Blue Cat Audio has released its previously announced acoustic feedback simulation Blue Cat’s AcouFiend, an audio effect plugin that can make electric guitars scream, growl, or sing, even at low volume or through headphones. AcouFiend can simulate the acoustic feedback (a.k.a. “Larsen effect”) well known to guitarists playing loud and close to their speaker, but […]
At the NAMM Show, Roland has announced the new TD-27KV V-Drums, a new mid-level electronic drum kit in the acclaimed V-Drums lineup. Equipped with advanced digital trigger pad technology and the latest V-Drums sound engine, the TD-27KV brings serious drummers premium playability and flagship-level expression at an affordable price. The TD-27KV kit is based around […]
Audio Plugin Deals has launched a sale on the New Year’s Revolutions Bundle by Impact Soundworks, offering over 50% off on the bundle of all three Acoustic Revolutions libraries. The inspiring acoustic guitar loop and phrase bundle includes Acoustic Revolutions volumes 1, 2, and 3. Acoustic Revolutions Vol 1 is a highly-usable acoustic guitar loop […]
Soundsdivine has announced the release of Acoustic Reality, a collection of 150 presets for the Omnisphere 2.5 virtual instrument by Spectrasonics. The soundset uses Omnisphere’s unique collection of acoustic samples to create a series of presets inspired by traditional instruments from North & South America, Europe, Africa, India and Japan. Acoustic Reality is split into […]
The recorder’s simplicity has made it ubiquitous in music education. Digital builders want to refresh it and make it cool – and no, this isn’t an April Fools’ joke.
Italian startup Artinoise is taking on the recorder as controller, musical instrument, and learning tool, with its new re.corder. Davide Macini, who has made the excellent boutique soundmachines line as well as working on the latest IK Multimedia synths (among others) is behind the project, so this is actually coming from someone with real experience.
And recorder joking aside, this has to be a new standard in affordable expressive controllers. Short only of using your own voice, there isn’t another way to get something this portable and this expressive and this affordable.
Recorders have become a mainstay of music education, because they are so cheap – particularly with mass manufactured plastic instruments. Recorders of course have a relatively simple playing method – just finger the right holes and blow, with fairly basic pressure control giving reasonably consistent pitch.
Unfortunately, that same blessing is also a curse; those cheap instruments don’t exactly exude character, and the easy of playing them kinda sorta in tune versus the relative complexity of playing them expressively and precisely in tune means that a classroom full of kids can make a fairly horrid sound. That was my experience learning with them, at least, and perhaps yours, too. A consort full of poorly played plastic recorders is not a lovable sound. Basically, the problem is overblowing. So it was that the wonderful wooden Renaissance instrument was replaced by a cartoonish post-war parody in plastic, overused in education without actually teaching kids intonation. (Read a detailed article on the topic if you like.)
The re.corder might just salvage all of this. It’s actually three instruments:
An acoustic recorder, in the traditional sense.
A digital instrument with its own sound, provided by app but using the recorder’s expressive and simple controls.
A controller for other instruments, via MIDI or CV/gate.
There’s a mute plug that lets you play it silently for scenarios 2 + 3, which also gives the ability to play this without disturbing others via headphones.
The re.corder is hardly the first digital instrument, or even the first to have teaching as a key use case – Akai, Roland, Yamaha, and others have attempted the same. But those instruments don’t double as acoustic recorders, and they come from manufacturers who spread attention across a range of different instrument forms. The makers of re.corder have really focused on this single solution.
And then there’s the price, which was what allowed the poor plastic pipes to take off in the first place. The re.corder pricing starts at just 62EUR (with a 55EUR early bird price), and costs even less in bundles. That makes it competitive with other educational offerings.
Their Kickstarter has only just launched, but it already has mounted some impressive sales figures. That suggests people are looking for this combination of inexpensive, simple, and educational. The launch video is a bit awkward, but the point is taken – this is an educational instrument that promises to be taken seriously by adults, in contrast to what has come before.
I just worry a bit that their design looks a little like a Doctor Who prop, but I suspect the idea is solid anyway.
In addition to the acoustic capabilities, you get touch sensors, custom fingerings, 3D accelerometer sensing for added expression, and Bluetooth LE wireless communication with the app (or your computer or other gear).
Plus, as period recorder players can tell you (while their gamba playing friends struggle up the stairs), the whole thing is eminently portable.
Given you could easily spend twice this on a crappy plastic MIDI keyboard you’ll toss or forget in a couple of years, I do think this product might have some success.
You can back the project on Kickstarter now, and find a lot more details:
After a decade of providing more than 40 countries with high quality and affordable acoustic panels, diffusors, foam and furniture, EZ Acoustics is foraying into the United States’ acoustic treatment market as a meeting of three powerful audio engineering and entrepreneurial minds. European acoustic engineer and EZ Acoustics’ founder Marc Viadiu has teamed up with […]
Native Instruments has announced a new addition to the Session Guitarist series of instruments in collaboration with drumasonic. Picked Acoustic offers 194 skillfully played picking patterns in a diverse array of styles. All patterns are recorded on a sought-after vintage acoustic by a session pro. Picked Acoustic also features a dedicated instrument that enables the […]
Plugin Boutique has launched a sale on selected acoustic guitar and bass sample packs by Organic Loops and Frontline Producer, offering 50% off for one week only. Acoustic Blues Guitar features a collection of loops and samples for producers looking for the sublime sound of acoustic guitar played by Sandy Buglass, a great player with […]
Nouveau Baroque has announced its latest sample pack Acoustic Love, a sample pack featuring acoustic guitar melodies, chord strums and harmonies for your Hip-Hop, experimental, downtempo and pop music. The pack comprises 25 royalty-free and tempo-synced samples (Wav) with MIDI included. This pack captures the love of acoustic guitar sounds and warm melodies. We also […]
Sampleon has announced the release of its new virtual instrument Akoustic, a spectral synthesizer that is fully built upon acoustic spectra from real instruments. With Akoustic you can play with partials and spectra from real instruments in a additive synthesis way. A new approach to sound design. We created spectrums for acoustic instruments to be […]