Although the rise of virtual instruments has changed the sound and look of the music landscape, for instrumental purists there is still a way to indulge in tech-powered music advances without losing that old school feel — as long as you're okay with your bass player being a robot.
Created by New Zealand student James McVay, the MechBass is a MIDI-controlled robotic bass player that delivers rich tones and accurate chords. Using an aluminum base, the MechBass has four strings manipulated by pitch shifters and pickwheels, all facilitated by a Atmel ATMega328 microcontroller and the Arduino IDE. Designed as part of his engineering honors project at Victoria University of Wellington, McVay also provides detailed instructions on how to make your own MechBass.
You can see the MechBass playing a convincingly human-sounding bass line cover of the Muse song "Hysteria" in the video below.