Zoybar: open-source, modular guitar-type instruments

If you have any friends in really weird bands, like I do, you must know that there’s a certain amount of improvisation that goes on in their audio setups. Experienced sound guys like my friend Andrew have been cobbling together instruments from stray pickups, necks, and strings for years. This fellow Ziv seems to have combined this habit with the ideas behind open-source software, and has created a hardware platform called Zoybar for making your own stringed instruments.

Using a few easily-interchangeable parts, you can make anything from a long-necked six-string with custom double pickups to a bass with integrated Kaospad. It’s essentially what others might do with pieces of random instruments, but the attachment method for the bits in a Zoybar setup is standard so that they’re swappable, individually upgradeable and so on, without any soldering or drilling to be done.

It looks pretty awesome, although the technical knowledge from doing it yourself and making your own instruments from scratch and spare pieces from bargain bin effects pedals is also rewarding. For one thing, it can help you with this Zoybar contest, in which you submit a video of your own unique instrument. I think Wolf Eyes should enter.

Zoybar will be selling kits starting in January.