We've covered theremins before, from DIY pocket theremins to hacks using the Microsoft Kinect and Nintendo Wii. But we've never covered a utensil-based theremin, or a theremin with tines, or even a theremin that uniquely reacts to the texture of chicken skin.
Ears vary wildly from person to person, with all kinds of weird and/or oogy topographical variation--ridges, valleys, craters, mesas, archipelagos. (Probably not archipelagos.) And the ear is particularly sensitive to the earbuds with which you thoughtlessly penetrate it on a daily basis: Off-the-shelf earbuds' imperfect fit can cause diminished sound quality as well as ear-canal discomfort. Earbud connoisseurs get theirs professionally custom-molded to the contours of each individual ear, but custom earbuds often cost about as much as a lightly-used Vespa.
I love Clipse. I love the Kinect (and Kinect hacks). I can't say I love Travis Barker, but two out of three is plenty to enjoy Clipse's latest for "Come N Get It," a video that calls on the monochrome color blocks and infrared grid of the Kinect's motion-capture tech for visual style points.
As far as things that come out of the MIT Media Lab are concerned, perhaps a flute is among the less impressive. But take into account that the entire fully-functioning acoustic instrument was created via 3-D printer with a minimum of human assembly, and it sounds markedly more impressive.
Merry Christmas from the flying robots of Switzerland. Watch as a Swiss quadrocopter named “Echo” plays a little something for the holidays.
The robot is a test subject at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology’s Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control. Researchers put a piano in their Flying Machine Arena so Echo could play “Jingle Bells.”
By Peter Kirn
Posted 10.12.2010 at 3:45 pm 0 Comments
Packing features into an electronic instrument - say, adding a recorder or sampler - tends to make for a bulky device with a seriously complicated menu system. Teenage Engineering's OP-1, part of a category of devices musicians call "grooveboxes," bucks that trend. It fits all the bells and whistles into a trim 11-by-4 inch slab that does away with menu-digging. It's a sophisticated, all-in-one noisemaker you can carry, and play, with one hand.
Apple's new Apple TV has been overhauled. It's been shrunk to a tiny black square, with a new interface and some great new features. But while it does some things very well, it's severely lacking in both content and functionality.
Last week, the world waited with bated breath as Swedish robotics engineers teased us with promises of a robotic swan that danced so beautifully to Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” that the few who had viewed it were moved to tears. The dancing swan was unveiled this week at Sweden’s largest book fair, and due to the overwhelming demands of readers (okay, three of you) we’ve obtained the first video of robo-swan in action.
Had you happened to be in the eastern Netherlands on Sunday, you could have had the opportunity to hear a new composition: “Impromptu No. 1 for Micronium.” However, you probably wouldn’t have seen much. That’s because the micronium, while it may sound like a miniature tuba, is actually the first musical instrument measured in micrometers whose tones are audible to humans.
I love Maker Faire. I've had a blast with makers and their wild creations in San Francisco and in Austin, but this past weekend, Make's traveling DIY circus came right to my backyard here in NYC. It's a circus that happens to include a pulse-jet-powered merry-go-round, seen here, among other delights. Which is the right kind of circus.
A new opera produced by the lab behind Guitar Hero technology includes robotic singers, interactive instruments and a focus on technology that could change the way we experience live performances.
“Death and the Powers,” which has been 10 years in the making, premieres later this month in the city-state of Monaco, whose ruler, Prince Albert II, is the project’s patron. It’s the first royal performance to feature OperaBots.
There's no doubt humans are a musical species, although whether there's a genetic basis for our musicality is still up for debate. A UK team put that question into literal terms Tuesday night in London.
Over the weekend, the New London Chamber Choir offered three performances of "Allele," a 20-minute, 40-part choral work in which the members sing their own genetic codes.
Neural networks -- collections of artificial neurons or nodes set up to behave like the neurons in the brain -- can be trained to carry out a variety of tasks, often having something to do with pattern or sequence recognition. As such, they have shown great promise in image recognition systems. Now, research coming out of the University of Hong Kong has shown that neural networks can hear as well as see. A neural network there has learned the features of sound, classifying songs into specific genres with 87 percent accuracy.
In every issue we pick the dozen or so coolest gadgets to hit that month--looking beyond the fare being pushed by your friendly neighborhood Best Buy sales teen, we highlight the gear that's better, faster or completely different than what's out there now. Click the gallery thumbnails below to dive in:
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.