Music Sensors/IoT

SoulPedal gives guitarists effects controls with a wireless insole

The Premise. The world of entertainment is an ever-changing industry, always looking for ways to make the audience feel that they’ve gotten the best show possible. One of the most popular ways that 21st century performers do that is by breaking that “fourth wall” and interacting with the audience. While much of this has relied on the front person (or lead singer), guitar players are now getting a shot at this. Why is this important? Because more interaction usually means an invite to return to a venue. And if the band has merchandise, it can also mean more sales.

The Product. SoulPedal lets guitar players have the technology of their wah wah pedal in wireless form. To make it even more convenient, it gets worn like an in soul inside the right shoe, with a “dummy” left one included for balance. Built in arch support and a total weight of three ounces help ensure comfort. A tap of the foot turns the pedal on, and when it’s time to change the sound, a bend of the knee, slight lean forward, or stop of the foot makes it happen.

The Pitch. The video for the $35,000 campaign gives just enough detail on how the product works to satisfy the curious, and plenty of clarity on how to use it. Seeing it in action among other users is a nice touch, and it appears very user friendly.

The Perks. There are nine tiers from which backers may choose. The $279 early bird special offers the complete product with an expected delivery of September 2014. There is a chance for a full refund on the price for the backer who wins the contest announced at the indiegogo campaign site.

The Potential. The wireless technology aspect for this product makes it an especially exciting development for guitar players. Lead singers who play the guitar will likely be especially appreciative of this particular item. If there is an interest in the upgrade kit, a Windows system will be required. It’s noteworthy that there is also a development in the works for keyboard players in connection to note/velocity parameters that would eventually be available through the upgrade kit.


Guitar Wing lets instrument-mounted controls and effects take flight

The Premise. Austin, Texas is known for at least two things: live music and weirdness. The town’s Livid Instruments has long embraced the intersection of those with a range of music products. But while there’s nothing been weird about wanting to have access to musical effects and controls at the tip of a guitarists’ nimble digita, the company had nothing to offer them until now.

The Product. A button-laden and LED-filled overlay that fits over the bottom right corner of an electric guitar’s body, the Guitar Wing lets guitarists have control over their existing software on their computer via MIDI effects, GarageBand, and even stage lighting effects through the product’s Win FX software plugin. Performers can glance at the LED control panel while playing instead of over at the computer, and a motion sensor can be used to control performance effects to make it easier to be a musician and a stage tech. Wireless technology lets musicians move around the stage without snagging cables or accidentally unplugging things. Livid Instruments promises the Guitar Wing can be used on almost any electric guitar or bass, and musicians will be pleased to note that this can be added and removed without damaging your instrument.

The Pitch. Livid explains that the Guitar Wing has been built, tweaked and tested, and a final prototype is ready. The Kickstarter funds will be used for the production costs of making GuitarWing. By producing in bulk, the company plans to keep consumer costs reasonable, and hopes to crowdfund these start-up costs. Livid’s most powerful tool in the campaign is the testimony of artists, which is key for such a product that would ordinarily require a level of tactile experience to judge.

The Perks. For $179, or $149 early-bird pricing, backers will receive the GuiterWing itself. But that’s far from being the highest price point, with $1500 backers receiving a personal, instructional demo from Guitar Wing staff. It’s slated to do its thing on stage in April 2014.

The Potential. Livid instruments has a track record of designing and creating add-ons for musicians. Guitar Wing will simplify and enhance live music performances. The company has successfully identified a need for musicians, especially in smaller bands, to connect to their computer for effects while performing. The product may appear as a bit of distraction and one will have to trust the testimonials for how easy it is to integrate into riffs, but there seems to be a great opportunity for use with performers.