I readily admit I’m not a huge music buff. I like to listen to some tunes when driving in the car, but other than that I’m pretty much music-free at all other times. My problem is that I can’t concentrate with any sound going on around me.
Nowadays it’s quite possible to create and play music live using a computer. You can also use MIDI controllers to make it easier for you to interact with music software and audio files. However, pushing keys and fiddling with knobs isn’t intuitive or fun to watch.
This is not your typical orchestra. The instruments look especially unusual, and that’s because each of them is made using decommissioned weapons.
They were put together by artist Pedro Reyes in an effort to convert weapons into actual, playable instruments.
Keyboards and synthesizers are some of the most complex electronic musical instruments. Even the basic ones are loaded with a variety of tweaks that help you achieve a variety of sounds. But unlike a guitar where you can bend, pluck or hammer the strings to modify the sound on the fly, keyboards and synths require you to make your adjustments using separate sliders or knobs.
There are lots of drum kit apps for mobile devices, but they’re not that easy to use. Many of them look and are arranged like real drum kits instead of being optimized for touchscreen use. Also if you’re a drummer you’re more used to using drum sticks instead of your fingers.
There are plenty of apps which let you use your iPad like a piano, but to be honest, playing on a toucscreen is just not the same as using a tactile keyboard. And while Ion has been making a wired iPad piano keyboard for a while, it’s not exactly the type of thing you’ll throw in your backpack.
There are dozens of ways we can modify our voice, but designer Nic Wallenberg made a silly device that bypasses the vocal chords altogether to make unusual sounds come out of one’s mouth. Hence the name Human Speaker.
Earlier this year we saw AirHarp, a virtual harp that uses the Leap gesture controller, letting the user make music by playing an imaginary harp. The developer behind the AirHarp recently introduced a similar program but for a more popular instrument.
A while back, I wrote about the QuNeo, a reasonably priced, multitouch music controller, packed with triggers and modifiers. The folks at Keith McMillen Instruments were kind enough to set me up with a QuNeo so I could put it to the test.
Customized scarves are nothing new, but artists Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet still came up with something truly novel and different in this category.
They worked with Sebastian Mealla from the Music Technology Group in Barcelona to create something called Neuro Knitting.
Musicians and things that can be smoked go together like people and vices. Overly realistic and thus useless analogy FTW! But if those things do have a space in your life, check out the Decktray. Made by artist Terry Griffiths, these functional artworks are ashtrays that look like turntables.
Music boxes are one of the oldest forms of storing and playing back music. Just don’t expect anything fancy. Now the simple music box concept has been taken to the next level. We’re talking huge. If this Steamroller music box ever gets loose, it will flatten you to the tune of The Star Spangled Banner.
I’m probably dating myself, but I still have a massive collection of old vinyl records gathering dust in bins in my closet. I actually no longer have a turntable, so other than the few records I purchased as CDs or in digital formats, I haven’t listened to them in a dog’s age.
Do you love drumming your fingers on your car’s steering wheel while you drive? If Gregor “G-Man” Hanuschak has his way, soon you can actually make drum sounds when you tap on your steering wheel. G-Man invented Smack Attack, a steering wheel cover with 8 touch sensitive sensors.
I used to think that Bluetooth speakers were pretty superfluous, until someone gave me one. From then on, I’ve used one almost every day. The Urchin is a rugged new Bluetooth speaker and features interchangeable silicone skins, giving it a distinctive look.