You know what your band needs? Sure, probably a practice space, a bass player, and a cool name, but who really needs those things if you don’t already have a BabyBot baby doll light theremin or electronic synthesizer?
Electronic musicians are always looking for new ways to expand their arsenal of sounds. There are lots of different off-the-shelf synthesizers out there, but some of the coolest instruments are the homebrew designs out there. I recently stumbled onto this cool little touch-based synth, and it offers up some really nifty analog sounds.
If you want to play your synthesizer on the go and play no matter where you are, there’s no need to lug around that heavy keyboard. Get one like this. An Italian company called Audioweld created this version that is small enough to be worn on your wrist.
Furbys may be fun for kids of a certain age, but to the rest of us they are slightly terrifying. Now they’ve become even more nightmarish in the hands of Sam Battle, the hacker and musician behind the YouTube channel Look Mum No Computer.
Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger will always be associated with Rocky III. After all, it was the theme song for 1982 boxing flick, in which Sly throws down with Mr. T. Given its era, it only make sense that the track would sound pretty darned good played on old computer equipment.
A few years back, a company called ROLI introduced the Seaboard, an amazing keyboard which allows musicians to add new forms of expression to their playing by introducing pressure sensitivity along the length and ends of its keys.
The Dato Duo combines a sequencer with a synthesizer. That’s no big deal, but what is different is that it is designed to be played by two people, making it perfect for musical collaborations. That’s a pretty cool feature, because two minds are often better than one when it comes to music.
A few days ago we talked about Mogees, a tiny digital musical instrument that triggers sound by vibration. The Motus is another unorthodox yet intuitive portable instrument. It lets you create or trigger sounds by motion.
There are different gadgets that can turn bodies, steering wheels or food into musical instruments. Now you can turn pretty much any rigid solid object into an instrument using just one device: Mogees.
Mogees consists of a very sensitive contact microphone and an iOS app.
Synthesized music can now sound less synthesized with the latest voice bank for Yamaha’s Vocaloid software. Announced earlier this year, the Cyber Diva is the first library to have an American English female voice.
Here’s a sample of a song created with the Cyber Diva and the new Vocaloid 4 Editor:
While she still doesn’t sound like a real person, Cyber Diva is still a massive upgrade to earlier Vocaloids like Lola…
Yamaha also said that the voice bank comes with a feature called Growl Expression that gives the samples a “harsher, gruff tone.”
Boutique PC maker Love Hultén is known for building computers inspired by 20th century furniture. But his latest masterpieces are based on toys, LEGO to be specific. Love’s The Brix System are wonderful 6:1 scale functioning replicas of LEGO gadgets from the ’70s and ’80s Space sets.
Becoming a one man band is about to become way easier thanks to the DigiTech Trio, a guitar pedal that can automatically add drum and bass parts that match your guitar playing. It won’t fix your lyrics though.
Most electronic musical instruments use knobs, buttons, pads or piano keys for input. For their senior design project at the University of Pennsylvania, Digital Media Design students Dave Sharples and David Glanzman set out to make a new instrument that was physical and expressive.
Remember when you needed a phone line and a dial-up modem to get online? Heck, I was using modems to connect to services like Compuserve and Prodigy before anyone even knew what the Internet was. One of the most annoying things about dial-up modems was that stupid squealing sound they made when you were trying to connect.
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.
Back in the 1980s, I always wanted a set of those Simmons electronic drums – not because I had any idea how to play percussion, but because they just looked cool and geeky. Of course, now I look back and think they were pretty silly looking.