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flOw wireless speaker concept shakes up your music

Posted in Concepts by Conner Flynn on May 23rd, 2010

It’s just a concept at the moment, but David Boyce’s flOw has a lot of potential. The five-speaker set can be arranged into an iPod docking station, but unlike other docks, any of the speakers can be taken somewhere else while the music follows wirelessly.

The real interesting part is that each ball has integrated gesture sensors and accelerometers, allowing you to turn down the volume by turning it over or you can switch tracks simply by shaking the speaker. Shake it lightly and you get a soft jam, shake it hard and you get Heavy Metal.

8-bit guitar is a geeky senior project

Posted in DIY by Shane McGlaun on April 28th, 2010

The thing I remember most about video games from my youth was that the graphics sucked and the music was just as bad. I still hear the music from Mario Brothers in my dreams. A senior project from a guy named Mike Davenport has created the perfect instrument for playing those old game soundtracks stuck in your head.

The project is dubbed the 8-bit arcade guitar and is built from the buttons of an arcade game and other gear. Exactly how the project was pulled together is unknown.

Hands On: Fretlight Guitar makes it easy to learn guitar

Posted in Review by Conner Flynn on April 16th, 2010

The folks who make the Fretlight guitar learning system wanted us to check it out and see for ourselves how easy it is to learn guitar with their system. The basic idea is that the frets of the guitar light up. That, along with an interactive learning system which includes videos and tutorials are supposed to make it easy.

Since my son has been learning how to play guitar by more or less teaching himself, I figured he was the perfect candidate. So they sent us the whole kit and my son checked it out. How good is it at teaching you to play the guitar? His review follows:

LG teams up with Lady Gaga for the LG GB280 phone

Posted in Mobile Phones by Conner Flynn on April 5th, 2010

Lady Gaga. You can’t escape her, no matter what radio station you play or where you are. And people are in love with her out there music videos. Now that she’s hit the bigtime, Lady Gaga now has her own mobile phone devoted to her.

It’s LG’s GB280. The phone comes with some neat wallpapers as well as songs like Paparazzi, Dance in the Dark and Bad Romance. As far as specs, the phone has a 2 megapixel camera, stereo Bluetooth, media player, FM, email, browser, Dolby mobile sounds and GSM/EDGE connectivity.

Novak Cassette to Digital Converter

Posted in music by Conner Flynn on March 31st, 2010

Look if you haven’t given up on cassette tapes by now, you probably never will. But if you ever want to let that old cassette player rest in peace, then the Novak Cassette to Digital Converter is what you need to transfer your old cassettes into digital formats.

The device couldn’t be easier to use. Just insert a cassette tape, hit “record,” and you’re off. You now have digital music in either MP3, WAV, or WMA files. The Novak Cassette To Digital Converter also has a USB port and a built-in speaker.

A Korg synth you can fit in your pocket

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on March 24th, 2010

Anyone in a band knows that lugging around huge equipment like synths is a real hassle. There has to be an easier way, right? The Korg Monotron analog synthesizer may be the solution you’ve been looking for. It’s a fully-functioning synth that is also pocket-sized, making it all a breeze.

It doesn’t have many keys though, but you can figure it out I’m sure, being more musically inclined than myself. It should arrive in May for about $67.

Universal to cut CD prices to between $6 and $10

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on March 18th, 2010

The music business continues its downward spiral. Universal, one of the big four record labels, is now planning to cut the prices of almost all of its CDs to between $6 and $10.

This new test is called the Velocity program. The average price for CDs has been between $10 and $12 for awhile. And if they stick to this, other labels will do the same. Great for music lovers, bad for them. Could this really make actual CDs cheaper than downloads? Are Cds even worth making anymore?

GuitarBud: Plug your Guitar into your iPhone

Posted in iPhone Accessories by Conner Flynn on March 11th, 2010

If you are any kind of budding musician, then chances are you have used some of the iPhone’s musically inclined apps. Well, the GuitarBud plug cable system lets you hook up your electric guitar to your iPhone, which allows it to work with a bunch of compatible apps.

It will work with stuff like Voice Memos to record a quick riff and JamAmp which simulates a guitar amp, tuner and training tool. Some other compatible apps include StompVox, Riff Raters, GigDaddy, iStrobosoft, Rectools Pro and Guitar FX Deluxe.

Steampunk sequencer generates audio from Legos

Posted in lego by Conner Flynn on March 10th, 2010

Musician Yoshi Akai is an unorthodox musician. He dreams up ways to turn color into sound, and other unusual ways of producing music. Like this Lego Sequencer MR II, which uses three-dimensional Lego structures to emulate a three-channel, eight-step sequencer.

Each differently colored plastic brick produces a different sound and complex combinations (including tremolo and overdrive) are possible when the blocks are stacked. It works using resistors in every block, with parallel networks of resistors formed as the bricks pile up, equalling lower resistance, which means a higher frequency sound is generated.

i-tab electronic songbook

Posted in Musical Instruments by Conner Flynn on February 27th, 2010

Musicians will love this. The i-tab comes with a 5″ touchscreen display that will display and scroll through chords and lyrics in perfect synchronization as you are playing. Think of it as a music teleprompter for the guitar.

The device has 4GB of internal storage space, which should hold thousands of tabs that you can purchase and downloaded from the i-tab online Tab Store. There are 5,000 tabs available right now, with around 500 being added weekly.

Sound Scrape concept projects images to match your music

Posted in Concepts by Conner Flynn on February 18th, 2010

Music visualizations can be cool to watch, but the Sound Scape concept takes it to a another level, using a built-in LED projector to delievr those visuals, which will match the music that is being played.

It’s limited though since it’s all based on nature. Don’t expect to see a gangsta movie when you’re playing rap. You’ll get something soothing instead. Like fluffy clouds and water. The controller can change tracks or volume of course, but it is just a concept for the moment.

Lala to give iPhones, Apple tablets an online locker?

Posted in Apple by Conner Flynn on January 19th, 2010

No one seemed to know exactly what Apple intended to do with Lala after it bought the company, but now it looks like Apple may be looking to use it for an online locker for users’ music. Where users will be able to access collections anywhere, through a web browser, or through the iPhone, Apple tablet etc.

Everything would be stored in the cloud, so users could free up memory on their devices. Since customers already own the music, Apple won’t need to renegotiate with labels to get sharing rights. Microsoft has a similar service, but it’s not the same thing. Microsoft charges a $15 monthly fee for a Zune Pass, which offers you unlimited access to the entire Zune Marketplace music catalog.

Klipsch LightSpeakers screw into light bulb sockets, play music

Posted in Speakers by Conner Flynn on January 5th, 2010

These Klipsch LightSpeakers don’t look like much, but if you hate wires, they should appeal to you. The LED light bulb fits 5 and 6-inch light fixtures and is even dimmable, so you can replace the usual bulbs you use with these, which will apparently last for 40,000 hours.

Then you’ll be playing music wirelessly through your lights, which is what Thomas Edison wanted all along. They contain a 2.5-inch wide dispersion driver and use 20 watts. The kit comes with a transmitter that connects to a PC, CD player or iPod and sends the audio to up to eight of the light bulbs in two separate zones.

String Trio app turns your iPhone into an air violin

Posted in iPhone Accessories by Conner Flynn on December 29th, 2009

The latest iPhone app to turn your phone into an instrument is the String Trio, an air violin, viola and cello application for the iPhone. 20 classical and folk songs are included, while the greySox app plays with strokes of the virtual “bow”.

The iPhone’s motion sensor is used to detect the angle and length of the strokes and adjusts the playback of the music accordingly. String Trio is available at the iTunes App Store for $1.99.

LG GS200 comes packs loud sound, low price

Posted in LG by Conner Flynn on December 22nd, 2009

Are you in the market for a simple and affordable phone? Have a look at the LG GS200. At the moment it’s only available in Russia for just 3900 rubles or $130, but it should be hitting other countries soon.

The LG GS200 features an FM radio, music player, Bluetooth, 2-inch 176 x 220 pixel display, 1.3-megapixel camera and a microSD card slot. Sure it isn’t high-end, but for the price it’s not too bad. What do you think?