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Music

Take your tunes in the water with the Eco Terra boombox

Liquipel nanocoating may well keep moisture from damaging the inner workings of mobile devices but if you're looking to share your tunes with friends at the beach or pool, you need something with a bit more output than the resident speakers. Grace Digital has just announced the release of a fully waterproof boombox for smartphones or digital music players that was first seen as a limited preview at CES 2011. The Eco Terra Boombox is fully submersible, waterproof and shock resistant, and can even keep cash and valuables safe and secure as it pumps out the music while bobbing on the surface of the water.Read More

The House of Marley releases handy new Bag of Rhythm personal speaker system

The House of Marley recently celebrated a certain Reggae legend's birthday with the release of the Bag of Rhythm portable stereo speaker system. Topped by a solid piece of FSC-certified Birch wood and coming in its own durable cotton canvas bag, the device can output 32 watts of sonic power through two 1-inch tweeters and two 4.5-inch woofers, and features an iPod/iPhone dock that can charge while playing.Read More

Grace Digital's flagship Mondo Wi-Fi Media Player released

San Diego's Grace Digital has finally announced the release of its flagship Mondo Wi-Fi Music Player, first seen at CES 2011. The first of three new devices to swell the company's family of audio products, Mondo features a large high contrast color TFT display with adjustable brightness, can access thousands of online radio stations over a Wi-Fi connection, and is also capable of streaming music stored on a PC, Mac or network attached storage device.Read More

Feature

A closer look at Don Gilmore's self-tuning piano system

A few years ago Gibson began introducing some clever new technology to a select few guitars which automatically tuned the instrument and kept it there (seen most recently in the gorgeous Firebird X). I think that it's fair to say that robot tuning has not quite been a phenomenal success, perhaps due to the fact that tuning six strings only takes a few seconds and doesn't require any specialist training. That's certainly not true of the piano, which has more than 200 strings divided between 88 keys and its tuning is, for the most part, gratefully handed over to the experienced ear of a professional technician. In the 1990s, Kansas City mechanical engineer and classically-trained pianist Don A Gilmore created a mechanical self-tuning device for the piano. From there he went on to develop a thermal system that can bring the whole instrument to tune within a minute.Read More

Go (almost) cable-free with Ion Audio's Guitarlink Air

We've previously featured a number of devices that give players a low latency interface to the world of device-based digital tone manipulation, but each one poses something of a risk for those who like to rock out. To reduce the chances of a connected tablet or laptop flying across the room as you twirl the guitar around your body Malmsteen-style, Ion Audio has developed a wireless system called Guitarlink Air that severs the physical link between device and instrument common to products like Apogee's JAM or the AcousticLink from Alesis.Read More

Universal Earphones detect left and right ear placement

The L and R labels on your headphones serve a purpose, and it isn't just about fit. The audio source - whether it's a receiver, PC or MP3 player - sends left- and right-channel sounds to the appropriate earbud. While it might seem minor, this can be a difference between a disjointed experience listening to music, movies and other video, to a fuller experience that connects sight (in the case of video) and sound - with sound coming from the direction it's intended. There's no chance of a mix-up with the Universal Earphones being developed by Igarashi Design Interfaces Project in Tokyo - the headphones decide for themselves which ear they are in, and send sound to the each channel accordingly.Read More

Zoom introduces the G5 supercharged stompbox

The Mustang Floor multi-effects unit for guitar we featured earlier this month is a good first effort from Fender, but Japanese digital tone-manipulation veteran Zoom is about to really show how it's done with the introduction of the G5. The company's most advanced guitar FX unit to date, the Zoom G5 Guitar Effects and Amp Simulator Pedal - to use its full name - features hundreds of stompbox and DSP effects, tube drive boost, looping and recording, and an onboard drum machine.Read More

iBamboo speaker to get recycled plastic "Urban" companions

Anatoliy Omelchenko of Triangle Tree reports that since launching the iBamboo speaker we featured in June 2011, he has received numerous requests from customers asking if there's anything like it that's made from plastic. Despite being made from a material considered stronger than some plastics and metal, users seem worried that the beautifully simple iPhone amplification device may get damaged if made part of their regular travel kit. Enter the new iBamboo Urban design, which is shaped just like its natural elder but is made from recycled plastic.Read More

Chord Dice give songwriters a chance

We uncovered lots of fantastic technology-driven innovations at NAMM recently, but as we saw with PocketStrings, not all good ideas are built around transistors. Chord Dice is another example. This clever songwriting and teaching tool dispenses with chord charts and books and hangs musical theory on the roll of the dice.Read More

Fender remembers early days of electrified sound with Pawn Shop Special amps

Whether it's an old-fashioned typewriter input for tablet computers, digital cameras made to look like 35mm film classics, or custom e-bikes with a touch of vintage styling - retro-now is most definitely in. If you want a guitar amplifier to fit right in with all your nostalgia-oozing new tech, Fender's Pawn Shop Special models are here to help. The diminutive Greta is styled liked an old tabletop radio, and the more powerful Excelsior is described as one of the distinctive tube combo amps in the company's history.Read More

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