Almost everyone fantasizes about being a musician, being in a band, or being gifted playing an instrument. Several companies are merging new technology with traditional musical instruments—the result brings a cornucopia of features to microprocessor based guitars, drums, and keyboards! The Muscleman of Technology has an assortment of these brand new digital instruments to demonstrate to our KUSI viewers. Whether you’re a serious musician or just a hobbyist, you’ll get a kick out of these new wave “tune makers” which can have you playing like a pro in short order!
- Allegro’s Piano Wizard
(Available at Fry’s, CompUSA or pianowizard.com web site above)
Piano Wizard is an exciting video game for both Mac and PC that integrates a computer-based piano tutorial methodology with a fun, interactive gaming environment. Piano Wizard has the unique ability to transform tedious and repetitive practice sessions into an exciting and entertaining video game experience for people of all ages and musical abilities. Players progress through a patented 4-step system—the game reveals a deeply appealing educational aspect, learning how to read music. Check out new optional songs at www.wizardtunes.com
With the included Piano Wizard software, colored “notes” – disguised as colorful icons like dinosaur eggs or rocket ships – travel along a straight line upward toward the same colored key on the computer screen. The player then simply hits the same color key on their piano keyboard when the note reaches the colored piano keys on the screen. It is so simple, children as young as three can play Beethoven in minutes. Conventional teaching methods emphasize learning notation and theory first, which is contrary to our natural learning process. Piano Wizard teaches the user how to play a song first and later provides insight into the musical theory.
- Guitar Hero By RedOctane
$69.99 Includes Guitar Controller & Game
You can finally kiss your “Air Guitar” goodbye—with Guitar Hero just strap on your Guitar! Simply plug-in and CRANK IT UP! Guitar Hero creates all the sensations of being a rock star, as you rock out to 30 of the greatest rock anthems of all time and more. Soundtrack includes songs made famous by such legendary artists as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, David Bowie, Boston, Sum 41, Ozzy Osbourne, Audioslave, White Zombie, Franz Ferdinand, The Ramones, and more.
NOTE: You must have a PlayStation 2 (PS2) Console to use Guitar Hero.
Guitar Hero has won almost every award for a game because of its massive appeal and fun factor! The Guitar features five fret buttons, a strummer (instead of strings to pick), a whammy bar, and is roughly the same size as a travel guitar. It's pretty comfortable to wear, not only because of its light weight but because it's reasonably close to the size of a real guitar (approx 75% the size) it will feel like the real thing in your hands.
Here is a quote from Guitar Player Vets:
On its easiest difficulty it allows wannabe ax-slingers to rock out with no training necessary (including whaling on the totally awesome whammy bar). But on its hardest difficulty it's as close to playing the song on a real guitar as it's possible to get in a game.
- Casio LK-300TV Bundle Lighted Keyboard
The Casio LK-90TV Keyboard was designed to make it possible for anyone to play a keyboard, right out of the box. Casio was the first company to introduce a lighted keyboard and the LK-300TV offers something new: TV connectivity. The TV connection for the keyboard can be used for lesson displays, feedback for fully-animated interactive lesson scoring, and for displaying Karaoke sing-along lyrics (video cable included).
The valuations of the “Advanced 3-Step Learning System” (lets you practice at your own pace while the keyboard grades your performances) appear directly on the screen – and the song text of the sing-along function run in real time on the TV screen: for your own Karaoke party. The touch of a button takes you directly to piano tones and piano lessons.
Other hits of the LK-300TV include a USB interface, SD card slot, HL sound source and general MIDI. The LK-300TV has 61 full size lighted keys, 514 tones, 100 tunes, 120 rhythms, synthesized sounds, drum sets and more.
With the karaoke feature you can connect a microphone and sing along with the keyboard's built-in tunes. Built-in tunes are divided into two groups: a Song Bank of 50 tunes with Auto Accompaniment, and a Piano Bank of 50 piano tunes. You can simply enjoy listening to the built-in tunes or play along!
Electroplankton, Rated E for Everyone, is only available through www.nintendo.com
Whether you’re musically inclined or musically impaired, Nintendo’s new Electroplankton will make you a mixing maestro. Sounds can be sampled, manipulated, changed and rearranged to help even novices create engrossing beats and harmonies. Users simply choose one of 10 music-making modes and dive right in. In this sea, you'll encounter ten unique species of tiny Electroplankton that respond to your touch and voice to create unforgettable sounds and melodies. Interacting with this wide and wild variety of Electroplankton is as simple as sliding your stylus across the Touch Screen. There are ten fascinating plankton to play with in all! The latest work by world-renowned Japanese media artist Toshio Iwai, Electroplankton bursts to life exclusively on the Nintendo DS.
Also, if you’re a Macintosh computer user and would like to explore the world of GarageBand, Apple’s music recording and arrangement software, be sure to check out these 2 great books from Peachpit Press (www.peachpit.com).
Garage Band 3: Create & Record Music on the Mac
Whether you're an accomplished musician or a student, Garageband is the most rewarding way to create, perform, and record your own music. In the only Apple-certified guide to Garageband, composer and master trainer Mary Plummer shows you just how easy it is to turn your Mac into a fully featured recording studio. Complete with DVD Lesson Files.
Podcasting and Blogging with GarageBand and iWeb
Using the Garageband and iWeb tools from Apple's iLife 06 suite of tools, Robin and John show you how to create professional sounding and looking Podcasts, including how to add chapter markers, artwork, sound effects, jingles, and musical accompaniment to your Podcasts.
Digital Musical Instruments have 4 Distinct Advantages
- Digital instruments usually include interactive learning modes for teaching you. Play along to songs, lighted keys/pads & interactive modes/monitors.
- Digital musical instruments have capability to play and mimic other sounds. Versatility and fun to create & new styles of music to enjoy.
- Require minimal tuning, portable & light for travel.
- Computer cables and interfaces (MIDI) allow you to download or connect to other computer related sources for expanded features, functions, and content.
Want to know what MIDI is? Musical Instrument Digital Interface. There are three types of MIDI ports: MIDI In, MIDI Out, and MIDI Thru. MIDI is just a serial interface which allows you to connect music related gear to your computer. MIDI devices can be used for creating, recording, and playing back music. When you press the keys on a MIDI keyboard for example, no sound is actually produced. Only MIDI messages, which contain data such as the keys pressed and the duration for which they are pressed are generated. These MIDI messages are then transmitted to a MIDI-compatible device (such as your audio card) that produces the sound you hear.