instruments
Man Restoring a Classic Synth Goes on a 9-Hour Acid Trip After Accidentally Touching LSD-Covered Knob

There are plenty of wild rumours, mythologies, and eyebrow-raising stories from the long history of music, including claims that parts of synthesizers designed by electronic music pioneer Don Buchla had been dipped in LSD. But as engineer Eliot Curtis recently discovered, those claims might actually hold some truth. Read More >>

instruments
CES 2019: You Can Ask Alexa to Change Sounds on Roland’s New Keyboard While Your Hands Keep Playing

Voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa have been baked into a lot of questionable gadgets that don’t really need to be controlled through voice commands. But one device where hands-free operation makes a bit more sense is a digital piano where a user’s hands are preoccupied making music, so Roland’s adding Alexa to its new Go:Piano, letting performers change sounds and settings by just asking the virtual assistant to. Read More >>

instruments
CES 2019: Sphero’s Sensor Ring Turns Everything Into an Instrument For Fidgety Finger Tappers

Hello. My name is Andrew Liszewski, and I’m an incessant finger tapper. Almost anything in reach can become an impromptu drum kit when I’m burning off nervous tension. It’s often incredibly annoying to those unfortunate enough to be in earshot, but soon my anxious behaviours could yield a future hit on the club scene with Sphero’s colour-sensing SpecDrums toy. Read More >>

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Rescued Computer Hardware Performs a Near-Perfect Rendition of the ’80s Airwolf Theme

Paweł Zadrożniak’s Floppotron, a desktop orchestra that uses old computer components as musicians, performs one of the greatest ‘80s TV show earworms ever aired with a thrilling rendition of the Airwolf theme. I’m also going to award bonus points for using the clicking sound of a wall of disk drives to recreate the sounds of a spinning helicopter rotor. Read More >>

gadgets
Casio Is Reviving an ’80s Musical Calculator So You Can Play the Star Wars Theme While Doing Your Taxes

For a short while, listening to popular songs played on old-school calculators was a fun YouTube distraction. Fads come and go a lot faster on the internet, however, which is unfortunate for Casio. It’s releasing an updated version of a popular ‘80s calculator that plays music and a video game—but maybe a few weeks too late? Read More >>

music
You Need to Hear the Unreal Sound of a Snare Drum In an Abandoned Nuclear Cooling Tower

Those giant, curvy, concrete towers that rise above nuclear power plants aren’t only useful for cooling superheated water. Once decommissioned, the massive structures can also be used to naturally create amazing sounds and effects when playing instruments inside them. Read More >>

music
Lost £30,000 Violin Returned to Owner by Cash Converters

One particular branch of Cash Converters has spectacularly failed to convert an item into a massive amount of cash, but it's OK. It was for a good cause. Read More >>

music
Watching Strings Vibrate While This Guitarist Plays is Delightfully Calming

By mounting a small camera looking out the sound hole of his guitar, musician Alan Gogoll was able to capture the oscillating wave patterns as each string was plucked. The result is a performance that’s as captivating to watch as it is to hear. Read More >>

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How To Make a Tiny Popsicle Stick Violin to Play When Your Friends Start Whining

It took Antonio Stradivari months to create one of his instrumental masterpieces, but you can make yourself a tiny wooden violin in just a few hours using popsicle sticks, toothpicks, coffee stirrers, and string. It can’t be used to play Mozart, but you can still pretend to play it whenever your friends start complaining about their inconsequential life problems. Read More >>

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A 15-Piece Orchestra Played Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Than Daft Punk Themselves

When you see a 15-piece orchestra full of trumpets, violins, and cellos, you’re probably expecting to hear a little Chopin, or Mozart. But the Rundfunk-Tanzorchester Ehrenfeld (or Radio Dance Orchestra of Ehrenfeld, in english) plays a near perfect rendition of Daft Punk’s Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger in this delightful clip. Read More >>

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All the Instruments In This Excellent Rock Band Are Played by Actual Rocks

Last year, artist Neil Mendoza turned a hamster running in a wheel into a talented sketch artist. This year he’s pulled off an even more amazing feat by turning inanimate rocks into a talented (literal) rock band that plays a surprisingly decent cover of The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun.” Read More >>

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This Scrolling Storybook is Also Playing Its Own Fantastic Soundtrack

The stories Mari Lesteberg tells won’t put her on the New York Times’ bestseller list, but that doesn’t make them any less fantastic. Watching her simple side-scrolling tale of a little girl venturing into a dark cave isn’t terribly exciting, until you realise the artwork is actually playing the accompanying soundtrack using the tiny piano on the far left. Read More >>

music
This Pocket-Sized Synth Uses Dial-up Internet Tricks to Share Sounds and Songs

For electronic musicians who still like being able to perform with dials and buttons, Teenage Engineering’s Pocket Operators are miniature synths that manage to pack a tremendous amount of functionality into a tiny package. And that now includes the ability to import and export sounds and patterns with the new PO-32 Tonic synth. Read More >>

robots
Marvel at This Bagpipe-Playing Robot, and Then Cringe at the Music it Plays

At no point in the history of humanity did anyone ever ask for a bagpipe-playing robot that would never get tired. But this is exactly what Instructables’ XenonJohn has built with his Ardu McDuino bot that uses a pair of 3D-printed prosthetic hands to autonomously play a bagpipe’s chanter. Thanks? Read More >>