Musicians are spoilt for choice when it comes to MIDI controllers, but the QuNeo 3D Multi-Touch Pad Controller from Keith McMillen offers a new take on a familiar form, boasting a mix of pressure-sensitive touch sliders, velocity-sensitive pads, and 251 programmable LED lights – all in a package that's the same size as an iPad. Gizmag puts it through its paces.
When I reviewed the OPC Musician's Computer
in March 2012, I also got the opportunity to sample a full-featured version of IK Multimedia's equally impressive AmpliTube 3 guitar effects and amp simulation suite. I did note, however, that one downside was having to activate virtual pedals and tweak settings via the mouse (or in the case of iOS versions, by touching the virtual controls on the screen). The latest addition to the company's iRig family puts parameter control at your feet, in a wireless pedalboard called the BlueBoard.
While scouring the floors of Eurogamer Expo the other week, Gizmag couldn't pass up an opportunity to get hands-on with a PlayStation 4 running a demo of Assassin's Creed 4
, which, despite being the fifth Assassin's Creed
sequel (don't ask), turned out to be one of the most intriguing games on show at the event. No, really.
After more than a week of buildup, Valve finally completed its trilogy of announcements by revealing the upcoming Steam Controller, a wireless gamepad that sports a touch screen in the center flanked by two large trackpads. Along with the upcoming SteamOS
and Steam Machines
announced earlier this week, gamers may soon be able to enjoy a full library of games, all played with PC-like controls from the comfort of their living room couch.
The computer interaction experts at Ideum have developed a number of impressive multi-touch smart tables in the past, such as the Platform 46
and the Pano Touch Table
, many of which were built around their proprietary GestureWorks software. Now the company is gearing up to release its GestureWorks Gameplay program, which is built around the same engine and allows any video game running on a Windows 8 device to be played with an on-screen touch controller.
With the meteoric rise in popularity of the touchscreen, something people tend to forget is the importance of physical buttons. Nimrod Back and his team are not among those who have forgotten, and they are looking to add an extra button to Android devices with an interesting new product called Pressy. It plugs into the headphone port, and adds all kinds of quick-access functions.
Pioneer, a company that makes all kinds of audio equipment, is bringing a new system to market aimed squarely at budding disc jockeys with iPhones and iPads. The new model, called the DDJ-WeGo2 is actually an updated version of the DDJ-WeGo
, and it comes with some pretty slick new features, most important of which is the way it interfaces with iOS devices for quicker access to music and smoother mixing.
When a new game console launches, there's naturally a lot of focus on the features of the system itself, like graphics, raw horsepower, and motion control. But you can't forget about the part that's going to sit in your hand for hours on end: the controller. Microsoft doesn't want us to forget that either, as we can see in this 7-minute video detailing the "40+ improvements" to the Xbox One's
For the last three years, a small research team at McGill University has been working with a choreographer, a composer, dancers and musicians on a project named Instrumented Bodies. Three groups of sensor-packed, internally-lit digital music controllers that attach to a dancer's costume have been developed, each capable of wirelessly triggering synthesized music as the performer moves around the stage. Sounds are produced by tapping or stroking transparent Ribs or Visors, or by twisting, turning or moving Spines. Though work on the project continues, the instruments have already been used in a performance piece called Les Gestes
which toured Canada and Europe during March and April.
The TouchKeys multitouch musical keyboard comprises capacitive sensing strips stuck to the upper surface of each key, circuit boards housed within the host instrument that collect all the sensor data, and some custom software running on a connected computer. The system can be paired with any software or synthesizer capable of understanding MIDI or OSC, with the movement of the fingers controlling the kind of sounds produced. Dr Andrew McPherson now plans to make the fruits of this university research project available to other musicians by offering self-install TouchKeys kits to crowdfunders.