Kids/Babies Music

The World’s First Kids Guitar is sized to let your chip off the old block rock

Kids GuitarThe World’s First Kids Guitar offers a six-strong guitar that’s specifically designed for kids. With a child’s size and accident proneness in mind, the right-sized instrument is designed to be lightweight with fragile parts better protected than they are on regular guitars. Different reward tiers offer a variety of perks including studio session time and the like, but the most basic reward tier that includes the guitar goes for $250; the project creator justifies the price by moting that the guitar uses premium components and materials. The current estimated availability is July 2014. The World’s First Kids Guitar’s creators are looking to raise $10,000 on Kickstarter in their 25-day campaign.

Connected Objects Music Sensors/IoT

Acoustic Stream protects your guitar, helps it dash off a ditty to your smartphone

The Premise. From the first moment of finding a song that they can identify with, everybody wants to be a rock star. Whether it’s a beat-up pawn shop acoustic or a glittery studio electric, nobody forgets their first guitar. But aside from the thousands of hours of practice, one has to learn how to maintain their guitar and also get the necessary equipment to perform with it.

The Product.  The Acoustic Stream is a 4-in-1 solution to the basic needs of a guitar that syncs up effortlessly to a phone or wireless device to serve as a recorder, amplifier bridge, and instrument tuner. Additionally, it will send daily updates to the user’s phone about humidity levels, helping ensure proper maintenance and infrequent need for repairs. The device connects to the guitar’s output jack or can be placed inside or near the guitar or other instrument, and by simply tapping on the instrument its features can be activated. At this time, only iOS support is available.

The Pitch. A broken guitar was all it took to inspire Bob Bean to start dreaming up the eventual Acoustic Stream. With endorsements by up-and-coming musical acts, the promotional videos highlight the ease of use and effortless control that the device can provide musicians. With a $50,000 goal, of which over three quarters is going toward components and tooling, Bean and his team hope to make this tiny tool a staple for performers.

The Perks. Early supporters of the campaign can get an Acoustic Stream for $97, less than half the retail price, and with the inclusion of 5 guitar picks and a download for the music used in the promotional video. A second Acoustic Stream is available at the $294 tier, and at the high-end $3000 tier backers can join the beta-testing/development team and help shape the final product. All products are expected to ship in August 2014.

The Potential. If the Acoustic Stream did just one of the things that it’s capable of, whether tuning or connecting to an amp, it would be a worthwhile purchase for any musician that’s more likely to be without their wallet than their guitar. Tapping the guitar as a method of control seems a little suspect as some performers tap their guitar as part of their compositions, not to mention the potential for errant inputs. The Acoustic Stream could become as necessary a purchase as a quality amp, and the young musicians of the world will want to get their hands on it as soon as possible.

Luggage and Bags Music Organization

GigBlade helps you carry that weight, keep your guitar by your side

GigBladeAny musician knows that certain instruments just do not travel well. Guitars and electric basses in particular can present a problem. They’re too heavy to carry in hand, but too awkwardly shaped to carry on one’s back. Introducing the GigBlade, a guitar/bass soft case that is designed to be carried low on one’s side, an area that has, as of yet, been untapped by the luggage industry. With a low center of gravity and hands-free design, GigBlade is the perfect solution for musicians constantly on the go. One GigBlade costs $125 on Kickstarter with an estimated delivery date of June 2014.


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.


For guitar solo acts, the BeatBuddy goes on

editors-choiceThe Premise. You’ve practiced your scales, know a few chords, can play a song or two, and are ready to start jamming with other musicians, but you’re still too shy about your guitar prowess. Or maybe you’re a working musician, and need something to help compose your masterpieces when the band isn’t around, or something to accompany you on solo gigs.

The Product. The BeatBuddy is a drum machine that functions like a guitar effects pedal. For those of you who haven’t become lost in the vast deserts of musical gadgetry and their jargon, this is a device that will accompany your playing with a drum beat, is foot-operated, leaving hands free to shred, and splices your guitar and amp, allowing both backbeat and axe to play over the same speaker, keeping gear (and headache) to a minimum.

The Pitch. A no-nonsense approach to presentation of the BeatBuddy is well-suited to the seasoned musician. Product specs are succinctly presented, benefits are simply and comprehensively listed, not “pitched,” and concerns are well-anticipated and addressed. These guys thought of everything, from possible shipping issues, to potential backlash from unemployed drummers. The video and audio production of both the sales and drum-sampling films are extremely high quality, demonstrating that the people behind this product know their stuff, even if their delivery of the dialogue makes it clear that they’re pro musicians and not infomercial MC’s.

The Perks. While the early bird tier for the new rhythm section ($179), has sold out, the standard backer pricing of $219 is still around, but incentives to contribute beyond that are minimal, considering how much more one is expected to give. $399 sweetens the deal with a t-shirt and dibs on the first BeatBuddies off the line, and $1,000 gets a song/beat you can choose and name yourself produced and uploaded into the product.

The Potential. With features like the ability to transition between beats to accommodate song sections (verses, choruses, bridges, etc), software that lets you create your own beats, pro-studio quality samples, and a $200 price tag, the Beatbuddy makes for a sound purchase which will continually benefit any level of musician and grow with you as you shred your way up the ranks to rock god.