speaker

It’s a PA! It’s a Suitcase! It’s a Chair! It’s All Three?!

You might need to be an internationally-touring DJ to buy one, at EUR750, but the Travelteq Trip Sound suitcase is awe-inspiring at least as a design gimmick. The aluminum roll-around is designed first and foremost as a suitcase, as in the things that hold your laptop and clothes when you’re on the road, and is even sold as such – no gimmicks, just an ultra-high-end way of toting luggage. But purchase the Trip Sound option, and you can fold an entire sound system into said suitcase. What keeps it a gimmick is, unfortunately, power. The Trip Sound System isn’t the …

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An Orchestra of Linux Laptops, and How to Make Your Own Laptop Instrument

For a generation of musicians of nearly every genre, the laptop has become an instrument. It’s easy to take for granted, but the rise of the computer for music has been remarkable. Less than twenty years ago, real-time digital synthesis and audio processing was the domain of expensive, specialized workstations. Now, $700 per seat can buy you a full-blown musical rig, with the computer hardware, gestural input courtesy the Nintendo Wii controller, and even a DIY speaker made from IKEA salad bowls. The next challenge is to make this setup as flexible and reliable as possible. Enter Linux. According with …

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Music from the Road: Tristan Perich, Lesley Flanigan on Speakers, 1-bit, Harspichord

Strings of tour dates and electronic music often mean crowd-friendly dance music, but there’s a growing, impassioned audience for more contemplative concert sounds, too. Composer-musicians Lesley Flanigan and Tristan Perich are pulling into the last stop on an extended tour of their work, here in New York Friday at Galapagos Art Space. For many, electronic music, in particular that made with computers, becomes about abstraction. For this duo, electronics become a chance to grow even closer to the tangible, acoustic sound – techniques they share in workshops as well as performances. And would you believe… antique harpsichord? Tristan Perich at …

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Virtual Radios Made from Paper, RFID

Digital technology has transformed the listening experience. But there’s little in the way of physical artifacts of that act, and a diminished sense of humanized relationships to an individual being at the other end. From modern radio to Internet-streamed playlists, our listening world is DJed by automated robots in streams that flow through generic, mass-market speakers. The object and the content lack the design intention that imbued, for instance, the gorgeous radio sets of the early 20th Century and the personalities that narrated the programming. Armed with a lasercutter, designer Matt Brown has a novel concept for how to redesign …

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Sounds Sculpture with Pods and Milk, from Mike Una

CDM contributor, mic flag fabricator, beat bicyclist, and sound artist extraordinaire Michael Una has been up to more sonic magic-making in Chicago. He showed two recent creations at MGFest 2008 — that’s MG as in “Motion Graphics”, not, sadly, the car, though I think sound art would also go deliciously with MG automobiles. On display in Chi-town: giant pods to fill rooms with sound, and a man in a sound-induced, hypnotic blizzard of milk. (Yes, they have winter in northern Illinois.) Snowy Day at MGFest 2008 from Michael Una on Vimeo. Octophonopod at MGFest 2008 from Michael Una on Vimeo. …

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Muon: Spectacularly Beautiful Speakers, with Gorgeous Sonic Visualization in Processing

The Speakers and Processing-coded visualization got a fittingly-lovely venue in Italy. Photo by Chris O’Shea, via Flickr. Looks can be a powerful agent for changing how we think about sound. Pairing liquid, organic speakers with equally fluid and dynamic visualizations, the launch of Muon last month in Italy made this principle readily apparent. I’m all about lo-fi, cheap gear here on CDM, but if you absolutely must launch luxurious aluminum speakers with spectacular animated visuals at a posh party in an Italian salon, I sure won’t complain. Pass the prosecco, please? This short YouTube video gives you an idea of …

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Gallo’s 5LS Prototype: Gorgeous, 78-inch Tall Giant Speakers

While on the subject of Gallo Speakers, here’s about as far as you can get from the baby-sized A’Diva satellites: speakers that tower 78″ tall, pack some 12 4″ aluminum woofers each, and deliver nearly omni-directional sound. Micro speakers (5″ each), yes, but in a slender but tall enclosure. The Reference 5LS speakers, due third quarter 2007 but shown recently at CES in prototype form, alternate mid-range spheres with tweeter cylinders vertically. The idea is to deal with phase and dispersion issues in a nearly (though not quite) omni-directional speaker. Gallo also showed off a reference amp that would couple …

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Hemispherical Loudspeaker: Ultimate Performance Speaker?

If you frequent experimental music concerts and performance art events, you might have seen them: mysterious, spherical and polyhedronalish speaker arrays, looking a bit like an unmanned space probe or an alien soccer ball. Now you can have one of your very own: Electrotap has announced they’re shipping the Hemisphere speaker array. And forget the odd looks of other speakers for a second: this sounds downright practical. It weighs just 17 lbs., but contains six Polk Audio db525 fullrange drivers. It sits on a surface. Sound fills the space, but it actually comes from the location where you’re playing. And …

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Edirol: New MIDI, Audio Gear; Portable USB Speakers

Edirol, the audio/video gear folks that are part of Roland Group, have a trio of announcements about new hardware. Let’s deal with them all at once, because Roland model numbers make my head hurt: New MIDI: Yes, new MIDI interface hardware. (MIDI will never die, folks.) What’s groovy about them? The US$89 UM-3EX has a built-in USB hub — chain them and/or rack mount them(!) and you’ve got some serious multi-port MIDI. Sure, some will be building a monster studio with this using lots of vintage keyboards . . . I’ll be building some weird interactive setup with sensors. Don’t …

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