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Archive for Musical Instruments

OpenChord allows real guitars to play Guitar Hero

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on August 7th, 2009

GuitarOpenChord has designed a system that allows an actual real guitar to sync up with your Nintendo Wii to play Guitar Hero. Just plug the Wiimote into the guitar and use real strings and frets instead of plastic buttons. There is one hitch and it’s a big one.

Guitar Hero wasn’t designed for use with six strings and 22 to 24 frets. Which kinda blows the whole thing out of the water. Too bad. Playing GH with a real guitar sounds like a nightmare. Who would have thought? Check out a video below.

The Prism: A Laser Synth-Guitar

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on July 15th, 2009

The Prism: A Laser Synth-GuitarWhat do you get when you combine a guitar, a synthesizer and lasers? No, not a Pink Floyd concert. The Prism, which is a laser synth-guitar. The Prism is pretty unique in the world of of laser guitars and includes aspects of a Theremin and a laser harp for some really cool sounds.

The Prism features a voltage controlled oscillator and uses four laser beams as strings. It can apparently be played without the need for any programming. It’s designed to be attached to a regular guitar amp, with no computer needed. Check out a demo below.

Guitar Hero 5 axe

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on July 14th, 2009

Guitar Hero 5 axeLooks like Guitar Hero 5 has a new axe for you to grind. This baby features a new white pick guard with a red paintjob for the body. Internal signaling is now digital to minimize latency and the strum bar has been tweaked for the sake of reliability.

You’ll also notice colored dots on the neck for ease of use and slight reliefs on the top, middle, and bottom fret buttons. You can pick one up with your copy of Guitar Hero this September.

Korg microKORG XL

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on July 5th, 2009

Korg microKORG XLThe microKORG is said to be the world’s best selling synthesizer. The new microKORG XL has the same great features and uses a more capable effects processor, has improved key response and a gooseneck microphone for instant vocoding.

You can use a USB cable to connect the microKORG XL to your computer. The three performance edit knobs offer fast, effective editing in performance. and you can use the free sound editing software to organize your sounds and edit all of the parameters from your computer.

Speak n’ Spell Rock Band guitar

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on April 15th, 2009

Speak n' Spell Rock Band guitarThis guitar caught my eye right away. As far as guitar mods go, it’s pretty darn crazy. Crazier then the Atari-Hero. What kind of mind combines a Speak n’ Spell with a Rock Band guitar? This guy in the video below, that’s who.

It’s called the Speak n’ Spellbinder. The sounds from the Speak ‘n Spell are all mapped to the frets, strum button and even the whammy bar. In the video below, modder Aj Gannon never really loses his cool and starts rocking hardcore, much to our disappointment. If you can even rock out to such noise.

AK Rock Box keeps your Rock Band instruments out of the way

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on April 5th, 2009

AK Rock Box keeps your Rock Band instruments out of the wayThink of the AK box as an Ottoman for serious gamers. Gamers who love Rock Band, whose instruments need some tidying up. So, if you are sick of tripping over your plastic instruments, this is a great solution. The AK Rock Box Gaming and Storage Ottoman with Drum Lift.

It’s a leather ottoman that opens up and has storage for two guitars, a foot pedal, microphone, and drums. It also features a drum lift to raise the drums from storage with one-hand. Since you take the game so seriously, you should take your fake instruments seriously too.

Schimmel “Ferrari” piano

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on April 5th, 2009

Schimmel "Ferrari" pianoUp until recently, Pianos hadn’t really changed very much. Ever. But lately Schimmel has taken the piano and evolved it in great quantum leaps. Like the Pegasus grand piano for instance. This particular incarnation pictured above makes it look like the piano will take off and take you for a wild ride.

It’s dubbed the Schimmel Pegasus Guoqin. It sports the Ferrari Rosso Red finish and styling, only missing the horse logo. I guess it isn’t officially endorsed. The price is $410,000. Which means, if you can afford this, you likely already own a Ferrari.

Arduinocaster MIDI keytar

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on March 25th, 2009

Future guitarInstrument-mods are nothing new around here. We got your Steampunk, your equipment that measures how hard you rock, even a guitar that plays Atari games. All pretty cool.

But the Arduinocaster has a unique look that separates it from the pack. It’s an Arduino-based MIDI instrument that uses switches and LEDs to control the “strings,” and an opto reflective switch for strumming. Check it out in the video below.

Zivix Headliner Guitar for Rock Band/Guitar Hero

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on March 8th, 2009

Zivix Headliner Guitar for Rock Band/Guitar HeroThe problem with Guitar Hero and Rock Band is that people think they can actually play guitar. By people, I mean you. The Zivix Headliner is a real guitar that works with both games using special fingertip sensors. What this means for you?

Well, if you use this you may actually learn to play the guitar for real. Seriously, it has strings and everything, because you’re a big boy now. There’s no official release date for the Headliner yet, but they hope to have the guitar on store shelves sometime later this year.

Learn guitar with lasers

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on February 4th, 2009

Learn guitar with lasersYou want to be a Guitar Hero, but you don’t know any songs. Just attach this Maestro device onto your guitar, load a music file of the song you want to learn and it will point out the frets you need to hit, using lasers. As any rock god will tell you, guitars and lasers are an awesome combination.

But just be warned, if you suck, no amount of lasers are going to stop you from sucking. You still have to strum and finger the frets. But it does seem like a great way for guitar players to learn songs quickly. If this concept ever gets made, it would probably do really well.

Steampunk guitar with clockwork gears, a lot of brass

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on January 28th, 2009

Steampunk guitar with clockwork gears, a lot of brassThe Steampunk phenomenon just keeps chugging along. Here’s a little something for you Guitar Hero players who wish they featured a Victorian rocker with period guitar. This is what such a guitar might look like. It was built for the 2008 Jersey City Artists Studio Tour by Mark Dalzell, and it’s called Organum Insolitus.

It features a television with Fresnel lens magnifier, onboard phaser, an amplifier and uses clockwork gears, hand hammered brass, cloth wire and wood. The guitar can be attached to an external amp with a standard ¼-inch cable, so you can really use this.

Vax77 Foldable 77-Key Keyboard

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on December 22nd, 2008

Vax77 Foldable 77-Key KeyboardIn recent years it’s become easier for the musician on the go to be able to travel lighter or save some space in the band’s van. Like the folding guitar, the Vax77 Foldable 77-Key Keyboard will neatly fold up so you can take your show on the road.

Folded in half, it will only take up 23.3″ of space. That’s small enough that you can put it in the front seat of your car or take it with you on an airplane. Some features include a 3.5-inch color LCD display, MIDI in/out and USB 1.1 connections, four pedal inputs and and many synthesizer presets. I don’t see a price, but I expect that portability will cost you.

Ovation iDea MP3 recording guitar

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on December 16th, 2008

Ovation iDea MP3 recording guitarImagine how many times great musicians have lost masterpieces just because they didn’t have a way to document it. That’s where the iDea guitar from Ovation comes in. It’s the first guitar to feature a built-in MP3 player for just such occasions. There isn’t much info on specs, but it probably has a decent amount of flash storage so you can record anything on a whim. It features a control panel on the side with an LCD display, mic input and a USB connection. It also has an easy to use 4-way controller for menu navigation. If that’s not enough, you get a set of basic EQ sliders for the bass, mid and treb.

It will let you record the guitar, mic or anything else that’s connected to the aux in jack. You can even mix those features together or use the pitch-stable variable speed playback option to slow things down for practice.

Funny Band: Keyboards, drums and guitar in one freakish controller

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on December 11th, 2008

Funny Band: Keyboards, drums and guitar in one freakish controllerBy now you must have a zillion fake plastic instruments taking up room in your home, thanks to the endless Guitar Hero type games that have entered your life. You might want to check out the Korean-made Funny Band, which takes a guitar and shoves drums on the back and a keyboard on the front for some reason.

I have no idea how you’re supposed to use this thing, but I’m dubbing it The all-in-one, one-man-nerd-band plastic-ono experience. If you think this weird mash-up lives up to it’s name, you’ll get a kick out of reading the press release below where we learn that Funny Band “will be loved by dance game to lots of users who just fall in to rhythm game.” and that “there was no game like performing on on-line such as funny band.”

Hohner Trumpet Call Harmonica

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on December 10th, 2008

Hohner Trumpet Call HarmonicaThis amazing five horn harmonica is like controlling a whole band with your mouth apparently. It’s called the Hohner Trumpet Call Harmonica and it’s hand-crafted by Hammacher Schlemmer as a special 100th anniversary product. It has to be the most powerful and odd Harmonica I’ve ever seen.

It’s tuned in the C-major key and also features 40 reeds, 5 brass bells and a maple pearwood comb. It makes a vibrato sound as the air flies through the bells. The Hohner Trumpet Call Harmonica is available for $119.95. But can you handle it? Will it even fit in your pocket?