Making music: electronic instruments to know now

words Al Woods

In the last year, many of us will have turned our attention to new hobbies, lost passions and exciting equipment to while away the days locked down in our homes.

For many, that will have included taking up a musical instrument, much to the chagrin of our neighbours and families.

The electric instrument market is growing and with readily available electric accessories and power connectors to help, some new and interesting instrumental innovations have emerged.

From the electric keyboard and digital trumpet to the more bizarre instruments emerging, we round up the instruments you need to know now.

AlphaSphere

Consisting of 48 tactile pads adorning a spherical design, the AlphaSphere makes music by responding to touch and pressure. You can program each pad individually to create a wide range of exciting sounds.

Increasing electronic musicians’ levels of expression, the AlphaSphere provides and interactive playing style that mimics traditional instruments.

Eigenharp

Closely resembling a bassoon, the Eigenharp can be interacted with via touch-sensitive buttons and mouthpiece. The instrument must be connected to a computer, where the sound is processed within accompanying software.

The software is run on an open-source platform and available for use with both Mac and Windows operating systems.

electronic instruments

Continuum Fingerboard

A music performance controller and synthesizer, the Continuum Fingerboard features a touch playing surface. It responds to finger position and pressure in three dimensions, allowing continuous pitch control.

The Continuum Fingerboard creates effects and notes that are not on the chromatic scale, and allows for vibrato and pitch bend additions.

Digital trumpet

Bringing band practice slap bang into the 21st century, the Yamaha EZ-TP Digital Trumpet offers a outlet for the most musically challenged of all of us.

Simply hum a tune into this digital instrument and the EZ-TP will guide your way to musical excellence with light up valves to help.

Electronic bagpipes

Yes, really! You can make sweet Scottish sounds without the heft of traditional bagpipes with the vPipes-Uilleann.

Sensor technology replaces the bad and fingerholes offering the vPipes-Uillean unique levels of sound quality.

Electronic wind instrument

Flutes, piccolos and pan pipes aren’t top of many musicians minds when they think of electronic instruments. Luckily, the Akai Professional EWI4000S is here to change that.

With touch-sensitive keys and octave roller and impressive in-built MIDI output perfectly resembles the tones and tunes of iconic wind instruments.

unique electronic instruments

Electronic keyboard

No electronic instrument list would be complete without the ubiquitous electric keyboard. A mainstay of music classes across the country, many of us will be familiar with the sounds of ‘demo mode’.

With so many functions and it’s ease of use, it’s no wonder the electric keyboard remains a favourite amongst musicians.

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