Recording NASA’s Spacesuit Satellite Sounds

In the ongoing quest for sounds from the hearts of space for use as digital music sources, I give you NASA’s SuitSat. The crew of the International Space Station has equipped the Russian Orlan spacesuit with batteries, a radio transmitter, and sensors; it’ll transmit power and temperature info Earthward. To pick it up, you just […]

NAMM: Neutrik Adds USB Connector, USB a “Real Audio Jack”?

USB has arrived in the sound world. Just ask Neutrik. For those of you not in the know, Neutrik is the major manufacturer of sound connectors. Their brilliant XLR/TRS combination jack, finally allowing you to swap mic and guitar/line cables in a single jack, is so popular that most people call it simply a “Neutrik” […]

NAMM: Edirol’s R-09 — SD-based, Portable USB Recorder

Finally, ultra-portable digital recording is catching on. Edirol got the party started with the R-1, a CompactFlash-based USB device packed with a decent built-in stereo mic, effects, a metronome, and tuner. The extras on the R-1 are nice, but the unit was big and boxy, so when M-Audio introduced their cuter, iPod like MicroTrack, also […]

Everyone Deserves a Robotic MIDI Arm — Even DJs

Okay, wannabe cyborgs, you know you want it: no matter the price, you have to have a robotic armature on your body that sends MIDI data. The latest, via Engadget: the Gypsy MIDI controller. (Wait a second, the gypsy MIDI controller? Now, that doesn’t sound very cyborg. Marketing department, please?) It’ll cost you US$855 an […]

NAMM: NAMM Oddities are Here, Photos of Unique Music Gear

Updated: Fixed broken link (my fault). 7.1 surround sound organs? Check. Saxes painted with porcelain-skinned, Rococco women? Check. Laser beam metronomes? Guitar picks with faces that morph into skulls? Mic stands with drink holder attachments, or (my personal favorite) Pepsi bottles that double as mic stands? A guy playing his bass upside-down? Obscenely-painted and warped […]

NAMM: Moog Voyager RME does CV; What’s Next from Moog?

The rumored polyphonic and low-cost Moog synths were no-shows at NAMM but that didn’t mean there wasn’t anything to get excited about in the Moog booth. Owners of the Voyager Rack Mount edition are about to get their wish for more expansion capability in the form of the VX-352 CV input expander. The VX-352 turns […]

NAMM Insider Analysis: New Music Product Trends, Toys, Under the Radar

The other side of NAMM: For a different take on the latest in new music products from last week’s NAMM show, we welcome James Grahame of Retro Thing. James runs Reflex Audio Systems, so he’s able to bring us the perspective of an independent music maker on what goes on behind the scenes at music […]

Your Sony PSP on PSP Rhythm 3: A Serious Portable Drum Machine

And they say the PSP doesn’t have a killer app. PSP Rhythm, the homebrew drum machine software for Sony’s portable game console, is getting updated at an astounding rate. New in version 3.0: start/end points for drum samples (a critical feature), warped drum sounds with a reverse feature, and wave file output. Audio output is […]

NAMM: Why KORE Could Change How You Play Software Instruments

You need to find a specific sound quick, without hunting through individual plug-ins one at a time. You want to set up some layers and splits so you can play multiple sounds at once, then switch sounds at certain times in your set or during the song structure. You’ve got the instruments you want to […]

Tower of One-String Guitars: Now That’s Reinvention!

I’ve been confused by a feature Gibson is touting on its new Digital Guitar: the ability to route each individual string to a separate surround speaker. Sounds a little like a nightmare surround mix to me. Leave it to the work of an interactive artist to “reinvent the guitar” in the reverse direction: who needs […]