This Week In Synths: Iraq, Birthdays, Kawai SX-240, Howard Jones Goes Retro, Dr. Who

A Casio in Iraq Ok, not technically a synth, but check this out. It’s a Casio AT-40 with Arabic labels spotted in Iraq of all places. Via Daniel: “A casio AT-40 with arabic lettering that I spotted in Hewler/Arbil in northern Iraq in december last year. I should have bought it!” Yeah he should have. : ) Click here for the full sized shot. It does make me wonder how much, if any, electronic music is being made in Iraq. I seem to vaguely remember there being an online music site from the country. If you know of any, please …

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Soundcells, a Homebrew Nintendo DS “Ukelele”

Homebrewers continue to dream up new ways of making music with mobile game systems. Sometimes the results are useful as actual tools, and sometimes they’re more of a fascinating novelty. In the latter category is the truly unusual Soundcells, a virtual “ukelele” inspired by the grid-based music interface of Toshio Iwai’s Tenori-On. The interface looks like a fretboard but acts as a grid. The results sound about as much like a ukelele as a car alarm sounds like a trombone concerto, but it’s nothing if not unique, and it looks like fun to play: (See the video after the jump …

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iUke USB Ukulele: More Details, USB Guitar is Coming Soon

A USB-powered ukulele: strange, you say? Believe it, thanks to the technology from the Brian Moore iGuitar. The iUke ukulele built by Brian Moore for Mac maven Andy Ihnatko is making its rounds on the Web (Boing Boing), but here are some details, just to clarify: It’s audio-only. USB on this device only carries audio signal for the moment, not MIDI for controlling soft synths. It will work with any audio app. Class-compliance would make it show up automatically on any Windows or Mac system, not just in GarageBand. iGuitar.USB will have MIDI, too. Well, sort of. The iGuitars (including …

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CDM on the Road in Boston!

Now off on my whirlwind travels, including a day in Boston at Macworld Expo. For a glimpse of bloggers complaining about how boring the show is, see TUAW. But say hi if you’re at my session! More on the iUke and other things if I can post . . . then boatloads of content stacked up for next week. Cheers! -Peter, editor-in-chief

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iUke: Digital USB Ukulele at Macworld

[Updated: More Details on iUke] I’ve had to delay my arrival at Macworld Expo until Thursday. Look what I’ve missed: a USB-enabled ukulele. iGuitar custom-built the instrument for Mac personality and notorious uke player Andy Ihnakto. (Thanks, TUAW!) I’m guessing the USB carries only audio, not control — the company’s iGuitar.USB uses USB for audio but requires a separate converter to change signal from the specialized onboard pickups into MIDI control. I’m going to try to find out more about this from my friends at iGuitar. More soon.

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