Photokina 2014 highlights

Music

Gigiway's Piano and Violin Learning Pen

Point the Piano and Violin Learning Pen from Gigiway at notation in a music book and it will either play the piece through its built-in speaker or repeat and re-repeat a chosen passage and tell you what all those complicated-looking symbols mean. Budding musicians can slow down the playback speed until they are ready to play at full pelt, activate the digital metronome and even compare tones to make sure their chosen instrument is in tune.  Read More

Korg's $85 monotron analog synthesizer

Korg has been a big player in the democratization of music production in recent years, with the mini Kaoss Pad effects device, the Kaossilator phrase synthesizer and the incredibly affordable nanoSeries USB MIDI controllers finding their way into the kit bags of countless budding rockstars (and many actual rockstars). Its latest noise maker is the monotron, a dead simple analog synthesizer featuring a ribbon controller (essentially a touch panel instead of keys, which is incredibly "playable" even for amateurs) and the same filter used in the classic MS-10 and MS-20 analog synthesizers which are still some of the most sought-after vintage synths on the planet.  Read More

The MIDI Mobilizer from Line 6 is the first MIDI hardware interface for the iPhone or iPod...

Carrying around all the various equipment needed for studio recording, rehearsals or live performance, you'd be forgiven for not noticing all the extra bulk caused by laptops and associated peripherals needed to record, play, store or reload Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) settings, sequences and song data. But if you're on the lookout for something more portable then Line 6 has just announced the MIDI Mobilizer, a hardware interface designed to work with any iPhone or iPod Touch.  Read More

The cardboard record player

A cardboard record player created as a mail promotion has become a chart-topping success for Vancouver-based sound design company GGRP. The six inch record in a corrugated cardboard mailer sleeve folds into a make-shift, human-powered player which, when turned using a pencil, transmits vibrations through the needle and amplifies via cardboard corrugations.  Read More

The Guitarbud iPhone/iPod Touch guitar interface from PRS Cables

The Guitarbud from the cable arm of guitar manufacturers Paul Reed Smith Guitars allows you to plug a guitar directly into an iPhone or iPod Touch, slap on a pair of headphones and use the multitude of guitar apps available to record your magical moments of inventive creativity, tune up your six-stringed companion, jam along to your favorite artists or capture a killer riff and send it to your friends.  Read More

Removing Record Revirginizer from an LP

Many people have come to associate the pops and crackles heard on vinyl LP’s as an inevitable part of a record’s aging process - the more it’s played, the more scratches and pockmarks it develops. According to Australian inventor Cary Stoddard, however, most of those noises are actually due to minute particles of things like mould, dust, oils, skin, and smoke that have become embedded in the grooves. While conventional record brushes can’t remove them, he claims that his product can, potentially restoring your records to near-pristine condition.  Read More

Wireless Catcher converts WiFi signals into music

Ok well maybe it isn't quite music, but it certainly sounds interesting. Created by Yoshi Akai, the Wireless Catcher is a sort of analog synthesizer that detects nearby WiFi signals and outputs a sound that varies according to the strength and direction of that signal. It's almost reminiscent of a theremin in how it created tones without any visible vibration or physical contact.  Read More

The free Gibson Guitar App for iPhone and and iPod Touch users has many handy built in fea...

One of the best-known names in guitars, Gibson, has released a free iPhone download – the Gibson Guitar App. The App includes a standard metronome, a versatile tuner, chord charts and access to video lessons.  Read More

Sitting there waiting to help run through a song with you, providing a prompt or helping y...

Guitarists are bound to suffer the occasional spot of memory loss given the volumes of material they're expected to remember. Those new to the instrument often have problems keeping up with all those bothersome chord and key changes. Happily, there is shortly to be a product released which can help with both issues. The i-Tab can be mounted on the guitar's headstock or on a mic stand or cabled up to a TV and will run through the song while you play, acting as a aide memoire when you find yourself drawing a blank or as a learning tool for new or unfamiliar songs.  Read More

The Noteput makes learning music notation more fun

When it comes to teaching children music, getting the little dears to bash away on a piano or strum away on a guitar usually isn’t too hard. Teaching classical music notation, however, is a different prospect entirely. The Noteput table concept from designers Jonas Heuer and Jürgen Graef attempts to make learning music theory fun, and also more effective, by combining the senses of hearing, sight and touch.  Read More

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