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Instrument

The K-Board USB MIDI keyboard can survive being run over by a tour van and a drop from a 2...

Virtual pianos and synths in mobile device apps are great fun but nothing really gets your creative juices flowing like a real keyboard. If you want to marry the virtual and real worlds and find devices like Ion Audio's Piano Apprentice just a little too traditional, the similarly-priced K-Board from Keith McMillen Instruments might just tick your boxes. The portable 13-inch USB MIDI keyboard is reported compatible with all USB tablets and laptops, as well as leading music creation software like GarageBand, Ableton Live, NI Komplete and Animoog, and has been built to survive life on the road.  Read More

The du-touch from Dualo

A few years back, mathematician and musician Jules Hotrique combined two passions to develop a new arrangement of musical notes called the dualo principle. After creating a number of keyboard instrument prototypes based on this patented geometric model, he joined forces with his computer engineer and musician friend Bruno Verbrugghe to form the Dualo Company in 2011. Last year, the startup sold 40 pre-production twin keyboard prototypes, and now the first market-ready du-touch controller (for computer-based or MIDI instruments), synthesizer, multitrack looper/sequencer and follow me song learning devices have started shipping.  Read More

A picture of the band, from Lund University's Malmö Academy of Music, in sound-check

Though musicians could probably point to numerous exquisite examples of custom instruments with relative ease, we'd wager that few would compare to those produced by Olaf Diegel. Now the Lund University professor has taken his creations to the stage for what he claims is the world's first gig using 3D-printed instruments.  Read More

Cliphit allows budding drummers to practice on whatever objects are close to hand

Many of us find ourselves tapping our fingers on desks or tabletops at any and every opportunity. It doesn't matter whether or not we've ever actually held a drumstick, if we have a rhythm in our head and a hand free we'll tap out a beat on whatever surface is within reach. We have already seen attempts to turn this from an annoying habit into a way of making something approaching real music, such as the Wavedrum and the TableDrum, but Korg has now upped the ante with Cliphit.  Read More

Olaf Diegel's prototype 3D-printed alto sax

While attending Euromold 2013 in Frankfurt, Germany, last December with a band playing 3D-printed instruments, Olaf Diegel was set a challenge by the head of 3D Systems, Avi Reichental. The Professor of product development at Lund University, Sweden was given the task of creating a 3D-printed working saxophone. The first ODD prototype was revealed last week in a short demonstration video, which you can see after the jump.  Read More

Stephen Henderson playing a new Ruach Music Live Series cajon

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

The Modulus.002 hybrid polysynth

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

Spark is a shaker that produces kinetic energy to power lights and charge mobiles in rural...

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

Roger Linn's Linnstrument - part of a wave of new instrument controllers designed to bring...

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

The Interactive Music Battle from phonotonic

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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