Synth, Electronic & Audio

This section covers the range of synthesisers, keyboards, electronic music gadgets, and other audio devices used in making and recording music, from manufacturers such as Yamaha, Korg, Kurzweil, Roland, Casio, and Moog, as well as looking at projects and techniques for synth playing and programming.

Smartphones and tablets now make great portable recording studios, thanks to powerful processors and a plethora of high quality apps. The weak chain in the process is that of sound capture. The standard microphones built in to this hardware just isn’t designed for high quality capture. Get our occasional newsletter... […]

MixerFace: ultra-portable pro-quality audio recorder

Diagram A is Daniel Greenwood’s “mental feedback research project” that’s been ongoing for over 20 years. All electronics are self-designed and handmade. Get our occasional newsletter... The Indiegogo campaign is for a limited edition set of noise synth devices which come with: multiple inputs/outputs multiple pad touch sensitive control for […]

Diagram A noise synth boxes seeking funding

MONOpulator design
MONOpulator is an all-in-one four-track 8 step sequencer, sampler and a drum machine, currently seeking funding on Indiegogo. Get our occasional newsletter... Developer JD Sweet lays out the following features: Place kick drums, snares, hi hats and crashes up to 8 positions each. 200% pitch control to speed up or […]

MONOpulator 8 step sequencer/sampler/drum machine seeking funding

Hailing it as the first motion-tracking controller for iOS (iPad/iPhone), IK Multimedia has introduced its iRing gizmo. Get our occasional newsletter... Although not aimed specifically at musicians, it could certainly be used with music apps. iRing is a wearable ring with markers imprinted upon it. One side contains three dots […]

iRing motion-tracking controller for iOS devices

Theremin Vox Collection Volume 1 by Masami Takeuchi
Masami Takeuchi has announced an album of theremin music: “Theremin Vox Collection Vol.1”. Get our occasional newsletter... It combines the sounds of acoustic piano and the Gordin Masazane theremin, which his own company produces. “The Gordin Masazane can produce sound by either oscillators or traditional heterodyning and also includes waveshaping […]

Theremin and piano meet: Masami Takeuchi album

WLM Plus
Anyone requiring precision volume monitoring and control need look no further than Waves Audio’s latest offering – the WLM Plus Loudness Meter V9. Get our occasional newsletter... The Waves WLM Plus Loudness Meter plugin provides precision loudness measurement, metering, correction and adjustment tools for broadcast, movie trailers, games, packaged media […]

WLM Plus Loudness Meter V9 released by Waves Audio

Nektar has announced the launch of an entry-level USB MIDI controller keyboard, offering a great choice for those just dipping their toe into the water of DAW control. Get our occasional newsletter... The Impact LX49 is a 49-key synth action keyboard offering a host of controls perfect for controlling software […]

Nektar launches Impact LX49 budget USB MIDI controller keyboard

Get our occasional newsletter... On 23 October, Apple announced its latest run of tablets, computers and software. Among the crop of new gear came a new version of Apple’s popular music creation software GarageBand. GarageBand 10 (don’t ask what happened to versions 7 and 8 — the last release was […]

Apple GarageBand 10 for Mac OS X launched for free

Introduction The Apple iPad is quickly becoming a go-to portable music device for many musicians, whether they’re composing, sequencing, performing, DJing, notating, or crafting sounds. Get our occasional newsletter... Thanks to the iOS 4.2 upgrade, MIDI is now very much a feature of all iOS devices. There’s now a huge […]

How to connect a music keyboard to your iPad

Amidio, maker of, Star Guitar and JR Hexaton Pro, has just released its latest iOS app — a virtual acoustic steel guitar for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Get our occasional newsletter... Simulating a six-string acoustic steel guitar based on the legendary vintage 1979 Martin & Co dreadnought, the […]

Pearl Guitar virtual acoustic steel guitar launched by Amidio [iOS ...

Akai Professional has just launched its iMPC app for iOS devices, offering them a virtual music production environment based on Akai’s hardware controllers. Get our occasional newsletter... It comes with over 600 samples, 47 editable programs and 80 editable sequences, and features an exclusive iMPC sound set plus classic Akai […]

iMPC launched by Akai Professional [iOS App]

Native Instruments has announced an updated TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 is now available, offering a compact decks/effects controller and an ideal partner for the TRAKTOR PRO. Get our occasional newsletter... The unit offers direct control over playback, browse, cue, sync and loop functionality, and now introduces a button for dedicated Flux […]

Native Instruments TRAKTOR KONTROL X1 MK2 launched

Apart from winning the prize for the longest titled app we’ve seen in a while, we’re wondering whether the Sound Effect+Music+Ringtone: Player, Downloader, and Recorder! from MobileVideo.TV is a decent iOS app. Get our occasional newsletter... It claims to include over 200 high-quality sound effects, music snippets and ringtones, which […]

Free Sound Effect+Music+Ringtone: Player, Downloader, and Recorder! [iOS App]

EarWizard is an app designed to train your ear into recognising and recalling musical chords. It’s modelled on the “Simon” game, in that you have to repeat back an increasingly long sequence of music chords. Get our occasional newsletter... The app has been developed by Jordan Rudess and Felipe Peña. […]

EarWizard [iOS App]

Fans of Neo-Soul Keys, from the Gospel Musicians, will be pleased to hear they’ve just launched two new electric pianos for the app. Get our occasional newsletter... Neo-Soul EX5 uses the synthesis technology from the Yamaha EX5 synth, sampled through the FDSP engine of the EX5 to simulate the modelled […]

Neo-Soul Keys gets two new electric pianos [iOS App]

After featuring Drum Pads 24, we now show off EasyBeats 3 Pro Drum Machine, a full-featured drum sequencer/live performance instrument for iOS devices. Get our occasional newsletter... Claiming to be the “quickest and easiest way to create great sounding beats”, it boasts the following features: 16 responsive sample pads Use […]

EasyBeats 3 Pro Drum Machine [iOS App]

101 Colorful, Cool, Weird, Novelty, Vintage Toy Keyboard Instruments
Get our occasional newsletter... 1. Cute little wooden organ with crooked keys. 2. Green musical keyboard instrument from the USSR, circa 1990. 3. Cute yellow 1-octave keyboard with strap. 4. Yellow elephant dual keyboard. 5. Funky-looking “Xylomatic”. I’d love to see how this works. 6. Lovely green and purple toy […]

101 Colourful, Cool, Weird, Novelty, Vintage Toy Instruments [GALLERY]

Does the world need another “shake your iPhone” app? Steven Barnegren thinks so, with his Shaker Box offering for iOS-based devices. Get our occasional newsletter... Shaker Box offers a variety of professionally-recorded percussion samples plus three modes: shake mode, tap mode and loop mode. “Shake” does what you’d expect. “Tap” […]

Shaker Box [iOS App]

QuNexus is an ultra-controllable portable keyboard designed for both live performance and studio work. Get our occasional newsletter... Conceived and designed by Keith McMillen, who already has a vast array of innovative hardware credits, it was funded through Kickstarter and is now available to buy. The 25-key (2 octave) controller […]

QuNexus: powerful 25 key controller launched via Kickstarter

UPDATE: The Tyros5 was announced on November 11, 2013. Check out the announcement and visit our dedicated Tyros5 microsite. Get our occasional newsletter... Over a decade has passed since Yamaha launched its first Tyros arranger keyboard. Since then, it has released the Tyros 2, Tyros 3 and Tyros 4. With […]

Yamaha Tyros5: Fact and fiction

Keyboard players — particularly those looking for more natural, intuitive ways of expressing their musical ideas without totally abandoning the familiarity of the standard piano layout — are already faced with many options for altering sound and performance characteristics in real time. However, most of them require the musician to […]

Seaboard: the highly tactile evolved piano keyboard

It’s the age-old rivalry — piano versus guitar. Throw synth keyboard players into the mix, attempting guitar-esque sounds, and you’re sure to be met with looks of disdain from guitar purists. Get our occasional newsletter... While most pianists would never dare to suggest they could emulate the nuances of a […]

Guitar-like nuances added to piano keyboard via touchscreen technology