What would life be without music? It can lift your mood and drive you on. Many of us take it for granted that we always have our music collections with us, either on an MP3 player or a smartphone. But what is everyone else listening to, what sort of music are they into? This is a question that usually remains unanswered. Until now. The team behind the Kickstarter project ‘Glow’ are changing that: they have developed glowing laser headphones, whose cables and earbuds pulsate in colour to the rhythm of your music, the game you are playing on your smartphone, or even your heart.
Gadget of the Week: the world’s most extraordinary orchestra
This ‘music box’ houses probably the most unusual orchestra in the world. Seventeen musical instruments all fitted in a hand-finished oak case, operated by means of a precisely calibrated system of pneumatics. The system plucks, strums, and plays drums. Along with a bass and a snare drum, twelve additional percussion instruments feature in the jukebox, including bongos, agogos, woodblocks, a tambourine, maracas, and a cow bell, along with three types of cymbal (ride, crash, and splash). The rhythm section is supported by a bass synthesiser that ensures the low notes get their due. A full-sized guitar and a banjo see to the melody and harmonies.
Music must match the mood. Sure, you can do that with a playlist, but you have to take time out to make them first. What if there was a device that could automatically adapt to the situation in the room and start playing the right music, depending on who is present? This is exactly what a group of French music lovers asked themselves before creating Prizm – probably the most ingenious music player of all time. It started as a crowdfunding project. Now, it's just a question of time before it hits the shops.
Musicians and radio journalists know just how important a good-quality microphone is. But we all know that real life writes the best stories, and getting hold of them means leaving the studio once in a while. Problem is, it’s not exactly practical taking a lot of studio equipment with you on the street. Well, the gadget of the week is here to help: Apogee has developed a microphone that makes studio-quality recording portable.
Anglo-Irish boy band One Direction is making waves in the music business right now. New song Fireproof, with almost 1.1 million downloads in 24 hours, was a record breaker. And the five young lads already have a string of hits to their credit, including Story of My Life, Best Song Ever, and Live While We’re Young. Not ones to rest on their laurels, the boys called in some fresh professional expertise during the recording of their latest studio album, Midnight Memories: Julian Bunetta produced 13 of 18 songs on the album using LEWITT microphones.
Every year, Prolight + Sound attracts thousands of music lovers and tech fans from the world over to a little slice of high-tech paradise. The nhow Hotel in Berlin is also passionate about music. With two fully-equipped recording studios, it’s been putting a spring in the step of singers and songwriters since 2010 – a great hotel where you can also produce hit songs, an opportunity taken advantage of by stars like Jennifer Rostock, Rea Garvey, Culcha Candela and Kool Savas. But what was the inspiration behind nhow?
Life without music is hard to imagine. It makes us happy, it speaks from the heart, it conveys emotions – it brings us together. Especially when we listen together. Sure, inserting earbuds is a great way to switch off, but it leaves us completely isolated. If you’re not a fan of that, and you want to share your sounds with your friends, then it might be worth taking a couple of minutes to check out our gadget of the week: the Octo Splitter.
This year marks the German city of Bielefeld’s 800th anniversary, and they decided to celebrate in style: in the framework of the Zeitsprung – BI-Motion project (‘Zeitsprung’ – a leap back in time), 800 dancers and musicians put on an evening of superlatives in the Stadthalle Bielefeld. Participants included the Tanztheater Bielefeld; the Bielefelder Philharmoniker; Syrian clarinet virtuoso Kinan Azmeh; and amateur artists and schoolchildren. Technical support was provided by MA Lighting and Clay Paky, supplied by Lightpower. Markus Krömer, who was responsible for lighting design and programming, explained that “it was necessary to install an independent lighting system in the arena for an event with 800 people on stage, with the extension of the stage into the auditorium significantly increasing its area.”
In the beginning was the idea: what if there was a light bulb that could not only change colours, but also play music – and all controlled via smartphone? Inventors in Atlanta have turned this idea into a reality and developed LightFreq. LightFreq is a light bulb that houses a 5 watt speaker capable of HD audio. Its LEDs provide full 360 degree coverage with 16 million colours, at an intensity of 800 lumens. A real wonder gadget, and one that has even more tricks up its sleeve.
A sound engineer’s job is simultaneously an exciting and a responsible one. They take care of recording in the studio, testing the room’s acoustics and fine-tuning the tone of the microphones, before they finally produce the perfect sound. Besides which, they get to deal with celebrities, travel, are always meeting interesting new people, and really, you have to envy those sound engineers! But they don’t always have it so easy, as shown by this little gem from the internet. Enjoy!
The Musiktheater Linz caused a real buzz at Prolight + Sound 2014 Theatre and Film Colloquium. Why? Its revolving stage, operational for a year now, makes it one of the most modern and technologically best-equipped theatres in the world. For everyone who wasn’t able to make the presentation at Messe Frankfurt, here’s another chance to find out about this technological masterpiece.
The project was carried out by Austrian steel engineering specialists Waagner-Biro. “Our stage technology department has proved beyond doubt that it can deliver the biggest technical challenges to plan,” said Rudolf Estermann.
That is the name of the game at the Hannover audio manufacturer, Kling & Freitag. “Whether in the symphony hall or in a stadium, at classical or rock open air festivals: It’s not what you present, but how you present it. To feel, you must hear! If you want to listen, then you have the right to an unforgettable sound experience,” is written on their website. And using this motto Kling & Freitag developed their products. From March 12 to 15, 2014 they will be showing their newest developments at the Prolight & Sound in Frankfurt. Lars Heinrich, director of sales and marketing, told us what the visitors can be excited about.
How do you fill a concert hall with sound so that the customers in the last row have the same listening experience as those in the first row? The Fohhn Company raises acoustics to a new level with their Focus Modular System which delighted the visitors at Prolight + Sound 2013. Daniela Bohl, PR and Marketing at Fohhn Audio AG, explains in an interview how Focus Modular works.