MIDI

  • There's a new expressive keyboard synth in town, the result of a collaboration between France's Expressive E and Haken Audio out of Illinois. The stylish Osmose offers expression over three dimensions for every note on the raised keyboard.
  • 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.
  • Back in 2016, Tim Jacobs of mixtela managed to cram a MIDI synthesizer into a MIDI plug. He's now revisited that project, teamed up with H-Pi Instruments and created the much more capable Flash "mini-poly-MIDI-micro-synth."
  • 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.
  • ​Cardboard is generally used as packaging, to house new instruments during transit for example. But we've seen a number of gear innovations actually built using cardboard over the years, and the latest to join the cardboard band is the Beatbox, a MIDI drum machine built into cardboard housing.​
  • ​Five years ago, Fishman's TriplePlay controller gave us the opportunity to wirelessly tap into an almost infinite world of digital sounds on our laptop. Now the firm has unveiled a new version called the Connect that offers a similar experience for iPad users, though it's not wireless this time.​
  • 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.
  • ​Back in 2015, Sensel introduced the Morph, a sensor-packed interface that could accommodate a host of colorful overlays for different tasks. Now the company has introduced its first new overlay since Kickstarter backers began receiving their Morphs in 2017, the Buchla Thunder.​​
  • Vochlea Music's goal in making the Dubler Studio Kit is to help musicians "release the stems of musical ideas trapped in their heads and get them straight into their production software – by simply using their voice."
  • There are a number of devices available that allow musicians to connect a guitar to a computer. But IK Multimedia says its Axe I/O is the high-end audio interface that guitar and bass players have been waiting for.
  • The last year has seen iconic brand Gibson collapse and be reborn, Fender experiment with hybrid guitar forms, and Moog release its first analog polysynth in decades. It's been a rollercoaster of highs and lows, but we're focusing on the positive for a look back at music gear highlights in 2018.
  • ​Since launching in 1999, Lippold Haken's Continuum Fingerboard has helped unlock expressive creativity in musicians around the globe. But a full-sized Continuum is priced way out of reach of many electronic music players, so Haken Audio has launched the ContinuuMini on Kickstarter.​