Keith McMillen Instruments Announces StrongArm Six-String Sustainer

KMI_strongarm_bridgeAt the 2014 NAMM Show: Keith McMillen Instruments is introducing their latest invention: the StrongArm Six-string Sustainer.  

The StrongArm Sustainer picks up and drives all six strings by systems embedded within the actual saddle piece. The sensor saddle of the StrongArm pickup sees minute changes in position of the strings’ termination at the bridge. The result is a pickup that is full and even sounding with a broad range of response. A simple blend control adjusts the mix from your regular magnetic pickups with the StrongArm Sustainer sound.

Here’s McMillen’s intro video for the StrongArm: Continue reading

Kitchen Items + Robotics + Arduino Control = The Percussion Kitchen

the-percussion-kitchen

Reader Devin Curry teamed up with Ben Gullard to create the Percussion Kitchen, an electronic rhythm instrument based on kitchen items – along with robotics and Arduino control.

The duo set out to create something whimsical and fun to play.

They started with a variety of kitchen items, ranging from a cheese grater to tupperware. The created a cutting board controller, using Sanwa arcade buttons. An Arduino Uno is used as the ‘brain’ to control solenoids that ‘play’ the kitchen items.

Here’s a demo video of the Percussion Kitchen in action: Continue reading

DrumPants Puts Industrial-Strength MIDI Control In Your Pants

dumpants-illustrationDeveloper Tyler Freeman has introduced DrumPants – an inexpensive wearable MIDI controller that you can put in your pants.

We featured a lot of creative MIDI controllers on Synthtopia recently, but DrumPants spank the competition in the ‘wear it in your pants’ department.

DrumPants have the advantage of being both inexpensive (pricing starts at $89) and being wearable (in your pants). DrumPants comes with 100+ built-in sounds, including drums, percussion, synthesizers, guitars and pianos. And it can also be used to send MIDI or OSC, turning your body into a mobile MIDI controller.

drumpants

While DrumPants were designed to be an ‘industrial quality wearable musical instrument’, fun is also a top priority.

“It’s a wearable music kit, so you can make sounds – in your pants!” notes Freeman.

And, if you’re worried about unsightly MIDI bulge, DrumPants don’t even have to be worn in your pants. They’re flexible and can can attach to your body or clothes in a variety of ways:

drumpants-attachment

DrumPants are being developed as a Kickstarter project. Here’s the official intro video: Continue reading