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Synthesizer

Music

Wooden toy piano given polyphonic synth overhaul

If, like me, you grew up watching Charlie Brown cartoons on TV, then you may have also got your very first taste of classical music from the virtuoso hands of a certain blond-haired, Beethoven-obsessed kid hunched awkwardly over a toy piano. Though said toy piano has often been played far beyond its limited range, imagine the kind of sonic wonders Schroeder could perform if he sat down in front of Liam Lacey's Vintage Toy Synthesizer.Read More

Music

Digital accordion to get a compact cousin

After building a computer/MIDI controller, synthesizer, sequencer and follow-me learning system around a novel musical note arrangement, French startup Dualo started shipping the intriguing du-touch in the latter half of 2014. Next month the company is set to hit crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to bring a smaller version to life – the du-touch S.Read More

Music

ARQ is like a multitool for producers and performers

Zoom has revealed a futuristic electronic tambourine at this year's Winter NAMM that leaves some drum pads, MIDI controllers and other digital music makers looking a little flat. The ARQ Aero RhythmTrak is described as a drum machine, sequencer, synthesizer, looper, and MIDI controller, and features a Bluetooth-enabled ring with a built-in accelerometer for music creation and playback control from movement.Read More

Music

Last minute stocking stuffers for the musician in your life

String-pickers, digital tunesmiths and bin bashers are not the easiest of folks to buy gifts for. Some are quite conservative and prefer tried and tested old tech while others are gearheads who like to gather in the latest, the novel and the bizarre just in case the need arises. And then there's the (often) eye-watering cost of instruments and accessories to consider. The holidays are almost upon us and a state of muso-related panic may now be setting in. Here are a few ideas that should hit the right note.Read More

Music

Play It Loud: Kurv brings some realism to the air guitar experience

Just a few short months after the first ever Russian was crowned Air Guitar World Champion, a new wireless system has launched on Kickstarter that's aimed at giving virtual musicians the chance to play music of their own creation. The patent-pending Kurv Guitar system is made up of a large pick-shaped air strummer and a handheld virtual fingerboard, and combines touch, motion and gestures to generate tunes based on player actions.Read More

Music

Reactable puts modular music synthesis on the table

Spain's Reactable Systems first blipped on our sonar in 2006 with the launch of the "seeing is believing" tabletop modular synthesizer. Where large format modular synths like the Moog System 55 can be rather intimidating behemoths, the Reactable digital music maker made use of a projector-based touch surface onto which the player placed blocks to generate sounds and alter parameters. Development of the system has continued, and last week the company unveiled its latest intuitive, modular and portable iteration – the Live! S6 table.Read More

Music

Arpeggio designed to make melody creation easy

MIDI music scientists will doubtless be very familiar with sequencers, hardware or software used for recording, editing and playback of a series – or sequence – of notes, chords or rhythms. Many will also have come across an arpeggiator in their tune creation travels, which, in simple terms, is a feature of many synthesizers that takes the notes being played and turns them into a looped pattern. The Arpeggio brings sequencer, arpeggiator and synth together in one portable package designed for music melody composition, storage and performing on the fly.Read More

Music

Ra produces eerie music from spinning pyrite sun

When Dmitry Morozov was offered a pyrite disc in the US, it was given free of charge on condition that the Russian media artist, circuit bender and musician create something sonic with it. He came up with a combination of optical media reader and digital music instrument called Ra, which uses a laser to scan the uneven surface of the pyrite sun and produce synthesized sounds.Read More

Music

Looking for an earthy tone? ERD packs real dirt into distortion module

For some players, faulty cables, abused amplifiers and neglected instruments can be a source of surprisingly gratifying sonic output rather than a performance or recording nightmare. But if it's true grit you're after, only actual topsoil will do. Such is the thinking behind the ERD modular Eurorack series distortion unit from Martin Howse, which has a box a real dirt at its core. Buyers of the strictly limited module are even being offered discounts for providing the creator with earth from locations linked to the macabre.Read More

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