Tagged With midi

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The surfaces of ROLI products practically beg you to touch them. Unlike the slappy, clicky keys or gorilla glass surfaces on most new tech, they're coated in a responsive, almost fleshlike silicon rubber that's at once alien and intuitive. So what are you waiting for? For the first time in the company's history, it has made an instrument that is decidedly not for musicians.

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Keys is a MIDI keyboard, built with aspiring piano students in mind. It's a pretty small guy, making it a great travelling companion (who says you can't play a keyboard by the campfire?). But the coolest thing about Keys is it incorporates gestures — so you can travel up and down octaves by just waving your hands.

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In the music video for his aptly-named track Arcade, M4SONIC is seen playing a custom-made arcade-style joystick that's actually a MIDI instrument. Instead of using a piano keyboard, or a rhythm pad filled with countless buttons to trigger MIDI samples, this creation let M4SONIC channel his childhood Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat skills into his music.

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Inexpensive, portable hardware for electronic music usually comes short on the features. A beginner 25-key MIDI keyboard, for example, isn't going to get you very far towards making big music, even if it does fit in your backpack. Arturia's new Beatstep is remarkable because manages to put both a software controller and an versatile sequencer in one portable package, all for $US125.

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It's easy to make fun of Guitar Hero now that the craze is over, but one thing is for sure: It created a new enthusiasm for the guitar as an instrument, in these days of DJs and remix artists. We've seen a rash of startlingly innovative new ways to teach people how to play the guitar, from the Rock Prodigy series to Wild Chords. Those are great, but Tabber could be better.

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Akai's original MPC revolutionised music forever by combining all of the tools a producer needs — a sampler, mixer, multi-track recorder and editor — in one device. The new ultra-portable iPad version of the hardware might do the same thing for a new generation.

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This isn't the first multitouch deejaying we've seen, but something about seeing this guy navigate his transparent control station - a homebrew touchscreen running a Traktor Pro MIDI controller called Emulator - really makes me want to do the robot.

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Got a few dozen ship and train horns, 2347-litre air tank, gasoline powered air compressor, MIDI board and unmatched patriotic fervour? Then you've got The Great American Horn Machine. Presenting God Bless America, as it was meant to be heard.