Bliptronic 5000: Tenori-On, monome, Meet Your $50, Hackable Clone

You know the grid craze is in full steam once ThinkGeek offers a $50 clone. The Bliptronic 5000 is somewhere between the Tenori-On and monome. It certainly looks like the monome, with an 8-by-8 grid of light-up pads in a square form factor. But like the Tenori-On, it has built-in sounds and speaker, it’s made of aluminum, and it runs on batteries. The Bliptronic also simplifies its user interface. Its 8×8 pads are simply an eight-note octave with eight steps. There’s a play button, and knobs for tempo and tone selector. There’s also the ability to link up devices and …

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Tenori-On Orange $699 for “Home Use” – Minus Battery, Lights on Back

The Tenori-On, the grid-based musical instrument with whimsical sequenced lights created by Toshio Iwai, has been gradually becoming more affordable. The original model, complete with its rounded metal case, has already been cut to US$999 here in North America. Now, Yamaha announces that it is making an “Orange” version which also slices costs. A plastic case stands in for the metal one, the lights are orange instead of white, and lights appear only on one side. Yamaha says this is for “home use” — that is, you don’t need the device lighting up on the other side if no one’s …

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Lights and Music: Lo-Fi DIY Game System as Music Toy, on the Grid

Imagine an alternative universe in which simple digital handheld games evolved into sophisticated music tools. Oh, and they also made lots of really purty lights flash. Mmmmm … flashing lights. Well, that alternative universe seems to be right here. Mike Una gave us a massive dump of unusual new DIY sequencers, crafted from the ground up to rework techno into sonic objects. Some are unquestionably indebted to the analog step sequencer, but others take as much from 80s digital toys. Working with the Meggy, Jr. DIY handheld game platform – with a stunning 8×8 pixel resolution – Darius Kazemi has …

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I Want My Moog TV: Vimeo Channel, Moog Meets Tenori-On

Studies for two TENORI-ON(s) by Smith from Franck Smith on Vimeo. A chap named Nick Ciontea has created a channel on Vimeo collecting odd videos folks have made with or regarding Moog products. I know about this, because two of my videos made it in. It’s a grab bag, but a lovely tribute to how much people love this gear. My favorite selection is the video here, because it’s not what you’d expect sound-wise from either Yamaha’s Tenori-On or Moog filters. Artist “Smith” says: This first test is a prepartory work to a series of solo pieces inspired by John …

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Recession Specials: From Tenori-On to Little Phatty, Costco Blue Mic Deal to Soft Steinway

Illustration (CC) Dani Armengol, who just became my hero. Black Friday? Cyber Monday? Who need them? The entire month of December seems to be on sale when it comes to music tech. Christmas (and Hanukkah, for that matter) are nearly here. Whether it’s economic pressure or just some aggressive holiday pricing, there are some big deals out there that could make excellent gifts – or might just give you a nice list for shopping for yourself before or after the holidays. (Yes, it’s true: most of what readers suggested in our “gift guide” for the CDM Winter 08 special wasn’t …

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Tenori-On is Shipping in US; Tenori-On Meets Kyma Synth

Tenori-on Meets Kyma from Nomad Cinema on Vimeo. US distributor Keyfax NewMedia reports that it has Yamaha’s Tenori-On in stock and shipping out now. (Pre-orders began at the beginning of May, but this is apparently the first the US unit has made it to our shows — unless you happened to win one from createdigitalmusic.com, that is, in April, in which case you know who you are.) Every time I mention Tenori-On, despite the awe and lust it inspires in some musicians, someone raises the point of its somewhat retro-styled, simple sound bank. Fair enough: the minimal sounds are fantastic …

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Tenori-On US Presale On

As the May 1 sale date approaches, US distributor Keyfax is taking pre-orders of the Yamaha Tenori-On. The only way to order it will be (oddly) via the Tenori-On tour site: http://tenori-on.keyfax.com/ Keyfax explains: So that everyone has an equal purchasing opportunity, pre-sale orders are being taken via Tenori-on Registration on a first-come first-served basis. As shipments arrive, KEYFAX NewMedia will personally contact those registered; your order will be processed, and your unit shipped. I’m not entirely convinced Keyfax and/or Yamaha understand Web communities. Aside from a clunky website design, they’re asking for people to manually send them MP3 links …

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Tenori-On in America: US$1200, May 1, Limited Run

In the unlikely event of a water landing, use the Tenori-On to triangulate the mysterious radio broadcast coming from the French woman on the desert island. Erm, sorry — yeah, I finally got DVDs to watch Lost. Random Mode in the Tenori-On manual; image (C)2007 Yamaha Corporation. Here’s the good news: the Tenori-On is really going on sale here in America. It’s about the same price as in the UK, as expected. (GBP600 = about US$1200.) The bad news? If you want to buy one, good luck. Yamaha says initially only about 100 units a month will be available. (We …

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Tenori-On Launch Notes from Montreal; Launch Tonight in New York

Creator Toshio Iwai strikes a "mad scientist" pose for photographer watchlooksee in London. Peter Dines, known for his work with Reaktor (don’t miss his fantastic Reaktor Tutorial Project blog) got a first-hand look at the Yamaha Tenori-On’s first North American stop on its launch tour. He brings us some impressions of the launch, and introduces the phrase "switchboard acrobatics" to the lexicon, which I think will have to find a home in these discussions from now on. I’ll be at the Brooklyn event tonight, so if you’re there, do say hi! We’ll have coverage of the artists and event soon. …

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Tenori-On Worldwide Launch Dates Announced for April

Photo: Gary Kibler for CDM. At long last, the Yamaha Tenori-On, the unusual sampling/sequencing instrument bestrewn in light-up buttons, is getting its worldwide release. And it’s going to be an amazing party. Launch cities: Frankfurt and Berlin, Germany Paris, France Montreal, Quebec New York, NY San Francisco, CA (most appropriately) Tokyo, Japan The tour kicks of in Frankfurt first on March 12, then hits the other towns April 8 – 25, finishing where the Tenori-On was born: Tokyo. Launch artists:

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