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Synthesizer

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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
Back in November 2012, we brought you news of a new pickup harmonizer technology dubbed LEV-96 in prototype testing over at Moog Music. Sat in the sound hole of an acoustic guitar, the device took precise control of string vibrations to offer an expansive, colorful and rich harmonic backdrop to what was being played. Paul Vo, the inventor of the newly-renamed Vo-96 Acoustic Synthesizer, has since made some improvements to electronics, user interface and mechanical design, and has now launched a crowdfunding campaign to get what he calls the "most fundamental and radical innovation in the music industry today" into the hands of musicians. Read More
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
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