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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.

Follow Paul:

— Wearables

Revols earphones deliver a custom-fit in 60 seconds

Though a very few mobile music lovers will be lucky enough to own some perfect fit off-the-shelf earphones, for the rest of us, fallout is a frustratingly frequent problem. If you've got lots of time and patience, and a rather large budget, you could take a trip to an audiologist, get your ears scanned and then order a pair of in-ear headphones molded to precisely fit your ear canals. A startup running a Kickstarter campaign says that it's come up with a quicker, cheaper and simpler way. You just stick a Revols earpiece in each ear, wiggle it about and push it around until it feels snug and then hit "start" on a companion app running on a Bluetooth-paired smartphone ... and a minute later you've got yourself some custom-fit earphones.

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— Music

Nitro e-drums pack a professional punch without breaking the bank

Whether for private practice or full-on live performance, electronic drum kits offer a number of benefits over their traditional counterparts. They don't take up most of the room in the band's van, players can call on many different percussion sounds, and they're pretty neighbor-friendly when not cabled up to a PA system. But they can be just as pricey as a non-digital setup. The latest eight piece e-drum kit from Alesis promises responsive play backed up by professional features for a budget-friendly ticket price.

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— Wearables

V-Moda taps sporty audiophiles for Zn in-ear headphones

For its first in-ear headphones in four years, V-Moda is offering a heady mix of toughness, good looks and the promise of great sound. Zn is, of course, the symbol for zinc, which V-Moda says has a "unique hardness and resonance nature to deliver a balanced sound." Each dynamic driver is wrapped in solid yet lightweight zinc alloy housing, and the limited edition Zn in-ears boast a signature that's been fine-tuned to appeal to the modern and mobile audiophile. The earphones also come with detachable ear hooks reported capable of keeping them in place no matter the physical demands of the sport-loving, high resolution music lover.

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— Robotics

Compressorhead rocks the crowd to find new robot band member

In rock music, there's something quite captivating and magical about a power trio. The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Nirvana, Cream, ZZ Top, Living Colour ... oh wait, that last one is a four piece. And that's just what the folks behind the robotic rock group Compressorhead are now aiming for. The Berlin-based "heavy metal" bot band has turned to Kickstarter in its search for a new lead singer.

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— VR

Lytro brings Light Field tech to virtual reality

When camera maker Lytro launched in 2011, it offered snappers something a little different – the ability to shift focus after a photo has been taken. If you wanted light field video, however, you were out of luck. The company has now rectified that with the Immerge system, a four component platform that's billed as the industry's first end-to end hardware, software and related services solution for the production of professional-grade cinematic VR content.

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— Music

Pulse puts sonic control on or above its surface

From familiar-looking keyboards to portable projection-based tables, there are a good many touch-enabled flat controllers available that can help turn strokes, taps and bumps of the surface into music. There are also a few spatial types like the Motus that can transform mid-air moves into funky digital sounds. Pulse combines the two, allowing players to create tunes by caressing its touch-sensitive surface or going gestural in the space above it.

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— Music

Motus allows players to bow an invisible violin

Though Onyx Ashanti's Beatjazz controller or McGill University's Instrumented Bodies are pleasing to eyes and ears, making music creation part of the performance or dance routine doesn't necessarily mean also having to look like a cyborg. Paris-based phonotonic, for example, turned motion into music last year by pairing a handheld device with a smart device running an app. The Motus from TZM Creative Lab out of Lithuania also facilitates the creation of sound from motion, allowing its users to electrify the room by strumming an air guitar, bash an imaginary drum set to within an inch of its life, key a grand concert piano while walking around the stage or play an invisible violin.

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— Music

IK offers 2-track recording on the move

IK Multimedia has launched a new interface to help mobile musicians capture high quality audio wherever they happen to be when inspiration hits. The iRig Pro Duo high definition audio and MIDI interface for iOS, Android, Mac or PC devices sports two instrument/microphone inputs and offers up to 24-bit/48 kHz audio recording in a travel-ready compact unit. And it's available now for less than 200 bucks.

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— Music

Reactable puts modular music synthesis on the table

Spain's Reactable Systems first blipped on our sonar in 2006 with the launch of the "seeing is believing" tabletop modular synthesizer. Where large format modular synths like the Moog System 55 can be rather intimidating behemoths, the Reactable digital music maker made use of a projector-based touch surface onto which the player placed blocks to generate sounds and alter parameters. Development of the system has continued, and last week the company unveiled its latest intuitive, modular and portable iteration – the Live! S6 table.

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