Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

MIDI

The iRig BlueBoard wireless MID pedalboard from IK Multimedia

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.  Read More

IK Multimedia's iRig PRO all-in-one universal audio/MIDI interface for iPhone, iPad, iPod ...

Mobile musicians wanting to feed signals from a guitar, microphone or MIDI keyboard into a music creation app running on an iPhone, iPad or Mac will likely have to carry around a few different interface units in their kit bag. The iRig PRO from IK Multimedia lightens the load by squeezing instrument, vocal and MIDI inputs into one portable device.  Read More

The new Misa Digital tri-bass

Early in 2010, Gizmag caught up with software engineer Michael Zarimis and learned a little about his new Misa Digital Guitar. Renamed the Kitara and launched at CES 2011, the instrument had a built-in synthesizer, a neck packed with low profile buttons, and a touchscreen in the body that combined to offer the player an impressive arsenal of futuristic sounds and effects. The Kitarist was also given precision control over numerous parameters, and could use the device as a MIDI controller. Despite being well received, Zarimis has now retired the digital guitar in favor of something he's calling the tri-bass. Despite its name, the new device has not been designed to lurk only in the lower frequencies. In fact, it doesn't make any sounds on its own, but requires cabled connection to MIDI synths or third party software running on a computer.  Read More

The Instrument 1 from Artiphon

After tempting us with some candid studio shots last December, followed by some attention-grabbing showcasing at CES 2013 and NAMM, Artiphon has revealed that its Instrument 1 will shortly be available to buy. The professional-grade instrument leverages the processing power of a docked iPhone or iPod touch running digital music creation and recording apps, such as GarageBand or Animoog. It allows existing guitarists or piano players to use familiar playing styles in a new way, while ushering in a whole new wave of digital music noodlers.  Read More

The JamStik is a compact digital guitar

Learning to play guitar is tough. It takes time, dedication and practice. Lots of practice. Fortunately, technology is taking the edge off a little and offering more hope of success to those who might otherwise take an early bath out of frustration. Online teaching services like iPerform3D provide virtual lessons whenever you need them, hardware additions such as the Maestro can help guide students to the correct finger positions, and the gTar marries the power of your iPhone with buttons and strings on a full-sized guitar. The JamStik from Zivix brings many of these aspects (and more) together in a compact portable practice/learning guitar made for the mobile generation.  Read More

Designed by Wesley Chau, Drop The Beat is an electronic drum kit fashioned into a vest, wi...

Over the years, we've seen a number of worthy attempts at turning our clothes into electronic instruments, from drum kits built into shirts and pants to a motion-activated MIDI controller concealed in a jacket. The latest addition to the wearable instrument ensemble is "Drop The Beat" from industrial design student Wesley Chau, a vest outfitted with pads for a drum kit that musicians can rearrange and reprogram to their liking.  Read More

Uni Sun, who performs as Omni Infinity, has launched a guitar-shaped digital controller/in...

After a fruitless search for a digital controller/instrument that would allow him to get closer to his audience, San Francisco digital music performer Omni Infinity decided to design and build his own. The guitar-shaped SPACEBASS:01 prototype can house a smartphone placed in the central "spaceport" for wireless touchscreen control of music and art software on a remote computer. There's another port above that can host a variety of third party MIDI modules, a button-packed 12-fret neck and a virtual whammy bar.  Read More

An Italian music producer created the Toa Mata Band out of tiny robotic LEGO figures progr...

We've seen some impressive creations that use LEGO pieces to make music in the past, from a drum machine sequencer to a Star Wars-themed barrel organ. More recently though, Italian music producer Giuseppe Acito decided to take the inevitable next step and build a fully working band using the little plastic bricks. The "Toa Mata Band" is made up of several tiny robotic LEGO figures programmed to play a variety of instruments.  Read More

MidiWing is a digital music system developed to give everyone the chance to create music, ...

Inspired by the many people he encountered at his mother's daycare center for severely disabled children when he was a youngster himself, multi-instrumentalist Dan Daily began working on a digital music system that anyone can play, regardless of ability or physical capability. Several prototypes later, along with some vital technical input from Lockhead Martin subsidiary Sandia National Laboratories, and MidiWing 1 is ready for release.  Read More

Working in the strings before I plug in the AT-200 for the first time – it feels good in t...

Gizmag has been following the development of the Antares Auto-Tune for Guitar technology with great interest since it was first teased back in May 2011. In January 2012, it was launched in two guitars at the Winter NAMM show, but only one of those has actually made the leap into production. Peavey released its AT-200 as last year came to a close, and I've spent the last few weeks in the company of this game-changing guitar while also chatting with some of the folks involved in its development.  Read More

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