Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Instrument

Pitch is controlled by raising and lowering the hands, while the volume can be cranked up ...

Some take their air guitar playing more seriously than others, but even for those exerting the most energy, those perfectly struck imaginary chords are heard by nobody's ears except their own. Aura, an electronic instrument that translates hand gestures into music, could be just what these highly animated faux musicians need to get a little more reward for their efforts.  Read More

Percussionist Enrico Bertelli puts the digital music cube through its paces

The aim of the Hackable Instruments project is to create instruments that can be easily tweaked by the player to find interesting new directions for producing flavorsome tones, without any specialist knowledge of electronics or engineering, while also aiding in the development of distinctive playing styles. Project members Andrew McPherson and Victor Zappi have designed and built a deliberately simple instrument that produces sounds when a player's fingers touch, slide or tap a capacitive sensing strip on one of the wooden cube's faces.  Read More

The Artiphon Instrument 1 in guitar mode

Artiphon has launched a limited beta testing program for its intriguing Instrument 1 for iPhone and iPod touch, first announced in late 2012. Approved testers will be sent out a pre-production model free of charge.  Read More

The Akai EWI 5000 wireless electronic wind instrument

Akai has unveiled a new addition to its series of electronic wind instruments, dubbed the EWI 5000. Billed as the world's the most expressive and versatile wind instrument, the new "ee-wee" comes with an orchestra of built-in sounds, has its own rechargeable battery, and gives the player the wireless freedom to groove in every corner of the stage.  Read More

Apogee has released the JAM 96k professional guitar interface and the MiC 96k professional...

Apogee Electronics has released high audio quality updates to its JAM guitar interface and MiC microphone, which were introduced in 2011, the former as part of Apple's keynote presentation for the iPad 2 and GarageBand suite. The company says that the new JAM 96k has been designed to mimic the kind of magic you get when you plug your guitar into a tube amp, and promises studio-quality instrument sound whether you're practicing, recording, or jamming. The MiC 96k retains the same look and feel of the original, but offers much higher resolution recording opportunities.  Read More

Gizmag looks back at instrument innovations highlights of 2013

It's been another bumper year for new musical instruments. Join us as we look back on some of 2013's high points, including inventions that dare you to play out of tune, new takes on familiar designs, and simply stunning 3D-printed creations.  Read More

With DrumPants, you can give your band some rhythm without lugging around a full drum kit

These days, turning yourself into a one-man band is as easy as slipping on a piece of clothing with a built-in sound board, like Machina's MIDI Controller jacket or the Electronic Drum Machine shirt. DrumPants on the other hand uses sensor strips and electronics that attach to the inside of clothing, so you can walk down the street in your own clothes and play a beat just by rhythmically tapping your own body.  Read More

The Clara ukulele from Blackbird Guitars

The stork flew over San Francisco today and delivered a new baby to the workshop of Blackbird Guitars. Unlike its stablemates, such as the gorgeous Rider, the Clara concert-level ukulele is not made from carbon fiber. It's made from a newly-developed sustainable material called Ekoa, which is said to give the instrument the strength and durability of the company's usual material of choice and the tone of vintage wood.  Read More

Ototo turns everyday objects into musical instruments

London-based creative design and invention studio Dentaku has developed a small device that allows users to create their own musical instruments out of everyday items. The Ototo is a simple printed circuit board (PCB) synthesizer that combines sensors, inputs and touchpads as a means of producing sounds. The device can be used as a keyboard straight out of the box or can be attached to conductive materials using crocodile clips to create entirely new instruments.  Read More

The custom graphics on the Indus guitar from France's Kompozit Guitars

Many veteran guitarists believe that great tone can only come from instruments made using exotic hardwoods. This hasn't stopped makers from trying other materials, though, including Ampeg's iconic Dan Armstrong-designed Plexiglas guitar, the all-metal Gittler Guitar, and the 3D-printed guitar from AweSome Musical Instruments. For its new line of hand-made, Tele-shaped axes, France's Kompozit Guitars has chosen to give polyester-based fiberglass a whirl.  Read More

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