Build a synth like you build a sandwich


Electronic music making can be hard the first time. You either start off extremely basic, or lose yourself in a whirlwind of tutorials as you try and figure out the intricacies of the complex software most professionals use. It takes a lot of willpower getting past step 1, and Colin Hearon wants to change that. The Tone Lab isn’t too basic or complex. It’s more of an experimental music tool that teaches you how synthesizers are constructed. With layered modules that you place one on top of the other, the Tone Lab feels a lot like working with real synths and modules that get connected in sequence to create more complex sounds. Take a waveform, layer it with an arpeggiator to make complex tunes, and then with effects to give it a certain flavor. Step two is actual melody building. Add chord modules to the sliding rails and slide them up or down to craft basic melodies, experimenting and switching things up by sliding them up and down, or swapping their places.

The Tone Lab’s idea isn’t to be an expert tool but rather an empowering one. Giving novices the means to create ‘good’ music through the power of good design thinking and the use of human intuition, the Tone Lab lets you take that first leap of faith into making electronic music!

Designer: Colin Hearon







These Ergonomic Earbuds Will Never Make Your Ears Uncomfortable

Headphones are an great everyday gadget that let you listen to music, podcasts, and audiobooks while you’re on the go. But after a few hours, they can really start to feel uncomfortable in your ears. Meet the perfect solution: RX18P Comfort-Fit In-Ear Headphones, which are not only comfortable, but a bargain.

These ergonomic earphones were designed to fit securely and comfortably in your ears, so you can listen to your tunes and books on a long-haul flight, hard workout, or morning commute without ever feeling discomfort or pain in your ears. The buds come with multiple eartips in different sizes, so you can choose the ones that feel best for your particular ear shape. You’ll also have access to inline controls for easy song skipping and a built-in mic for hands-free calling. Enjoy crystal clear sound quality with 10mm dynamic drivers.

Get ear comfort for less than two days of coffee at Starbucks. The RX18P Comfort-Fit In-Ear Headphones are yours for only $8.99 in the Technabob Shop.

Astell & Kern’s new hi-fi audio player has the strangest bezels on the planet


(Continued from title) And that’s saying something, especially after this year’s onslaught of notched phones. The screen, tilted a little less than 10° anti-clockwise seems like a great idea in theory, but can result in massively divisive opinions in practicality. The idea behind the tilted screen was probably to give you a gradually thickening bezel, while not compromising on the screen size. The thickened bezel then plays host to the fat volume knob, a design detail that is intended to stand out in function above the rest of the controls. It also means less accidental screen-touching when held with your right hand.

Feature-wise, the A&norma SR15 (not a really catchy name, but it isn’t for regular music listeners either) is a great player with exceptional audio reproduction. It has a quad-core processor, letting it play incredibly heavy audio files with relative ease, and bit-for-bit support for files up to 24-bit/192 kHz (Tidal streams at 16bit, 44.1kHz). Being a dedicated audiophile’s listening device, the A&norma SR15 comes with a MicroUSB port, for charging and file transfer, a balanced 2.5mm jack and a 3.5mm headphone jack for your conventional listening purposes, and even sports Bluetooth 4.1 for wireless listening. The screen is a touch-sensitive one, although its tilted nature also results in a tilted UI, which I personally am vehemently against, but each to their own, I guess.

Designer: Astell & Kern






MW50+ headphones let you choose between on-ear or over-ear

When it comes to buying new headphones, you typically have to choose between on-ear or over-ear before you make a purchase. And once you do, that's your option. Sure, there are few companies that offer the ability to change between the two styles, bu...