Ion Audio definitely had a busy CES. Besides launching iCade Mobile — which adds eight buttons and a D-Pad to your iPhone — they also showcased upcoming instrument learning rigs. Piano Studio is a 61-note keyboard with lighted keys showing you how to play, while Drum Master is a full-size electronic drum kit with six velocity-sensitive lighted pads and cymbals. We also got a sneak peak at guitar apprentice. Video!
The iPad accessories include a free app with built-in lessons and also connect to Garage Band (and other iPad instrument apps). Piano Studio and Drum Master both arrive in September and will be US$150 and US$300, respectively. A smaller, cheaper version of Piano Studio called Piano Apprentice is already available in Australia from iWorld for $150. The cut-down Drum Apprentice won’t arrive until September, and is also expected to cost around the same price.
Though clearly too limited for serious music producers, these rigs look like a great introduction to musical instruments for kids. Well, the keyboard and drum accessories do, anyway. I’m still not sure about guitar apprentice. It looks fun, but seems more ‘guitar hero’ fun than practical first steps to learning how to play. More info on all the devices at [Ion Audio] Guitar Apprentice