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Gorgeous BLOCK tube amplifier to go into production

By - April 25, 2011 7 Pictures
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

By - April 19, 2011 6 Pictures
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
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Touch-free effects pedal control from KOMA Elektronik

By - April 17, 2011 5 Pictures
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
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Korg reveals Wavedrum Mini portable percussion synthesizer

By - April 8, 2011 2 Pictures
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
— Music

PianoMaestro guides pianists through the music

By - April 1, 2011 5 Pictures
Like many people, I once bought myself a digital piano and had every intention of teaching myself to play. However, when faced with a very steep learning curve and the prospect of spending weeks or months learning to play a simple prelude, such thoughts were soon put to bed and the instrument sat in the corner of the room gathering dust. Had I been able to place a PianoMaestro learning system on the keyboard, things could well have been different. PC software translates standard MIDI files into musical notation onscreen, the computer is attached by USB cable to a strip of lights, and that is placed at the back of a full piano keyboard, letting you know which keys need to be pressed when. The system is said to make the learning process quicker and easier and, according to its creator, is just like having your very own teacher with you all the time, but one who has "infinite patience that does not charge by the hour." Read More
— Music

Photon Fuzz guitar pedal uses infrared light to control distortion

By - March 31, 2011 4 Pictures
Like it or loathe it, fuzz distortion effects units have been an integral part of rock music ever since a Maestro FZ-1 Fuzz-Tone made a guest appearance on Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones. Early fuzz boxes had rather limited scope for shaping tone, but that's something the new Photon Fuzz from Fea Labs certainly doesn't appear to suffer from. The unit gets its name from an active component in the circuit which uses infrared light to control the fuzz distortion element, and features its own octave stage, high, mid and low band EQ controls and internal DIP switch tone tweaking possibilities. Read More
— Music

Groove on the move with the wireless Hyper Touch Guitar concept

By - March 28, 2011 9 Pictures
There are now hundreds of dedicated music apps available for the iPhone and iPad, but these digital devices are not musical instruments in the traditional sense. Over a year ago, designer Massimo Battaglia set about bringing the electric guitar and the multi-touch interface even closer. His Hyper Touch Guitar concept is the result. It features a capacitive touchscreen neck with 24 fret positions, and either a small touchscreen pick zone or a version where the multi-touch interface continues down into the body from the neck. The guitar will also feature wireless technology that will communicate with equipment such as amplifiers and computer systems, and allow the player full freedom of movement. Read More
— Music

Gabriel Stinger amp: Vintage tones from both sides of the Atlantic

By - March 23, 2011 14 Pictures
The latest hand-made amp to come out of the Gabriel Sound Garage is big on tone, but is quite the little baby. The 7 watt Gabriel Stinger continues the eye-catching bumblebee design of other family members and has been designed to recreate the vintage tones that helped shape rock 'n' roll using a combination of a single channel volume dial, one tone control, a master volume knob and some tube switching technology. Users can choose to dial in a sixties "Brit" sound or opt for home turf with the "Yank" option, or try a combination of both. The new amp will also let you up the volume but turn down the power output thanks to the inclusion of a variable voltage regulator. Read More
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