This Totally Acoustic Instrument Sounds Just Like an Electronic Synth

When it comes to modern instruments, there's usually a team of engineers and musicians trying to make an electronic device sound exactly like the acoustic counterpart it's trying to emulate. But Görkem Şen has gone in the other direction with his unorthodox Yaybahar, an unplugged instrument devoid of electronics that… » 11/05/14 11:59am 11/05/14 11:59am

This Controller Plays 8-Bit Chiptunes, Not Video Games

As popular as the Game Boy was for portable gaming ages ago, did you know it's still popular as an instrument for those obsessed with the sounds of classic 8-bit gaming? But instead of wasting your Tetris-capable portable console on making music, you can help David Clift-Reaves make his Lo-Fi SES controller a reality… » 10/27/14 11:12am 10/27/14 11:12am

Korg's Cliphit Turns Whatever's In Reach Into an Instant Drum Kit

With a pair of drumsticks (or pencils) and a good imagination, anything can be turned into an impromptu drum kit. But Korg doesn't want you to have to settle for imaginary sounds, or your terrible beatboxing skills. Its new Cliphit uses three cabled clips that attach and turn almost anything into drum pads that… » 9/04/14 11:50am 9/04/14 11:50am

Remote Control Drumming Toy Keeps the Beat Without Any Electronics

If you've lost count of how many times you'd wished you could've drummed along to a song with a set of remote controls in your hands instead of drumsticks, here's an adorably-odd toy called Mr. Knocky that does the actual drumming for you—without electronics, batteries, or incompatibilities with your OS of choice. » 8/11/14 3:11pm 8/11/14 3:11pm

The First 3D-Printed Saxophone Sounds Surprisingly Decent

We all know that 3D printers are great for churning out plastic trinkets and tiny sculptures of questionable artistic worth, but what makes the technology truly exciting is when users push the its current limitations to create something remarkable, like a playable plastic saxophone that doesn't sound half bad. » 8/05/14 10:25am 8/05/14 10:25am

How an Atomic Clock Was Used to Record a House-Sized Instrument

Nestled on a Malibu hillside, three miles up a corkscrew-like road from the Pacific Coast Highway, sits a very peculiar house. Protruding through a missing window in the basement are 18 brass strings, tethered to a mountain 30 yards away. And at any time of day, you might hear their haunting vibrations echoing on the… » 7/30/14 2:45pm 7/30/14 2:45pm

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