Back in the early 90’s object-oriented technology was a happening buzzword, and Roland introduced COSM – Composite Object Sound Modeling – with their next-generation guitar synthesizer system, the VG-8. But rather than just a guitar synth, it introduced the concept of a ‘virtual guitar’. The thought was that rather than just playing Pat Metheny-esque lead lines, guitarists would be better served if they had a system that provided maximum flexibility of sound.
COSM allows string-by-string tuning, processing, and pitch shifting. This allows for on-the-fly tuning changes, virtual capos, and the ability to emulate nearly any other guitar sound from a single instrument … although the results now sound more quaint than realistic. Now more than 15 years later, the technology has advanced to an incredible degree to the point where the sounds are truly emulative of a variety of instruments
One limitation of earlier models was that all of the sounds were based on Fender sounds, leaving out a wide array of sounds from Gibson, Gretsch and a variety of others. The video below demonstrates sounds from specific Fender guitars, Gibson-like humbucker as well as typical Fender single coil and Telecaster pickups, and other guitar ‘types’ such as ‘big box jazz’, steel-string and nylon-string acoustics and so on. One really impressive sound was the virtual 12-string, which demonstrated just how far the technology has come.
Check out the impressive video!
Availability was noted as spring of 2012, but no price was provided. However, based on the fact that there is an ‘American Standard Stratocaster’ as the basis – and that costs ~$1500 itself through online retailers … I would assume pricing in the $2000 range.