Let’s talk about something not guitary at all… If I want to tell you about the Rhizome made by the French company Feeltune it is because this device is absolutely phenomenal but also because I was part of a panel gathered to test, and give their opinion about the Feeltune Rhizome. People attending these meetings were musicians pros, semi-pros, amateurs, and well me.
So I’ve been able to try the Rhizome a couple of times in very good conditions (few people, small room, and cattering), and I had an insight on the development of this device, and the process behind the conception over 1,5 year (more or less). The Rhizome is an instrument, a MIDI controller, and a computer designed for home-studio use as well as for live performances.
Obviously this is mostly made for Electronica, and Dance music but based on what I saw, and heard I am rather sure that it is quite versatile, and could be used for some other genres. The Rhizome comes with 40 VST and VSTi but it is made to import your own virtual instruments, and effects. The operating system of the machine is an optimized version of Windows XP, and that makes the Rhizome compatible with a wide variety if not the majority of available VST/VSTi. Obviously it also has a sequencer to compose, and for real-time recording what is played with the Virtual instruments.
I’ll quickly talk about the connectors as I don’t remember all the details but you’ll find them on Feeltune website. It has MIDI, and USB connectors which allow to plug a lot of hardware (an additional controller such as a keyboard controller to expand the possibilities offered by the 16 pads of the Rhizome). The Rhizome also has Audio inputs so that you can plug actual instruments instead of only using VSTi. Notice that we didn’t talk much about this feature as Nicolas Piau (inventor of the Rhizome, and founder of Feeltune) is mostly an Electronica dude.
Needless to say that the Rhizome is not easy to use in the first place (especially when you are not familiar with the MIDI controllers, and groove machines world) yet it is quite intuitive. And watching Nicolas live composing a tune from scratch is something rather impressive, and it suggests that a little training should allow you to quickly be able to put your first tunes together.
So the Rhizome is a solution entirely dedicated to computer music but it doesn’t require you to use the home computer because this workstation called The Rhizome is the computer, the sequencer, the controller, and the instrument! The Rhizome is to be launched around October. As for the price, it is not officially announced yet, and I’m not going to tell you the price the told us during the meetings as I signed a confidentiality agreement that I want to respect! [EDIT: I finished that note, and I checked the website that has been updated with the price ranging from 3 199€ to 3 599€]
Check that official demo video of the Rhizome…