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Music


— Music

Simple inexpensive Pik'N Board adds percussion to your music

For many of us, washing clothes by hand is no longer a necessity. Yet the simple ridged device used before the advent of washing machines is still in production today and continues to be used all over the world. Leaving soapy water well behind, the washboard found a new life in the hands of musicians playing everything from skiffle to dixieland, and jazz to blues. Solo guitar players can now provide their own inexpensive snare-like percussive accompaniment, by attaching a Pik'N Board to their instrument. The mini-washboard is positioned below the picking area of an acoustic guitar, with players extending the pick stroke to tap out a latin beat or scrape in some cajun spice. Read More
— Music

Roadies rejoice! The foam combo amp that weighs under 20 pounds

As most musicians will tell you, playing in front of a live audience is what makes it all worthwhile. Unless you're successful enough to have a dedicated road crew, though, loading and unloading the equipment can be backbreaking work. All that could change thanks to an experiment in "what if" amp building by Tim Brennan of Brisbane's Tym Guitars. He says that late nights, stupid conversations and an obsession with building things that people might laugh at has resulted in the FAMP – a 50W guitar amp combo encased in a foam housing. Read More
— Music

PicBand keeps a tight leash on your guitar pick

A line of guitar picks attached to a microphone stand has been a common sight at gigs for many years. Should a particularly energetic solo result in flying plectrums heading out over the crowd, the player is thus assured that more are at hand. PicBand takes a different, and very direct, approach to solving the problem – it allows guitarists to wear extra picks on the wrist and also keeps that pesky piece of plastic from wandering off on its own by tethering it to the wrist or fingers. Read More
— Music

Music with the Mind: The Brain-Computer-Music-Interface

Imagine a Wii that lets you play a musical instrument with your brain without touching strings or a keyboard. That's exactly what this "proof of concept" brain-computer-music-interface (BCMI) is designed to do – it uses brain waves and eye movement to sound musical notes, so even a person with "locked-in-syndrome" could participate in creative activity analogous to learning to play a musical instrument. Developed by a team headed by Eduardo Miranda, a composer and computer music specialist from the UK's University of Plymouth, the BCMI can be set up on a laptop computer for under $3,500 (including the computer). For people who are disabled, assistive technology usually aims at day-to-day functioning and largely ignores the unique aspect of being a human – creativity. This is different. Read More
— Music

Gorgeous BLOCK tube amplifier to go into production

Call me old fashioned if you will, but there's nothing more pleasing than the soft, natural and warm sound produced by a tube amplifier. The Block amplifier by industrial designer Mateusz Glówka is as much a visual treat as a sonic one. The somewhat harsh geometric lines are offset by the gratifying glow of the half dozen tubes on display outside the stainless steel and aluminum housing and, in a novel twist, the main sound board is attached with hinges so that it can be raised for dusting the electronics. The tube amplifier is a working prototype at the moment, but the designer told Gizmag that he expects production models to be available soon. Read More
— Music

Final Audio Design unveils new high end Piano Forte earphones

Japan's Final Audio Design has been turning out audiophile-pleasing, premium audio equipment since the 1970s, and has just unveiled its latest high-end earphones. Taking the core design behind the company's Opus horn speaker series, the Piano Forte X-VIII Series is said to deliver a concert hall-like sound experience thanks to a large diameter driver unit installed in a soundstage-expanding metallic earpad housing. However, there is quite a heavy price to pay for such lightweight dynamic clarity. Read on for more details ... Read More
— Music

Touch-free effects pedal control from KOMA Elektronik

On more than one occasion I have been faced with a floor full of daisy-chained analog effects pedals and, to amusement of onlookers, have had to perform intricate tap dancing moves to switch features on and off. Now two German musicians have added another dimension to effects unit control that may well save me some leg work - infrared expression and function control. All of the functions available on the KOMA Elektronik BD101 analog delay and gate can be controlled by control voltage (CV) via patched infrared sensors next to the true bypass footswitch. Read More
— Music

Korg reveals Wavedrum Mini portable percussion synthesizer

At the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim recently, Korg unveiled a new oriental version of its famous Wavedrum percussion synthesizer, designed specifically for Middle Eastern music. For Musikmesse 2011 in Frankfurt, the company has announced that its Wavedrum technology has been reduced down into a compact, portable, playable pad with a built-in speaker and effects. The Wavedrum Mini also features a clip sensor which is said to allow users to transform finger taps and hand slaps made on just about any surface into synthesized, amplified percussive sounds. Read More
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