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  1. New Musical Instruments


    #725452014-04-03 18:32:19 *Ecstasy said:

    There are some really interesting new musical instruments invented over the last 10 years (or so). I will post some of them here. Feel free to post something you've discovered on the topic as well.


    Swarmatron

    The Swarmatron is a hand-built instrument that was introduced at NAMM in January 2010. As of February, 2014, only 59 Swarmatrons have been produced.
    The Swarmatron was created to produce eight tones tuned approximately to one note, each tone slightly different in pitch to produce a complex and natural choral effect.
    The current "Fine Tune" version has controls which allow more accurate tuning when connected with external CV sources. Earlier Swarmatrons can be upgraded with Fine Tune controls.
    These eight oscillators can be played with a single ribbon controller (variable resistor) to move the pitch center up or down.
    The span control expands the sound of a swarm of eight notes spread just a few cents apart into a wide chord of equidistant pitches spread over the entire spectrum. The player can "taffy pull" the resulting chord by using the span control and pitch ribbon in tandem.
    Swarms of sine waves evoke swarms of angels congregating. Swarms of sawtooth waves evoke the swarming of bees. The sound of a host of voices, earthly or unearthly, has a unique character recognized by the ear even when they are folded together in unison.
    Price: $3,995.00


    Seaboard

    A radically new musical instrument that reimagines the piano keyboard as a soft, continuous surface. The Seaboard’s polyphonic pitch bend, vibrato and per-note dynamic changes are all available at your fingertips, marrying the intuitiveness of a traditional instrument with the versatility of digital technology.
    Price: $1999 and above


    TENORI-ON

    The product of a collaboration between Toshio Iwai, a leading media artist who provided the idea and design, and Yamaha, which provided its electronic musical instrument technology. Physically, TENORI-ON takes the shape of a square board, 205mm by 205mm, with a matrix of 16 vertical and 16 horizontal rows of LED buttons, or switches, (for a total of 256 in all), which, when blinking on and off, provide a visual image of the structure of the music. When these buttons are touched directly, it is possible to compose music intuitively, even without specialized knowledge of music, and enjoy playing with sounds. It is also possible to perform compositions in real time as the player is composing them.
    Price: $349.99 and above for the instrument, $19.99 for the iOS-emulator


    Reactable

    An instrument designed to provide direct and intuitive interaction with sound through objects on a multi-touch enabled screen.
    Price: €6.100 and above for the instrument, $9.99 for the mobile version


    Xth Sense

    The XS is composed of biophysical sensors and a custom software.
    At the onset of a muscle contraction, energy is released in the form of an acoustic sound. This is to say, similarly to the chord of a violin, each muscle tissue vibrates at specific frequencies and produces a sound (mechanomyogram or MMG). Being that the frequency of muscle sounds sits between 5Hz and 45Hz the MMG is not easily audible to human ear, but it is indeed a sound wave that resonates from the body.
    The MMG data is quite different from locative data you can gather with accelerometers and the like; whereas the latter reports the consequence of a movement, the former directly represents the energy impulse that causes that movement. If you add to this a high sampling rate (up to 192.000Hz if your sound card supports it) and very low latency (measured at 2.3ms) you can see why the responsiveness of the XS can be highly expressive.
    So far as I understood the device has not yet appeared in a wide sale, but you can download schemes for assembly and all associated "software" for free at the project's site, because it's an open non-profit project.


    Eigenharp

    Can play and record loops, change scale and key, transpose, alter tempo, program beats, create arrangements, switch and layer multiple sounds, all while the musician is performing live on stage.
    It has 120 highly sensitive keys, 12 percussion keys, 2 strip controllers and an optional breath pipe. This gives possibilities for flexible keyboard layouts, fast instrument switching and expressive musical control.
    Price: £459.00 and above


    Z-Machines

    Not really an instrument, but still kinda. The interactive robots are programmed to perform based on actions taken by their audience as well as people who access the Z-Machines website.
    I don't even want to imagine how much these things can cost.


    Noisy Jelly

    Noisy jelly is a game where the player has to cook and shape his own musical material, based on coloured jelly. The gamer can create his own jelly with water and a few grams of agar agar powder. After added different color, the mix is then pour in the molds. 10 min later, the jelly shape can then be placed on the game board, and by touching the shape, the gamer will activate different sounds.
    Here is the presentation.

  2. #725492014-04-03 19:35:08Dark-B said:

    I like Noisy Jelly, seems like a fun thing to play with.

    Also, I find the capabilities of the seaboard to be high with time, so that's an interesting instrument

  3. #725732014-04-03 22:41:28Ecstasy said:

    it's not instrument that makes the musician it's the Artist's intent which really creates something beautiful

    I agree here. There are musicians who I really enjoy no matter what they write. An example here would be Johan Edlund from Tiamat. He did a lot of experiments with his band's sound early on and it was in the time when I was listening to doom-metal and was pretty closed in my music preferences. So when they released an album which was sounding a lot different from their previous releases and even managed to keep the general Tiamat feeling to it, it just opened my eyes and I went discovering new genres and started to get interested in experimental stuff. That one album changed more about my music perception than 7 years in music school. So I'll always be thankful for it in a way, even though I don't like his latest releases as much.

  4. #725952014-04-04 05:41:41Kirn said:

    Hmmm... I am kinda not sure about this. It feels to me that recently invented instruments are more about synthesizing sound than producing it, if you know what I mean. Sure, you can do all sorts of cool stuff with them, but it sorta looks like operating computer program.

    Still, I liked the seaboard. Curious concept there, and out of those things this was the one I wanted to actually try out. Maybe has something to do with me learning the piano back in olde days.

  5. #726022014-04-04 07:45:42 *Ecstasy said:

    It feels to me that recently invented instruments are more about synthesizing sound than producing it

    I'm mostly following news related to keyboards and music synthesizers, because that's what I play myself. But still I'm not sure if new "traditional" instruments are invented these days, because instruments like Seaboard and Eigenharp provide more opportunities and so many things already exist.

    I mean look at this.

    And then there always will be people who don't need no instruments.


    Oh, and something I've found looking for Harps. Even though it's probably not something new.

    Portal's "Reconstructing Science" music here, posting links because too many youtube vids on the same page.

  6. #726082014-04-04 11:02:20Kirn said:

    Lol... you know, I looked at this guy with laser harp, and all I could think was - at the end of this you will have burning holes in your hands, sucker!

    Well, I don't know much about instruments, really, or about modern ones. Hell yes, I like it when people do sounds with no instruments at all, like acapella style or whatever it's called...

    I also realized why exacly I liked seaboard. No loops. Most of those things I look at - you can program a loop on them, and just don't bother about it anymore. That board, however, still reacts just to your touch, as far as I could see. So it's just your fingers and your work and that's that. I like that. I think )

  7. #726112014-04-04 11:46:05 *Ecstasy said:

    I know what you mean, but actually you can still record a part of handplayed music and put it in a loop on Seaboard, I'm sure. It's a basic feature which all modern synthesizers have. I do like the idea of Seaboard a lot as well, but honestly they all excited me to some degree, even the noisy jelly thing, because I do enjoy music making/playing process in general.

    As for myself, though, I'd probably go with something classy like Fantom-G8. I don't know how many times I've expressed my love for this Roland model, even though it may be outdated today. I saw it in the news and I did like it from the first glance and then I had a chance to work with it for around a week and it proved to be amazing in every aspect.

    Fantom G8 Free style Guitar solo
    Roland Fantom G8 sounds demo


    Oh I also remembered about the HANG thing suddenly. It's a Swiss instrument handmade by a couple, who produce some small amount each year. I think it sounds good.

  8. #726212014-04-04 21:11:35Kirn said:

    I think I saw this Otamatone video before. Weird goddamn thing... Japan should go back underwater and stop plaguing the world with extremely weird stuff.

    But Hang I also liked. Looks interesting, makes various sounds... I also don't see no electronic thingies anywhere. And, as an added bonus, it looks like two pot lids welded together ))

  9. #726622014-04-05 13:22:40 *Rinneko said:

    The Otamatone was pretty funny, and queer. I wouldn't want to actually try making music with it seriously; I would just fool around with it for laughs. HANG sounded really melodious, and that makes me wonder how it works!

    That vegetable video reminded me of one where someone demonstrated a potato's electrical properties by lighting up a bulb, oddly enough. Would those vegetables still be edible after electricity had been passed through it?

    Furthermore, there is a futuristic sculpture under the Panopticons series called the Singing, Ringing Tree which is supposedly a musical instrument. It makes eerie noises when the wind passes through it.

  10. #728232014-04-09 14:21:55Ecstasy said:

    Pretty sure you can still eat those vegetables.

    And this sculpture is just wow, I watched the video again and it gives me a really weird feeling. Just imagine people discovering it years and years after our civilization.
    I saw a thing like this but it's based on water and it's not the same weird sounding.

  11. #1098462017-04-03 10:46:46shafnat said:

    they are making the marble machine x at the moment, wintergatan always post the progress every wednesday. that old one is going to museum

  12. #1000212016-03-06 12:31:17Ecstasy said:

    The design isn't really that much different from a normal piano, at least from a concept point of view.

    http://s016.radikal.ru/i334/1603/a1/71114af7a6da.jpg

    exuse the watermark. Basically there are many parts you can modify to change the sound, the strings, the mallets (not sure what you call those in English) and parts of the mechanics itself. You can easily make it sound like a guitar, for example. The question is: but why?

  13. #1000222016-03-06 13:32:15Gargron said:

    My problem with the digital ones is, they're innovating the interface, but the actual sound generation is the same as on other types of synths. I would love to see more new analogue instruments. I only know of this one, which I am sure I made a thread about before or mentioned in some way: