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Music

Yamaha acoustics bring out rich tones in dry-sounding rooms

As many pickers will tell you, playing an acoustic guitar in some rooms, like a lounge or bedroom, can result in rather lifeless and dry tones fighting for air. Yamaha is looking to inject some concert hall warmth and vitality into such performances by taking a technology originally developed for its acoustic pianos and installing it in a new range of acoustic guitars. Its TransAcoustic guitars add reverb and chorus effects to the sound coming from the instruments themselves without having to add in external effects or rely on microphones or amplification.Read More

Tablet-sized music player gets a hand on hi-res audio

With the availability of music streaming apps and ever-expanding options of flash drive storage, it's no wonder that mobile devices reign for media consumption. But a new startup is ready to show how bigger can mean better, catering to dedicated enthusiasts and audiophiles alike. The Nativ Sound Vita music player is designed to offer touchscreen access to all music with innovative voice control and wireless multi-room playback.Read More

Review

Review: One Smart Piano learning system

The One Smart Piano learning system promises to have you playing your "first piano piece in minutes" with the help of light up keys and an accompanying app. So how long before a complete novice can tap out something beyond a children's ditty? We sat down at the keys to find out. Read More

Ball-shaped bashers strike a precise MIDI beat

Using samples can bring a convincing level of realism to drum sounds when creating digital music, but the real deal would be even better. You could build yourself a code-controlled Stickboy robotic rhythm master for some authentic paradiddling, or you could make use of a Polish innovation called Perc that marries digital and acoustic beat-making with the help of MIDI commands and ball-ended bashing.Read More

Digital accordion to get a compact cousin

After building a computer/MIDI controller, synthesizer, sequencer and follow-me learning system around a novel musical note arrangement, French startup Dualo started shipping the intriguing du-touch in the latter half of 2014. Next month the company is set to hit crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to bring a smaller version to life – the du-touch S.Read More

Hybrid guitar blends electric twang with acoustic pop

Musicians needing to pick away at the strings of an electric and acoustic during the same set will usually find precious van space being given over to separate instruments. The Hybrid 55 from Michael Kelly Guitars is capable of producing either electric or acoustic tones, or a blend of both.Read More

Modern take on rock classic takes flight

Back in January, 660 Guitars made a company and product debut at California's Winter NAMM Show with the aluminum-bodied Patriot guitar. Now the Texan guitar builders have officially added a thoroughly modern version of Gibson's iconic Flying V to the American-made guitar line. Meet the Aviator AV27.Read More

Slide on chord shaper will have you strumming in minutes

Learning to play guitar like an axe god isn't easy. It takes time and dedication and many, many hours of study. Hardly surprising, then, that many would-be noodlers give up even before the first calluses start to form. We've been introduced to a good many teaching aids over the years, including those which light up the fretboard, others that transform learning into addictive games and even complicated keyboard-like overlays. University of Texas graduate Alex Levine says that his Guitar Now system will have students playing three major chords in minutes, allowing players to strum along to hundreds of songs by the likes of Taylor Swift, The Beatles and the Foo Fighters in no time.Read More

Loopa lets you sing to yourself

Recording vocals and then replaying them in a loop to sing over the top of can involve a complicated mix of hardware and software, and some technical know-how to bring them seamlessly together. UK-based Sonuus is looking to put loop control in a singer's hands. The Loopa is billed as the world's first microphone that puts loop and overdub controls on the mic itself.Read More

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