocaster offers some features you might not find on your average axe. Those arcade style buttons, the MPC style pad faders, touch-strips and digital whammy-bar send out MIDI data to the software of your choice. The set-up at NAMM had the Robocaster routing through Ableton Live, meaning that effects such as gating, filters -- or essentially anything -- can be lavished on your playing in real-time. The guitar is customized by hand, and make use of our good friend arduino. As Visionary Instruments has been modding guitars for a while, it's no surprise that the finish and build quality looked and felt excellent. The additional controls sit snug in the body, and are designed to be easily accessible while playing. The Robocaster, despite being hand-made, will be ready for ordering within a week or so with an estimated price somewhere around $2,799. That said, if orders or interest are sufficient, the could be scope for a full production run, coming in at a lower price. Want to make this happen? Check out the firm's website and get your order in. Just want to know how it sounds? Better get on the video after the break.

Billy Steele contributed to this report.