Synthesizers

Modular Synth Days Calendar

Modular Synth Days Calendar

Musicians, here’s a great way to keep track of the passing days. Ingrana’s perpetual calendar is inspired by the design of a classic modular Moog synth. Use the included patch cables to mark the day of week, month, day, and year. While it won’t make any sounds, you can press its keys.

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.

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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.

LEGO Tamburo Meccanico

LEGO Tamburo Meccanico

Inspired by a mechanical drum-playing machine designed by Leonardo Da Vinci, this LEGO music maker by Giuseppe Acito uses a series of pegs placed onto a spinning wheel to trigger sound sequences as its “fingers” press keys connected to synthesizers.

Carrier37 Synthesizer

Carrier37 Synthesizer

Artist and designer Love Hultén shows off another one of his amazing custom builds. This time, he took a modern Korg Minilogue analog synthesizer, and built a Commodore SX-64-inspired portable wooden enclosure to house its electronics, then outfitted with cool orange knobs, and a matching keyboard in retro shades of tan and brown.

Heavy Stylophone Riffs

Heavy Stylophone Riffs

The Stylophone is a very basic analog electronic instrument that uses a conductive pen and a metal circuit board of “keys” as its input device. But with the help of a Digitech Whammy effects pedal and some quick pen play, maromaro1337 was able to jam out some iconic rock riffs on the monophonic keyboard. More here.

The 1980s in a Nutshell

The 1980s in a Nutshell

Go back to the 80s with musician Mario Mathy, aka Belgium’s “King of Synths,” as he jams out on his ridiculous rack of keyboards which would require Doc Ock’s tentacles to play at the same time. From his white outfit, to his pink headband, to his Keytar, the video is a joy to watch. Need more Mario? You’re welcome.

How a Mellotron Works

How a Mellotron Works

Bell Tone Synth Works provides a look inside a keyboard that predates the digital sampler. The Mellotron used multiple strips of magnetic tape to play sounds recorded from other musical instruments. The M400 shown here is from the 1970s, but you can see an earlier model here.

Korg Nu:Tekt NTS-1

Korg Nu:Tekt NTS-1

Korg’s recently launched Nu:Tekt line will create DIY instruments, effects, and utilities for electronic musicians. First up is the NTS-1 a tiny, build-it-yourself polyphonic synthesizer with a digital oscillator inspired by the prologue and minilogue xd. Sound demo here.

Beer Can Sounds

Beer Can Sounds

One of the most satisfying sounds on earth is that noise a cold can of beer makes when you pop it open. Musician Koji Kobura agrees, and decided to sample a bunch of sounds he could make with a beer can, ultimately turning them into a short EDM track.

’80s Synth Riffs

’80s Synth Riffs

From The Final Countdown to Take on Me to Axel F, musician shochan8883 catalogs some of the most memorable synthesizer riffs of the 1980s. It’s by no means comprehensive, but entertaining nonetheless. Also, we’re not sure what to make of that Baroque Hoedown.

Korg KR mini Rhythm Machine

Korg KR mini Rhythm Machine

Korg’s portable drum machine is packed with 60 patterns and 120 fills, and has 16 Velocity-sensitive performance pads for editing your own patterns. It can run on AA batteries or AC power, has a built-in 2-watt speaker for practice sessions, and a 1/8″ stereo output and footswitch inputs for live performances.

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Famous Vocoder Songs

Famous Vocoder Songs

From Earth, Wind, and Fire to Kraftwerk to ELO, the vocoder has been part of some of the most famous dance, disco, and electronic tracks ever. Musician Doctor Mix shows off his vocoder skills along with his nifty Behringer VC340, a modern day synthesizer that replicates the analog sounds of the ’70s and ’80s.

Game Boy Megamachine

Game Boy Megamachine

Look Mum No Computer has been working on and off for over a year on this incredibly complicated electronic music maker, a wall full of Nintendo Game Boys which work in perfect sync to produce richly-layered polyphonic chiptunes. It’s still not finished, but even as a work in progress, it’s still quite impressive.

Keyboard Drummer

Keyboard Drummer

Say you want to make some beats, but you don’t have a drummer in the band. While you could buy a drum machine or some sampled loops, or you could do like musician Yohan Kim and use your keyboard to perform as your rhythm section.

From 0 to 100000

From 0 to 100000

Marioverehrer presents an epically exhausting level design for the piano training game Synthesia. It takes a solid 21 hours to get through the entire sequence, which is simply a musical representation of every number from 0 to 100,000.

Motor Synth

Motor Synth

Gamechanger Audio’s insanely cool desktop synthesizer combines electronic and mechanical components for the ultimate in analog sound. Its sounds are generated by motors, magnetic pickups, and infrared sensors, which serve as waveforms to produce truly unique sounds.

The Mighty DX7 Medley

The Mighty DX7 Medley

Do you love classic ’80s music? Many of the songs of the era relied heavily on Yamaha’s vaunted DX7 synthesizer, which was the first mainstream synth to use FM synthesis, creating a variety of uniquely textured sounds, like the ones in Power DX7’s medley.

UNO Drum Machine

UNO Drum Machine

IK Multimedia’s compact beat maker was developed in collaboration with Italy’s Soundmachines, and cranks out a mix of analog sounds and PCM sound samples. It can play up to 12 sounds at once, has on-board effects, and can be controlled via USB or MIDI. Demo performance here.

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Bitty Pocket Drum Machine

Bitty Pocket Drum Machine

Curious Sound Objects’ Bitty is a tiny drum machine and synthesizer. You can use it to create beats, melodies, or noise. It has four buttons, a time knob, a pitch knob, two function buttons, headphone in and out ports and an aluminum speaker often used in car door panels.

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.

Device Orchestra: Happy

Device Orchestra: Happy

12 credit card terminals and a small sewing machine, members of the ever-changing lineup of the Device Orchestra, perform a rendition of Pharrell Williams’ hit track Happy, bringing a smile to our faces, and not wasting too much receipt paper in the process.

The Furby Organ

The Furby Organ

For no other possible reason than to create nightmare fuel, modder Sam Battle of Look Mum No Computer rewired 44 individual Furbys and programmed them to do his bidding, creating a nightmarish organ that emits the song of the damned when he tickles its ivories.

OP-Z Portable Synthesizer

OP-Z Portable Synthesizer

Teenage Engineering’s OP-Z combines a synth and sequencer in a minimal device. It can record 8 audio tracks and 8 control tracks at once, and has a 2-octave keyboard, speaker, microphone, headphone jack, and USB-C/MIDI ports built in. It also works wirelessly with iOS.

Roli Beatmaker Kit

Roli Beatmaker Kit

This set from digital instrument maker Roli includes everything you need to play drums and other rhythmic sounds with your fingers. The kit includes a touch-sensitive Lightpad Block, a Loop Block, synth apps, over 300 sounds, and a 6-month subscription to Melodics.

Around the World: MPK Cover

Around the World: MPK Cover

Musician Koji Kobura shows off his $99 AKAI MPK Mini keyboard with a great solo performance of Daft Punk’s classic Around the World. The keyboard pairs brilliantly with FL Studio digital audio workstation software to bring it all together.

Jamstik7 & Jamstik12 Smart Guitars

Jamstik7 & Jamstik12 Smart Guitars

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.

Stylophone Business Card

Stylophone Business Card

Artist, designer, and musician Tim Alex Jacobs or Mixtela shows off one of the coolest business cards ever. His custom-designed card has a built in printed circuit board and metallic keys that serve as a tiny stylophone-style MIDI controller when plugged into a USB port.

Uno Analog Synthesizer

Uno Analog Synthesizer

IK Multimedia proves you don’t have to be big or expensive to create fat analog sounds. Their portable synth costs less than $200, and features a pure-analog audio path with 2 VCOs, noise generator, resonant multimode VCF and VCA, MIDI, and a 27-note multitouch keyboard.

How to Play Thriller

How to Play Thriller

With the right synth patches, bass, brass section, and recording talent, Doctor Mix shows us how its possible to replicate the distinctive sound of Michael Jackson’s 1984 mega-hit Thriller incredibly well. Even with the King of Pop’s vocals gone, it’s an amazing performance.

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