• DM1 & Walnut Flute
    Instruments,  Music,  Solo

    DM1 and Walnut Flute

    Here we go with the first of ten little musical challenges over the next ten weeks, which will help me familiarise myself with some of the more obscure and under-used instruments and musical software in my collection. I picked up…

  • RührTrommel
    Instruments,  Music,  Solo

    10 Weeks – 10 Sounds: A Challenge

    I have been gathering quirky little instruments and musical odds and ends for quite some time and, whilst many of these have made their way into my songs, there are still some that remain stubbornly under-used. We were discussing this…

  • NodeBeat & Clarinet
    Instruments,  Music,  Solo

    NodeBeat and Clarinet

    The second challenge for ‘10 Weeks : 10 Sounds‘ is a little more complex than the first and resulted in three long pieces in a fairly laid-back smoky jazz-club sort of style. NodeBeat is a graphical sequencer for the iPad…

  • Kalimbas and Celtic
    Instruments,  Music,  Solo

    Kalimba and Celtic Flute

    The kalimba is one of the newest instruments in my collection; it’s a traditional African instrument with metal tines attached to a resonator (in this case a coconut with a wooden top) and came from the Christmas market at Wilhelminenberg.…

  • Alto Recorder and Whirlie
    Instruments,  Music,  Solo

    Alto Recorder and Whirlie

    Of all the ten challenges, this is the one I have been expecting to cause the most difficulty, as it is all about wind sounds, with little opportunity for contrast. This could easily have resulted in just being a wailing…

  • BeatPad and Mouth Organ
    Instruments,  Music,  Solo

    BeatPad and Mouth Organ

    BeatPad is another iOS drum machine, but one that is quite different from DM1, being perhaps more like a variant of the Akai MPC series (though I’ve never used one of those, so I can’t say for certain). Like DM1,…

  • Garageband and Egg Shaker
    Instruments,  Music,  Solo

    GarageBand and Egg Shaker

    Garageband for the iPad is a ridiculously specified application. I can’t compare it with the regular version of Garageband, as I have never used that, but it certainly seems to possess the hands-on ease of use that I have heard…

  • Busilacchio Organ and Meeblip
    Instruments,  Music,  Solo

    MeeBlip and Busilacchio Organ

    In late 2011 I received and built a Meeblip synthesiser. This is an open source synth that you build yourself (though a pre-built version is now available). It only costs $50 (for the kit version) and is very well supported…

  • Launchpad and Thai Gong
    Instruments,  Music,  Solo

    Launchkey and Thai Gong

    We’re back in iOS land this week, with a fairly new instrument application from Novation (who normally specialise in hardware synths and MIDI controllers) called Launchkey. Unlike the other apps I’ve used in this challenge, this is not a music…

  • Piano, Ocarina & Rainstick
    Instruments,  Music,  Solo

    Piano, Ocarina and Rainstick

    The piano is certainly the least unusual of all the instruments used in this set of challenges. We have a digital piano (a Yamaha Arius), which can technically also produce string, organ and choir sounds, but I wanted to try…