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Paul Ridden

Music

Yamaha acoustics bring out rich tones in dry-sounding rooms

As many pickers will tell you, playing an acoustic guitar in some rooms, like a lounge or bedroom, can result in rather lifeless and dry tones fighting for air. Yamaha is looking to inject some concert hall warmth and vitality into such performances by taking a technology originally developed for its acoustic pianos and installing it in a new range of acoustic guitars. Its TransAcoustic guitars add reverb and chorus effects to the sound coming from the instruments themselves without having to add in external effects or rely on microphones or amplification.Read More

3D Printing

Cocooning caterpillars inspire new 3D printer design

As with its SmartBird, BionicKangaroo and robotic ants, Festo's Bionic Learning Network has once again looked to the natural world for inspiration during the development of a new 3D printing solution. Rather than gradually forming an object layer by layer like a desktop extruder, the 3D Cocooner works more like a sophisticated robotic version of a CreoPop 3D printing pen, hardening the printed material with UV light as the structure is formed. Objects are created in a similar fashion to a spider spinning its web or a caterpillar making its cocoon, resulting in complex, free-standing, three-dimensional lattice structures.Read More

Robotics

Flying gripper sphere picks up and drops off on its own

Ahead of this month's Hannover Messe trade show in Germany, Festo's Bionic Learning Network has today previewed a new helium-filled flyer that merges two previous projects into a single future concept. The FreeMotionHandling project combines the eMotionSphere from 2 years ago and last year's FlexShapeGripper for an autonomous gripping sphere that's able to take hold of an object, pick it up and fly it to another location for drop off.Read More

Sony's got videography highs and lows covered

Said to be the smallest camera in Sony's full-frame line-up, the upcoming UMC-S3C video camera combines 4K resolution video recording prowess with the highest low-light sensitivity in its class. The lightweight box is compatible with E-mount lenses and eliminates the need for network cabling for extended mobile use.Read More

Music

Ball-shaped bashers strike a precise MIDI beat

Using samples can bring a convincing level of realism to drum sounds when creating digital music, but the real deal would be even better. You could build yourself a code-controlled Stickboy robotic rhythm master for some authentic paradiddling, or you could make use of a Polish innovation called Perc that marries digital and acoustic beat-making with the help of MIDI commands and ball-ended bashing.Read More

Music

Digital accordion to get a compact cousin

After building a computer/MIDI controller, synthesizer, sequencer and follow-me learning system around a novel musical note arrangement, French startup Dualo started shipping the intriguing du-touch in the latter half of 2014. Next month the company is set to hit crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to bring a smaller version to life – the du-touch S.Read More

Hybrid guitar blends electric twang with acoustic pop

Musicians needing to pick away at the strings of an electric and acoustic during the same set will usually find precious van space being given over to separate instruments. The Hybrid 55 from Michael Kelly Guitars is capable of producing either electric or acoustic tones, or a blend of both.Read More

Urban Transport

Electric rollerblades go off the beaten track

There are a good many ways to get from the train station to work in motor-assisted style, including folding bikes or scooters and one wheelers or skateboards, but last mile transport choices are not so plentiful if your journey includes zipping through dirt tracks and forest trails. Poland's Jack Skopinski, the force behind the EV4 tilting electric quad we covered last year, has come up with a stand-up contender for the off-road-with-ease crown – some electric off-road rollers with rubber tracks.Read More

Modern take on rock classic takes flight

Back in January, 660 Guitars made a company and product debut at California's Winter NAMM Show with the aluminum-bodied Patriot guitar. Now the Texan guitar builders have officially added a thoroughly modern version of Gibson's iconic Flying V to the American-made guitar line. Meet the Aviator AV27.Read More

Music

Slide on chord shaper will have you strumming in minutes

Learning to play guitar like an axe god isn't easy. It takes time and dedication and many, many hours of study. Hardly surprising, then, that many would-be noodlers give up even before the first calluses start to form. We've been introduced to a good many teaching aids over the years, including those which light up the fretboard, others that transform learning into addictive games and even complicated keyboard-like overlays. University of Texas graduate Alex Levine says that his Guitar Now system will have students playing three major chords in minutes, allowing players to strum along to hundreds of songs by the likes of Taylor Swift, The Beatles and the Foo Fighters in no time.Read More

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