Korg MS-20 kit
Synth connoisseurs with a geek mentality have been circuit bending electronic instruments and creating custom modifications for some time, but it’s highly unusual for a large manufacturer to offer a synth in kit form. Yet that’s exactly what Korg has done with the launch of a kit form of its […]

Korg MS-20 kit unveiled

Korg RK-100S keytar
Despite the fact it hasn’t been the 1980s now for 25 years, the keytar remains strangely fashionable. Of course it’s had a serious makeover since, with the latest synth technology crammed into its mobile guitar-esque body. Alongside Roland’s AX Synth and Lucina AX-09 comes Korg’s RX-100S Keytar. The original RK-100 […]

Korg RK-100S Keytar unveiled

Casio XW-H1 headphones
Complementing the Casio XW-J1 DJ controller, Casio has unveiled its latest tough performance XW-H1 headphones. Designed for the on-the-go professional DJs and music enthusiasts, the headphones are tough, lightweight, and combine high audio fidelity with superb usability. The headphones provide balanced, clear sound and were designed by audiophiles to reproduce […]

Casio XW-H1 headphones

Casio XW-J1
Casio has announced its new XW-J1 DJ controller, an all-in-one VJ/DJ controller for creating remixes of audio and video from music players, smartphones, and PCs that supports OS X, iOS, and Windows platforms. Musicians can mix music using the djay app, transforming their Mac, iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch into […]

Casio XW-J1 DJ controller unveiled

Following our report that Yamaha has updated its Disklavier Education Network comes Casio’s announcement that it will be championing musical education across US schools and colleges. First up, educators attending the 2014 NAMM event can register to win their own Privia PX-350 digital piano, meet the Casio team and pick […]

Casio championing new musical education initiative

Casio has launched its CTK-6250 workstation keyboard. It’s a similar specification to the CTK-6200 and updates the CTK-6000. It features a piano-style touch response 61-key keyboard (unusual in this keyboard size range), 16-track song sequencer, tone editor, rhythm editor, multiple digital effects, 32-channel mixer, performance registration memory, USB MIDI interface, […]

Casio CTK-6250 launched

Casio has launched the CTK-6200 workstation, an update to its CTK-6000. It features a piano-style touch response 61-key keyboard (unusual in this keyboard size range), 16-track song sequencer, tone editor, rhythm editor, multiple digital effects, 32-channel mixer, performance registration memory, USB MIDI interface, SD card storage, pitch bend wheel, backlit […]

Casio CTK-6200 launched

Casio WK-6600
Casio has launched the WK-6600 workstation, an update to its WK-6500. It features a piano-style touch response 76-key keyboard, 16-track song sequencer, tone editor, rhythm editor, multiple digital effects, 32-channel mixer, performance registration memory, USB MIDI interface, SD card storage, pitch bend wheel, backlit display, music presets and 670 individual […]

Casio WK-6600 launched

Chordana Viewer
Casio has launched Chordana Tap and Chordana Viewer, two new apps designed for all current iOS devices (iPhone, iPod touch and iPad). Chordana is Casio’s own music analysis technology, and the apps harness this by detecting musical chord progressions through analysis of the frequency characteristics and temporal changes of an […]

Casio Chordana Tap and Viewer iOS Apps

Nord Lead A1
Nord has announced its latest analog modelling synthesizer, the Lead A1. Designed to suit a wide variety of musical styles, it claims to have a simpler interface which encourages experimentation and allows faster programming. Key features include: Oscillators: 8 oscillator configuration with Pitch, Detune, Shape, Sync, AM, Noise, Dual Osc, […]

Nord Lead A1 Analog Modelling Synthesizer

Diginoiz Piano Resource 2
Diginoiz has announced its rather unassuming sequel of loops, Piano Resource 2, is now available to purchase. “Uncompromising, melodic, great sounding piano loops and midi files ready to be used in Your soft or hardware Thanks to Midi files Your creativity is unlimited, You are able to change notes, switch […]

Diginoiz Piano Resource 2 loops released

Last year we posted a video purportedly of Mario Balotelli playing the piano, which we called out as fake. Now another footballer is causing a YouTube stir for apparently playing a version of Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You”. Brazilian footballer Neymar is apparently playing this piano, but as […]

Brazilian footballer Neymar playing piano?

Just before NAMM13, Yamaha launched the Disklavier Network and now, just before NAMM14 the company has announced its Disklavier Education Network First Audition Programme. The Disklavier concept is now 25 years old, and is used in many music schools and other educational establishments in order to allow students to practice […]

Yamaha Disklavier Education Network (DEN) launches

Roland ME-80 multi effect unit
We don’t cover guitar gear very often here (although we have provided details on how to tune a guitar to a piano or keyboard) but as we’re focusing on Roland’s latest workstations and digital pianos we thought it only fair to give guitarists a look in. Enter the Roland ME-80, […]

Roland ME-80 Guitar Multiple Effects revealed

Roland TM-1 Trigger Module
Acoustic drums are versatile and authentic, and many drummers wouldn’t contemplate using a complete electronic rig. That said, there’s sometimes room for expanding repertoire by using triggers to augment playing with digital sounds and effects. Other musicians in a band can have some control over this, but when the drummer […]

Roland TM-2 Trigger Module revealed

Roland HPi-50e
Roland has shown off seven new digital pianos in several series. HP508/HP506/HP504 Roland updates its HP500 series (from the HP-503, HP-505 and HP-507) with the introduction of three new models. As is the norm, higher-numbered models in a series have more features. Here are the main features: SuperNATURAL sound PHA-4 […]

Roland digital piano series unveiled: HP, DP, HPi, LX

AIRA logo
Roland has posted the first of a number of resources (possibly videos) teasing viewers about something it’s calling “AIRA”. The first video briefly discusses the development of the TR-808 in the early 1980s (including the classic, erroneous, dialog “At that time, electronic music and dance did not yet exist”): At […]

Roland AIRA teaser

Roland RD-800
Roland has updated its RD line of digital stage pianos with the introduction of the RD-800. Roland claims the RD-800 not only has a new, sleek look but also “many improvements in sound, feel, and versatility”. Sound-wise, Roland has added more acoustic piano samples, plus authentic vintage electric pianos, organs, […]

Roland RD-800 Stage Piano revealed

Roland FA-08
Preempting NAMM 2014, Roland has announced its new breed of music workstation. The FA Series, available in 61-key (FA-06) and 88-key (FA-08) models, is naturally being talked up by Roland, with hyped statements such as “taking the ‘work’ out of the music workstation”, “completely reimagines”, “effortless real-time power”, “ultra-fast workflow”, […]

Roland FA-06/FA-08 Music Workstation revealed

Have you ever sat at a highly polished grand piano and looked at your hands reflected in the lacquered board in front of you? Or seen yourself reflected as you play? MirrorFugue is a collaborative project between Chinese pianist Xiao Xiao and the MIT Media Lab which offers pianists an […]

MirrorFugue: Piano reflection system

Steinway grand piano at the Jersey Opera House
The Steinway grand piano installed in the Jersey Opera House is finally going to be restored, after a decade of fundraising plus a one-off £10,000 donation. The piano was bought second-hand and although it is constantly used by local and touring groups, it really needs some work to bring it […]

Jersey Opera House Steinway grand piano to be restored

Teenager Ryan Green missed out on a place in The Voice UK after he failed to secure a single vote from the four-strong judging panel at the first blind audition in the BBC’s reality show. The judges seemed torn, and due to not being able to see the 16-year-old, hadn’t […]

Pianist Ryan Green, 16, exits The Voice UK without a ...

Jazz pianist Jamie Cullum has visited the Camden-based piano shop Heckscher & Company as part of a BBC radio documentary in which he learns about the history of the area. As was common in many cities, a huge number of piano makers had set up in the London area in […]

Jamie Cullum visits Camden piano shop for BBC radio documentary

Mumford and Sons Steampunk piano
If you’re a piano lover who also likes the nu-folk band Mumford and Sons, and have a spare £2,500 (about $4,000) lying around, you might want to check out this Bradford acoustic piano which was crafted into a Steampunk version for the band’s live session in Lewes (East Sussex, UK). […]

Mumford and Sons Steampunk Piano [eBay]

VTC-1 Vacuum Tube Compressor
The VTC-1 Vacuum Tube Compressor is an analog-modelled VST compressor featuring “warm analog, fat pumping and transparent sound.” Pentode Audio says that, compared to modern compressors, VTC-1 has a different inner structure and principle of work. There is no threshold knob, so you set the amount of compression by increasing […]

VTC-1 Vacuum Tube Compressor plugin from Pentode Audio

Ototo experimental synth
Meet Ototo, an experimental synthesizer which can turn anything with a conductive surface into part of a musical instrument. The Ototo board consists of 12 touch pads which can be touched directly to trigger notes, or alternatively connected up via cables to any conductive object. It also has four sensor […]

Ototo: Experimental Synth turns anything conductive into an instrument

We’ve just seen this amazing new gadget which attaches to your iPhone or iPod touch, turning it into a complete motion controller for use with a range of apps and other devices. The AUUG Motion Synth consists of hardware which allows you to attach your Apple device to your wrist […]

AUUG: Motion synth for iPhone/iPod touch

Harvard Dictionary of Music
The casual musician may at first glance wonder why it’s worth making a small financial investment in a musical dictionary that’s almost large and heavy enough to be used as a doorstop, but anyone with a keen interest in the history of music, musical instruments, and theory, would do well […]

Review: The Harvard Dictionary of Music

Music Modem
If you have fond memories of having to use dial-up modems to use the Internet (anyone under the age of 25 need not concern themselves) then you might like the Music Modem, a portable sound generator that lovingly recreates those sounds just for you. It looks a bit like a […]

Music Modem: Create dial-up Internet sounds to your heart’s content

Fin touch interface ring
We’ve seen some pretty nifty alternative controller interfaces for your iPad/iPhone, like the DrumPants, but how about a wearable ring which allows you to use gestures on the palm of your hand to control apps on your smartphone or tablet? The Fin is a flexible, wearable thumb ring which can […]

Fin: Use hand palm as touch interface

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. This is where an […]

MixerFace: ultra-portable pro-quality audio recorder

We all know guitarists love their pedals, but when I saw the BeatBuddy pedal, I knew it wasn’t just a great idea for guitarists, but for any musician needing an easily controllable beat. (OK, I know founder David Packouz said just the same in his video, but I thought it […]

BeatBuddy: Guitar Pedal Drum Machine not just for guitarists

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. 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 skin contact 4 oscillators […]

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. 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 slow down Playback & […]

MONOpulator 8 step sequencer/sampler/drum machine seeking funding

Reason101 Visual Guide to the Reason Rack
Propellerhead Software has got hold of a sample tutorial chapter from the very impressive new book Reason 101 Visual Guide to the Reason Rack – Creating Kick Drums. “Robert Anselmi, the man behind Reason101, has just released a very comprehensive book called Reason 101 Visual Guide to the Reason Rack. […]

Free Reason tutorial: creating kick drums

Hailing it as the first motion-tracking controller for iOS (iPad/iPhone), IK Multimedia has introduced its iRing gizmo. 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 in a line, while […]

iRing motion-tracking controller for iOS devices

DrumPants development
It may be far from the conventional sort of rhythm MIDI controller one thinks of – an electronic drum kit, perhaps, or the drum pads on a controller keyboard – but in fact it’s possibly one of the most natural ways of capturing human rhythm. Consider the idle (or even […]

DrumPants: using feet and thighs as a MIDI/OSC controller

Theremin Vox Collection Volume 1 by Masami Takeuchi
Masami Takeuchi has announced an album of theremin music: “Theremin Vox Collection Vol.1”. 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 features more commonly found […]

Theremin and piano meet: Masami Takeuchi album

It won’t surprise most people that the “you get what you pay for” mantra applies equally well to the world of musical instruments. That said, the eyes can be tempted by an instrument that looks good, yet in reality is not. Professional pianist and consultant Tim Praskins reviews the Artesia […]

What’s a PSO? Warning over cheap digital pianos

Prophet 12 Module
Dave Smith Instruments has just shown off the module version of its Prophet 12, which it says “boasts the same power and sound as the Prophet 12 Keyboard.” The Prophet 12 Module’s streamlined interface allows quick and easy control of every parameter on the synth. Each synth section can be […]

Prophet 12 Module from Dave Smith Instruments