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.
When we caught up with French high flyer Stephane Rousson at the Paris Green Air Show 5 years ago, in addition to showing off his helium-filled Zeppy 3 sail balloon, he also detailed a pedal-powered personal submarine called the Scubster. In 2011, the Scubster team took part in the International Submarine Race at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in the US, and managed to snag an Innovation Award. Now Rousson and designer Minh-lôc Truong have launched an electric version of the single pilot carbon fiber sub on Kickstarter.
After raising more than four times the project goal on Indiegogo, David Packouz began shipping his BeatBuddy drum machine in a stomp to backers in August last year. Gizmag got to call on the realistic-sounding and very responsive percussive skills of Singular Sound's virtual bin basher at commercial release time and we were mighty impressed. Now the company has announced a less expensive, and slightly less capable, version called the BeatBuddy Mini.
Some time around 1973, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme, then members of British pop/rock group 10cc, invented a device for guitar and bass that brought a bowing sound to selected strings when a key or keys were pressed. The Gizmotron, or Gizmo for short, was famously used by Jimmy Page on the intro to In the Evening on Led Zeppelin's In Through the Out Door and went on to make its public debut at NAMM 1979. But it was not a commercial success due to its rather temperamental nature. Now over 40 years later, the Gizmo has been revised and revived, with version 2.0 due for release by the end of 2015.
Back in May, British headphone maker Reid Heath Audio (RHA) announced a new pair of in-ear headphones that debuted something called DualCoil dynamic driver technology. The company had managed to install two independently-powered dynamic voice coils on a micro ring magnet, one to handle lower audio frequencies and the other to take care of the higher end. The T20s promised a true-to-life reproduction and support for high resolution audio. We got to plug in for some hi-res, and lo-res, listening.
Instrument interfaces like IK Multimedia's iRig or Apogee's Jam opened the door to an almost infinite world of real-time digitized tone on mobile devices running apps like GarageBand and AmpliTube. But, frustratingly, selecting a virtual stomp on a tablet screen still involves taking a playing hand away from the guitar to tap the screen. South Korea's Wifo Corporation is currently crowdfunding the RemoFinger, a foot controller that sits on the floor and can wirelessly activate onscreen stomp switches via surrogate "finger tips" attached to the tablet display.
We were mighty impressed with V-Moda's Crossfade M-100 closed back headphones when we reviewed them just over two years ago. Wouldn't it be great, though, if we could just unplug the bright orange cable with inline mic/controls and enjoy the same spacious soundstage and top notch signature with wireless freedom? The successfully-crowdfunded BTunes plugs into the audio input jack on the headphone cup and gives Bluetooth superpowers to previously wired-only cans. One of the first very limited batch of production units made its way to Gizmag, and wireless music has been on the menu ever since.
You may not know of Dr. Harold Hildebrand, but you'll almost certainly have heard the results of his sonic tinkering. Introduced in the late 1990s, Auto-Tune went on to make performers who can't hold a note into international sensations, but has also given new vocal expression to artists who could already belt out a good tune. In 2011, Antares announced that it was bringing its pitch correction technology to the electric guitar and we got to play in perfect tune with the AT-200 in 2013. Now the company is aiming for broader adoption with the introduction of the ATG-1 Floor Processor.
Riding on the crest of a video teaser wave, Yamaha has revealed its new reface series mini keyboards. Described as portable yet powerful, the two synths, an organ and a piano give a respectful nod in the direction of classic Yamaha electronic keyboards, and boast tactile sound controls, onboard effects and built-in speakers.
Last October, guitarist Andy Alt shared his dream of giving six-string axes some extra bottom end with the crowdfunding community. Since the close of the successful campaign, he has made a few tweaks to A Little Thunder's design and functionality, chief among them being capacitive touch. Backers started receiving their pickups last month and now sales have opened up to everyone.
Rather than collect and treat the copious amount of pee produced by beer-swigging live music lovers, the organizers of last week's Roskilde Festival and the Danish Agriculture & Food Council opted to put all that liquid gold to good use. A beercycling project dubbed "From piss to pilsner" invited attendees to leave deposits for local farmers to use as fertilizer for barley crops grown to make beer.