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Music

Classic Vox Teardrop and Phantom guitars return as Apache travel guitars

Sadly, the funding campaign for the Unlimited travel guitar with built-in speaker that we covered late last month was unsuccessful, but fear not because VOX Amplification has come to the rescue in impressive retro style. The company has dipped into the past to bring back two of its most iconic guitar shapes as modern travel/practice instruments. The beautiful VOX Teardrop and Phantom have been reborn as the Apache Series, each featuring two speakers, built-in effects and rhythm patterns, and the ability to jam along to favorite tunes via direct input from an external MP3 or CD player.Read More

Yamaha releases Arp & Drum app for iPad

The Yamaha Arp & Drum Pad app for iPad is a music creation app that's not only capable of transmitting notes to external MIDI instruments, but includes a built-in virtual keyboard, allowing the user to trigger the arpeggiator and play numerous patterns from a variety of instruments.Read More

Parrot’s Zik wireless headphones with touch panel and NFC technology

Parrot certainly has tried to pack as much technology as possible into its first pair of wireless headphones. Alongside the standard Bluetooth connectivity, the company’s new Zik headphones feature active noise cancellation technology, a touch panel on the right earpiece, a head detection sensor, bone conduction sensor, five microphones and, in a headphone first, integrated near field communication (NFC) technology.Read More

Winners in sonic experiment prosper and evolve, losers become extinct

Researchers from Imperial College London have built a music creation engine where popular sounds are paired and mated with other successful tunes to create new offspring that inherit features from both parents. Audio loops that fail to please become extinct, parents die off and children get the same rating treatment given to their ancestors. Over time, some rather pleasant electronica has formed without so much as one human composer in sight.Read More

Berlin-based hackers create musical umbrella

During this year’s Amsterdam-based Music Hack Day, two intrepid hackers originating from Berlin created a musical umbrella which produces a random series of lo-fi 8-bit tones. The tones are triggered by raindrops striking the outside surface of the umbrella's canopy and the abstract results bring to mind a warped soundtrack for the first generation Nintendo Game Boy. Read More

Vintage suitcases up-cycled as unique boomboxes

I would hazard a guess that most readers haven't given very much thought to what happens to trusted and faithful luggage when it's retired from frequent use. If they're not exiled to the basement for storage of odds and ends, old suitcases could very well end up just being dumped in the trash. If they're lucky though, brothers Ezra and Alex Cimino-Hurt might get hold of them for conversion into stylish and powerful Case of Bass boomboxes.Read More

Unlimited guitar with built-in amp comes with smartphone-based digital effects

Travel-friendly guitars like the Backpacker from Martin are all fine and dandy if you're into acoustic playing but those of us who prefer electric portability will likely need to seek out something like Traveler's Speedster or Bob Wiley's Ministar. The problem with the latter choice is also having to lug around an amp and cables in order to be heard. Stanford graduates Andrew Penrose and Ari Atkins have developed a go-anywhere electric guitar called the Unlimited that features a built-in, battery-powered amplifier and smartphone-controlled digital effects.Read More

Fretlight LED learning guitar lights the way to quick and easy tuition

I have to admit to a tinge of sadness as I report that both of the LED learning sleeve for guitar projects we featured back in April have so far failed to appear. Development of both projects is said to be continuing but Tabber withdrew its presence on Kickstarter after only two weeks to regroup and improve the product and the LED Sleeve didn't make its funding target. Fortunately, there is an existing system called Fretlight that uses lights embedded in the neck to show would-be players exactly when and where to place fingers on a fingerboard. The recent addition of the rather attractive FG-461 PRO electric guitar to the range offered the perfect opportunity to take a closer look.Read More

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