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Portugal's Catarina Mota has created a 12-key synth with note-responsive LEDs from paper, ...

Last year, Portugal's Catarina Mota was part of a New York hackerspace team that created a toy piano made from Jell-O (and some electronics) for a competition in Brooklyn, NY. Being a lover of mixing electronics with low-tech materials like fabric and paper, she has now created a paper box that opens up to reveal a 12-key touch piano/synthesizer sporting some cool LED light action. The Piano Box is built around an Arduino Mega board running the CapSense and Tone libraries, and features twin speakers, capacitive keys made from paper-covered copper tape, and some custom code that's available for free download to allow anyone to make their own paper synth.  Read More

The doughnut-shaped Pulpop MP3 speaker from Balance Wu Design is made from recycled paper ...

Unfortunately, when it comes to sharing digital music with friends, there aren't too many eco-friendly portable speaker options available for the discerning green consumer. When such things do make an appearance, they tend to be acoustic docks made from materials like bamboo (think iBamboo) that simply boost the source audio in a similar way to using an old-fashioned horn speaker, or otherwise get their power from renewable resources (as with the SoliCharger or Rukus, for instance). The Pulpop MP3 speaker designed by Balance Wu and Chin Yang takes a slight diversion from such norms. It's made from recycled paper pulp and uses of vibration speaker technology to amplify the source audio through the surface on which it stands and the hollow space inside the doughnut.  Read More

MuseBox benefits from two pro-grade guitar/mic inputs at the front of the unit with phanto...

Peavey Electronics and Muse Research have partnered to develop the MuseBox, a rather nifty software-powered, digital sound module, vocal processor, guitar processor and effects processor all-in-one. The half-rack-sized unit features a mind-boggling number of presets, comes supplied with a software package valued at over US$900 and benefits from two pro-grade guitar/mic inputs at the front of the unit with phantom power, stereo, 24-bit, 48 kHz 0.25-inch rear-panel inputs and outputs, Gigabit Ethernet, full-size 5-pin DIN MIDI and four USB 2.0 ports.  Read More

The spectrogram display shows low frequency at the bottom and high at the top, time is lef...

If you've ever dabbled in the creation of crazy sound effects for home movies, other-worldly audio to complement the battle sequences in a new alien gaming app or strange new loops for digital dance music, you quickly start to appreciate just what a complicated process sound design can be. What with noise generation, pulse and velocity modulation, parallel and series filters, and various other filters, oscillators and envelopes to contend with, the process can hardly be described as fun. A new sample-based synthesizer suite from iZotope seeks to change all that. Both a powerful tool for design pros and an enjoyable and easy way for newbies to dive in and experiment, Iris allows users to manipulate, tweak and layer sounds using the kind of visual editing tools you might find in graphic design packages and discover otherwise hidden sonic treasures.  Read More

digiZoid has released version two of its Zo personal subwoofer, and Gizmag's Paul Ridden h...

Almost two years ago I reported being very impressed by the sound sculpturing capabilities of the Zo Personal Subwoofer. digiZoid has now released version 2, and brought some significant upgrades to the pocket-friendly headphone amp. With so many quality dedicated digital music players (the Cowon C2 or the Colorfly C4, for instance) and high end smartphones already offering pretty decent audio reproduction, is it worth laying out extra cash for sonic enhancement technology that sits between device and earphones? I've been giving a review unit a good testing over the last week or so in an attempt to answer that very question.  Read More

Electrical engineering student David Levi is about to embark on the first production run o...

It's taken almost three years and has seen a number of prototype revisions, but David Levi's Magnetic Cello is finally getting ready for its first production run. Looking like a minimalist version of the acoustic instrument on which it is based, the instrument features a single resistive ribbon on the neck to alter the pitch of a note and a huge, visible coil at the bridge end. Instead of a horsehair bow, the player uses a magnetic rod to induce a voltage in the coil, which is then transformed into a frequency and fed through to the unit's voltage-controlled amplifier. The bow has a small switch at the thumb position which allows the player to select virtual strings.  Read More

Digital music artist and inventor Onyx Ashanti has created a gestural interface controller...

A few days ago, my colleague Eric Mack brought together eight of the coolest items produced by 3D printing - I'd now like to add a ninth. Digital music artist and inventor Onyx Ashanti has spent the last couple of years creating a wearable system to help him break away from the confines of the front of a computer screen and create improvised music using wireless gestural interface controllers. His original prototype Beatjazz controller was made from cardboard and featured pressure sensors, accelerometers and an iPhone. The vast majority of the latest version has been 3D printed, and it looks and sounds incredible.  Read More

Grace Digital has just released a fully waterproof boombox for smartphones and media playe...

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 iMonica app digitally recreates a diatonic harmonica on an iPhone screen, which can be...

There's no denying the popularity of music creation apps for the iPhone. Just about every instrument you want to play is available as a digital simulation - from guitars to pianos to drums, and even DJ decks - but what about wind instruments? The iMonica app for iPhone from DigitarWorld most definitely fits into this category and turns your iPhone into a digital diatonic harmonica. So, do you blow and draw on your smartphone? Kind of ...  Read More

The new G-5 Strat features Roland's COSM modeling technology, offering players instant alt...

Roland and Fender have joined forces to create a guitar called the G-5, that fuses a traditional Stratocaster body shape with cutting edge digital music technology. Set to hit the shelves a few months before either of the Auto-Tune guitars from Peavey and Parker, the VG Strat G-5 offers similar alternate tuning at the turn of a knob, a host of onboard digital guitar emulations and the chance to dial in different pickup and signature guitar sounds, too.  Read More

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