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Musical Instruments

Headrush Looperboard

Headrush Looperboard
$899  Buy Link Comment

A droolworthy tool for any musician’s arsenal, Headrush’s looper pedal on steroids features a 7″ touchscreen UI, an onboard mixer and effects, and up to 9 hours of internal recording time. It offers numerous inputs and outputs, and comes pre-loaded with 300 percussion loops.

The Smash-Proof Guitar

The Smash-Proof Guitar

Sandvik created what it believes is a nearly indestructible guitar. Its body was 3D printed out of titanium, while its neck, fretboard and hub were milled from stainless steel. They let prolific axe wrecker Yngwie Malsmsteen put it to the test.

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Making an Organ from Paper

Making an Organ from Paper

(Loud) Aliaksei Zholner decided to see if he could make a working reed pipe organ entirely out of paper and cardboard, with bellows powered by the weight of a book. The resulting sounds are a little silly, but it’s a cool bit of papercraft engineering.

Axe Heaven Miniature Guitars

Axe Heaven Miniature Guitars
$30-$249  Buy Comment

Axe Heaven creates handmade 1/4-scale (~10″ tall) replicas of acoustic and electric guitars. Their Fender collection is officially licensed and includes replicas of famous musicians’ axes. They also make drum sets and amps. They accept small batch custom orders.

KLŌS Carbon Fiber Ukes and Guitars

KLŌS Carbon Fiber Ukes and Guitars
$449+  Pledge Comment

KLŌS makes beautiful, modern string instruments from the sturdy, lightweight material normally reserved for high-dollar exotic sports cars. They offer acoustic and acoustic electric guitars and ukuleles with black or colorful woven backs.

The Hybrid Piano

The Hybrid Piano

Ukrainian band Brunettes Shoot Blondes found an old, broken down grand piano, and decided to partially gut it, filling its innards with a variety of analog instruments, mechanically connected to its keys. The resulting sound on their track Houston is remarkably rich and full.

Fender Acoustasonic Telecaster

Fender Acoustasonic Telecaster

Developed with the help of Fishman, Fender’s American Acoustasonic Telecaster is a modern take on the acoustic-electric guitar. It has a thin and hollow body, a curated selection of acoustic and electric voices, and a tuned sound hole. The downside? It will go for $2,000.

Sounds of a Glass Armonica

Sounds of a Glass Armonica

Composer William Zeitler demonstrates a strange and wonderful musical instrument. The glass armonica was invented by Benjamin Franklin back in 1761, and is a spinning series of custom-blown wine glasses, each of which plays a different musical note based on its size.

Maxwell Infinitum Acoustic Guitar

Maxwell Infinitum Acoustic Guitar

Maxwell Custom Guitars is making a radical and stunning take on the acoustic guitar. The Infinitum gets its name from its unorthodox body, which is shaped like the infinity symbol and trades the regular circular sound hole for two vents on the sides of the body.

Building a Drum from Scratch

Building a Drum from Scratch

(Gross) How to Make Everything wants to make a collection of musical instruments from scratch. First up is a drum. He made it out of maple wood, pigskin and twine. He had a lot of help from a woodworker, but he did all the gross stuff for the leather.

Wood & Resin Electric Guitar

Wood & Resin Electric Guitar
$1600  Buy Comment

Moon Guitars makes custom electric guitars based on Fender designs. One of their latest builds is this beautiful Telecaster style project that has a body made of wood and epoxy resin. It’s equipped with Shoreline Menlo Park pickups and Gotoh hardware.

Working LEGO Piano

Working LEGO Piano

LEGO Ideas contributor Sleepy Cow created this 2,798 piece model of a grand piano which features 25 working keys, complete with strings, pedals, and dampers. It doesn’t actually play music, but it’s still a mechanical marvel. If you’d like to see it produced, vote here.

Playing the Yaybahar

Playing the Yaybahar

Görkem Sen performs an improvised piece on a custom-built acoustic instrument called the Yaybahar. The unusual instrument gets its ethereal sound by bowing strings that conduct vibrations down through its neck onto coiled springs, connected to a pair of drum heads.

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Jamstik7 & Jamstik12 Smart Guitars

Jamstik7 & Jamstik12 Smart Guitars
$179+  Pledge Link Comment

Jamstik’s new smart guitars offer portability for both pros and newbies. The Jamstik7 is perfect for beginners – it has 7 frets and works with Jamstik’s educational apps. The Jamstik12 is a 12-fret smart guitar with low latency, palm mute sensing and MIDI compatibility.

Making Carbon Fiber Guitars

Making Carbon Fiber Guitars

A look inside the McPherson Guitars‘ factory, where talented artisans use a mix of high tech materials and traditional finishing techniques to create lightweight, durable, and visually striking musical instruments. The Carbon Series guitars range in price from $2799 to $3299.

Learning to Play the Shenanigan

Learning to Play the Shenanigan

A hilariously absurd video from Grieg Johnson which provides instruction on how to play an “ancient, elegant” musical instrument. But it’s not just the Shenanigan that’s of interest – it’s the fake Scandanavian-ish tongue that the narrator speaks in that really makes the video.

Virtual Pipe Organ

Virtual Pipe Organ

Don’t have the room for an entire pipe organ in your home (or theater or church)? Musician Andrew Anderson shows off his rig, which uses Hauptwerk’s virtual pipe organ software, loaded up with Paramount Organ Works‘ set of incredibly accurate Wurlitzer samples.

Populele Smart Ukelele

Populele Smart Ukelele
$199  Buy Link Comment

Populele is a ukelele designed for total newbies. Its fretboard has 72 embedded LEDs. Together with its free companion app for iOS and Android, the LEDs will teach you chords and full songs. It also has mini-games that will teach you the basics.

Pocket Operators Metal Series

Pocket Operators Metal Series
$89  Buy Link Comment

Teenage Engineering’s third batch of Pocket Operators is now complete. Accompanying the PO-32 Tonic drum machine are the PO-33 K.O.!, a micro-sampler with 40s memory, and the PO-35 Speak, a voice recorder and sampler.

DIY Washing Machine Bass

DIY Washing Machine Bass

Got a broken washing machine and some woodworking skills? Then check out Scrap Wood City’s clip in which he shows how to convert the metal tub from a washing machine into the body for a fretless acoustic contrabass. It’s only got two strings, but it still sounds cool.

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Tennis Racket Guitar

Tennis Racket Guitar

Sometimes when we play tennis, we we like to fool around and play air guitar with the rackets. But Scrap Wood City went one better, and shows us how they transformed a racket into a fully functional electric guitar. Though it does only have three strings.

Spectrasonics Keyscape

Spectrasonics Keyscape
$379  Buy Link Comment

Spectrasonics spent 10 years refurbishing, tuning, and capturing the sounds of some of the world’s greatest pianos, organs, and synths, and collected them into a digital library you can play with a MIDI keyboard and a computer. If it’s good enough for Stevie Wonder

Deal: FretX Guitar Fret Trainer

Deal: FretX Guitar Fret Trainer
$70  Buy Comment

Learn to play the guitar like a pro with this nifty gadget. It slides beneath the strings onto the fret board of any 6-string guitar, and uses LEDs to show you where to place your fingers as you build your skills. A companion smartphone app provides lessons and tracks your progress.

Specdrums Electronic Musical Rings

Specdrums Electronic Musical Rings

Specdrums are electronic rings that let you map notes or sounds to any color around you. You can wear them, put them on sticks, and more. Their app lets you map colors to a variety of instruments as well as your own sounds. You can also use Specdrums with other MIDI apps.

Stepper Motor Organ

Stepper Motor Organ

It may not be the most sonically pleasing instrument, but the engineering behind Josh Sheldon’s build makes up for it. The organ uses 49 stepper motors which spin backwards against variably-sized disks, producing waves of electrical current which can be amplified.

Roland TR-08 Drum Machine

Roland TR-08 Drum Machine
$349  Buy Link Comment

The Roland TR-08 looks and works exactly the same as its grandfather, the TR-808, but in a much more portable form. You can even power it with batteries. It doesn’t sound quite as crunchy as the original, but for its price and size it’s a hell of a deal.

The Infinitone

The Infinitone

Musician and inventor Subhraag Singh shows off his “saxophone of the future,” a unique wind instrument with computer-controlled valves which slide open and closed. It produces a nearly infinite variety of pitches, and can even be played hands-free.

Ugears Hurdy-Gurdy Kit

Ugears Hurdy-Gurdy Kit
$59  Buy Link Comment

The hurdy-gurdy makes its distinctive sound by turning a rosin-coated wheel across strings as its keys are pressed. Now you can make your own with this flat-pack kit from Ugears. It looks like a very challenging build, but the end result is a functional musical instrument.

ROLI Seaboard Block

ROLI Seaboard Block
$300  Buy Link Comment

Not only is the new Seaboard Block the most portable and affordable version of Roli’s revolutionary keyboard, it can also be used with the Lightpad Blocks or another Seaboard Block. It comes with hundreds of sounds and can also be used with DAWs.

24-String Bass

24-String Bass

Christopher “C3” Cardone of Kalium Strings shows off “Godzilla” – a custom-built bass guitar which has 24 of his company’s strings. Stick around, and you’ll also be treated to a demo of their .266 gauge strings, which produce ridiculously deep bass notes.

The Apprehension Engine

The Apprehension Engine

A unique machine designed solely to produce eerie sounds for horror films. Luthier Tony Duggan-Smith created this combination of strings, rods, magnets, wood, and other found objects so Indie Film Maker could make original sounds instead of turning to a stock library.

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