Sharper Image Selling Pre-Made Laser Harp, But Why Not Make Your Own?

The Sharper Image, a source of various amusing musical oddities over the years, now has a ready-to-use USB laser harp music controller for PC (Windows XP/Vista), at the price of — wha? US$599? Yes, this is obviously Sharper Image exercising the business and marketing acumen that allowed it to — erm — file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year. And, in a move we haven’t seen in years, they spell the name with a ‘z’ instead of an ‘s.’ Classy. And they’ve opted for a design that looks like the security fence in Jurassic Park. The beamz Music …

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Free Samples: Lo-Fi Drum Machines, Fisher Price Music Box Record Player

Free, odd soundware keeps on coming — hot on the heels of faux bent instruments and a tape-recorded Roland 606 and 808, here are more sounds to satisfy your need for unusual sounds. Stephen Haunts was inspired by the cassette-recorded 808, and writes to tell us he’s decided to give something back. He’s uploaded 22 kits from a Korg ElecTribe ER-1, a kit from a Yamaha DD-10 (pictured amusing the awkward fellow at right from the manual), and a Yamaha PSS-80. The Yamahas steal the show: they’re little toy keyboards with a decidedly lo-fi sound. I always admired the Japanese …

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DJTT Video Review: Fisher Price DJ Controller

Yes, it’s time to see (tongue-in-cheek, anyway) just how Fisher Price stands up to the competition in the crowded DJ gear market (thanks to producer Ean Golden from DJ Tech Tools for sending this our way): The ground breaking MBRP-101 from Fisher Price is the best all in one music playback solution for mobile and club djs that need affordable and reliable performance. Visit http://www.djtechtools.com/?p=202 for more info and release dates on this exclusive release. World Famous Dj Mei Lwun (5 time dade county YMCA battle champ) was kind enough to review the unit for us. Check him out at: …

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Gibson’s Cute Miniature Les Paul 1 GB Flash Drive, Consumer Electronics Line?

Believe it or not, you’ll stick this into the side of your computer. Bizarre but adorable, Gibson has turned their iconic 1959 Les Paul guitar into a miniaturized replica, a functioning USB 2.0 1 GB Flash Drive. It will store data. It will not make any sound. But it does have specs that you, erm, don’t normally get out of a guitar: 14Mbps read / 6MBps write, 9 year data retention, LED indicator, and USB extension cable. Gibson Signature Series Les Paul Flash Drive No one told me, but Gibson has introduced an entire line of consumer electronics, including HDMI …

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Music things: Lego Synths, Max/MSP Vids, and PC World Love for MT + CDM

Posts had gotten thinner over the past couple of months (do I ever know that pressure), but if you missed the torrents of blog entries over on Music thing, blogger Tom Whitwell has sprung back into action. And, as usual, he’s got lots of great goodies. Among my favorites: A Nord Modular made of Legos Ten Entertaining Videos about Max/MSP (Not to be confused with 32 Short Films about Glen Gould, made back in 1993 before the Web and digg had made “x-number lists” of things hot.) Tom also notes that CDM and Music thing were each mentioned in PC …

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Tiny Instruments: Strange Pocket Soundmaker Toys from MiJam

Tiny MP3 players have become ubiquitous, but MiJam thinks you’ll want to use pocket-able toy-like music gadgets that make music. At about US$20 each (according to Technabob, these odd little devices purport to behave as musical instruments, down to what looks like either membrane or very slim buttons for keys: miJamm Mini Lixx is supposed to be a guitar, with buttons for frets. miniJamm Mini Drums has miniscule pads for drums. Mini Keys is a faux-synth, with what looks like eight keys. Mini Mixer pumps out a beat, digital effects of some kind, “scratch”, and whatever “voice” means, with tempo …

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Hercules Wireless DJ Controller, So You Can DJ and … Barbeque?

Perfect for barbeques, says Hercules. This (sadly, wireless DJ-free) barbeque via Flickr, by Adactico. Yes, just in time for the summer grilling season. Hercules — known in the 80s for their video cards and more recently as makers of a rather flimsy DJ controller — have introduced a toy-like wireless DJ controller. As a serious “controller,” it’s not much good; it’s only slightly evolved from remote control. As a toy, though, it’s quite cute and I imagine someone would have some fun with it. Plug a receiver into USB on your Windows PC, and the Hercules controller wireless manipulates included …

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Hulk Hands Hacked: Smash Stuff, Send MIDI

Hulk SMASH — now MIDI-compatible. By hacking a giant Hulk hands toy, AKA Media System has built a unique MIDI controller. Enough with wussy controllers, like waving around Wii remotes in the air: now you can hit stuff. Like your head. This wasn’t a plug-and-play job: it involved some soldering to adapt the inner workings of the hands, made easier by some labels on the circuitry. Then, you need a way to get control data into the computer. AKA used the Create USB Interface or CUI; see some information and commentary here on CDM from last year. The Arduino board …

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Mother of all Musini Music Toy Circuit Bends

The Musini began its life as an award-winning toy. The product description is hilarious: A perfect gift for rambunctious toddlers, the Musini music box provides a constructive way for children to channel their physical and creative energy. While kids step, jump, turn, and tap, the Musini’s patented MusicSensor detects their every move and translates it into a totally unique musical response, teaching cause and effect. A Style Dial encourages children to explore the five different musical styles, ranging from jazz to classical, and musical variation buttons offer four different interpretations of each musical style. (Some of us rambunctious toddlers here …

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Gift Idea: $30 mi Jam Toy Scratch Mixer, Toy Interactive Sound Sculpture Beg to Be Abused

The problem with iPod DJ mixers? They’re generally pointless toys that are a poor substitute for real DJ gear. The wonderful thing about iPod DJ mixers that actually are intended as pointless toys that are a poor substitute for real DJ gear? For only US$30 or so (check Froogle for some last-minute deals), you can pick up a scratching, mixing, multi-effects processing toy and plug in your homebrew software-running GameBoys and do some … unspeakable things to the sound. What? You don’t think the good folks who manufactured the mi Jam had that in mind when they set up shop? …

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