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Video: Meet the Smomid, a "String Modeling MIDI Device" and More

Someone recently contacted us to tell us about the Smomid.

Exactly what is a Smomid? Let's just say it's a very unique interface/instrument created by Nick Demopoulos, who is pictured at left. Its name is an acronym for "String Modeling MIDI Device."

As you'll see in the videos below, its hardware looks a lot like a touch-sensitive guitar or bass.

For the rest of our Smomid description, it's probably best to borrow the wording found on its official website:

"Smomid software allows a performer to control many aspects of a performance, including playing melodies, harmonies, controlling beats, bass lines, triggering percussion samples, manipulating audio files and more. All aspects of a performance can be controlled from a grid on a fretboard and buttons on an instrument body.

"In addition to emitting sound, the Smomid emits light that is rhythically in sync with the music the instrument is creating. The first Smomid was completed in 2010 and had four strings. The second Smomid was completed in June 2012 and has six strings, two joysticks and 11 high-powered LEDs (among other things).

"In 2013 this project grew to include two additional controllers called pyramids that incorporated a dynamic and interactive visual element in live performance. The lights on these additional devices interact with musical rhythms and timbral aspects of music created with the Smomid. They also provide additional control surfaces that have allowed Nick to incorporate "Machine Learning" and other algorithmic type processes in real time.

"The Smomid was created out of necessity because there almost no guitar-like MIDI controllers commercially available despite the fact that the guitar is the most popular instrument in the world. The Smomid makes use of several membrane potentiometers knobs, joysticks, Force Sensing Resistors, buttons and two Arduino Mega micro controllers that allows these sensors to interface with a computer or other MIDI device."

Below, you can check out two Smomid demo videos (And don't forget the audio clip above). If you're compelled to dig deeper, visit

Be sure to tell us what you think of the Smomid in the comments below or on Facebook!

Damian Fanelli

Damian is editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine. From 1998 to 2014, he was one third of Mister Neutron, an instrumental rock act that toured the universe and elsewhere and released three albums via Austin-based Deep Eddy Records. These days he performs with several New York City-area bands and can often be spotted with one of his many, many, many B-bender-equipped guitars. In past lives he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor – and he still can’t believe he got to write the liner notes for the latest SRV box set.