Mikme-Microphone-Push-Button

Mikme, GoPro of microphones, is also serious about sound

Being simple and mobile has its advantages. I bet at least once, you’ve recorded some audio sample on your phone. But simplicity often comes at the expense of audio quality – the phone being a perfect example. An upstart hardware project wants to change that, with a crowd funding campaign that’s winding up its final days now. The Mikme is a small rectangular box, with a single button for recording. It’s wireless, with the ability to connect to mobile apps for tweaking and sharing. Now, your first impression, then, might be that this is a consumer product – convenient, but …

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Focusrite iTrack Dock is a Serious Lightning iPad Accessory for Recording Music

The iPad could change recording. But first, you have to change the iPad. Docks once reached fever-like proportions in hardware manufacture. Among those, one stood out: I’ve seen the Alesis iO Dock see iPads get more serious studio use, thanks to convenient access to audio and MIDI. (And that, in turn, is something you often don’t get when connecting hardware directly.) Then, Apple switched connectors to the new Lightning Connector – and the hardware world fell silent. Now, Focusrite steps in to fill the void. (We’ll see if Alesis is doing the same.) And if many docks are dubious purchases, …

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pMic is a 3D-Printed A-B Stereo Mic You Can Make Yourself; Hear It

Now, the next time you want a stereo microphone, you can hit print. Well, okay – that’s not entirely correct. But a combination of last-century DIY (circuits for making the mic) with this-century DIY (3D printing for making a convenient housing) means a custom microphone you can build that’s exactly suited to your needs. And, oh yeah – it’s both cheap and fun. Frank Piesik shares this project via Google+ and his blog. The plans are open-sourced and available on GitHub, so you can try making your own if you like; you’ll just need a 3D printer or 3D printing …

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Okay, it's not as compact, but you can at least get input working with Apple's now-shipping Lightning adapter for 30-pin accessories and Sonoma's excellent GuitarJack.

Lightning Audio: Sonoma’s GuitarJack Meets New iPads, iPhones, Via Adapter [Gallery]

Apple’s mobile hardware offers some serious audio performance and a whole mess of apps to take advantage of it. But what it doesn’t have is the ability to connect inputs and get high-quality sound. Basic mics will work via the built-in jack, but if you want really good sound and more flexibility, you need to connect external hardware. Previous accessories worked with the Apple Dock Connector. I expect we’ll shortly see new hardware with the Lightning Connector built in – the whole thing seems like an opportunity for third-party vendors to sell more accessories. But in the meantime, here’s the …

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Slap That Desk: Turn Any Surface into an Instrument, with a Plug-and-Play Accessory

You know the type. The drummer who, even robbed of drum sticks, is tapping on the walls, the car door, the desk… and maybe you are that person. When rhythms and musical gestures are bouncing around your head, the whole world just feels like something you want to play. It seems as natural as breathing. So, given your computer can make anything an input, why shouldn’t it let you play like that? A new controller and software combo seeks to make that possible. The work of one enterprising musician and creator, Stephan Vankov, it includes an affordable accessory with a …

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Tim Exile’s “The Mouth,” Reaktor-Built Creation for Your Voice

Tim Exile is a mad, Reaktor-patching genius. What I love about his instruments is the emphasis on performance. THE FINGER put you at the helm of wild, keyboard-based effects. THE MOUTH continues the MIDI keyboard triggering, but focuses, as the name implies, on using your voice and microphone as the main input. See some of the effects in the goofy video below, but know this: a wide range of sonic mayhem is possible with this instrument. I got to spend some time with Tim in Berlin early in the summer as he was still building The Mouth, and it was …

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Hand-Mixer “Cappuccino Synths” and Rare Earth Pickup How-To

Cappuccino Synth from Gijs on Vimeo. An oscillator is, after all, just something that oscillates. So it is that a handful of hand mixers can become sound sources, in Gijs Gieskes’ new “Cappuccino Synths.” The sound isn’t much raw, though with some processing it could go in any direction you might imagine, and there’s something sculptural and inspiring about watching metal spin. The basic technique is really as much about the pickup, the amplification of the source, as anything. And that means any number of household items could take on new meaning. As it happens, Gijs has shared a tutorial …

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iPhone Beats and Bass, Free This Week, More Fun with Mic Input on iOS

Ah, Mondays. If you’re looking for a way to brighten your work week and you’ve got an iPod touch or iPhone you can drop into your pocket, iOS music and audio developer Pulse Code tells us they’ve made four of its apps free for this week only, through August 8. That includes BtBx [iTunes], a simple and fun drum machine, DB-303, a simulation of the Roland TB-303 bass line synth and a particular favorite of pocket iPhone musicians, as well as a couple of fun toys – a robot tone synth and sound effects maker called Android FX and a …

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KORG KAOSSILATOR Pro: Now with Sampler, Effects, Vocoder

KORG has a way of coming up with hardware that’s fun to use. The KORG KAOSSILATOR, a simple, cheap AA battery-powered box packed with sound-making functionality, had already won some hearts over. Touch its X/Y pad, and the KAOSSILATOR responds with built-in synth programs and arpeggiators, all mapped cleverly to the touchpad to stay in the key range you desire. The KAOSSILATOR Pro really appears to be a hybrid of the KAOSSILATOR and KORG’s KP3 effects/sampler box. In fact, it’s really closer in appearance and function to the KP3. Like the KP3, the “Pro” has phrase sampling capabilities and effects, …

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Pro Tools Bundles: $99-129, Hardware for Vocals, Recording, Keys

For people looking to get into music recording and production on a computer, for the first time, there’s a bundle that says “Pro Tools” on the box that costs correction: as little as just $99. It really is Pro Tools software; it’s certainly streamlined (some basic track limits, no multitrack recording), but still with a serious complement of recording, mixing, and effects, and even some nice virtual instruments. Beyond that, your choice is which hardware you’d like in your “value meal”: For vocalists: The Vocal Studio has a cardoid condenser mic – that’s a USB mic you can connect directly …

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