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Since the dawn of time, humans have been making music. From small forest percussion to massive symphonies, music is a huge staple of the human species.
Even if you were to go back thousands of years you would find some indication that humans were musically inclined.
As far as 165,000 years ago humans were creating percussion instruments with rocks and stones, creating mammoth flutes, and even elephant skin drums.
Fast-forward to the present and ask yourself what are some of the musical instruments that define the modern times.
Now more than ever, there is a wide range of futuristic instruments available that can help you elevate your percussion and melodies.
Companies, artists and scientists are eager to bring the musical world into the 21st century, reinterpreting classical instruments like pianos or drums, redefining how humans can interact with an instrument, and even the sounds that instruments produce.
From synthesizers to modular body parts, these are some of the world’s most interesting and futuristic examples of where the world of musical instrumentation is headed.
Created by the talented Jonathan Sparks, the NOMIS instrument allows a player to create and control a host of sounds through hand gestures and lights. The colorful instrument was created with the aim to make loop-based music more expressive.
Sparks believes “Loop based music is a powerful way for an individual musician to create a complex, multi-voiced composition by looping and layering melodies in real time....but often lack the expressiveness and clarity that make for compelling live performances.” Nomis changes issue.
Midi sounds are played and looped through NOMIS, showcasing how melodies fit into a larger composition, with each sound being represented by a different color. The player can use hand gestures to “play” the sounds, creating one’s own sonic symphony.
Pocket-sized synths are the future. The Zont stands on its own with its eye-catching design. About the size of your iPhone, the Zont has an AMOLED screen and LED back-lighting in the buttons.
Even more so, the studio-friendly instrument has a host of connectivity features like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB-C and 3.5mm ports. However, what makes Zont sonically special is the instrument’s modular capabilities.
The synth will have a host of sound libraries that can be swapped out like colorful gaming cartridges.
Though this may not be a physical product yet, the Molten Synth showcases how researchers can take existing natural properties to create music, something that is new in instrumentation.
The synth allows users to interact with a digital liquid metal that reacts to your touch and movement, creating the sounds of the future.
With the help of Entropy settings, your movements across the screen will puncture the metal, altering visual modulation. Try it out here.
The ambitious startup, Roli, had a big goal from the very beginning: reimagine the piano. Roli wanted to creates something that surpasses the piano the same way the piano surpassed the harpsichord.
With an air of familiarity to them, the ROLI Seaboard was born, an instrument that gives musicians expressive control at their fingertips.
Used by musical creatives like Hans Zimmer and Grimes, the Roli Seaboard is a sleek but powerful instrument. In short, the Roli Seaboard is a synthesizer controller based on a keyboard, nothing too new in the world of music.
However, the Roli Seaboard can do a host of things that the average piano or even synthesizer couldn’t even imagine doing.
The instrument has a continuous surface of pliable silicone. This 5D technology allows you to interact with the instrument, laying int between the keys of the standard piano.
With the keyboard, you can easily manipulate the notes in real-time, bending the pitch, making vibrato-like sideways movements and deepen a sound by pressing into the surface.
The Neuman may be used for music but it looks something that may control a spaceship.
Created by the Japanese company Yudo, an instrument company known for their cardboard, the super synth will host a wide range of software features in its futuristic body.
The synth will be made to order to fit the need of the top musicians in the world. The large touchscreen allows musicians to control everything in the synth, including the Neuman’s sound engine called NAT or Noise Added Tone, which allows “an unprecedented realistic sensation by focusing on the hit sound or noises generated during performances.”
The super synth could be in your studio in the very near future.
Designed and built by the Swedish and playful company, Teenage Engineering, the OP-Z takes the idea of portable synthesizer to the next level.
The pocket-sized instrument is a 16 track sequencer and synthesizer with a host of powerful sounds.
This device is completely standalone, meaning you can create your own full tracks without any other equipment. The intuitive design and simple functionally allows users to create a track in minutes.
Whether you need hard-hitting percussion or a unique synth sound the OP-Z has it all.
Though not officially available yet, the SPINE could be an indication on how the human body could be modified and eventually changed for the sole purpose of creating music.
Right now there are many researchers working hard to use the natural rhythms of the body and the SPINE would do just that.
The SPINE exoskeleton instrument will translate the movement of dancers and musicians into tremendous and beautiful songs. Inspired by the decades of research and development in wearable technologies and biofeedback, the SPINE is a wireless, digital exoskeleton worn and used by both dancers and musicians alike says its designer, Seth Woods.