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Paul Ridden

Paul Ridden
While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.
Keyboard players, digital drummers and DJs have been dipping into synthesized sonic magic for a long time, but until quite recently, electric guitarists have been left a little wanting. A good example of the progress being made is Fishman's TriplePlay wireless MIDI system. Rather than rely on an externally-mounted hexaphonic pickup of the kind found in TriplePlay, though, Ireland's Rob O'Reilly uses smart fretboard scanning technology for his Expressiv MIDI Guitar System. As well as promising zero latency when in MIDI mode, the instrument also sports "normal" pickups so players can chop and change between analog and digital sounds at the flick of a switch. Read More
Bowers & Wilkins (B & W) has announced a new addition to its wireless speaker range. The T7 is the company's first Bluetooth speaker, and the most portable standalone speaker B & W has ever produced. It features two speaker drivers and two bass radiators, and sees the first commercial outing for the company's Micro Matrix cabinet technology. Read More
Standing out in the already overflowing Bluetooth speaker market is not an easy task. Toronto's Mass Fidelity reckons its wireless audio thrower manages to do just that. Rather than suffering from rather disappointing mono audio performance or wasting hours of trial and error to find your listening sweet spot with a two speaker setup, The Core throws out a high quality wide stereo image from one portable little box. Read More
Virtual pianos and synths in mobile device apps are great fun but nothing really gets your creative juices flowing like a real keyboard. If you want to marry the virtual and real worlds and find devices like Ion Audio's Piano Apprentice just a little too traditional, the similarly-priced K-Board from Keith McMillen Instruments might just tick your boxes. The portable 13-inch USB MIDI keyboard is reported compatible with all USB tablets and laptops, as well as leading music creation software like GarageBand, Ableton Live, NI Komplete and Animoog, and has been built to survive life on the road. Read More
A project to create an always-on connected computer that interacts with its user by voice first kicked off in August 2012. Following its successful crowdfunding bid, the still in prototype Ubi went up for pre-order 2 months later, but it wasn't until earlier this year that the first beta units were ready for early bird testers and developers. Gizmag managed to get on the beta program and found the hardware pretty much ready for prime time, but the user experience still needing some attention. Ubi's creators have been busying themselves ever since and have now announced that consumer-ready computers are available to buy. Read More
A group of French hardware and software engineers who tired of having to spend precious time building streaming music playlists have created a new system that aims to serve up the perfect tune every time. Not only does Prizm learn to play music based on the individual tastes of whichever listener is in the room, but it can even decide which type of music is appropriate for what's going on in the room. The device can be used as a standalone connected music feeder or alongside a companion app. Read More
Back in August, a company best known for its studio vocal and instrument microphones and USB mics for mobile devices announced its first foray into the headphones market with the launch of Mo-Fi. Blue's big and beautiful over-ear headphones promised mobile music lovers a high fidelity listening experience regardless of the source music device. I managed to snag a quick listen at a busy IFA 2014 in Berlin last month and came away wanting more. My ears have now spent more hours than I care to admit surrounded by soft Mo-Fi foam cushions and I find myself reluctant to remove these rather impressive retro beasts. Read More
For the last few years, guitarist Andy Alt has been chipping away at a new kind of electric guitar pickup that allows a player to add a separate low end signal to the two lowest strings. A Little Thunder has been designed as a humbucker replacement and is reported to take only 5 minutes to install, without harming your precious guitar in the process. At the press of a button, git-fiddlers can bring a touch of funky bottom to a solo picking performance, making it a good fit for dark metal gods with hands too small for a 7 or 8 string shred machine or sonic scientists on the lookout for a new six-string laboratory for wacky riff-offs with the band's bass player. Read More
Following in the footsteps of Hiroshi Ishiguro's eerily lifelike creations, Toshiba introduced its very own take on the human-looking droid at Japan's CEATEC electronics trade show this week. The communication android has been built to communicate in Japanese sign language, requiring fluid and precise movement of its arms and hands. Read More
If you're looking to tap into the versatility and portability of a full featured electronic drum set, you can probably expect to be left with a sizable hole in your savings. California-based e-drum maker Simmons has released a new 5-piece kit that could put the smile back on your bank manager's face. For under half the list price of Yamaha's TD-4KP V-Drums Portable, the SD500's rugged steel frame offers a snare, three toms, a kick drum, two cymbals, hi-hat and pedal and a brand new trigger module with hundreds of available drum sounds. Read More
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