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Music

McIntosh launches AirPlay-enabled McAire personal music system

The name McIntosh Labs has been synonymous with outstanding audio quality for more than 60 years and its iconic MC275 tube amp certainly left its mark on me when I first encountered one many moons ago. Hot on the heels of the MX121 audio/video control center featuring Apple's AirPlay wireless technology released earlier this year, the company has launched the McAire free-standing personal music system that allows a new generation of discriminating consumers to stream audio from an iTunes library on a Mac or PC - or music from an iDevice - over an existing home network.Read More

Go hands-free or hands-on with the Jamboxx breath-driven synth

Digital wind controllers like the Morrison Digital Trumpet give players the power to go beyond mere instrument clones and make virtually any instrument or sound available to the musician. More recently, Ashanti's Beatjazz Hands combined breath, pressure and motion sensors to bring gestures into the equation and free him from the confines of a computer screen. The problem in using such systems for folks with limited cognitive abilities or physical disability is that they can't effectively be used hands-free. A skiing accident in the 1980s left Dave Whalen a quadriplegic, and his burning desire to continue making music has led to the development of Jamboxx, a harmonica-like digital instrument that can be played and controlled using just the head.Read More

Review

Review: STREET by 50 in-ear wired headphones from SMS Audio

Dr Dre, Jay-Z and Ludacris aren't the only rappers to have given their names to audio headgear. Record producer, actor, entrepreneur and philanthropist 50 Cent has also released some cans through SMS Audio. Earlier this year the existing wired and wireless over-ear headphones were joined by the STREET by 50 in-ear wired headphones and Gizmag has spent some time getting to grips with a pair. SMS Audio says that the main focus when developing the earbud-type earphones "was to create a sound signature that is suitable for many genres of music and not just rap/hip-hop." So how did they shape up? Read More

Iconic Gittler Guitar updated and relaunched

While many players will insist that great tone can only result from the use of certain exotic woods, guitar design pioneer Allan Gittler saw things a little differently. He methodically stripped away all that he deemed unnecessary and redundant, and embarked on a minimalist instrument design adventure that resulted in the iconic Gittler guitar. Steel sitar or electric fishbone, the instrument had arguably its most famous public airing in the hands of Andy Summers of The Police in the 1983 Synchronicity II music video, and featured 31 frets, individual pickups for each of the six strings, and unique tuners. A new and improved version of the Gittler guitar is set to make its official debut at NAMM 2013 this coming January, and Gittler Instruments has opted to pull back the curtain early for a pre-production peek.Read More

Review

Review: Mikey Digital microphone for iPhone and iPad

As US$100 accessories for iPhones and iPads go, Blue Microphones' Mikey Digital is not the loveliest. Open the box and a lightweight, plasticky node plops out. "Why would anyone want to do that to their iPhone?" one self-confessed Apple fetishist quipped when I showed it to him. He has a point. The rounded corners, black faces with metallic edge are clearly a homage to the iPhone 4 and 4S, but the result doesn't quite come off. Luckily, Blue has spent more time on the Mikey Digital's condensor-filled innards than its shell. Gizmag got to grips with one to see what it could do. Read More

Microsoft introduces Xbox Music

As big companies like Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft each compete to gain supremacy in the “Post-PC” era, a killer ecosystem is thought key to keeping users locked in to one particular platform. While we can grant Microsoft’s gaming and business pedigree, its music services have been lacking thus far, and to address this, the Redmond company is launching a new music streaming service dubbed “Xbox Music,” which will be available from Tuesday October 16 on Xbox 360, with further platforms gaining support soon.Read More

The BeoPlay A9 – it's a speaker, not a satellite dish

B&O Play could be described as the hip, contemporary arm of Bang & Olufsen. That ethos is certainly reflected in the company’s soon-to-be-available streaming wireless speaker, the BeoPlay A9. Unlike traditional boxy speakers, it’s flat(ish), it’s round, and it’s designed to be looked at as much as listened to. Read More

Pioneer unveils Serato-equipped four-channel DJ controller

Pioneer has just revealed the DDJ-SX, which is the first four-channel DJ controller to use Serato's advanced DJ software. In fact, according to Pioneer, everything about this unit was designed specifically with Serato in mind – everything from the design of the unit itself to the trigger pads and controls were made to work with it. The device comes bundled with Serato, so DJs won't need to purchase anything else.Read More

Peugeot Design Lab's piano of the future

Just like BMW with its DesignworksUSA creative consultancy that churns out non-automotive products ranging from computer mice to bicycles, Peugeot has launched the Peugeot Design Lab with a similar bent. The first product to come out of the studio is a futuristic baby grand piano designed for French piano manufacturers Pleyel that looks like it could beat my first car over a quarter mile.Read More

Talking Pedal offers tube-free Talk Box-like guitar effect

Although I grew up surrounded by the big hair rock of Bon Jovi and the like, my first introduction to the Talk Box guitar effect was not Living on a Prayer but Joe Walsh's Rocky Mountain Way over a decade earlier, followed a little later by Peter Frampton's epic Do You Feel Like We Do. Although it continues to be used by a good many guitar gods to this day, the long tube that invariably runs up a microphone stand to the player's mouth does make it something of a special addition to a guitarist's effects arsenal rather than a regular feature. The Talking Pedal from Electro-Harmonix does away with the tube altogether in a rocking chassis expression pedal with no moving parts.Read More

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