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Gavari violin is a modern take on an old classic

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on November 1st, 2009

Gavari violin is a modern take on an old classicThe typical violin is based on designs created over 300 years ago. It’s worked well and has given us some beautiful music, but it’s time for an upgrade. Modern design techniques and 21st century materials can surely improve it.

That’s the idea behind the Gavari Semiacoustic Violin from Austrian designer Gerda Hopfgartner. Hopfgartner was inspired by modern yachts and “feminine curves and sundry corset outlines of the Baroque, Rococo, and Biedermeier ages”. We have no idea what she’s talking about, but we love the results.

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.

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.

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.

Trumpet Hero

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on November 24th, 2008

Trumpet HeroIf you are a band geek who prefers getting wedgies instead of having panties thrown on stage, this is for you. Though I’m not sure you can fit this Trumpet back in it’s case after it’s been modded. What we have here is GH for the Trumpet.

Who knows, maybe you too can be a star between bouts of getting your head stuck in the toilet and getting beat up on the bus. This is simply a Trumpet hooked up to a computer. Since the trumpet has only three buttons on it, it should be easy to make a video game for it that would easily teach others the trumpet. Sadly it has 3 less buttons then GH so you can’t use it to play GH.

Yamaha’s EZ TP Electronic Trumpet is powered by humming

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on October 26th, 2008

Yamaha’s EZ TP Electronic Trumpet is powered by hummingThe EZ-TP Electronic Teaching Trumpet from Yamaha is now available in Japan. Sorry rest of the world. You’re going to have to wait to get your lips on this one. It’s a digital way to learn the trumpet and share and save your MIDI-produced songs to your computer. The EZ-TP trumpet is designed to react to humming, not your mouth positions.

Apparently this lets you play the instrument by making the proper tones yourself. The Lighted Teaching System teaches the proper way to learn fingering. You can even download songs online and load them onto the EZ-TP with the supplied MIDI cable. It has to be asked. Will the amateur kill this device by filling it with their nasty slobber and spit? If so, good way to teach the musical apprentice would be for the instrument to spit it back at them.

Korg has a tiny USB Keyboard

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on September 29th, 2008

Korg has a tiny USB KeyboardI guess to Korg size doesn’t matter, since they’re flaunting their tiny USB keyboards. It’s Korg’s new line of nanoSeries USB keyboards, that measure just 320mm across, and are super slim too. The line consists of a tiny keyboard, synth pad and fader deck. All of the drum pads apparently perform just fine despite their size, though the faders seam cheap. Still, it’s perfect for the musician with tiny hands. The nanoKey will cost you about $90, while the nanoKontrol and nanoPad are both $109.

CA has musical highway for Honda Civics

Posted in Automotive by Conner Flynn on September 23rd, 2008

CA has musical pock marked highway for Honda CivicsIf you have a Honda Civic and happen to be in Lancaster, California then you’ll want to drive over a magical and musical pock marked road with special grooves that plays a tune.

It was created by Honda for an upcoming advertising campaign. The road plays “The William Tell Overture”. (Most of us know it as the theme from The Lone Ranger) To get the most out of the musical road, the company advises you to drive over it with a Honda Civic because the road was tuned specifically to the tires and wheelbase of a Civic. Hit the link for a video. It somehow sounded more impressive with the Lone Ranger.

Keyboard Fingertip Gloves

Posted in Apparel by Conner Flynn on September 21st, 2008

Keyboard Fingertip GlovesIt’s a conundrum that has plagued musicians for years. You love your keyboard, but it’s just too big to take with you. That’s why some forward thinking geek took it upon himself to create these gloves instead of make love to a girl. The Fingertip Keyboard Gloves are probably a good way to keep your kids busy and out of your hair while they try to make music. They play musical notes when the fingertips are tapped against almost any flat surface.

Apparently, individual gloves can play an entire octave in the key of C, and pressing the heel of the hand will change the middle three fingers to final notes A, B and C. Both gloves are hooked up to an speaker via a wire, which should give you enough volume for a small concert in your personal space. The device charges via USB and costs $69.95. Now that these gloves have arrived, it’s time to hook them up to a video game like Guitar Hero so we can watch Beethoven rock out to your jams.

Nomad Electric Guitar folds up

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on July 29th, 2008

Nomad Electric Guitar folds up
So you have to get to your gig, which requires you to lug your guitar through the streets, maybe on a bus or two. It’s a real hassle, man. When are they gonna realize that you rock and give you that super amazing record deal? I mean you beat the hell out of Guitar Hero.

The Nomad electric guitar won’t get you noticed by labels, but it can make your life easier by being very portable. Other guitar makers tried making a guitar that folds once, but it can still be awkward. The neck on the Electric Nomad folds twice. The guitar is a competition size electric ax with all the regular features. It just folds up to half its normal size. The neck folds, and the strings roll up on a spool.

The AirPiano not as cool as the air guitar

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on June 30th, 2008

The AirPiano not as cool as the air guitar
If you’ve ever wanted to play music without touching the instrument, the AirPiano lets you do just that. It’s never going to be a star like the air guitar, then again the air guitar makes no noise. The AirPiano is designed by Omer Yosha. It’s a musical interface that allows you to play and control software instruments just by moving your hands in the air. It is a virtual matrix of keys and faders, each assigned with MIDI messages and ready to be triggered.

It’s a lot like the ultra dorky BEAMZ music system, just a thousand times less dorky. It’s a shame that no one can be taken seriously with these things. Check out the video below. Kinda neat.

Ant Commandos wireless bass for Guitar Hero, Rock Band

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on June 24th, 2008

Ant Commandos wireless bass for Guitar Hero, Rock Band
For those of you who have been doing their best to play bass on Guitar Hero or Rock Band, this is what you want. The other guitars aren’t bass guitars. We told you about Ant Commano’s Double Range Guitar in May.

Now they’ve released this wireless PS2/PS3 bass guitar as they actually care about the bass player. You still won’t be able to double-strum using two fingers like other versions, but it’s a nice looking bass that you can have for $69. With all the money you’ve invested in Guitar Hero and Rock Band, maybe it’s time to buy the real deal?

The appropriately named Pikasso guitar

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on May 14th, 2008

The appropriately named Pikasso guitar
I’m not sure if Picasso ever painted a guitar, but if he made a real guitar, the result would be something like this. The aptly named Pikasso was created by Linda Manzer and it makes regular guitars look like boring slackers. It has two sound holes, four necks, and 42 strings, so one can imagine the range of chords that could be produced with this thing.

This wooden oddity looks heavy, but it’s actually pretty light, weighing in at under 15 lbs. It’s also easier to handle despite what it looks like, thanks to a tapered back and a divot on the bottom, allowing the instrument to rest on your knee. Some of us can’t even handle a standard guitar, nevermind this beast.


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