There has been a recent explosion of electronic and digital music and an influx of digital instruments has followed. Some of these instruments are breaking ground, sound and hitting their marks effortlessly. There are however a few that have pretty much missed the mark entirely. I hate to say it, but the Misa Digital Kitara Tri-Bass guitar is definitely on the list of digital instruments that just does not make the cut. It is pretty telling that Misa Kitara’s original venture into the digital guitar world was yanked from the market not too long after was introduced due to poor sales and overall playability of the guitar.
The Misa Kitara vs Other Digital Guitars
|Misa Kitara (sold out)||LCD||$$$|
|You Rock Guitar YRG-1000||Strings||$$$$|
|ION All-Star Guitar||iPad||$|
- Touch screen on the body for instant sound changes while you are playing
- Multi synth control (up to 4 simultaneous)
- 3 continuous touch sensitive grooves (“strings”) on the neck allowing you to smoothly slide and play MIDI notes with near zero latency
- USB and MIDI ports to connect directly to synths or computers with sound libraries
- Supports VST and AU plug-ins
- Use your favorite sound libraries installed in your computer
- Use it with your DAW: Pro tools, Cubase, Samplitude, Sonar, StudioOne, FLStudio, Ableton, GarageBand
- Solid wood body and neck
- Rechargeable battery for freedom of play
- AC power supply included for those longer playing sessions
I will say that the Misa Digital Kitara Tri-Bass guitar is pretty cool to look at and is nicely made with the exception of a minor flaw here and there. Each guitar is designed and made by hand by one person, so there will be noticeable differences in each one. There are questions, however, about how well made they are made since the wood seems a bit weak and not really made to hold the screws that are used. It will take 7-8 weeks to receive due to this company being a one man band so to speak.
The digital guitar does come with an internal rechargeable battery that will allow you to move around a bit more than the AC adapter that comes with the guitar as well. This really all depends on how long your cords are that have you hooked into the computer or synthesizer that is giving you your sound. The MIDI cable is about 6’ long and perfectly functional for its intended use and the same can be said for the MIDI to USB cable.
Alright, now it is time to get into the nitty gritty of this digital guitar. I want so badly to be able to expound on how awesome it is, but unfortunately that just isn’t going to happen this time around. There is a lot of potential and the concept behind the guitar is great, but the execution and end results are ultimately poor.
The Misa strives to be a new and alternative method for artists to delve into the digital instrument world and is designed for tomorrow’s electronic music. I can appreciate the desire to strike a new cord and be different, but I feel that this digital guitar is confused as to who it’s actually for. It is a bit confusing in that it looks so much like a traditional bass guitar, but the intention is for it to not really be a traditional bass guitar. Yet it is marketed to those not in the electronic music niche. What? See where the marketing flaw is here? Talk about confusing and a sure fire way to lose potential customers.
The Misa is solely a MIDI controller and makes no sound of its own, so in order to play it you will need to connect it to a sound generator, such as a synthesizer or computer. I was also really disappointed to see that you are unable map anything on the controller as you have to do it all on the software side. This is yet another reason you are chained to your computer. The MIDI channels are not assignable either, so each time you plug it in you have to basically start over if you had saved channels during a previous playing session.
The wood neck has a digital touch screen with only 3 digital strings. This may pose a problem since most people associate a bass guitar with at least 4 strings. The only way to play the Misa Digital Kitara Tri-Bass is by using the large touch screen interface. Another disappointing issue and questionable feature is the limited control option of the touch screen. There have been a few Misa software updates recently that will hopefully improve this less than desirable issue, but only time will tell.
The price is going to be a major detractor here when it comes to the decision to purchase the Misa Digital Kitara Tri-Bass guitar. Bass guitar loyalists are going to want their strings and to be able to play it without having to be chained to a computer or synthesizer. Electronic music buffs are likewise going to want to program the guitar and have those preferences saved rather than having to reprogram it every single time it is unplugged.
Another probable detractor along with the cost of the actual unit is going to be the shipping cost. You will definitely want to take this into consideration. The cost of shipping is extremely high since the guitar will be coming all the way from Australia. As I said before this is pretty much a lone ranger operation and the only place these are distributed from is on the other side of the world in most cases. I personally would take the 7-8 week shipping time, the price of the guitar itself and the high and unavoidable shipping cost into account before dropping the money for this unit.
It is going to be hard to find a niche with this product since it doesn’t fit into just one mold or have mass appeal bass players or electronic musicians. I feel like the potential is there, but from what I’ve seen this company just can’t seem to work out the kinks needed to fulfill its potential or compete with the other digital guitars that have figured out how to bypass these shortcomings already.