Instrument

  • 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.​
  • ​Fender may be best known for its Strat and Tele guitars, but the instrument maker isn't afraid to try something new. Last year's Parallel Universe series mashed up bits from different Fender guitars, and now it's time to take a trip to an Alternate Reality with the release of the Powercaster.​
  • In 2015, Steinway launched a line of pianos that allowed owners to tap into an archive of performances by some of the world's top players, and have the piano play them back. Now the iconic maker has introduced the the Spirio | r – which can record a musician's own live performance and play it back.
  • Soma Laboratory has built a new instrument called Dvina that's inspired by the sounds of classical Hindu music. Vibrations from the strings are picked up by a powerful magnet buried inside the wooden neck, the signal boosted and modulated and then output through an amplifier.
  • ​Keyboard players rarely get to the front of the stage. If only they had an instrument they could strap on like a guitar... There is of course just such a keyboard, but the keytar hasn't really caught on. Yamaha is hoping that will change with the launch of the Sonogenic SHS-500.​
  • ​String pickers on the road often can't take their guitars of choice of their travels – due to size or safety concerns – so might carry or more portable flavor to help keep calluses from going soft. But what if you played a double bass? That's where the TravelBass comes into its own.​