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

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

At first glance it may seem like an unlikely pairing – a virtuoso Chinese pianist and an iconic metal band teaming up to perform together. Yet that’s exactly what Metallica and Lang Lang are going to do at this year’s Grammy awards, being held on 26th January. “This performance will […]

Metallica and Lang Lang to perform together at Grammys

The popular Piano Wizard computer game system, designed to simply teach a user to play simple songs in just four steps, has been approved by the Autism Hope Alliance (AHA), gaining an “Autism Approved” seal. AHA has pioneered the Autism Approved program, designed to highlight numerous products, materials, clothing, toys […]

Piano Wizard approved by Autism Hope Alliance

Nord Lead "Pelle's Mode"
Anyone lucky enough to own one of Clavia’s wonderful NordLead or NordRack instruments (original or ‘2’ models, not ‘2X’ ones) might be interested to know of a particular “hidden synth” mode. Apparently it’s been a rumour/possible hoax for quite some time, but it’s been found by a writer in the […]

Hidden “Pelle’s Mode” synth in NordLead

Jam Synth
Here’s a neat review, demo and tutorial of the latest free version of Jam Synth, all rolled into one. Jam Synth, for iOS devices (preferably an iPad) is a pitch-to-MIDI converter which works great with guitars, vocals, and other electronic instruments. It’s great when you have a non-MIDI device which […]

Jam Synth review, demo and tutorial video

Keyboard virtuoso and all-round good guy (if at times a bit ‘grumpy’) Rick Wakeman has stamped his name firmly in the Korg army when it comes to buying a digital piano. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of Yamaha digital pianos, but there’s no doubt Korg make some crackers as […]

Rick Wakeman bigs up Korg in digital piano guide

Korg tinyPIANO
When we wrote our guide to buying a child’s first electronic keyboard we hadn’t seen this gorgeous new toy piano from Korg. The aptly named tinyPIANO is a small yet perfectly formed digital piano designed to be played by babies, toddlers and young children. Korg says that “first impressions stay […]

Korg tinyPIANO designed for children

Sebastian Errazuriz's Piano Shelf
Leave aside the fact that I’m a bit peckish as I write this, and so these high design shelves remind me a little of Kit-Kat bars, Sebastian Errazuriz’s 1997 work has just come before my eyes. The installation is of four shelves of perhaps eighty blocks of wood on each, […]

Piano Shelf from Sebastian Errazuriz

Through a Dog's Ear CD
While it’s not much of a surprise to learn that piano music can be a relaxant and de-stressor for humans, it might be less obvious that our canine friends can also benefit from the right kind of music. That’s the view of Lisa Spector, who attended the prestigious Juilliard School […]

Piano music used to calm dogs

Scott Tucker debut jazz piano album cover
Jazz pianist Scott Tucker is set to release his self-titled debut in February, launching it online for free as a series of MP3 audio tracks from his own website and via torrents (a mechanism for sharing files between Internet-connected computers). Jazz pianist Scott Tucker announces that his debut album caters […]

Scott Tucker debut jazz piano album to be free release

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. The Waves WLM Plus Loudness Meter plugin provides precision loudness measurement, metering, correction and adjustment tools for broadcast, movie trailers, games, packaged media and more. Fully compliant […]

WLM Plus Loudness Meter V9 released by Waves Audio

It’s interesting where pianos pop up. Not always literally, but still in places you wouldn’t imagine. Perhaps your first thought if I told you I’d just read about a piano on Accounting Web would be about the value of some recently discovered, rare grand piano, or advice on how to […]

Child’s piano story metaphor for overcoming attachment

We like the odd gimmick or two here, so when we saw Jason Black’s ‘backwards’ video we decided to publish it for you to enjoy as well. Here we see Jason playing various classics including The Entertainer and the theme from Indiana Jones, while assuming various alternative poses. This includes […]

Pianist plays Entertainer and Indiana Jones ‘backwards’

Piano socks
Piano-based clothing isn’t likely to win any high-brow fashion awards (but then again, I wouldn’t walk down the street in some of the stuff that passes for boutique fashion) but it certainly advertises you as a piano geek. Take these knee-length piano key socks, as modelled by Andy ‘flyboy’ Dickson, […]

Piano socks, for that unique fashion style

Beatmaker Studio HD
Welcome to our roundup of piano/synth/electronic music-related apps for the first week of 2014. Bit of a slow start, and as usual very heavy on the iOS platform (iPads and iPhones). Rest assured, we’re keeping our eyes peeled for the best apps on all mobile and desktop platforms. YouCompose [iOS] […]

App Watch: YouCompose, R&B Studio PRO, Beatmaker Studio HD

Weekly Beats 2014
Anyone looking for something to motivate them to creating music should head over to WeeklyBeats, a site dedicated to publishing original musical creations each and every week. “Weeklybeats is a 52 week long music project in which artists compose and publicly release 1 song a week for the entire year. […]

WeeklyBeats: Create and share new music each week in 2014