Tag Archives: instrument

Eat this, RockBand: Misa digital touchscreen guitar-synth hybrid thing

Weird new technology and music – two great tastes that taste great together? Well, depends on your personal sense of aesthetics, I guess, but I’m always interested to see what people are doing to take music in new directions, and lone developers and hardware hackers are emerging as the cutting edge for innovation in the field.

Here’s a prime example: the MISA digital guitar. You can read about it on the developer’s homepage, but this brief video should be enough to convince the guitar freaks among you that you could do some pretty wild stuff with it:

What’s more, the guy’s making the MISA software free and open-source, with an open invitation to hack, expand and improve it… though if it ever got popular, you’d inevitably find guitarist forums full of people arguing over the most suitable Linux distro to build it around. Guitar geeks are just like computer geeks, really.

Someone buy me one, please? [via SlashDot]

Musicians use their brains differently: Another thing we kind of already knew

Hand musicians and nonmusicians some common household objects. (We’ll wait.)

On average, [musicians] came up with 14 more uses than nonmusicians could. In a second experiment musicians dreamed up new uses for everyday items while the prefrontal lobes in their brains got scanned.  And musicians had more activity in both sides of their frontal lobes than nonmusicians did.

[Tape musicians by borkur.net]

Wand For Scraping Audio Samples

Soundpaint Goto
Two Ph.D. candidates at MIT have invented The Sound of Touch, a digital instrument that texturizes sound. It works like this: you use a microphone built in to the wand-like instrument to record a sound, then you brush the tip of the wand across a surface. A processor translates the shape of that surface into an effect applied to the sound. Sandpaper would gives your sample a gritty sound, silk a satiny smoothness.