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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

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

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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

Computed tomography used to recreate a Stradivarius violin

Almost three centuries after Antonio Stradivari's death he remains the greatest luthier of all times, with roughly 650 out of 1000 violins of his making still testifying to his exquisite craftsmanship. As many of the surviving instruments adorn museums and private collections, playing a Stradivarius violin is a privilege reserved for few and envied by many. But this may soon change thanks to a radiologist and two violin makers who decided to harness computed tomography (CT) imaging and special manufacturing techniques to create a reproduction of a 1704 Stradivarius violin.Read More

Spotify announces app integration

In an event somewhat akin to taking to a stage to show an audience an empty bag (cat long since departed), Daniel Ek confirmed at a press event this afternoon what, thanks to the Wall Street Journal, everyone watching already knew: Spotify is becoming a platform for third-party applications. Spotify's founder demonstrated several of the first wave of apps, including contributions from Rolling Stone, Last.fm, Tunewiki and Songkick.Read More

238 labels down: Is Spotify fair to artists?

It's been a week of intense speculation as to the role and future of Spotify within the music industry. On Wednesday of last week the UK-based distributor STHoldings put out a strongly-worded statement (apparently since withdrawn) announcing its decision to pull the catalogues of 238 record labels from the service, as well as from Napster, Rdio and Simfy. The statement reignited the debate as to the role of Spotify and similar subscription-based services within the music industry, and it's a debate that hinges on what Spotify is, or, more crucially, what it replaces. Read More

Colorfly portable music player takes Hi-Fi on the road

The modern smartphone has quickly become an essential part of modern living. It's a powerful portable computer, a high resolution camera, and a mobile communications center. However, if you're of the school who thinks that just because such a device can also play music, there's no need to spend good money on a separate audio player - the Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro may well be the dedicated music player to change your mind. Hidden within a gorgeous walnut outer shell with hand-carved motif and controlled by deliciously old-school physical buttons and sliding volume pot, the black circuit board heart of this music player is home to some top notch tech with one purpose - to deliver audiophile-pleasing, Hi-Fi-quality audio.Read More

SLUG device allows for copying of any streamed audio

Perhaps you’ve experienced this frustration before. There’s a piece of audio on a website that you want to use in a project of your own, and it’s playing right there on your computer, yet you have no way of copying it – short of holding a microphone up to your speakers, that is. Well, Kenneth Gibbs and Seena Zandipour want to change that. They’ve invented a little gizmo called the SLUG, that can reportedly obtain lossless recordings of any streamed audio being played back by a computer or other electronic device. The music labels will no doubt be about as happy to see the emergence of this thing as they were when blank audio cassettes first hit the stores.Read More

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Review: The Kitara digital guitar synthesizer

Way back in January 2010, a short demo video of a new digital instrument prototype was posted on YouTube by its creator Michael Zarimis, and went viral. From the millions of views, a list of prospective buyers was drawn up and the Misa Digital Guitar soon began its journey towards commercial availability. By the time the next CES show arrived, the instrument had ditched its gleaming white ABS plastic casing and gone over to the dark side, received a few design modifications, and been officially named Kitara for its public debut. The Kitara has now been made available for purchase, and I've spent the last few weeks getting to grips with this innovative new instrument - being rewarded for inventive experimentation and punished for bad playing technique.Read More

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