From the Touchscreen Boombox PC to the Audiopad, you’ll find it in our “Top 10 Strangest (or coolest) Music Devices” list. Which ones are your favorites?
10. Cozy Tunes Speaker Pillow
Simply plug in your MP3 player and fall asleep to the sound of music with this “Cozy Tunes Speaker Pillow“. The pillow comes in four different colors and is compatible with any device that has a standard audio jack.
The product page only suggests the pillow to be used to fall asleep, it could also be used as an alarm hooked into your alarm enabled MP3 player
9. Touchscreen Boombox PC
This Touchscreen Boombox PC combines a Hitachi TRK-8200HR and Fujitsu Stylistic 1200 Color Tablet PC into the sleek retro package you see above. Powered by Windows 98, this PC features a 20GB hard drive, 802.11b Wi-Fi, internal webcam, 4 USB ports, and a “custom desktop to keep original aesthetics”. [Source]
8. Bandit Music Machine
The “Bandit Music Machine” is a nifty gadget that allows Philip — its creator — to play a “guitar-like” instrument with his feet, all the while playing a fiddle normally.
Philip uses his left foot to choose one of about 10 chords on the guitar, and his right foot operates a foot-pedal with flywheel that constantly strums the guitar. From what I could tell the strumming pattern alternately hits the two top strings and then the bottom four, you’d have to make a mechanical alteration to change that pattern
VowelSynth is a homemade speech synthesis machine, which consists of strings that are attached to DSP chips. When strings are struck, the device produces “ee”, “ah”, “oo”, or “uh” sounds. Here’s how it works:
When you lay your hand onto the controller, the tips of your fingers correspond to your mouth and your forearm corresponds to the back of your throat. The more you press down, the more you open that part of the throat.
6. Monome LED Music Interface
The Monome is an 8 x 8 playable LED music interface that connects to your computer via USB and transmits OSC/MIDI data through open source (hackable) firmware/software.
Touch the pads, and you can use this as a step-sequencer and remix tool (as in the example), but the real philosophy here is being able to do whatever you want, so think of the example video as just a start
5. iPod DJ Mixer
The click wheel is smaller than a 12-inch analog. Actions on discs are almost same, but the size makes a big difference on usability. To be an iPod DJ, you gotta think about a new interactive controller to operate the players — combining the iPod’s interface as a module for a new DJ system.
MIT graduates James Patten and Ben Recht designed the Audiopad, an interactive tabletop system which tracks the position of objects and converts their motion into music.
Audiopad has a matrix of antenna elements which track the positions of electronically tagged objects on a tabletop surface. Software translates the position information into music and graphical feedback on the tabletop. Each object represents either a musical track or a microphone.
3. Rubik’s Cube Music Maker
“Cubed” is basically a project that transforms a normal Rubik’s Cube into an interactive instrument.
Each face on the cube is a separate instrument, and the colors represent the notes on that instrument. The speeds of each instrument/face, as well as their volume are based on how you position the cube. Each face is played in a loop, just like any other basic electronic music sequencer, and by manipulating the cube you manipulate the sequencer
2. LEGO Music Machine
This color scanning LEGO music machine was David’s first attempt at creating something using the Mindstorms package. It “reads the colors of the bricks that are put into it and that translates those colors into sound”.
The idea is simple: the machine functions more or less like a scanner, except that in stead of creating an image from the scanned information, sound is generated
1. Functional Hard Drive Speakers
Afrotech created this functional speaker system using old hard drives and a custom built amplifier. What you see above is the entire system, complete with woofer, midrange, and tweeter HDDs.
Why pay 500$ for Klipsch’s latest speaker system? You can make something that looks way cooler for the price of a DIY amplifier and some HDDs out of a dumpster. It doesn’t sound quite as good but who cares!