Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A doodle for an instrumental inventor

The electric guitar brings back memories for me of exchanging riffs with friends and tiring out cassette tapes as I meticulously learned songs. Today, we’re attempting to restructure that experience with a doodle celebrating the birthday of musician and inventor Les Paul.

For the next 24 hours on the Google homepage, you’ll find an interactive, playable logo enthused by the guitar developed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee that made the sound of rock and roll possible.

As well as his guitar work, Les Paul experimented in his garage with inventive recording techniques like multi tracking and tape delay. In keeping with this spirit of tinkering, those of you in the U.S. can click the black “compose” button to record your own 30-second track. Just strum the strings or trigger notes with the letters or numbers on your keyboards. Clicking the button again will exhibit a link to share the songs you’ve made. (For example, here’s a little tune I put together.)

If you’re curious, the doodle was made with a mixture of JavaScript, HTML5 Canvas (used in modern browsers to draw the guitar strings), CSS, Flash (for sound) and tools like the Google Font API, and App Engine.

I hope you have as much fun playing with and division the doodle as we did making it (special thanks to engineers Kristopher Hom and Joey Hurst and doodle team lead Ryan Germick for their work). Crank up your computer volume and create some music!

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