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.
These days, there seems to be a smartphone or tablet app for just about everything you might want to do, be it detecting cosmic rays, getting language help or learning to play an instrument. The One piano learning system also has an iOS/Android app at its heart, but students learn to play on a real piano with the help of synced LED lights. Already a best seller in China, the One Music Group is looking for similar success in the American marketplace and has opened an office in San Francisco to bring its One piano and learning app to Stateside students.
It's a growing problem: a dizzying number of songs get released to online music stores and streaming services or uploaded to archives around the world each day, and those songs need to be categorized. But how? Play the same song to 10 people and they might each put it into a different genre or subgenre. An automated genre identification system developed by researchers in India, which they claim is the best yet, could be the answer.
Looking for a way to add more presence to his solo performances, singer/songwriter Pete Roe invented the Submarine. It's a pickup for two strings that, much like A Little Thunder, can be used to add some extra low end wallop to an electric or acoustic guitar or the signal could be routed through an effects pedal chain or separate amp for some out there sonic melding.
A company based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, has spent the last 3 years designing, developing, tweaking and building what's described as a new breed of musical instruments. Just when the sonic scientists at Omnipresent World of Wizkids (OWOW) had reached a point where the five "smartly built, but stupidly simple to use" MIDI devices were ready for the production line, they ran out of money. So they've turned to Kickstarter to get the wob, wiggle, drum, pads and scan into the hands of players.
Is it a UFO? Is it some kind of butt-massaging meditation stool? Is it a wok with a damaged lid? No, it's the Oval digital handpan. The light, portable and durable instrument has been designed to have the ergonomics and playability of a hang drum, but with access to a world of almost limitless sonic possibilities.
If you’ve ever tried listening to music at work, or when out jogging, you’re aware of the annoying wire that gets in the way of everything. The Bluetooth Stereo Headphones cut the cord while maintaining crystal clear sound, and they currently have 78% off.