Imagine a piano keyboard that is also a multitouch surface, like the screen on an iPad. Now imagine that this is a tactile silicone surface with bumps and dips so you can feel the keys, just like a piano. Hold that image in your mind — you are currently imagining the Roli Seaboard Block, backpack-sized Bluetooth MIDI keyboard that will change the way you play music.
Apple’s Lightning to USB connector has ostensibly been about connecting your iPad to a camera to import images directly to your tablet.
Now, with iOS 9.2, it looks like the same adapter can be used on your iPhone to get photos onto your smaller-screened device.
There’s even some evidence that the Lightning to USB adapter works to connect other USB peripherals, like MIDI keyboards or USB-powered microphones. If you’re a musician on the road without access to your iPad, this might be your new best solution.
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.
This probably isn’t the “iRing” you’ve been waiting for — assuming you’ve been waiting for the mythical (One) Ring, forged by the skilled elves of Logbar, that wants to control, well, pretty much everything in your life.
No, this particular ring — IK Multmedia’s iRing — won’t control your TV, your phone or your wallet. But it is imbued with the power to create music on your iDevice.
Getting your MIDI keyboard connected to your iPad or Mac can be a frustrating experience. You’ve got to make sure you’ve got the right wires that connect to your output device of choice, and then you’ve got to make sure you never ever lose them.
Category: Music & MIDI
Works With: iOS, OS X
Hopping onstage for a gig at the local brewpub can be a frightening experience if you’ve lost that one special cord that goes from your keys to your Ableton Live setup on your Mac, and missing out on a recording session because you can’t find that special 30-pin adaptor for your iPad is just a pain in the butt.
The folks behind the excellent JamStick, Zivix, have your answer, then, with a cool-looking little round gadget called a PUC that connects any MIDI keyboard or other capable device to your iPad, your Mac, your iPhone, your PC — you name it, if it’s got Wi-Fi and can run a MIDI app, you can use the PUC to send your MIDI performance to it.
Yes, Joshua Young is a doctor. And yes, the strange device he built and now wields is indeed sonic. But no, it’s not a screwdriver.
Instead, Joshua’s intricate alloy AUUG controller is an imaginative musical device that turns the iPhone or iPod into a unique instrument that uses accelerometer magic to bend and blend sound.
If there’s one group of people who could seriously do with less wires — or in this case, cables — it’s guitarists. Walking around with two grand worth of Fender in your hands, trying avoiding a snake-pit of cables and simultaneously tapping out Van Halen’s Eruption probably takes some concentration (I wouldn’t know; I’ve never been on stage with anything but an air guitar, which was completely wireless).
IK Multimedia’s new four-pedal iRig BlueBoard pedalboard de-clutters the floor a little, as it’s the first completely wireless pedalboard for iOS and Macs. The board connects to its companion app on an accompanying iDevice (or to a Mac) through a Bluetooth connection.
You don’t have to spend too much time in a public place before you hear the iPhone’s default “tri-tone” alert — it’s everywhere, and everyone knows exactly what it means. But do you know where it came from? You might be surprised to hear that it wasn’t actually composed for the iPhone, but for a 1998 MP3 player for the Mac called SoundJam MP.
Apogee is the first name that pops into my head when I think “mobile, Mac-powered music-making studio.” Today, the company has revamped three of their user-friendly recording devices: the One, the Quartet and the Duet, upgrading their capabilities and making them all iPad-compatible.
LAS VEGAS, CES 2013 – Last year, I gave my friend Rachel — a NYC singer/songwriter/comedian with an impressive array of musical proficiencies — my old iPad 2 as a gift. It was her first tablet, or even touchscreen device. I worried she wouldn’t know what to do with it, so when she opened the box and gave me an inquisitive cock of the eyebrow, I told her that the very first thing she needed to do with it was install Garage Band.
To this day, I think it was Garage Band that is the real gift to Rachel, not the actual iPad. Using Garage Band, she can quickly jot out a song idea on the road, or even fully record a fantastic mix, all from a device small enough to fit in her purse. There’s only one trade-off: you have to use the touchscreen. There’s no physical instrument as portable as the iPad to take on the road with you.
That’s where the Jamstik comes in. A product so new and in-concept it doesn’t even have a distributor yet, it’s one of our favorite products of CES. It’s a tiny, ukelele-sized guitar with real strings that connects to your iPad over WiFi, and not only can you use it to record or even perform with your iPad, but it can also teach you how to play the guitar… or serve for an impromptu game of Guitar Hero.