Slaperoo Noodle Wins Best Of NAMM


2013 NAMM Show: Andy Graham introduced the Slaperoo Noodle, a smaller version of his original Slaperoo electroacoustic percussion instrument.

The Noodle 26″ long, and made of PVC, with a tunable metal strap stretched across one side. Because the Noodle is more flexible than the original Slaperoo, it can create rolling ‘bass lines’ similar to an electric talking drum.

The Noodle was one of the NAMM organizations ‘Best of Show’ picks for 2013. Details on the Noodle are still to come, but expect it to be priced around $300, half the price of the original. Continue reading

Antiquity Music Intros Wheelharp String Keyboard


At the 2013 NAMM Show: Antiquity Music is premiering the Wheelharp, a keyboard musical instrument that gives the player the ability to ‘orchestrate’ with a chromatic scale of sixty-one 61 actual bowed strings at one’s own fingertips.

In other words – it’s sort of a steampunk version of an orchestral sound library.

How The Wheelharp Works:

When the player presses any key on the Wheelharp, the action moves the selected key’s respective string toward a rotating wheel with a rosined edge, thereby bowing the string.

With the right pedal, the player controls the speed of a motor that turns the wheel, which varies the bowing speed of the wheel against the string and thus changes the dynamic effect. For instance, the wheel speed and the key depth can both be used to create swells and decrescendos. The action for each note can easily be removed as necessary for maintenance or string replacement.

The left pedal controls a full damper system that extends across the strings. An electromagnetic pickup floats above the strings and a piezoelectric pickup is mounted to the soundboard, allowing for the player to fully control the amplified timbre of the Wheelharp.

Here’s a demonstration of the Wheelharp in action: Continue reading

Moog Factory Tour – LEV-96 & The Prototype Room

This video, via Uniquesquared, wraps ups their tour of Moog Music.

Moog’s Jim Debardi takes a look at what goes on in the company’s new technology room and discusses a LEV-96, a new system that’s designed to process and control natural harmonic tones. Continue reading

Euro Bow Interface

Peter Speer demonstrates his DIY Euro Bow Interface – a unique bowed string instrument he uses with his Eurorack modular synthesizer.

Technical details below.
Continue reading

The Talking Piano You Didn’t See Here First

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Yeah, yeah – here’s that “talking piano” video that’s been bouncing around the Internet for a week.

I didn’t feature it here, because I thought Conlon Nancarrow was doing a lot more interesting things, and more musical things, with player piano sequencing back in the 1940s.

And, if you’re going to make a talking instrument, in my book – it’s either got to make music, or it’s got to say “Exterminate!”

But others are obviously seeing potential in this. Or that je ne sais quoi that makes an Internet meme.

Anyway, this video captures a”speaking piano” reciting the Proclamation of the European Environmental Criminal Court at World Venice Forum 2009.

Composer Peter Ablinger basically pixelated sound, at a resolution appropriate to the range of the piano, and used the pixelations as “notes” to sequence and reproduce a lo-fi version of the original sound. Continue reading