Sound is science.
As Stevie Wonder put it so well, “music is a world within itself with a language we all understand.” You don’t have to be some kind of prodigal composer to have a healthy appreciation of the audible arts. For those who are truly moved by music (and I don’t just mean dancing), there’s all sorts of cool gadgetry that can alter or enhance their experience. The madmen of the world have even created some entirely new instruments and sounds by tinkering with music tech. Here’s a few fun gizmos for the audiophile in your life.
Artiphon INSTRUMENT 1 Multi-Instrument
Is it a synthesizer? A drum kit? A guitar? It’s all three and more. The INSTRUMENT 1 is a modular music device that can function as almost any instrument you can think of (except something with a mouthpiece, obviously). You can strum it, tap it, press, bow it, whatever. With some programming on its companion app, you can produce the sounds of any corresponding instrument with the right motions. It’s available on Artiphon’s website for $399.
Synthrotek Optical Theremin Kit
Need a fun musical science project for the young tinkerer in your life? Give ’em an optical theremin! Assemble the wires and parts, and you get a nifty little instrument that produces cool sci-fi booping sounds based on how much light is shining on it. Kids love to wave their hands over these things, and I would know; I had one when I was a kid and I loved it. There’s lots of different kits around the internet, but you can get this particular one on Synthrotek’s site for $21.99.
Crosley Cruiser Bluetooth Turntable
Got a vinyl fan in the family, or does your dad just want to listen to his old favorites? Either way, this stylish suitcase turntable is perfect for an impromptu dance-off. This player’s built-in speakers can easily play 33 1/3, 45 And 78 RPM records, as well as stream tunes from a local Bluetooth-compatible device. If you need some more volume, there’s an RCA hookup for an external speaker system, too. You can get this on Amazon for $64.95.
Snark ST-2 Chromatic Clip-on Tuner
Tuning instruments can be an annoying process, especially if you don’t have the best ears for subtle tones. Luckily, we have sound-science to lighten the load. Just clip Snark’s extra-tight tuner onto your instrument, and you’ll get a visual readout of your tones. It’s got a vibration sensor and internal mic, so it can easily pick up whatever you’re putting down. It doesn’t just work with guitars, either; you can clip it onto trumpets, violins, or just let it hang out on your music stand. You can get this on Amazon for $14.19.
Redison Senstroke Drum Kit
Don’t have the room for a professional-grade drum kit? Who needs a whole kit when the whole world can be your drums? Strap the Senstroke sensors onto an ordinary pair of drumsticks, and you can freely drum on any surface to produce drum sounds. They’re not randomized; the tones you produce are based on how hard you drum and where the sensors are relative to each other to produce the closest sound to an actual kit possible. You can record your jams and export them as both MIDI files for listening and transcribed sheet music if you want to read them later. You can get the Senstroke beginner kit from Redison’s website for $200.