A MIDI Joystick Is Definitely the Best Way To Play Music

In the music video for his aptly-named track Arcade, M4SONIC is seen playing a custom-made arcade-style joystick that's actually a MIDI instrument. Instead of using a piano keyboard, or a rhythm pad filled with countless buttons to trigger MIDI samples, this creation let M4SONIC channel his childhood Street Fighter » 5/30/14 6:20pm 5/30/14 6:20pm

An iPad-Controlled Drum Machine That Plays Whatever You've Got

If you've ever realized how much potential a box of dry pasta has as a shakeable instrument, you'll immediately understand why Lorenzo Bravi's Hit the Beat drum machine is so wonderful. Because whatever you've got on hand, from dry beans to bottle camps, suddenly becomes a real-life drum sample. » 5/30/14 2:40pm 5/30/14 2:40pm

Magnetic Cello Comes With No Strings Attached

Last year's laser violin was the first re-imagined stringed instrument that didn't actually have any strings. And not to be outdone in the orchestra pit of the future, this year it's the cello's turn to get a fancy stringless upgrade. But instead of lasers, the Magnetovore opts for magnets, requiring the musician to… » 5/30/14 1:40pm 5/30/14 1:40pm

A One-String Pen-Sized Guitar That Almost Plays Like the Real Thing

They're not as awkward to transport as a piano or a cello, but guitars are far from being the easiest instrument to travel with. And if air guitar never really satisfies your desire to play while away from your instrument, this pen-sized single-string playable guitar might be a better traveling companion. » 4/28/14 8:01am 4/28/14 8:01am

MIDI Software That Turns Your Voice Into Instruments If You Can't Play

MIDI—the Musical Instrument Digital Interface—lets anyone with just an electronic keyboard, or other simple interface device, recreate an entire orchestra's worth of sounds. But what if you can't even play a keyboard? That's where a new piece of software called imitone can save the day, turning your voice (or other… » 4/03/14 2:20pm 4/03/14 2:20pm

If Stonehenge Is Actually a Giant Instrument, What Does It Sound Like?

We know that the rocks of Stonehenge were carried there from over 200 miles away, but we've never known why. Now, researchers say they believe it was for the special sonic qualities of a particular kind of stone—and that Stonehenge might have served as a bell-like instrument. » 3/09/14 4:00pm 3/09/14 4:00pm

This Bionic Drummer Arm Is Like Def Leppard 2.0

Like Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen who lost his arm in an accident but kept on performing, aspiring drummer Jason Barnes didn't let losing his right arm two years ago deter him from realizing his dream. He built a crude prosthetic using springs that allowed him to keep on drumming, but after enrolling at the Atlanta… » 3/06/14 9:41am 3/06/14 9:41am

A Drum Machine In a Guitar Pedal Is a Genius Idea

Drummers are the worst, but for guitar players, the options are limited. You either get a drummer or deal with a bunch of extra gear to replace a drummer. Which is why Beat Buddy, despite its really unfortunate name, is a totally intriguing. It could be the simple hands-free drum machine guitar players have been… » 1/14/14 6:00pm 1/14/14 6:00pm

This 8-Bit Harmonica Makes Blowing Into NES Carts Musical

Even if the original Nintendo Entertainment System was well before your time, you're probably still aware of a well-known issue that prevented games from working until you blew into the cartridges to clean off the contacts. Taking that idea one step further, YouTuber Basami Sentaku has turned a few old NES (or… » 1/14/14 11:00am 1/14/14 11:00am

8 Otherworldly Songs Performed On Instruments Made Of Ice

We're smack-dab in the middle of winter and baby, it's cold outside (or so I've heard; I live over in LOL). I imagine that it might be tough to find the beauty in yet another day of sub-zero temperatures, but for some enterprising creative types, bone-chilling frost is more than a major nuisance—it's the stuff that… » 1/14/14 9:00am 1/14/14 9:00am

This Keyboard Turns a Dial Up Modem's Screeches Into "Beautiful" Music

Not so long ago, hopping onto the internet required more than just opening a browser. In the dial up days you'd have to wait for your modem to screech and squawk as it connected. Looking back through years of nostalgia, those sounds were strangely satisfying and often times melodic, which explains why someone has… » 12/17/13 4:20pm 12/17/13 4:20pm

Build This Ray Gun Synth That Generates Wonderfully Retro PewPew Sounds

Usually, if you're building your own synthesizer, you have aspirations of composing the next great techno track. But this kit—available from the Maker SHED for just $20—lets you build a wonderful toy ray gun that generates electronic "pewpew" sound effects. And, instead of just cycling through various sounds like you… » 11/28/13 9:00pm 11/28/13 9:00pm

Listen to Da Vinci's Genius Piano-Cello Played for the Very First Time

From the audience, this instrument looks like a typical grand piano. Then the maestro takes his seat and begins to play. It's a sound nobody has heard before, because this instrument, designed by Leonardo Da Vinci five centuries ago, has just been built for the very first time. And it sounds heavenly. » 11/21/13 10:43am 11/21/13 10:43am

This Harmonica-Housed USB Drive Contains All of Bob Dylan's Albums

Not that any of us needed proof that the times are a-changin', but grown-up hippies looking to grab this impressive omnipedia of Bob Dylan's music might be dismayed to discover that instead of vinyl, it comes packaged on CDs as—well as this adorable USB flash drive housed in a faux harmonica. » 10/01/13 5:00pm 10/01/13 5:00pm

Build This Tiny Drum Machine and Rock Out Like It's 1984

They're still in use by musicians today, but those full-size electronic drum pads seemed to have hit their peak with consumers sometime in the mid-80s, alongside Casio's ubiquitous electronic keyboards. But if you're feeling nostalgic, and handy with a soldering iron, this miniature DIY modern alternative won't end… » 5/28/13 4:40pm 5/28/13 4:40pm