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Awesome Musical Instruments

BOSS SY-1000 Guitar Synth

BOSS SY-1000 Guitar Synth

This amazing gadget for guitarists takes the analog sounds of your instrument and layers them with thick synthesized enhancements. The Boss Synth SY-1000 pedalboard gives guitars a whole new range of capability, with its sophisticated sound engine, and the ability to produce a mix of rich acoustic and electric tones.

The Anarchestra Revisited

The Anarchestra Revisited

A few years back, we learned about musician and artist Andy Thurlow’s collection of unique musical instruments, known as The Anarchestra. Documentarian Daniel Wolverton of Special Head returns to visit with Andy and check out some of the strange and wonderful noise makers he’s built in the past few years.

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Orba Musical Instrument

Orba Musical Instrument

Artiphon’s Orba is a unique instrument that is sort of the musical equivalent of a fidget spinner. It combines a synthesizer, looper, and MIDI controller all in one, and is small enough to hold in the palm of your hand. It’s great for tinkering around with all kinds of sounds whether you’re bored or working on your next great composition.

Expressive E Osmose Keyboard

Expressive E Osmose Keyboard

Expressive E’s keyboard gives musicians an incredible amount of expressiveness, with each key capturing subtle movements that influence pitch, loudness, and many other attributes. It works in concert with a robust sound engine by Haken Audio to produce amazingly warm and enveloping sounds. It also works as a MIDI controller.

36-String Bass Solo

36-String Bass Solo

A while back, musician Davie504 performed a solo on a crazy 24-string bass guitar. Now, he’s back to blow up his prior record with an even more insane instrument – a bass with 36 strings. You’re gonna need some extra fingers next time, Davie.

Zoom V6 Vocal Processor

Zoom V6 Vocal Processor
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Are you a singer? Zoom’s foot pedal gadget offers up a ton of useful performance features, including a variety of vocal effects, from tweaking octaves, to adding harmonies, to pitch correction, to reverb, chorus, and a formant pedal for adjusting vocal texture, It’s also got a built-in looper for up to 3:30 of recording.

Jew’s Harp Orchestra

Jew’s Harp Orchestra

With its twangy mouth sounds, Jew’s harp (aka “jaw harp”) is one of the stranger instruments out there. For the most part, it’s an instrument that’s played by one musician at a time, but this ensemble of 30 or so harp players in Russia occasionally gets together to perform as a group, and the layered sound they make is wild.

Sansula Master

Sansula Master

Percussionist Conny Sommer is an expert at playing a variety of instruments, including the kalimba and the sansula, both of which are playing by plucking metal keys with the fingertips. We’re amazed by the finesse he’s able to get out of such a simple instrument.

How Zildjian Cymbals Are Made

How Zildjian Cymbals Are Made

Go on a fascinating journey through Zildjian’s Norwell, MA factory, home of the world’s most sought after cymbals. Watch as metal castings are flattened, trimmed, hammered, milled, and gradually worked into the ideal shape for producing the perfect sound. We love that they didn’t cover up the factory sounds with music.

Lekholm DM48 MIDI Harmonica

Lekholm DM48 MIDI Harmonica

Like a real harmonica, Lekholm’s musical tech senses its player’s breathing both in and out, but it outputs those modulations as MIDI signals for controlling synthesizers. The example performance is Cole Porter’s You’d Be So Nice to Come Home to, using a Yamaha VL70-m acoustic sound module.

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.

Musical Toothbrushes

Musical Toothbrushes

Device Orchestra previously amused audiences with music played on credit card terminals. Now, they’ve figured out a way to make electric toothbrushes into musical instruments. Sit back and enjoy a buzzy rendition of Jean Sibelius’ Finlandia Hymn, a popular composition in the nation the band calls home.

Marble Machine X Plays Drums

Marble Machine X Plays Drums

From the looks of things, musician, and instrument designer Wintergatan has nearly completed the build of his long-in-progress follow up to his original marble machine. After showing us the amazing marble elevator, he’s ready to play some percussion with the intricate contraption.

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Roli Lumi Keyboard

Roli Lumi Keyboard

Roli’s nifty portable keyboard is designed to help anyone learn to play piano. It features light-up RGB, pressure sensitive keys with 92% of the travel of an actual grand piano and can connect to other Lumi keyboards and Roli blocks. It works with a companion mobile app for learning.

Senspad Drum Kit

Senspad Drum Kit

Redison Music’s Senspad is an electronic drum kit that weighs less than 1.5lb and is nearly as thin as a practice pad. It has three programmable strike zones and lasts up to 12h per charge. You can connect it to mobile devices or PCs via USB or Bluetooth.

Headrush Looperboard

Headrush Looperboard

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.

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
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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

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.

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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
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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.

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