Perhaps you imagine an intense, long-haired guitarist gently strumming his Fender, waiting for inspiration to strike.
Or maybe you picture an impeccably dressed pianist, softly tapping the keys of his Steinway as he’s accompanied by a drummer.
Either ways, the way we think of music production has remained largely constant for generations. We picture pianists, guitarists, drummers, and violinists, each wielding their respective instrument and belting out tunes.
But modern music production is vastly different. Instead of conventional guitars and pianos, we have complex tech gadgets.
Not only are these gadgets making music more accessible, they’re also completely changing the way we approach music production.
I’ll cover 5 such tech gadgets in this article.
1. Teenage Engineer OP-1
With a company name like “Teenage Engineering” and a design that looks straight out of Toys ‘R’ Us, it’s easy to mistake the OP-1 for a toy instead of a full-fledged MIDI keyboard.
But beneath its toy-like exterior, the OP-1 has an astonishing amount of features. It boasts a complete synth and sequencer that can create music that wouldn’t be out of place in a top 5 album. You can record, synthesize, and edit up to 4 tracks – all without a DAW.
There are countless videos of musicians making incredible tunes with nothing more than this toy-like synthesizer/sequencer combo.
Of course, it has the price to match these features. But for a completely portable music making machine, you can’t go wrong with the OP-1.
2. ROLI Seaboard
Is it a keyboard? A drum pad? A MIDI controller?
The ROLI Seaboard defies conventional definitions. At its heart, it’s a keyboard. But thanks to the innovative keys and ROLI’s 5D touch technology, it is so much more.
Essentially, the Seaboard combines the sliding motion of a guitar with the intuitiveness of a conventional keyboard. If you’ve ever played the piano and wondered whether you can make it sound like a guitar, the Seaboard is your answer.
The key to the Seaboard’s effectiveness is the pressure-sensitive keys. They have the same sensitivity as high-end drum pads. But at the same time, you can slide up-down individual keys to create some incredible effects.
Of course, all this technology doesn’t come cheap. But if you’re a serious musician, the “future of the keyboard” should be on your shopping list.
3. ROLI Blocks
Walk into any music producer’s room and you’ll see the same few instruments: a MIDI keyboard, a MIDI controller, and perhaps a drum pad.
What if you could combine all these instruments into a single package, make them completely customizable, and expand them modularly as per your needs?
This is precisely what ROLI Blocks accomplishes.
ROLI Blocks, as the name suggests, are block-shaped instruments. Different blocks are designed for different needs. There’s a block filled with touch sensitive pads. This acts as the MIDI controller or drum pads.
There’s another block that lets you control volume, playback, etc. in a live setting, appropriately called the ‘Live’ block.
Then there’s a block to create and play loops, called, of course, the ‘Loop’ block.
Each of these blocks is modular. That is, you can combine them with each other as needed. You can also combine them with ROLI’s keyboards to create a complete music maker’s instrument.
Truly an innovation in music production!
4. Korg microPiano
The full acoustic richness of a traditional grand piano is a sight to behold. But not only are grand pianos extremely expensive, they also require a lot of maintenance. Not to mention the sheer amount of space they need.
What if you could pack in the same richness in a package that can sit on your desk?
That’s exactly what Korg accomplished with the microPiano.
Barely larger than a conventional digital piano, the Korg microPiano boasts the same sound and tonality as a traditional grand piano. It has 61 weighted keys and uses the same sound engine as Korg’s much more expensive electronic pianos.
The result is a package that feels and sounds like a full piano, but costs drastically less and doesn’t take up half your living room.
5. Jamstik 12
From David Guetta to Justin Bieber, you’ll be hard pressed to find a modern musician who is not producing music electronically.
In fact, for most instruments, digital audio workstations (DAWs) often outperform their acoustic counterparts.
For getting authentic guitar sounds, however, you still have to plug in your trusty Fender and strum out some tunes.
This is the exact problem the Jamstik 12 MIDI guitar aims to solve.
The Jamstik looks like a tiny guitar. It has the same setup and even has six strings, albeit with a much smaller fretboard.
The key difference is that the Jamstik plugs into your MIDI port. Play a note on it and it gets recorded as a MIDI note in your DAW.
This makes it possible to record authentic, natural-sounding guitar tracks – all in MIDI. You can record, edit, and manipulate guitar sounds with complete freedom.
The result is a revolution in guitar music.
These gadgets are not only bringing a whole new set of features to the music world, they are also making it much easier to produce music. Give them a try today and bring out your inner Mozart!