Photokina 2014 highlights

Digital music

IK Multimedia has announced the successor to its iRig guitar interface for iPhone – the iR...

IK Multimedia has revealed a successor to its undeniably popular iRig digital guitar/bass/instrument interface for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac. New to the iRig HD is a built-in high quality analog-to-digital converter that's promised to eliminate noise and crosstalk, while preserving all the subtle tonal flavors of your instrument.  Read More

Customers who've bought CDs at any time since the company opened its Music Store in 1998 w...

Although sales of digital music tracks are rising year-on-year, it's clear that U.S. music lovers are still spending most of their hard-earned cash on physical media. According to Nielson SoundScan (which measures point-of-sale of recorded music products), of the 316 million albums purchased stateside in 2012, 193 million were on CD, compared to 118 million digital downloads. Amazon has launched a new service called AutoRip that will save many of those spinning disc buyers the trouble of converting the just-arrived CD to MP3 for playback on a modern portable music player. Anyone who buys an AutoRip CD from the online retail giant will also get a digital copy free-of-charge.  Read More

The UK's Pure has announced plans to release three new affordable multiroom wireless speak...

Being able to wander from room to room throughout the house and enjoy one continuous streamed audio experience can, unfortunately, be a very expensive luxury indeed. Happily, the UK's Pure is getting ready to launch a new range of wireless speakers that promise quality audio at a much more attractive price point than similar multiroom systems offered by the likes of Sonos. The first of the new Jongo series to hit the market will be the S340B portable speaker, followed by the A140B hi-fi adapter and the T640B stereo speaker.  Read More

Aaron Sherwood and Mike Pallison have created a performance membrane called Firewall, wher...

Invented in 1959, the extremely elastic synthetic fiber spandex can be found in cycling shorts and other figure-hugging sportswear. It's also made its way into home furnishings and served as a leave-nothing-to-the-imagination 70s rock god favorite. Now, it has well-and-truly entered the digital age with the creation of Firewall, an interactive performance wall that alters the speed, volume or intensity of music in response to a user pressing into its membrane, while also showing off some eye-popping, user-reactive visuals.  Read More

Amanda Ghassaei has developed a technique for converting digital audio files of virtually ...

Like many music lovers today, I have a huge digital library and even though I've now converted much of my vinyl collection to MP3, I still return to my racks often. I've not really considered the possibility of converting my MP3/OGG/FLAC files into 12-inch records ... until now. While exploring the limits of today's 3D-printing technology, digital music tinkerer Amanda Ghassaei has come up with a technique for converting digital audio files of virtually any format into 3D-printed, 33.3 RPM records that can be played on any ordinary turntable.  Read More

A retrospective of the best weird and wonderful instruments of 2012

Should you find yourself thinking about supergroups, you'll likely center on the famous names that make up the bands and not the instruments they use. Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, for example, rather than the double-necked Gibson EDS-1275, or Cream's Jack Bruce instead of his Gibson EB-3, or Brad Wilk of Audioslave/RATM and not the custom Gretsch drumkits he uses. Being as much fans of the tech behind the hits as the talented folks who create them, we've grouped together a super collection of favorite music-making gadgets from the past year.  Read More

Artiphon has released the first teaser images of its forthcoming INSTRUMENT 1 pro-level mu...

There is no doubt that smartphone- and tablet-based apps have had a huge impact on music creation. While there seems to be plenty of plastic devices that extend functionality and creativity beyond the touchscreen (from the toy-like Fingerist to the iTar), if you yearn for wood then you're options are a little less abundant. After spending two years in development, the first images of Artiphon's intriguing, hardwood-bodied INSTRUMENT 1 for iPhone have been released ahead of a product launch in early 2013.  Read More

BassNation Audio has released the BlackBox speaker system, which can be used with any devi...

Like the just-released Hanwell from Marshall, the BlackBox speaker system from BassNation Audio has the look of a guitar amp but delivers its quality audio amplification payload for a fraction of the price. Any device sporting either a 3.5-mm jack or RCA phono outputs can be used as an audio source (TVs, games consoles, smartphones and music players, for example), and multiple units can be stacked on top of each other for increased volume ... and some extra points in the cool department.  Read More

The Olive ONE brings all of your digital music together

San Francisco-based audio manufacturer Olive has launched some audiophile-level digital music hardware in the past, but the new ONE promises to be its most stylish, consumer-friendly offering yet. Olive calls the touchscreen-based music player "the world's first all-in-one HD music player."  Read More

panGenerator's Dodecaudion is a 12-faced music controller that can trigger audio or video ...

Moving around the stage while performing is a whole lot easier with instruments such as the Vortex or Kitara than with something like the mighty JUPITER-80. Innovations like Onyx Ashanti's Beatjazz hands or the Air Piano from Omer Yosha go even further, by making movement a vital part of the music creation process. Such is the case with the Dodecaudion from Polish art and design group panGenerator. When a performer places a hand, foot, head or other part of the body in front of any of its 12 IR-sensor-packing faces, wirelessly-linked processing hardware generates pre-programmed audio or visuals.  Read More

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