New musical gadgets: no lessons (or instruments) required


A new generation of portable music gadgets allow people to use body movements to generate sound, bypassing the laborious process of learning to play an instrument through practice.

Why is this important: In a world where anyone can be a Tiktok star, tech startups are betting that people will acquire devices that democratize music, helping them generate professional-quality tracks quickly and easily.

  • There is even an emerging body of academic research devoted to haptic musical creation, known as the “Internet of Musical Things”.

Driving the news: New portable and portable devices in the market allow users to use gestures, touch screens or push buttons to jam and create songs.

  • Mictic, a pair of bracelets that costs $ 119, allow users to generate the sounds of various instruments – guitar, piano, drums, cello – by waving their arms in a controlled fashion.
  • Orba, a $ 99 hamburger-sized handheld, describes itself as “a synthesizer, looper, and controller that lets you create songs with intuitive gestures like tap, drag, and shake.”
  • The Donda Stem Player, backed by Kanye West (now known as Ye), is a $ 200 contraption that The Verge describes as “a weird musical gadget that lets you listen to music and manipulate it in time. real”.

What they say : “Creating a beat on the go is a very common thing to do – it’s almost a meme level in the production community,” says Andrew Huang, musician and influencer.

Where he is : While old-fashioned music lessons aren’t going away, newbies and professionals alike are turning to gadgets to hone their skills, learn an instrument, or just have fun.

  • “We are reinventing the relationship of people with interactive music,” Mershad Javan, CEO of Mictic, told Axios.
  • With Mictic bracelets, “our intention is not necessarily to replace real instruments”, but the system “teaches you chord progressions; it shows you notes; it teaches you chords and tones”.

And after: An online-only charter school, Michigan International Prep School, is starting to use Mictic bracelets with its music and theater students and in workshops with its special education students.

  • “We strongly believe in getting students moving to music, and the Mictic will be a unique educational tool to help us achieve this,” Christopher Card, artistic director of the school, said in a statement.

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