Smart keyboard will teach you how to play piano

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Learning piano was never this much fun.
Learning piano was never this much fun.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Lust List: The ONE Light smart keyboard

Who doesn’t want to play piano? Learning to tickle the ivories must be right up there with writing the great American novel: Many of us have a hankering to become more musical.

The fantastic $299 ONE Light smart keyboard is the way to go if you want a piano that will show you how to play without hiring a teacher.

Make your technology a force for musical expression with this digital guitar [Deals]

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The Jamstik is a versatile and super portable MIDI controller that plays just like a normal guitar.
The Jamstik is a versatile and super portable MIDI controller that plays just like a normal guitar.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Computers, tablets, even iPhones have grown into powerful tools for music making, but for many who play guitar the bridge from analog instrument to digital devices can be an intimidating one. The Jamstik Wireless Smart Guitar is a great way to cross the digital divide, a MIDI controlling guitar with frets and strings that feel familiar to any guitarist’s fingers. It’s also cheaper than most keyboard controllers (and certainly guitars), available right now for just $149.99.

iPad drummer goes head-to-head with old-school skin-pounder

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iPad drummer Appleman recently battled with a drummer on an analog drum kit.
iPad drummer Appleman recently battled with a drummer on an analog drum kit.
Photo: Appleman/YouTube

If you close your eyes, the iPad drummer known as Appleman sounds like he is tearing up a real set of skins. What you see in his YouTube videos, in which he covers the drumming parts of rock classics like Marilyn Manson’s “Beautiful People,” contradicts what the ears hear.

But how would he do against a drummer on an analog kit? Fast fingers met fast sticks recently as the anonymous Appleman went mano a mano with 17-year-old drumming phenom Yamachika Takuto.

By the sounds of the exchange of solos and the cheers from the audience, the two battled to a draw.

5 Apple Watch apps that are best left unmade

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Netflix Watch
Don't look for Netflix on your Apple Watch any time soon. You'd go blind.
Photo: Netflix (via YouTube)

The Apple Watch has been out for a few months now, and it’s given us plenty of time to decide what we do and don’t want from the wearable. It’s a versatile device, to be sure, but that doesn’t mean that we expect it to do everything for us. In fact, a lot of the apps that we use all the time on our iPhones and iPads would be ill-suited, if not impossible for that plucky little screen.

Here are some Apple Watch apps that wouldn’t break our hearts if nobody ever got around to making them.

Soundtrap takes on Garageband in an epic battle of recording software apps

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A singer records vocals using Sountrap recording software, which can be used on any device.
A singer records vocals using Sountrap recording software, which can be used on any device.
Photo: Soundtrap/YouTube

Geography doesn’t have to get in the way of the band coming together.

A startup company by the name of Soundtrap Monday rolled out what it calls the first online music and audio recording studio, allowing musicians to collaborate remotely in real time using any operating system.

It will likely directly compete with Garageband, Apple’s popular software used to create music and podcasts that first launched in 2004.

How to get all the awesome extra sounds for GarageBand 10

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All you need to make some sick beats. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
All you need to make some sick beats. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

If you dig creating fresh beats and smooth grooves on your Mac, you’ll likely love GarageBand. It’s a fantastic bit of musical creation kit for anyone, regardless of native ability or experience. You can use loops to make new songs, play your own music with MIDI keyboards–even make your own ringtones for your iPhone. It’s quite versatile.

When you download GarageBand from the Mac App Store, you’ll immediately get 50 sounds, 500 loops, 1 drummer, and 2 basic lessons for guitar and piano. Likely, though, you want the full package, which is available as a free download that expands the content to 200 sounds, 2,000 loops, 15 drummers, and 40 basic lessons for guitar and piano.

Here’s how to get it.

iPad drummer’s fingers wearing out en route to 100 songs

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The fingers of Apple Man keeps up to Marilyn Manson's The Beautiful People. Photo: Apple Man/YouTube
The fingers of Apple Man keeps up to Marilyn Manson's The Beautiful People. Photo: Apple Man/YouTube

Apple Man, the “sickest” drummer on virtual skins, added black nail polish to his fast-flying fingers in his latest YouTube video to display his iPad-pounding prowess.

We never see his face, so there’s no telling whether he went full Marilyn Manson with the makeup when he produced a drum cover video on Feb. 26, drumming on the iPad to the song, The Beautiful People.

Apple Man of Japan prefers to remain anonymous, but as you can probably tell by the name, he is a fan of Apple products. He is always willing to share his drumming passion with Cult of Mac readers.

Cult of Mac Magazine: Rock Harder With Your Mac

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music5

Apple has turned even the most modest weekend strummer into a guitar hero.
This week in Cult of Mac Magazine, our games editor and disco band frontman (!) Rob LeFebvre takes you on a magical mystery tour of Garageband’s latest and greatest features. He’ll walk you through a shiny new piece of kit called Drummer, plus get you ringtone making and learning from the pros in the Lessons store.

Rob has also kept his ear to the ground for all the other great gear you need to make your homegrown music making hit the right notes and, well, sound better. And definitely louder. Whether you’re rocking at home or taking your iPad with you on stage.

So. The beat goes on with Charlie Sorrel sifting through MacBook stands to single out the best, plus his picks for the best Apple-related gear and Buster Hein’s top choices from iTunes for music, books and movies you’ll be grooving to all week.

Cult of Mac Magazine