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Synthesizer

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

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 DSN-12 provides a 3D visualization of classic Korg synth sounds

Korg has announced plans to release new software on Nintendo’s 3DS handheld. Known as the DSN-12, and inspired by the classic MS-10 analog synthesizer, the software features a step sequencer, a 3D oscilloscope, and allows users to share their sounds.  Read More

The limited edition Werkstatt-Ø1 Moogfest 2014 Kit from Moog

For the first time since 1997, Moog engineers held a two-day workshop at the annual Moogfest festival in North Carolina. An educational, patchable analog synthesizer named Werkstatt-Ø1 was created for the event, and 125 participants were given the assistance needed to build the device for themselves. In the weeks following Moogfest, the company received a number of requests to make the Werkstatt more widely available. Moog has responded by offering a "no soldering required" version of the kit for limited release.  Read More

The Rhythm Wolf analog drum machine and bass synth from Akai

Solo musicians looking to generate their own backing tracks or DJs wanting to lay down some beats can seek out software solutions, but those who really want to get their hands dirty may prefer to opt for rhythm machines like the recently-announced Electron Rytm or Roland's Aira TB-3. Such things can prove expensive choices though, which makes Akai's vintage-inspired Rhythm Wolf analog drum machine and bass synth with built-in sequencing quite a compelling piece of kit. And yes, it comes with a sonic howl feature.  Read More

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

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

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 Seaboard GRAND from ROLI

When we first brought you news of a new instrument prototype from London-based ROLI back in March, there was talk of a limited production run of just 88 instruments following later in the year. That time has now arrived, but ROLI has announced not one, but three new Seaboard GRAND instruments. The flagship 88-key GRAND is joined by a 61-key GRAND Stage, and a 37-key GRAND Studio.  Read More

The TouchKeys system brings multitouch sound control to piano-style keyboards

The TouchKeys multitouch musical keyboard comprises capacitive sensing strips stuck to the upper surface of each key, circuit boards housed within the host instrument that collect all the sensor data, and some custom software running on a connected computer. The system can be paired with any software or synthesizer capable of understanding MIDI or OSC, with the movement of the fingers controlling the kind of sounds produced. Dr Andrew McPherson now plans to make the fruits of this university research project available to other musicians by offering self-install TouchKeys kits to crowdfunders.  Read More

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