Instrument

  • Back in February, Vlad Kreimer of Soma Laboratory announced the creation of a Dvina prototype, the first electro-acoustic instrument from the Russian synth maker. Now the slightly-tweaked production model has been released.
  • Artiphon first came to our attention in 2012/13 with a strange-looking digital instrument called the Instrument 1 that leveraged the processing power of a docked iPhone to create music. Now the ream is back with a handheld synthesizer called Orba.
  • A collaboration between the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has resulted in a mid-air gestural tone and beat controller called the GripBeats.
  • Originally announced in January, and planned for release a month later, the Stylophone Gen R-8 touch analog synthesizer has now finally been released. But only 500 will be made.
  • Skoog Music is all about making music easy and fun. Five years ago the company launched a touchy-feely cube on Indiegogo that could be picked up and played in minutes. Now a new big-buttoned melody maker has been announced called the Skwitch.
  • Roli is in the business of making weird, creatively-designed and hyper-expressive MINI instrument controllers. Its Beatmaker Kit features the Lightblock, a beautiful, wireless digital controller that's so flexible to play that, with the right instrument, it almost feels organic and analog.
  • ​In 2013, David Packouz sampled some beats played by a top drummer and put realistic percussion at the feet of guitarists. That drummer-in-a-pedal got a baby brother a couple of years later, and now Singular Sound is aiming to shake up the looper space with the Aeros Loop Studio.​
  • Rock guitarists sometimes have a strange relationship with their instruments, with many sacrificing them to their art. When Sandvik decided to make an unbreakable all-metal guitar, naturally the company asked fellow Swede Yngwie Malmsteen to try and destroy it.
  • ​Sweden's Teenage Engineering has announced a limited run of a special PO-33 ​pocket operator. The Ghostly edition represents the company's first PO collaboration effort and comes packed with some unique sounds.​
  • Lego is easy to use and allows creative types to build whatever is in their heads, or adapt something created earlier to fit new needs. The MPA Platform from MakeProAudio offers a similar experience for folks wanting to build custom audio gear – with nothing more than a screwdriver.
  • An innovative percussion instrument has launched on Kickstarter which kind of puts a full drum kit on your chest. The KeyTam features a main drum where the head tension can be adjusted in real time using a lever on a wooden handle, and a number of mini cymbals for tambourine-like accompaniment.
  • ​YouTuber Steve Terreberry has taken delivery of what he's calling the most metal guitar ever, a 20 string monster that takes the Djent battle straight to Jared Dines, who had an 18 string beast presented to him by Ormesby Guitars at NAMM 2018.​