The Manson MB-1 was one of the first 'real' guitars to incorporate touch pad technology. It sends MIDI control changes from the XY Pad dynamically effecting its sounds using a Korg Kaoss Pad.
Who Used it?
Matthew Bellamy from Muse designed the MB-1 in close collaboration with Manson Guitars and uses it extensively for live performance.
How does it work?
The MB-1 has a onboard XY touchpad which sends control changes via MIDI. Matthew often uses a MIDI Jet to wirelessly transmits MIDI control changes to his Korg Kaoss pad applying dynamic effects like delays, filters and phasers. The XY touchpad also controls Kaoss Pad synthesizers in a 'random' spacey sort of a way.
The custom Manson MBK-2 humbucker bridge pick-up produces the high gain crunch heard on tracks like “Hysteria” and “Super Massive Black Hole.” The live/kill toggle allows rhythmic type stutter while an onboard Fernando Sustainer can continuously resonate the strings giving an infinite sustain.
The MB-1 offers amazing possibilities clearly showcased by Matthew Bellamy's outstanding performances. While it has very limited synthesizer control capabilities, it is a beautiful statement that brings multiple dimensions of sonic capabilities.