Man Creates Marble Dropper With 1 Millisecond Accuracy

Creating marble machines that produce music when the balls hit objects, Martin Molin of the band Wintergatan (which I’m pretty sure is just him and his machine) knows precision ball-dropping is of utmost importance. So he developed this ball gate that can release his musical marbles with a standard timing deviation of just 1.46 milliseconds. That’s 1.46 thousandths of a second, or, in layman’s time, pretty damn accurate.

In the video, Martin demonstrates what 1.46 milliseconds sounds like to the naked ear, then delayed 10, 20, and 50ms until you can actually detect a noticeable difference. So yeah, it’s safe to say the machine drops those balls when it’s supposed to. Below is a video of the sort of insane machine Martin needs, such a precision marble-dropping gate to power.

Hey, everybody needs a hobby. And if your hobby happens to make beautiful music, all the better. But if your hobby happens to make a bunch of deafening noise in the garage and start the occasional fire, well, welcome to my life. My wife says I should take up reading or painting instead of trying to build a rocket.

[via hackaday]

This Digital Piano makes a beautiful impression with its wooden finish, grand piano-like acoustic

Some musicians will probably tell you it doesn’t matter how an instrument looks as long as the owner knows how to play it. It’s true: Beautiful music can be made by anyone who knows how to play a musical instrument.

It’s not the instrument but the musician that creates and controls the sound. However, it wouldn’t hurt if the instrument is of excellent quality and looks nice like this Donner Digital Piano (DDP-80). The stylish piano is eco-friendly and appears like a modern furniture piece.

Designer: Donner

Donner DDP-80 88 Key Fully Weighted Digital Piano 14

Acoustic-wise, the DDP-80 is at par with a French grand piano. It’s stylish but remains affordable while able to offer premium audio. The minimalist style makes it an eye-catching addition to any room. It’s a modern furniture item that can make lovely music.

When played right, it offers pleasure to the ears. It’s designed to be pleasing not only to the ears but also to the eyes. The piano’s aesthetics will meet any minimalist’s standards with its wood finish. It comes with 88 full-sized weighted keys, so it feels like a real piano.

Donner DDP-80 88 Key Fully Weighted Digital Piano 6

Donner’s latest feature-rich electric keyboard is appealing in its wooden finish. The mid-century modern style can fit most interiors, especially those into the minimalist aesthetics. It will probably remind you of those vintage cabinets from decades ago.

The digital piano is environment-friendly with its low-formaldehyde, biodegradable material in either walnut or cherry wooden finish. The piano comes with slim legs that are also angled, resembling a study desk. The buttons, knobs, and controls are placed on the rear to keep its simple look.

Donner DDP-80 88 Key Fully Weighted Digital Piano 7

The Donner DDP-80 is more than just its charming form. Its digital piano technology functions excellently. It offers USB-MDI connectivity so you can use it with your tablet or smartphone. It also works with other digital audio workstations so you can create more beautiful music.

Donner DDP-80 is a fully-weighted keyboard, so it feels like you’re playing a real piano. It offers the same experience as an acoustic piano, complete with the full tone. The only difference is that this Donner piano is smaller and is more alluring than your other pieces of furniture. It has a matching piano bench and foot pedal, but you need to buy them separately.

Donner DDP-80 88 Key Fully Weighted Digital Piano 12

This retro piano decor is ready to grace any room with its wooden texture and charming presence. The meticulous workmanship is very obvious in every corner. It’s compact enough for easy transport and storage and is also easy to assemble.

Donner DDP-80 88 Key Fully Weighted Digital Piano 4

Donner DDP-80 88 Key Fully Weighted Digital Piano 10

Donner DDP-80 88 Key Fully Weighted Digital Piano 5

Donner DDP-80 88 Key Fully Weighted Digital Piano 8

The post This Digital Piano makes a beautiful impression with its wooden finish, grand piano-like acoustic first appeared on Yanko Design.

The Hydra: A Triple-Neck Steampunk Guitar By Steve Vai

The brainchild of famed guitarist Steve Vai, the Hydra is a triple-neck steampunk-styled guitar that combines four different instruments: a fretless 12-string guitar, a half-fretless bass, a 7-string guitar, and a harp (seen at the bottom). Following Vai’s concept, the instrument was designed by Moti Kashiuchi and built by Ibanez Japan’s Kazuya Kuroki. There’s no doubt in my mind if you play the right chords on that thing, you can summon a dragon.

The idea for the guitar was inspired by a song on Vai’s new album ‘Inviolate’ called ‘Teeth of the Hydra.’ Each part of the instrument can be played independently of the others, with its own switches, mixers, and effects. Can you imagine how powerful it must feel to wield this thing on stage? Now I can see why they call guitars axes, and it’s not because you can use them to chop wood. I learned that the hard, expensive way.

The video tour of the instrument highlights a lot of the guitar’s customization and effect options, including a “seducer” effect for the harp. Personally, I would just leave that on all the time until I found myself with more groupies than I know what to do with. Although, if I’m being completely honest, even one groupie would be more than I know what to do with.

[via Laughing Squid]

East India’s Ektara gets reinterpreted as this modern string instrument for today’s folk musicians!

The Sukhtara is a modern reinterpretation of East India’s Ektara string instrument, whose origins date back a millennium.

Musical instruments have helped characterize cultures for millennia. In East India, sometime between 1700 B.C. and 7th-century C.E., the Ektara was produced and became a beloved instrument for East Indian folk musicians. Entirely made from natural materials, the Ektara hasn’t gone through many updates since its earlier productions.

As a result, today’s folk music enthusiasts and antiquarians alike haven’t modernized the ancient instrument. Arnab Patra, a design student based in India, has recently finished work on giving the Ektara a much-needed structural update to bring the beloved instrument back into the mainstream discourse and use.

Dubbed Sukhtara, the updated instrument still keeps the Ektara’s familiar wooden build. Constructed from a coconut or gourd shell, bamboo, metal string, wood, and goatskin, Sukhtara is the culmination of a lot of revision work from Patra.

For instance, the original Ektara’s tuning hole increased in size with more playing time. Considering its bamboo build, the bamboo tuning peg would consistently push further into the bamboo tuning hole until the hole was so big, the peg would always turn loose.

In constructing Sukhtara, Patra aimed to solve this tuning problem by replacing the bamboo tuning peg with a metal butterfly tuner, similar to those found on guitars and violins. Sukhtara’s tuning box can be found at the top of the instrument where it forms a small bridge between the two bamboo arms and soundbars, creating a space for the instrument’s metal string to wrap around for tuning.

While the changes might seem small, they’re necessary for the cultural instrument to remain in modern use. Following contemporary instrumental structuring, the Sukhtara enhances Ektara’s aesthetics, building materials, and playing styles for the modern instrumentalist to reawaken the music of the past.

Designer: Arnab Patra

While Patra maintained the instruments build, some adjustments were made for the soundbox, tuning box, and bamboo arms.

The Sukhtara is a modern interpretation of the Ektara.

The Ektara dates back to some time between 1700 B.C. and 7th-century C.E.

The post East India’s Ektara gets reinterpreted as this modern string instrument for today’s folk musicians! first appeared on Yanko Design.

Foot Operated Toilet Piano for Crappy Concertos

Because why shouldn’t I add a bit of piano accompaniment to the natural percussion I produce on the toilet, FireBox is selling this $18 Toilet Piano. The foot-operated piano features a full octave of keys (13 – 8 white, 5 black) so I can vainly attempt to cover the sounds I’m making in the bathroom while party guests knock on the door and politely ask me to hurry up. I hate being rushed!

The roll-out Toilet Piano is powered by 3 AAA batteries and includes both a songbook and ‘DO NOT DISTURB’ sign to let the rest of your family know that your private music lessons are currently in session, and it’s probably best not to enter the bathroom for another thirty minutes after they’ve concluded. Good lord, light a match or something!

Obviously, I plan on recreating the scene at FAO Schwarz from Big where Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia play ‘Heart and Soul’ and ‘Chopsticks’ on the giant foot piano, except in my own bathroom. Now, I just need to find a partner…

These Electric Guitar Scissors Are Ready for Shredding

Are you an electric guitar player? Do you like cutting things? Well, for those of you who answered an emphatic ‘yes’ to both, there are the Seki Sound electric guitar scissors. Made by Nikken Cutlery in Seki, Gifu prefecture, Japan (an area known for its history of forging samurai swords), they’re the perfect scissors to display in the office supply caddy on your desk to let everyone know you’d rather be jamming.

The scissors, already fully funded on Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake, feature a plastic headstock that doubles as a safety cap to prevent accidental stabbings and a display stand similar to an actual electric guitar. Available in black, red, blue, and white, I can’t wait to smash a pair on stage while the audience grows increasingly confused and begins to demand their money back.

Now all you need is a drum set tape dispenser, bass guitar stapler, and a synthesizer paperclip organizer, and you’ve got yourself a whole office supply band! I think I’m going to name mine the ‘The Part Timers’ or ‘Cubicle Cowboys’ and perform daily during my lunch break, much to the annoyance of all my coworkers.

[via JapanToday]

A Piano BBQ Grill: The Perfect Instrument for a Cookout

Genius: you know it when you see it. And I saw this motorized piano BBQ grill crafted by YouTuber Handy Geng, and I knew instantly he was ahead of his time. Did he travel back from the future to showcase this marvel of modern music and grilling technology? It would be hard to argue otherwise. Now play the Oscar Mayer Wiener song!

Handy Geng’s ‘BBQ Car,’ as he calls it, consists of a piano that can be driven around on a motorized base. When a key is pressed, it not only plays the proper note but also rotates the corresponding rotisserie skewer above. Honestly, it’s hard to imagine someone being so ahead of their time. It’s scary. Did anybody else just get the goosebumps?

The video details the entire build of the BBQ Car, and if I were any handier I would definitely try building my own. I’m not handy though, and I’m fully willing to admit even attempting to build my own motorized BBQ car would result in an inextinguishable fire, and, much more than likely, the total loss of my security deposit.

Modder Builds a Furby Synthesizer Module and It’s as Disturbing as You Might Imagine

Look Mum No Computer (aka Sam Battle) clearly has some sort of strange obsession with making musical Furbys. You may recall his previously posted electronic organ created using 44 singing Furbys. I think we can all agree that is entirely too many Furbys in the same place at the same time. Well, now the mad musical scientist is back, this time adding a Furby module to a synthesizer board that can be played using the synth’s voltage input. What does it sound like? A nightmare isn’t far from accurate.

Subject 44B, as Sam likes to refer to the Furby Module, is controlled by a variety of switches located on the synth board to its immediate right, including a glitch switch, loop switch, one that makes the Furby respond to a belly rub, one that responds to feeding, and one that makes it think it’s been turned upside-down, all of which have control voltage inputs, leading to an absolute cacophony of sound.

What’s next on Sam’s list of Furby-related projects? Only time will tell, but if it involves artificial intelligence, you can rest assured it will herald the Furby apocalypse and the beginning of the end of humanity as we know it. Obviously, if that does happen, I will have a small amount of regret for ever contributing to Sam’s Patreon.

Creepy Baby Doll Theremins and Synthesizers: Rock-a-Bye Baby

You know what your band needs? Sure, probably a practice space, a bass player, and a cool name, but who really needs those things if you don’t already have a BabyBot baby doll light theremin or electronic synthesizer? No band I’d pay money to see, that’s for sure.

You may recall the previously posted XLPC Photo Theremin that comes in the form of a doll head, but now you get a whole baby doll. And a whole doll is way cooler than just a head. Ask anybody. Well, except maybe Sid from Toy Story.

Crafted by Moonlight Armada, the dolls are available in light theremin (red) and electronic synthesizer (purple) models, and cost around $300 apiece on Etsy. That’s significantly cheaper than raising an actual child, especially if this one comes out of the box ready to rock. Plus just think of all the money you’ll save on diapers. It really is a no-brainer if you don’t think about it.

[via BoingBoing]

A Robotic Trombone Machine: For the Marching Band of the Future

Since “just because you can” is as good a reason as any to do something these days, the engineers at iSax Laboratories took it upon themselves to try building a MIDI-controlled robotic trombone. The result? Well, the result is what you’ll hear below, which is by no means the best trombone playing I’ve ever heard. Although it’s not the worst either (I’m talking about my nephew).

According to its makers, a trombone’s unique tones are a result of “a combination of lip tension, pressure against the mouthpiece, airflow, air pressure, resonance in the mouth, and probably some other variables” that they were unable to successfully replicate with the robot, leaving them with “an over-engineered noise machine.” Hey – my wife calls me the same thing sometimes!

So we may never find out what a trombone duet with Toyota’s trumpet-playing humanoid robot would sound like. But you know what? I’m okay with that. After all, some things are better left unheard. Or at least that’s what my wife tells me when reminding me to close the bathroom door and play some loud music on my phone.

[via Laughing Squid]