5 weird and wonderful music-making gadgets on Kickstarter
The Waveform:01 SpaceBass
US$20,000 goal | waveform01.com
"Using a Spacebass, a modern digital artist can finally perform like a 31st century rockstar." That's the promise delivered on the Kickstarter page for one of the most technologically souped up guitars we've laid eyes on since the Gibson Robot guitar. Except it's not really a guitar.
The Waveform:01 Spacebass is designed to get DJs out of the booth and strutting their stuff on stage, controlling and mixing both audio and video simultaneously.
Consisting of a MIDI and OSC controller for ultimate musical manipulation, the Spacebass can be used with any MIDI-compatible software thanks to its USB interface; you can even slot in an iPhone, iPod Touch or Android phone for wireless touchscreen music controls.
US$568,106 pledged of US$25,000 goal | 1derful.org
The MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for beginners. It'll let you play Mario on Play-Doh, or play Pacman using controls that you've drawn onto paper with a pencil. Making any sense yet?
The kit consists of alligator clips attached to any object of your choice while an Arduino board connected to a computer translates your interactions with that object into controls for anything from games to music.
The upshot of all this is simple. Banana keyboard. Or Jelly keyboard. Or, we presume, fried chicken keyboard. Just attach the clips to an object of your choice and laugh maniacally as you create music with a cavalcade of household items. Who needs a Steinway piano? Not us.
Yaba X – portable guitar amp
US$27,000 goal | yabaspeaker.com
Back in 1967, The Byrds sang, "So you wanna be a rock n' roll star, then listen now to what I say: just get an electric guitar, then take some time, learn how to play." Which is all very well, but unless you've got an amp, the dream's dead, kid. Give up and settle down in a beige office cubicle where the highlight of your day is the erratically bubbling water cooler.
Or you could nab yourself a Yaba portable guitar amp which can stick to any surface, turning it into a speaker. Simply plug in your guitar, whack it on a table/gas canister/docile cat and rock away, amplifying your angelic string plucking for all the world to hear. Not today, boring cubicle. Not today.
Bohemian oil can guitar
US$54,233 pledged of US$32,000 goal | bohemianguitars.com
Searching for a clean bluesy twang that'll carry you straight to the American south with every string pluck? Then you'll want one of these oil can/guitar hybrids.
Featuring a maplewood neck with rosewood fingerboard and inspired by resourceful musicians in South Africa, each guitar comes complete with 24 frets, a single coil pickup, the standard volume and tone controls, an adjustable truss rod and, we assume, plenty of soul.
QuNeo MIDI and USB pad controller
US$165,914 pledged of US$15,000 goal keithmcmillen.com
Resembling a 'my first shapes for kids' on acid, the QuNeo is actually a powerful 3D multitouch pad controller for electronic musicians, digital DJs, VJs and DIY hackers alike.
Each of the 27 tactile pads, sliders and rotary sensors are pressure, velocity and location sensitive offering approximately a gazillion combinations and possibilities for digital musical shenanigans.
Combined with the multitude of 251 coloured LEDs for visual feedback and you've got yourself a musical gadget that'll be irresistible to both you and your light-chasing moggy.