Review: Creative Labs Sound Blaster Roar 2 speaker

Creative Labs likes to do things big by packing its speakers with power and features. The original Roar, which we reviewed last year, delivered impressive sound and functionality. As an encore to the original, the Roar 2 is designed to be 20 percent smaller without any sacrifice or compromise to the hardware and audio. How well does this new version succeed? We recently spent a few weeks putting the Roar 2 speaker to the test.Read More

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.Read More

"Zoolophone" features custom-shaped keys that still produce the right notes

Scientists from Columbia, Harvard and MIT have collaborated to create a xylophone-like instrument that has keys shaped like animals. It's not just a cute toy, however. Their "zoolophone" was designed using new technology that allows objects of a specified shape to produce a specified sound. It could ultimately be used to build things like low-noise computer fans, or bridges that don't amplify road noise.Read More

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.Read More

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.Read More

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.Read More

Video: The all-in-one Fusion Guitar

The Fusion Guitar takes an iPhone dock, amplifier, battery and speakers and rolls them into one compact, completely self-contained noodling package. We caught up with one of the inventors, designer and guitarist Dave Auld, for a closer look at this world first take on the electric guitar. Read More

Libratone's new Zipp speakers embrace SoundSpaces flexibility

Libratone is known for blending Scandinavian design with high-performance hardware to create speakers that look plush and sound refined. The company recently launched its new Zipp speaker line-up, which, through the company's SoundSpaces concept, is designed to stream 360-degree audio individually or as part of a multi-room setup, be they plugged into power outlets or not.Read More

Arpeggio designed to make melody creation easy

MIDI music scientists will doubtless be very familiar with sequencers, hardware or software used for recording, editing and playback of a series – or sequence – of notes, chords or rhythms. Many will also have come across an arpeggiator in their tune creation travels, which, in simple terms, is a feature of many synthesizers that takes the notes being played and turns them into a looped pattern. The Arpeggio brings sequencer, arpeggiator and synth together in one portable package designed for music melody composition, storage and performing on the fly.Read More

ACPAD MIDI controller turns any acoustic guitar into an orchestra

The Acpad is the world’s first wireless MIDI controller that offers access to a variety of programmable features by simply placing it on any acoustic guitar’s surface. Without requiring any modifications, it brings hundreds of instruments, effects, samples and loops to the player’s fingertips. Set up by its standalone software or coupled with most popular digital audio workstations, the Acpad’s only limit is the player’s imagination.

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