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Tag Archives: Music

This Acoustic Guitar Attachment Could Revolutionize The Way The Instrument Is Played

vo-96-acoustic-guitar

The VO-96 Acoustic Synthesizer is an invention of Paul Vo, better known for the infinite sustain technology inside the Moog Guitar. This particular attachment however is meant to be used in acoustic guitars, and although it’s being called a “synthesizer”, it’s really nothing like one.

You’ve probably heard an electric guitar make all sorts of crazy sounds thanks to either digital or analog processing. The Vo-96 works entirely differently[.] Rather than modify the waveform after the fact—as in the case of an electric guitar and an effects pedal—the Vo-96 alters the waveform in real-time. In other words, the Vo-96 changes the very physics of how a guitar makes sound to begin with. How do you do that? The device has what Vo calls a “two-way conversation” with the guitar strings. It listens to the strings and then applies a precisely calculated magnetic energy back to the strings to change how they sound.

That’s right, the synthesizer itself doesn’t synthesize anything; it makes the guitar strings themselves behave differently. Which means that the kinds of sounds it’s able to produce are unlike anything a guitar is capable of in the first place, and the possibilities for creative musicians out there are proverbially endless.

The product isn’t completely ready for primetime, however Vo is putting it up on Kickstarter with the hopes of getting it in the hands of early adopters, who could help refine what is possible with the product. Depending on when you sign up, it’ll cost you a hefty $1,250 or $1,450.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Coin Guitar Picks Give You Tone Without Tear

The material that makes up your guitar pick affects the tone and sound the axe makes. Any player worth his salt will tell you as much. And some people will swear by the sound that using coins, or quarters as picks will give them. But they’ll also warn you that your strings will quickly suffer the wear and tear of the un-smooth edge of the coin. The above Coin Guitar Picks aim to fix that by providing the same sought-after tone of an unadulterated coin, with the silky smooth edge of a traditional pick. Ranging in price from $10 to $30, they make the perfect gift for the musician in your circles.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

Compressorhead Does Motörhead: Now This is a Real Heavy Metal Band

Robot Band

Robots, robots everywhere. I bet only a handful of scientists and researchers foresaw what would happen down the line in the field of robotics. I think it’s safe to say that it has come a long way from its earlier days, since we’ve already got dancing robots that can do the Gangnam Style and even a couple that could replace bartenders in the future.

This time around, we stumbled upon a robotic duo that redefines what people can come to expect from ‘heavy metal bands’ in the future, because as you’ll soon see in the clip above the break, they don’t necessarily have to be human.

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Old Computer Equipment Belts Out Fun’s ‘We Are Young’

Now and then we come across orchestras made up of old computer equipment, hacked together and programmed to perform some song or other. Last time we covered one, it was just over a year ago and featured aging electronics playing The Animal’s ‘House Of The Rising Sun’. Well, the same guys who made that one are back at it, this time with Fun’s ‘We Are Young’. It’s good, or at least as good as a song performed by hard drives, oscilloscopes, and printers can be. Full breakdown of the players is as follows:

HP Scanjet 3C – Vocals
Yamaha CX-5 – Piano
BWD-504 Oscilloscope to display CX-5 audio output
Harddrives – Drums
The Harddirives are controlled with a PIC16F84A microcontroller

VIA [ Geekosystem ]

MechBass Is A Robot That Plays The Bass

Back in 2011, the British rock band Muse was honoured to have one of its tracks, Hysteria, named as MusicRadar’s Best Bassline Of All Time. It’s a fantastic bassline, to be sure, and Christopher Wolstenholme is a wonderful bass player. But it’s even more impressive when it’s being played by MechBass, a robotic contraption by New Zealand-based engineering student James McVay. The elaborate device is MIDI-controlled, and “consists of four string units on an aluminum frame with sliding pitch shifters that alter the pitch of the strings, which are then struck by rotating pick wheels.” It’s a little convoluted to explain, so feel free to just watch the video below, or hit the jump for a much more detailed account of what went into MechBass’ construction.

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Paperclip Headphones: Getting Clippy With It

Paperclip Headphone

Headphones and portable music players let you take your music with you anywhere you want to, and that’s all good. But one problem I frequently encounter is earphones getting tangled in my hair (I honestly don’t understand how that happens sometimes) or on my shirt buttons or on the strap of my sling bag.

Headphones with clips were eventually released to solve that problem, but none of them are as ingenious as these Paperclip Headphones. The paperclip portion is hollow, so you can slide it up and down into position. The best part is that you can use the paperclip to ‘clip’ the cords in place so they don’t get in your way. Whether you’re working, surfing the web, or out jogging, the Paperclip Headphones will keep the cords in order so you won’t have to deal with a tangled mess.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Technabob ]

The Shredder Cheese Grater Looks Like Fun

If you’re going to be playing the air guitar, why not be a little productive in the process? The Shredder Cheese Grater looks like a Flying-V but features a stainless steel grater. It’s quirky and fun. And it’ll likely make a mess of your entire kitchen if you use it the way we imagine someone would. We don’t care.

$10.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ HolyCool ]

Shimi Music Robot Kicks Music Bots Up A Notch

It’s one thing to have a robot shaped music dock that accepts your iPhone and plays some tunes. It’s quite another to have one that does the kind of stuff Shimi does. Developed by a team of roboticists from Georgia Tech, IDC, and the MIT Media Lab, Shimi (once connected to your smartphone) is able to bob its head to the beat, tap its “foot”, follow you around the room using face recognition, and even understand your speech. You interact with it by either asking for a specific song or even clapping a beat with your hands and waiting for Shimi to deliver the closest match from your collection. What’s more, the robot’s abilities are tied to its related smartphone application, meaning that with each update of the software, the bot can gain more features. And since Shimi is the product of the collaboration of some world class roboticists, you’re not looking at some cheap and generic Chinese toy, the complexity and fluidity of Shimi’s movements and abilities has to be seen to be appreciated. The clip below should help.

In the meantime, if you want your own, you can pledge $149 to the Kickstarter campaign and expect delivery… in February of 2013, a little late for the Holidays.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Create Your Own Arcade Music With Pianocade

Pianocade

As expected, 8-bit games come with 8-bit music. I don’t know about you, but I always feel a strong sense of nostalgia every time I pass by my local arcade. It’s not just seeing all the arcade games that I used to play when I was still a kid; it was just the atmosphere, the sounds of the place, that reminded me so much of the childhood that once was.

If you’re missing the good old chiptune sounds of your old arcade gaming days, then you might want to check out the Pianocade. It’s a chiptune synthesizer that looks like an over-sized, extended version of your regular arcade game console. You’ll also be pleased to hear that the Pianocade is more than just a novelty product, as it boasts of a 128-note range and a MIDI connection.

Hit the jump to check out a video of the Pianocade in action!

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