Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Music

Olaf Diegel's prototype 3D-printed alto sax

While attending Euromold 2013 in Frankfurt, Germany, last December with a band playing 3D-printed instruments, Olaf Diegel was set a challenge by the head of 3D Systems, Avi Reichental. The Professor of product development at Lund University, Sweden was given the task of creating a 3D-printed working saxophone. The first ODD prototype was revealed last week in a short demonstration video, which you can see after the jump.  Read More

Stephen Henderson playing a new Ruach Music Live Series cajon

The percussive sound of folks sitting atop a cajón de embalaje and banging out a rhythm has accompanied traditional music for years. Many, many years. Often called a drumkit in a box, many of today's examples come with built-in snare sounds, bass drum pedal attachments and all manner of jingle-jangle accessories, but the basic instrument remains true to its Peruvian ancestors. Teenage cajon maker Stephen Henderson has designed and built a new series of wooden boxes with a 5-way snare lock mechanism and integrated kick pedal.  Read More

The Modulus.002 hybrid polysynth

Though still in demand, classic analog synthesizers from decades past can be a bit of a nightmare to keep in good working order. Many modern digital emulators do a decent enough job of recreating the epic sounds of artists like Jean Michelle Jarre, Kraftwerk and Soft Cell, but some believe that they just don't have the same iconic sound qualities. Such is the thinking of a team of designers and engineers led by Philip Taysom and Paul Maddox, which has created a next gen music synth named Modulus.002. The boutique polyphonic sound machine mixes classic analog sound creation techniques with some digital magic to give musicians access to the kind of sounds made famous by vintage instruments of yesteryear.  Read More

The Pioneer PLX-1000 professional turntable for DJs who prefer to spin and scratch vinyl

Despite many digital music tools being available these days, there are a good many DJs who would rather break out a pair of old school turntables than use systems like the XDJ-AERO or DDJ-SX. To help satisfy the desire for a gorgeous slab of 12-inch black vinyl, Pioneer has today announced the DJ quality PLX-1000 direct drive analog turntable.  Read More

Tuna Knobs work as an oversized stylus, translating real-life turning movements into in-ap...

With just about every aspect of music production going digital, one budding DJ is looking to march to the beat of his own drum. Samuel Verburg joined forces with Dutch design firm Tweetonig aiming to mix not just perfectly matched beats, but a bit of old with a little bit of new. The result is Tuna Knobs, physical controls that work on any capacitive touchscreen to bring tactile feedback to music making applications.  Read More

The Hammer Jammer installed on an electric guitar

With what's got to be one of the shortest campaign pitches on Kickstarter, Ken McCaw is putting second production run hopes for his Hammer Jammer percussive guitar attachment in the hands of players. Described as essentially turning the guitar into a new instrument, the fretting hand is still used to form chord shapes or single-note runs. But players tap, stroke or bash the big raised "buttons" at the picking end, causing soft or hard hammers to sound the strings.  Read More

Spark is a shaker that produces kinetic energy to power lights and charge mobiles in rural...

In 15 years as a percussionist with British electronica band Faithless, Sudha Kheterpal has spent countless nights energetically bashing away on cymbals, snares and high-hats. This has inspired her to wonder how the power of music could be extended beyond the flailing arms and shaking hips in the crowd. She has now teamed up with designers and engineers to develop Spark, a shaker that harnesses kinetic energy with the aim of bringing power to the developing world.  Read More

Gizmag gives Zivix's Wireless MIDI interface PUC a whirl

iOS has matured as a music-making platform in recent years, but those of us who wish to hook-up a real MIDI controller such as a keyboard or drum machine to an iPad or iPhone generally need to use a couple of cables and adapters per device. It's a minor issue, but one that feels distinctly un-Apple. The PUC iOS MIDI interface by Zivix promises to free iOS music-makers from this hassle by enabling a MIDI controller to connect to an iOS device wirelessly.  Read More

Roger Linn's Linnstrument - part of a wave of new instrument controllers designed to bring...

Roger Linn's wildly successful LinnDrum drum machine was a big part of the computer-pop revolution that sucked the soul and humanity out of pop music in the 1980s. Now, he's part of a group of innovators desperately trying to get soul, expression and instrumental virtuosity back into pop music with a suite of next-generation instruments. The Linnstrument has been many years in the making, and it's now about to hit the market – a MIDI controller designed to give as much feel and expression as an acoustic instrument, but with the wild sonic possibilities available through today's synthesizers.  Read More

The Alfa Romeo guitar from Harrison Custom Guitar Works

In the unlikely event that Alfa Romeo takes its Marshall MiTo concept car into production, you might find yourself looking for a guitar to plug into the JVM205H head at the back that matches its rock pedigree. A guitar like this eye-catching build from Harrison Custom Guitar Works perhaps.  Read More

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