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Cryptoguitar – Live coding with a guitar

Published onJul 09, 2020
Cryptoguitar – Live coding with a guitar

Cryptoguitar is an ongoing project of live and recorded guitar music where the rhythmic plucking of guitar strings execute binary patterns that produce both music and ASCII codes.

The idea is easier to see than read so here is a video.


In this work binary codes are articulated through the rhythmic phrasing of the plucked strings of a guitar. Codes generated by the fingers are translated into ASCII characters which in turn execute a range sonic processes that transform the sound of guitar and playback counter rhythms to disrupt the guitar playing. 

The work explores the rigid form of a slow ten bit serial connection can become a creative constraint to play and compose within, and additional sonic processes are executed in the form of  “call and response”, a feature common to many styles of music. 

In this presentation I will go through the technical details of the project, from tracking the guitar through to capturing the onsets of the finger movements.

I will also talk about some live coding experiments I have been doing in SuperCollider where different characters trigger different processes with and of course play lots of samples and demos.


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