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

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

Visit our dedicated Tyros5 microsite for the latest information. We’ve been building to this moment for months, and now Yamaha has finally announced the successor to its Tyros 4 arranger workstation. Isn’t it just the way that a major announcement was made the day I went on holiday? Hmmm. Still, […]

Yamaha Tyros 5 61 and 76-key models announced

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. The Impact LX49 is a 49-key synth action keyboard offering a host of controls perfect for controlling software such as Reason and […]

Nektar launches Impact LX49 budget USB MIDI controller keyboard

Arturia MicroBrute VCO
There’s been a bit of a buzz recently as musicians have anticipated a little brother to the Arturia MiniBrute, and now the wait is nearly over. After some blurred teaser photos and a video earlier this week, Arturia has revealed specs, price and availability date for its new MicroBrute monophonic […]

Arturia MicroBrute coming 1st November

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 GarageBand 6) is a […]

Apple GarageBand 10 for Mac OS X launched for free

If we’re honest, we never expected Apple iPads to become such a phenomenon in the audio and music world, yet here we are looking at an ultra-thin iPad Air and updated iPad Mini which are both sure to go down a storm with musicians. A year-and-a-half ago we were looking […]

iPad Air and iPad Mini: A Musician’s Dream?

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. Thanks to the iOS 4.2 upgrade, MIDI is now very much a feature of all iOS devices. There’s now a huge range of apps available, […]

How to connect a music keyboard to your iPad

The US National Chopin Foundation has announced it has raised the top prize for the 2015 National Chopin Competition to $75,000, in a bid to encourage the best American pianists to apply. The winner of the National Chopin Competition will advance to the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland, […]

National Chopin Competition ups 2015 top prize to $75,000

We’ve seen our fair share of expensively decorated grand pianos, including the world’s most expensive jewel-encrusted Kuhn-Bosendorfer and Baldwin’s Exotic Collection of acoustic pianos. Now, a one-of-a-kind 24-carat gold leaf Fazioli grand piano is being displayed at Aberdeen Centre’s Showcase Pianos, and was last week played by visiting pianist Evgenia […]

24K gold leaf Fazioli piano displayed in Aberdeen, MD; played ...

Here’s our pick of the best places online to find free (and hopefully legal) printable piano music manuscripts. MusOpen Musopen is a non-profit organisation focused on improving access and exposure to music by creating free resources and educational materials. This includes copyright-free sheet music. Musopen features a database of over […]

Where to find free printed piano music

Keyboard instruments come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and while the basic layout of the keys remains the same, their size, weight and feel varies significantly between instruments. This guide will help you pick the best keys for your playing needs. 1. Keyboard Options The three main factors […]

How to choose the best keyboard size and weight

A baby grand piano with every one of the 52 white keys containing the signature of a well-known musician is due to be auctioned at this year’s Musicfest. Whoever places the winning bid on this Young Chang piano will take it away, but they’ll be hard pressed to play it. […]

Multi-autographed grand piano to be auctioned at Musikfest

Amidio, maker of noise.io, Star Guitar and JR Hexaton Pro, has just released its latest iOS app — a virtual acoustic steel guitar for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Simulating a six-string acoustic steel guitar based on the legendary vintage 1979 Martin & Co dreadnought, the app contains 76MB of […]

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