Rhodri Marsden on three of the latest must-have gizmos currently putting the prog in progress…
Much effort has been made over the history of rock to make people sound like robots. There’s the vocoder, where the sound of the voice combines with a synth to get that Mr Blue Sky effect, and the talkbox, which traditionally involves sticking a special rubber tube into the mouth of Peter Frampton or Roger Troutman. Here’s a way of getting that talkbox effect with a fraction of the saliva: the ESX1, which pops around your neck, rests against your vocal chords, takes a guitar cable in the back and, yes, makes you sound like a robot. www.electrospit.com
I hereby reach out to fellow insomniacs who worry about the state of the planet (or even the kitchen) at four am. Bose have designed some earbuds to be worn overnight by the permanently anxious; light and unobtrusive, they pipe sound into your head in the dead of night via the magic of Bluetooth. Hilariously, however, you can only listen to 10 special tracks designed to make you fall asleep, including Waterfall and Country Night. At $249, that’s one hell of an expensive LP, even if earbuds are included. www.bose.com
Many of us spent years getting our guitars looking just the right level of battered by subjecting them to low-level abuse of various kinds. A chap from
New York by the name of Keith, however, has created a magnificent junk guitar as a labour of love, by utilising old doors, workbench tops, door hinges, rulers and old vinyl records. It won’t win any awards for precision engineering, but amazingly, it works. If you like instruments that look as if they’ve been hauled out of a skip, few are as beautiful as this.