Musical instruments

The Linnstrument from Roger Linn Design…the holy grail of expressive controllers?

Synthesizers have been around for a long, long time and many efforts have been made to turn them into expressive, virtuoso performing machines.  Ribbons, X/Y pads and pitch/mod wheels have long been a staple for keyboardists but they all have one glitch…the expressiveness of the note is separated by two hands and two motions that …

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IK Multimedia iRing motion music controller review

I don’t consider myself a musician even though I can play a few instruments (barely). However I do consider myself a musical hobbyist because I enjoy doodling around with the ukulele and music apps on my iOS and Android tablets. When the people at IK Multimedia contacted me to ask if I might like to …

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Ukulele’s made of plant fiber the next big thing?

I posted this earlier today on my Ukulele Review site: Some people may march to the beat of a different drummer, but as a fan of 4 stringed instruments you might strum to the rhythm of a different ukulele. We’ve reviewed ukuleles made of plastic like the Flea and the BugsGear, and we’ve even shown …

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Comfortable, neoprene straps for almost any musical instrument you can think of

I’ve tried to learn to play guitar a couple of times in my life, and I’ve learned a few things.  1) When you’re only five feet tall, holding an acoustic guitar feels like clasping a baby grand piano to your chest.  2) Electric guitars are heavy, and you must have a strap to help you hold …

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BugsGear Aqulele plastic ukulele review

Plastic ukuleles can be considered to be both retro and modern. They were really popular back in the 1950’s with plastic ukes from Maccaferri and other brands. Over 60 years later, plastic instruments are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Why would you even want a plastic ukulele? Because it’s an instrument that you won’t have …

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The ultimate iPad studio? Focusrite iTrack Professional Dock for iPad

The iPad is a very powerful system for music creation, but it lacks any way to get music in or out of it.  Numerous companies have tried to create iPad docks for this purpose, docking the iPad to a platform that has the connectivity that music creators demand.  So far most of them have fallen …

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All play, no touch: The Moog Theremini

I’ve played a Moog Etherwave theremin (badly) for several years now.  Hooked up to a Korg KP3 effects processor, you can get some really great effects out of it.  However, plucking notes out of thin air in a continuous scale is maddeningly hard work.  Unlike a guitar or piano, where the notes are clearly delineated, …

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REAL piano sound for your mini Mozart

Do you remember that toy piano you used to play when you were five years old?  It might have looked like the real thing (except for the color), but the sound completely missed the mark. Korg has updated this toy favorite with REAL piano sound in its new product, the tinyPIANO. This 25-note (2 octave) miniature upright …

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ToneRite claims to bring vintage tone to new instruments

People who play guitars and other stringed wooden instruments often covet vintage instruments because they usually have better tone due to years of vibrations from being played. But no one wants to wait 50 – 100 years for their newer instrument’s sound to “open up” and resonate more. ToneRite is an electronic device that uses special …

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IK Multimedia iLoud Studio Quality Portable Speaker review

When you’ve reviewed as many Bluetooth speakers as I have, it takes something special for me to be interested in reviewing yet another one. When IK Multimedia asked me to review their iLoud Studio Quality Portable Speaker I agreed because I liked the physical volume knob on the front of the unit. But the ability to use …

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Will 3D printing turn the average Joe into a digital luthier?

For years I dreamed about building my own guitar, which more recently turned into a dream to build my own ukulele. I even dabbled in the craft by putting together a mini electric guitar from a kit that I purchased from Stewart McDonald. Unfortunately it turned out to be a wall hanger and not a playable instrument. …

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I’ll be home for Christmas with the iPad mini take 2

The other night while watching TV, I caught a new iPad mini commercial from Apple. This one features a little girl playing a ukulele and singing a song to her grandpa. The little girl is using Facetime on her full sized iPad while her grandpa is watching at the other end with his mini. Cute …

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IK Multimedia Announces iRig KEYS Universal Portable Keyboard Controller for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac/PC

iRig KEYS is 37 velocity sensitive MIDI keyboard that connects directly to the docking connector on an iPhone, iPod, iPad or the USB port on Mac/PC. It is an ultra-low power device that can be used for hours when connected to one of these devices. It features a pitch bending wheel and programmability with storage …

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Playground Sessions Piano Lesson Software Review

If you’ve ever wished that you could learn to play the piano but don’t want to take weekly lessons miles from home, I have a potential solution for you. It’s software for your PC or Mac and Midi keyboard called Playground Sessions. With this software, you can jump right into learning to play popular songs …

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