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Music


— Music

PianoMaestro guides pianists through the music

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

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

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

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
— Music

Clapton auction raises $2.15 million at Bonhams

Everything that went under the hammer at the recent sale of guitars and amps at Bonhams in aid of Eric Clapton's Crossroads Centre was sold, bringing in three times the amount expected. For the first time, the legendary musician offered amps and cabinets from his own collection, including a 1966 Fender Super Reverb. The sale also included instruments from Fender, Music Man, Gibson and Martin as well as memorabilia and collectibles, and attracted fans from all over the world, hoping to take home a piece of Clapton history. Read More
— Music

Tremvelope evolves and changes as you play

My first encounter with the tremolo guitar effect was on the breathtaking sixties rock anthem I Had Too Much To Dream by the Electric Prunes. Most people will be familiar with the effect from Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones, or Green Day's Boulevard of Broken Dreams for the more youthful among us. This rapid wobble to the groove has now been given a futuristic update with the release of the Tremvelope from Pigtronix. The new effects unit mixes up classic tremolo effects with envelope sensing to produce rotary effects that evolve and change based on what's being played. Read More
— Music

Tascam's new handheld audio recorder features adjustable microphones

Handheld portable recorders with XY microphone configurations are great for tight stereo imaging but if you want to capture a wider ambient sound then an AB configuration would probably be better. With the forthcoming release of its DR-07 MkII recorder, both methods are brought to the one device. A host of new and useful features have been added to the update of Tascam's best-selling portable recorder, including overdub and reverb. Read More
— Music

LG's arty iPod dock

While LG might be best known for its consumer electronics products, the South Korean conglomerate has plenty of strings to its bow with around 40 subsidiary companies in areas including electronics, telecommunications and chemicals. One such subsidiary is LG Hausys, which is Korea's biggest building and decorative material company. Its products include a solid surface material called HI-MACS and to demonstrate the "limitless design possibilities" of the material, LG Hausys teamed up with Korean architect Shi-hyung Jeon to create Horn, a hand-made iPod speaker dock featuring the smooth, curved shape from which it gets its name. Read More
— Music

Library of Congress launches Music Consortium Treasures website

Students of music history, historians and music lovers alike can't help but be moved by the sight of an original manuscript by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Now, thanks to a Library of Congress partnership with five other institutions, folks can get up close and personal with some of the world's most valued music manuscripts from the comfort of their own living rooms. A new free-to-view online portal brings together digitized copies of manuscript scores and first and early editions of works by composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Richard Wagner, Ludwig van Beethoven, Claude Debussy, Georges Bizet, Arnold Schoenberg and Igor Stravinsky. Read More
— Music

Amplify your iPod earbuds with Tembo Trunks

An essential part of my travel kit is my digital music player. I also carry a small set of speakers in case I want to share some tunes with those I meet along the way, but I'm forever having to worry about batteries and, despite their size, it's all extra weight to have to lug around. I need some fold-away, lightweight, power-free amplification, and that's precisely what the Tembo Trunks speakers offer. The creation of brothers Scott and Mike Norrie, the horn speakers are said to have been born out of frustration in not having an external iPod speaker that was small and light enough to travel with them around Africa. Read More
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