by Linzy Novotny
Have you always wanted to learn how to play an instrument, but several factors have kept you from doing so? Maybe you don’t have the time, feel like you’ll need lessons or are not even sure which instrument you would like to pick up. Well, with the help of a new musical instrument developed by My Music Machines Inc., you’ll be one step closer to making sweet, sweet music.
Located in Albany, N.Y., My Music Machines Inc. developed the Jamboxx, a musical instrument much like a harmonica that is entirely “breath driven,” and they are now asking for production funding through Kickstarter.
The Jamboxx began in the creative minds of Mike DiCesare and Dave Whalen. A skiing accident left Dave paralyzed and with very limited use of his hands. He played harmonica, but “they sought a new instrument that would allow for Dave to be able to produce the sounds of electric guitar, trumpet and saxophone, and others,” according to the Jamboxx Kickstarter page. “So they created Jamboxx, an affordable, completely digital controller that’s extremely easy to play.”
“We wanted to be able to get people with all kinds of disabilities involved, participating, having fun and making music,” Dave said in the project’s Kickstarter video. “Showing the world that everyone has something to give and it can be a lot of fun.”
Also involved in the project are Doug Hamlin, an experienced software executive, and Sue Whalen, Dave’s sister and experienced businesswoman who is helping with the financials of the project.
Photo: Upstate Photographers
Jamboxx is versatile. Although it is played like a harmonica, it is capable of playing thousands of sounds. This allows users to experiment with different instruments. “Music students and children can experiment with a variety of instruments and sounds to learn music theory and skill without having to buy multiple instruments,” according to Kickstarter.
Capable of being played hands-free when placed in a bracket or hand-held, “plug Jamboxx into your Mac or PC, and within minutes you’ll be playing thousands of sounds from violin to saxophone to drums and even electric guitar,” according to Kickstarter. “Our software, created by leading game developers, teaches you step by step how to use the Jamboxx to make any sound in any scale.”
The software shows the user the note they are playing based on where they are blowing into the Jamboxx, according to Kickstarter. “You can even play by number to your favorite songs, with the same easy to learn technique.”
Musicians will enjoy the functionality of the Jamboxx. Singers can play their guitar or other instruments, while playing another instrument with the Jamboxx. “It’s for musicians looking to add another dimension to live performances or recording sessions,” as stated on Kickstarter.
The Jamboxx can also be used as a game controller and computer mouse, according to Kickstarter.
For pledging $299, you will receive a Jamboxx of your own. This price is limited to the first 150 pledges. After that, the Jamboxxes are $349 each.
My Music Machines Inc. has set a goal of $100,000 to be raised by Dec. 6. As of Oct. 29, $12, 152 has been pledged, but funding will only be successful if the full goal amount is raised.
To pledge, visit the Jamboxx Kickstarter page.
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