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One of the sound-generating carbon nanotube sheets

Two years ago, Chinese scientists coated one side of a flag with a thin sheet of nanotubes, then played a song using the flapping sheet-coated flag as a speaker. It was a demonstration of flexible speaker technology, in which nanotubes can be made to generate sound waves via a thermoacoustic effect – every time an electrical pulse is sent through the microscopic layer of nanotubes, it causes the air around them to heat up, which in turn creates a sound wave. Now, an American scientist has taken that technology underwater, where he claims it could allow submariners to detect other submarines, and to remain hidden themselves.  Read More

Toyota's onboard audio alert system warns pedestrians of an oncoming vehicle

Having grown up with the roar of gasoline-powered engines, most people rely not only on their eyes, but also their ears when detecting the danger of an oncoming vehicle. The quiet whirring of an electric a hybrid vehicle operating at low speeds isn’t enough to alert pedestrians of the vehicle’s approach and poses particular risks to the blind. To address this problem Toyota has announced that it will begin selling an onboard audio device that provides alerts pedestrians to the presence of quiet vehicles, such as its gasoline-electric hybrid Prius.  Read More

The QUIETPRO   Intelligent Hearing System protects users from loud noises, while allowing ...

It’s a problem as old as the protective earplug itself - if you block out the loud, harmful noises, you also block out the quieter sounds, such as peoples’ voices... that is, unless you’ve got a QUIETPRO+ Intelligent Hearing System stuck in your ears. The setup consists of a pair of fairly regular-looking in-ear plugs, wired iPod-style to a small electronic control unit. When the system detects a dangerously-loud noise, it automatically sends noise-canceling sound waves to the headset. When things are quiet, it amplifies sounds like human voices, so the user is actually able to hear better than they would without it.  Read More

Roland has updated the sound engine for four of its digital home pianos and also given the...

Roland has given key models in its home digital piano family a more authentic, natural sound and feel. Four instruments now benefit from the company's updated SuperNATURAL Piano sound engine for improved velocity response, note decay and key-range behavior as well as more realistic ivory and ebony keys.  Read More

Touchscreen tapping and swiping comes to the vocal effects processor in the form of VoiceL...

Over two hundred vocal effects are now within easy reach thanks to VoiceLive Touch from TC-Helicon. Featuring a useful integrated microphone stand mount, the device offers performers touchscreen control over effects such as reverb, delay and pitch correction. There's also multi-layered looping, the facility to store custom settings and inputs for guitar, USB media player and MIDI.  Read More

Fairfield Circuitry's new Four Eyes Crossover Fuzz pedal doesn't just add distortion to an...

As well splitting a guitar input over three separate fuzz pots, the variable frequency control and resonance switch of Fairfield Circuitry’s new Four Eyes Crossover Fuzz pedal help make it one versatile fuzz box. It gives users more control over the tones produced, which range from the "extreme to relatively subtle; from super thin to ridiculously fat."  Read More

Laser harps make themselves heard in Tokyo

Made famous in concerts by Jean Michel Jarre, laser harps recently gained a boost in popularity after being featured in Make Magazine. That's where one Japanese creator, who goes by the mysterious name of 'nameless911', found inspiration prompting him to make his own for an exhibition at his school. Rick Martin was on the scene to capture this and other Tokyo Make Meeting highlights.  Read More

The LinnStrument - a wonderfully expressive digital music interface that may never see the...

The last time most of us heard of Roger Linn, it was when he put his name to the revolutionary Linn LM1 drum machine that became such an integral part of the sound of 1980s pop music - it was used on so many #1 hits that you'll recognize its signature sound straight away. Now, Linn has come up with a new and equally novel tool for musicians - a digital music interface that uses a pressure-sensitive multitouch pad and a layout that combines a piano keyboard with a guitar fretboard. The LinnStrument is one of the most expressive, evocative and enticing new musical instruments we've seen, and its potential is enormous - but it seems this innovative device might be prevented from coming to the market due to unfortunate IP squabbling in the multitouch sector.  Read More

Take control of your amp with the TightDrive from Amptweaker

The TightDrive from Amptweaker allows guitar and bass players to take control of that all important tone and overcome any unwanted delay that can slow down the sound as it moves through an amp's circuitry. As well as LED-lit gain, distortion, volume and Tight controls the pedal also features an effects loop where onboard effects can be moved in front of or behind the TightDrive's tone modifications.  Read More

The Landport Solar Sound speakers

The ever popular partnership of a sunny day mixed with one’s favorite tunes takes on a new meaning with Japanese company Landport’s Solar Sound speakers. Charging up via embedded solar panels the uniquely shaped portable units offer up to eight hours play from a single charge as well as optional USB connectivity for those cloudy days.  Read More

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