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Music

— Music

Ruach gives always-in-tune Live Series cajon its own kick

By - July 28, 2014 16 Pictures
The percussive sound of folks sitting atop a cajón de embalaje and banging out a rhythm has accompanied traditional music for years. Many, many years. Often called a drumkit in a box, many of today's examples come with built-in snare sounds, bass drum pedal attachments and all manner of jingle-jangle accessories, but the basic instrument remains true to its Peruvian ancestors. Teenage cajon maker Stephen Henderson has designed and built a new series of wooden boxes with a 5-way snare lock mechanism and integrated kick pedal. Read More
— Music

Powerful hybrid polysynth marries analog goodness with digital reliability

By - July 21, 2014 9 Pictures
Though still in demand, classic analog synthesizers from decades past can be a bit of a nightmare to keep in good working order. Many modern digital emulators do a decent enough job of recreating the epic sounds of artists like Jean Michelle Jarre, Kraftwerk and Soft Cell, but some believe that they just don't have the same iconic sound qualities. Such is the thinking of a team of designers and engineers led by Philip Taysom and Paul Maddox, which has created a next gen music synth named Modulus.002. The boutique polyphonic sound machine mixes classic analog sound creation techniques with some digital magic to give musicians access to the kind of sounds made famous by vintage instruments of yesteryear. Read More
— Music

Tuna Knobs turns tablets into mobile DJ stations

By - July 8, 2014 6 Pictures
With just about every aspect of music production going digital, one budding DJ is looking to march to the beat of his own drum. Samuel Verburg joined forces with Dutch design firm Tweetonig aiming to mix not just perfectly matched beats, but a bit of old with a little bit of new. The result is Tuna Knobs, physical controls that work on any capacitive touchscreen to bring tactile feedback to music making applications. Read More
— Music

Hammer Jammer brings a percussive twist to playing guitar

By - July 4, 2014 3 Pictures
With what's got to be one of the shortest campaign pitches on Kickstarter, Ken McCaw is putting second production run hopes for his Hammer Jammer percussive guitar attachment in the hands of players. Described as essentially turning the guitar into a new instrument, the fretting hand is still used to form chord shapes or single-note runs. But players tap, stroke or bash the big raised "buttons" at the picking end, causing soft or hard hammers to sound the strings. Read More
— Music

Spark shaker harvests kinetic energy for the developing world

By - July 4, 2014 5 Pictures
In 15 years as a percussionist with British electronica band Faithless, Sudha Kheterpal has spent countless nights energetically bashing away on cymbals, snares and high-hats. This has inspired her to wonder how the power of music could be extended beyond the flailing arms and shaking hips in the crowd. She has now teamed up with designers and engineers to develop Spark, a shaker that harnesses kinetic energy with the aim of bringing power to the developing world. Read More
— Music Review

Review: The PUC Wireless MIDI interface for iOS, from Zivix

By - July 3, 2014 7 Pictures
iOS has matured as a music-making platform in recent years, but those of us who wish to hook-up a real MIDI controller such as a keyboard or drum machine to an iPad or iPhone generally need to use a couple of cables and adapters per device. It's a minor issue, but one that feels distinctly un-Apple. The PUC iOS MIDI interface by Zivix promises to free iOS music-makers from this hassle by enabling a MIDI controller to connect to an iOS device wirelessly. Read More
— Music

Linnstrument and the next revolution in instrumental virtuosity

By - July 1, 2014 6 Pictures
Roger Linn's wildly successful LinnDrum drum machine was a big part of the computer-pop revolution that sucked the soul and humanity out of pop music in the 1980s. Now, he's part of a group of innovators desperately trying to get soul, expression and instrumental virtuosity back into pop music with a suite of next-generation instruments. The Linnstrument has been many years in the making, and it's now about to hit the market – a MIDI controller designed to give as much feel and expression as an acoustic instrument, but with the wild sonic possibilities available through today's synthesizers. Read More
— Music

Interactive Music Battle turns anyone into a musician

By - June 30, 2014 12 Pictures
Even though music-driven games like Rock Band and Just Dance could see you engage in epic contests with friends and family, you still spend much of the time looking at a screen rather than truly interacting with fellow players. The only display needed for the Interactive Music Battle system from Paris-based phonotonic is an iPad screen to choose from banks of sounds. After that, motion sensors convert player moves into music – one providing the rhythm and the other the melody. Read More

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