At $1799, the A&futura SE200 is the world’s first music player to boast a multi-DAC set-up – two Sabre ESS9068AS DACs (in dual configuration) as well as a single AKM4499EQ. For those wondering what a DAC is, it refers to a chip that takes digital data and transforms it into an analog audio signal. Most smartphones contain only a very basic DAC that produces decent sound for you to carry on a conversation, but not optimal for high quality music recordings. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: GRIS Design
Based on the OP-1 portable synthesizer, the OP-S Concept smartphone by GRIS Design packs a miniature version of that into a pocket-sized device. Aside from its smartphone capabilities, it boasts a full keyboard, audio I/O with 32bit DAC, four integrated high-capacity surrounding microphones, front-facing speakers, and three cameras, perfect for a mobile recording session. Read more for additional pictures and information.
Sure, the Game Gear Micro may be the latest product from SEGA, but way back in 2007, the company released the Grand Pianist. It’s still the world’s smallest functional grand piano, and yes, it has self-playing capabilities. Measuring just 4mm wide, each one of the 88 keys work just like on a real piano, and there’s already 100 built-in songs (expandable with an SD card). Read more for two videos and additional information.
“Never Gonna Give You Up,” a song recorded by British singer and songwriter Rick Astley, was first released on July 27, 1987, but thanks to the internet, it’s been a popular meme for the past 12-years. For those who don’t know, this song was a worldwide number-one hit, initially in the UK, and eventually topped the charts in 25 countries, including the United States. Read more to see what happens when an AI-powered neural network attempts to continuously generate new parts for this song.
Mike Clifford wanted to do more with LEGO, and that’s when he came up with the idea to use the bricks, along with some other materials, to craft a functional guitar. The shape of the body was designed in Fusion 360, while a Les Paul vector file was used as a starting point. The Les Paul shape was traced, and then the spline tool aided in creating a slimmer, curvier, body shape. Next, an X-Carve CNC machine was used to cut out an MDF template before going to town on the LEGO bricks. Read more for a video and additional information.
Sleek and stylish, the Uxbridge may be small in size, but it’s large in sound, delivering the signature Marshall sound coupled with the helpfulness of Amazon Alexa. This device offers multiple ways to connect and enjoy music, while using your voice to multi-task, hands-free. Ask You can Alexa to turn the volume up for your favorite song or dim the lights for a snooze. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Photo credit: Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech professor Gil Weinberg created an innovative prosthesis for Jason Barnes, a drummer who was electrocuted and lost his right arm below the elbow. Simply put, it’s a single-stick device with sensors that responds to Barnes’ bicep muscles. When he flexes, it sends signals to a computer that tightens or loosens the stick and controls the rebound. Read more for a video and additional information.
Japanese artist and musician Ei Wada specializes in repurposing old electronic appliances into musical instruments, whether it be 20 reel-to-reel tape recorders or this barcode project, which was created under that group’s umbrella in 2018. All of these are standard barcode scanners that have been modified to generate sounds by connecting scanned signals directly to the audio terminal to output sound. Read more for a video demonstration and additional information.
Guitarist and father Tolgahan Çoğulu from Turkey specializes in building microtonal guitars that incorporate alternate tuning scales as found in traditional Turkish music and solving the ‘major third problem.’ This problem arises due to the nature of dividing the octave into 12 equal semitones. His latest project all started two years ago when his son Atlas made the adjustable microtonal guitar keyboard using LEGO. Once the keyboard was completed, he asked if he could use it on the real guitar, and the rest is history. Read more for a video about the build and a demonstration of the completed instrument.
Not satisfied with just being Tesla and SpaceX CEOs, Elon Musk decided to add EDM artist to his resume. Just yesterday, he released an electronic dance music (EDM) track on SoundCloud called “Don’t Doubt ur Vibe”, and not only did he write the song, but apparently performed the vocal tracks on it as well. It’s a part of his new s “Emo G records” label and in just half a day was played more than 1.2-million times on the music streaming service Soundcloud. Read more for a listen.