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Music

— Music

Mogees turns any rigid surface into a musical instrument

Mogees is great news for all the air guitarists out there. This tiny device, built by Bruno Zamborlin for his Arts and Computational Technologies PhD project, offers a whole new way of expressing yourself musically, even if you don’t have the slightest idea how to play an instrument. Mogees, or a “Mosaicing Gestural Surface," is based on a simple contact microphone that turns any hard surface into a musical interface for triggering audio samples. What sets Mogees apart from other interfaces of this kind is that different types of touch stimuli generate different output. Simple gestures like scratching, rubbing or tapping can produce a surprising array of sounds worthy of a serious experimental music set up. Read More
— Music

Soundmatters foxLO claims to be world's "first palm-sized hi-fi subwoofer"

Soundmatters has announced a new speaker designed to bring some low frequency oomph to its portable foxLv2 Bluetooth and non-Bluetooth brethren. The new foxLO, which Soundmatters calls “the world’s first palm-sized hi-fi subwoofer,” plugs directly into foxLv2 speaker’s subwoofer output but will also work with other branded portable speakers, such as the Jawbone Jambox, thanks to the inclusion of a 3.5 mm full pass-through output. Read More
— Music

2011: A year of musical innovation

The closing of the year is a great time to reflect on recent events. Regular readers will already know that musical instrument development is a bit of a passion of mine, and 2011 has been a great year for innovation. Join me, if you will, for a quick retrospective look at some of the tech we've been treated to during the last 12 months, ending with a recent take on an old classic - the Crap-o-Caster. Read More
— Music

Konkreet Labs hacks MeeBlip into "Synth in a Book"

It's probably best to make clear from the outset that Konkreet Labs' Synth in a Book is, for now, one of a kind. But as a demonstration of just what can be done with a MeeBlip hackable synthesizer kit, it may just be the perfect specimen. Though this particular hack may not be for the faint of heart, MeeBlip's range of synths include all-in-one kits suitable, MeeBlip says, for everyone. Read More
— Music

The scientific formula for predicting a hit song

You hear a new song. Will it be a hit or a flop? Researchers from Bristol University in the U.K. say they can now tell you - well, sort of. After studying the Top 40 singles charts over the last 50 years and examining the audio characteristics for hits and flops, the team has come up with a formula as to what makes for a successful song and used it to devise software that "predicts" hits. The next step is a web app to allow budding musicians to score their own songs. Read More
— Music

Music creation at the touch of a button with Tabstrummer

Electronics enthusiast Miroslaw Sowa and programmer Vsevolod Zagainov - both from Montreal, Canada - are currently busy putting the final touches on a new button-based, guitar-shaped sound machine called the Tabstrummer. In the same way that tablature notation has allowed players like me (who are unable to read score) to learn new songs, this new MIDI instrument allows folks who'd like to play a guitar, but for whatever reason can't, the opportunity to easily create some chord-strumming music. The instrument allows chord shapes to be assigned to clicky buttons on the short neck, which can then be recalled and played as a song by simultaneously strumming or picking the virtual strings. Read More
— Music

Card Radio: recyclable, aptly named

Card Radio was conceived as an environmentally friendly piece of consumer electronics, presumably with the mass market in mind. Its entire housing is made from recyclable, though not recycled, cardboard. Despite its low cost and eco-credentials, Card Radio aims not to sacrifice elegance, harkening back to the 1960s aesthetic that designer Chris McNicholl claims as its influence. Read More
— Music

Highly resonant wood could be commercially produced for Stradivarius-quality "fungus violins"

Earlier this week, we brought you the story of a radiologist and two violin-makers, who used computed tomography (CT) imaging to create a copy of a 1704 Stradivarius violin. The instrument that they produced was almost an exact replica of the original, as far as the shape, thickness and volume of its wooden parts was concerned. As one of our readers pointed out, however, much of the tonal quality of Stradivari's instruments was likely due to the microstructure and resonance characteristics of the wood of which they were made, caused by the growing conditions at the time. Well, it turns out that someone is working on reproducing that aspect of the violins, too. Read More
— Music

10,000 W iNuke Boom iPod Dock - it's huge

If one had to describe Behringer's 10,000 W iNuke Boom dock for iPhones and iPods, it would not be big. That word does not begin to do it justice. The 700 pound dock is 8 feet wide, 4 feet tall and about as deep, and looks like the results of a crossbreeding experiment between a common or garden iPod dock and a monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Read More
— Music Feature

Ministar travel guitars - it's all in the neck

Guitarists who travel a lot and want to take an instrument along for the ride - but don't want to risk damaging that prized vintage Strat - might find themselves turning in the direction of a scaled down stand-in. Such solutions come in many different shapes and sizes - from full size instruments with parts that collapse (like Daniel Mapp's Jetson travel guitar concept) to models with a shortened neck and small bodies (such as Martin's Backpacker) to strange-looking beasts with tuners positioned in a hollowed out section of the body (like the Traveler's Speedster). Bob Wiley's Ministar guitars, though, are essentially a bunch of necks with pickups. While there is a model with a shortened 19-inch scale neck, most of the odd-looking electric, acoustic and bass guitars sport full length necks and, says Wiley, play and sound just like the big brand models, but at a fraction of the price - and a fraction of the size. Read More
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