Saturday, January 30, 2010

Gibson Dust Tiger

Check out the latest "robotic guitar" by Gibson.

This puppy does everything but play itself...
It tunes and retunes itself automatically.
The third generation, Gibson Dust Tiger features color coded tone and tuning banks, with a total of 98 user preset positions for sound and 99 preset positions for tuning available.
It comes with a pretty big price tag, but like they say, if you have ask how much it costs, you can't afford it...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Having trouble deciding which scale for your Pantheon Steel Halo Drum?

Here's the latest details:

Kiavara Halo by Pantheon Steel

I love the sound of this one. Definitely middle eastern sounding. Would go great with a middle eastern rhythm.

Ake Bono Halo by Pantheon Steel

Of course the Ake Bono has that Asian feel to it. Would go great with a Koto or Shamisen, or a taiko drum.

Xiao Xiong Diao (XXD) Halo by Pantheon Steel

This scale has a slightly different Asian feel to it. More questioning and unresolved in it's feel.

Blues Halo by Pantheon Steel

Given my recent resurgent interest in blues music, this scale would be awesome for a blues jam with bass and guitar

For the complete picture, check out the Halo Channel on youtube:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Monochord Sound Chair

Bored with your normal therapist? Give the sound chair a spin (or should I say sit...).
Interesting marriage of massage and soundscape. I'd like to try this out, or maybe I'll build one for myself.

If you want to buy one, here's the link:

If you have an extra $7000 laying around you can buy this one from Hammacher-Schlemmer:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Unprofitable Instruments

Talk about obscure instruments! Wow. Kate Buehler-McWilliams has a taken on a mission to resurrect a whole branch of instruments lost in time. Definitely worth the time to browse her site.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How to Make a Monochord

What is a monochord?

According to Wikipedia: A monochord is an ancient musical and scientific laboratory instrument. The word "monochord" comes from the Greek and means literally "one string." A misconception of the term lies within its name. Often a monochord has more than one string, most of the time two, one open string and a second string with a movable bridge. In a basic monochord, a single string is stretched over a sound box. The string is fixed at both ends while one or many movable bridges are manipulated to demonstrate mathematical relationships between sounds.

Here's a "how to video":

Another vidio:

One more:

Monday, January 25, 2010

ZenDrum LT

From the ZenDrum website:

"The Zendrum Laptop (ZLT) is ergonomic, ambidextrous, worn with a strap orheld in a snare drum stand, on a desk, or in your lap. Same electronics andprice as a Zendrum ZX, with one extra trigger. Only 18" wide.
Standard accessories shipped with the Laptop include custom LT gigbag, strapwith straplocks, power supply/heavy-duty merge box ("Brick"), 15' and 3' MIDI cables, plus 1 extra MIDI cable (15' or 45', your choice), adapter for use on snare stand and instruction manual. International Merge Bricks are shipped with interchangeable power supply adapters for universal power requirements.
Zendrum Laptop Physical Specifications:

ZLT Dimensions:

W18" X D10" X H3.5"

Gigbag with Laptop inside: L19" X W14" X H~4.5"

Laptop shipping carton: L30" X W15" X H7"

Weight: 6-7 lbs, varies with wood used

Sunday, January 24, 2010

ZenDrum Zap

From the ZenDrum website:

"The ZAP is a compact stationary MIDI controller designed with a smaller footprint specifically to fit in tight spaces and studio environments. Four adjustable threaded feet customize the playing angle for desktop workstation beats. It can be mounted to a snare stand (via optional universal adapter) for live playing situations. Solid heavyweight wood species were chosen for beauty and lasting value as well as for density and trigger isolation, even in the toughest onstage playing conditions. The ZAP features 19 triggers in five offset rows in a hexagonal cluster which can be played as a single instrument with many different articulations, or used as separate voices to be expressed individually or together with a minimum of physical effort. The ZAP is even more adaptable as a melodic instrument with the Zendrum default note map scales suggesting many pplications, playing techniques and creative possibilities. The ZAP uses the same proven electronics and trigger components as the Zendrum ZX and LT, with 3 extra 1/4" trigger pedal inputs and a 1/4" sustain pedal input for "drummer-friendly" footwork as well as the Zendrum momentary sustain button on the top that acts as a "choke" for longer sounds and MIDI effects.

Standard accessories shipped with the ZAP include direct-connect 12vdc power supply with locking connector, 15' MIDI cable, and instruction manual.

Current production time for the ZAP is 2 weeks from date of order.

ZAP physical specifications:


W12" by D10.5" by H2.5"

Weight: 7 lbs

Cost: $999

The ZenDrum Zap is

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Wernick PercPad

The Wernick PercPad is the world’s first electronic pad designed specifically for hand percussionists.

From the Wernick website:

"Its Ash wood playing surface combines the warm organic feel of an acoustic hand drum with all the capabilities of electronic music. It’s based on the successful Notepad, using the same patented Wernick Percussion System technology to achieve unrivalled levels of sensitivity and range. The PercPad isolation system starts with the playing surface which sits on free floating suspension mounts inside a rugged ABS tray.
On the back there’s a foam mounted steel housing for mounting the PercPac on its frame. There’s also a locking XLR connector there too ensuring that the plug can’t come loose even under the hardest playing conditions. The PercPad isolation system is finished off with two simple T Nuts ensuring thePercPad is in minimum contact with its frame.PercPad Iso Frames are available to fit two and four PercPads. They have further isloation features including a free floating collar piece and are finished in bright chrome. They fit standard drum hardware. PercPads also fit our standard Frames which are available to fit one, two, four, six and eight Pads.
The PercPad can be used with any commercially available drum brain with trigger inputs and also with Wernick Musical Instruments upcoming Trigger to MIDI converter unit. With high specification brains such as the Roland TD-10 or ddrum 4 the levels of expression and layering capabilities can be awesome.
The Wernick PercPad is not an electronic conga or bongo. It’s a new kind of musical tool for hand percussionists giving them the opportunity to make great music with the tap of a finger. "

Wow. This is cool. I want one!

No prices yet.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wernick Xylosynth

I just discovered this interesting musical instrument, the "Xylosyth" by Wernick.

It looks like a very interesting mix of classic Xylophone with the electronics to provide the output for the modern electronic musician.

I don't own one, but it just went on my wish list!!!

The Xylosyth is avialable in either Burbinga or Birth keys.
It provides MIDI output.
Unique for this intrument is a transpose pedal, which allows you to transpose the instrument in real-time! Wow, that's cool.

If you want to read the manual for the Xylosyth, here's the links:


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

NAMM 2010 Best in show

Here's a sample of the new products which got "Best in Show" and the 2010 Winter NAMM show this last week:

Rhythm Tech "Stickball":

This looks like a great solution for kit drummers who needs to have that shaker sound from behind the kit.

Link: Stickball Shaker


I love this idea for bands that need a solution to performing without disturbing the neighbors too much. I am sure that my mom would have bought this for me in heart beat for the garage band that I had in high school...

JamHub GreenRoom
JamHub GreenRoom Silent Rehearsal Studio
JamHub BedRoom

JamHub BedRoom Silent Rehearsal Studio

Daisy Rock Guitars

I bought my daughter the Daisy Rock, Beginning Guitar book a few years back. Now the Daisy Rock product line has expanded.

Link: Daisy Rock Debutante Junior Miss Acoustic Bubble Gum Pink Guitar Starter Pack


Why tune one string at a time? This looks like a great solution to the quick tune:


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Youtube video of finches playing guitar

This is an incredible improvisation on guitar by a flock of finches:

Here's another video, not such great resolution:

I'd love to hear/see more videos of animals improvising on any musical instrument.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dispersion of Sound Waves in Ice Sheets

I discovered this incredible recording of ice sheets cracking.
It was recorded with underwater microphones. The article describes how the sound waves are propogated.


Here's an updated post:

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Eigenharp Pico

This is the Eigenharp Pico, a smaller version of the Eigenharp Alpha.

Here's a couple video's introducing the Eigenharp Pico:

Friday, January 15, 2010


Check out the Eigenharp, by Eigenlabs.

The Eigenharp is a professional level instrument which allows the musician to play and improvise using a limitless range of sounds with virtuoso skill. The unique design of the keys makes this the most expressive electronic musical instrument ever made. The Alpha 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.

The Alpha requires a Mac computer to run.

Here's a Youtube video of the Eigenharp:

More information:

The Moog Guitar Model E1-M with MIDI

Check out this supper cool and innovative Moog synthesizer guitar.
For all of you guitar players out there, you can now compose electronic music without leaving the fretboard.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Saturday, January 02, 2010

How to Build a PVC Flute

I stumbled onto a great site that highlights the design for making simple flutes from PVC pipe. This is a great design if you want to organize a flute making workshop for kids, adults or others and emerge with a workable design.

Here's the link: