Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Music

The Sound Band doesn't use speakers to play back sound

Generally, when you think of headphones, you imagine small speakers that either sit in or over your ear. The Sound Band is different, as it doesn't feature any speakers at all. Instead, it uses surface sound technology, which means the user's ears are left open to take in the sounds around them.  Read More

MUZIK's new on-ear headphones feature social networking connections

Generally, when we think of advancements in the headphone space, we think of better noise cancellation, improved sound depth, and the like. Well, a new company called MUZIK is aiming to push the market forward, but not in the traditional way. Instead, it's launching a line of connected headphones that allows users to share what they are listening to with the touch of a button.  Read More

The Studio Series Tapo from Editors Keys

By far the quickest way to uniformly raise the pitch of all strings on a guitar is to plonk a capo on the neck. Even then, some songs call for a bit of tricky tuning to get things just right, which means diving into the gig bag only to find that you've left your faithful tuner at home. Editors Keys has combined capo and tuner for the Tapo, which can be clamped across the strings to check the tuning in the newly-chosen key, or positioned at the head for open reference tuning.  Read More

The TouchKeys system brings multitouch sound control to piano-style keyboards

The TouchKeys multitouch musical keyboard comprises capacitive sensing strips stuck to the upper surface of each key, circuit boards housed within the host instrument that collect all the sensor data, and some custom software running on a connected computer. The system can be paired with any software or synthesizer capable of understanding MIDI or OSC, with the movement of the fingers controlling the kind of sounds produced. Dr Andrew McPherson now plans to make the fruits of this university research project available to other musicians by offering self-install TouchKeys kits to crowdfunders.  Read More

The C.24 is designed to bring physical keyboard interaction to the iPad

The potential for tablets as virtual musical creation devices has spawned a number of hardware add-ons aimed at bringing a new level of physical interaction to the table. Following this school of thought is the C.24 from Miselu: a Bluetooth-enabled, two octave wireless music keyboard for iPad that doubles as a cover.  Read More

Yamaha's DTX502 Series electronic drums

Yamaha's updated DTX502 Series e-drums made their US debut at the Summer NAMM Show in Nashville at the weekend, and are now ready to ship. The three new kits were originally launched at Hamburg's Musikmesse in April, and feature revamped drum pads, a realistic vertical-motion hi-hat, a lighter steel rack, and a brand new trigger module that the company claims is more powerful than anything in its class.  Read More

The Firefly Pick provides a rhythmic light show to go with your flashy playing

Embedding flashing lights into the neck of your guitar is one way to brighten up a performance, but Peter Holm and Brandon Williams have another. Their Firefly Pick looks like any other heavy duty string plucker, until it takes its rightful place between thumb and finger. It then springs to life with a rhythmic light show to complement your flashy playing.  Read More

Inventor Tomás Henriques' son Tristan, playing the Sonik Spring

Not long ago, Buffalo State University music professor Tomás Henriques set out to develop a digital accordion. While that in itself would have been newsworthy, what he ended up creating could ultimately have a lot more significance. Known as the Sonik Spring, Henriques’ device may find use not only in the field of music, but also as a means of physical rehabilitation.  Read More

The Guitarduino from Igor Stolarsky

In addition to being a talented player and having a guitar named after him, Les Paul was a dedicated tinkerer. It's rather fitting, then, that one of those famous guitars has been modified to include touch-controlled synths and effects, and an onboard drum machine. The system is built around an Arduino brain externally mounted near the bridge, which routes signals from sensors and buttons through custom code to a preamp/effects processor or a digital audio workstation suite. As you can see and hear from the video after the jump, the aptly-named Guitarduino is quite simply extraordinary.  Read More

Gizmag goes hands-on with IK Multimedia's iRig HD and AmpliTube

IK Multimedia recently released its latest iRig audio interface, the iRig HD, in addition to giving its popular iOS amp-modeling software AmpliTube a facelift. Gizmag investigates whether the two products can offer musicians a portable platform for band practice, playing shows, or recording songs.  Read More

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