The Kickstarter Blog

Design & Tech Roundup: Rolling Deep

  1. Design & Tech Roundup: Inventive New Tools for Making Music

    It's been a big year for music on Kickstarter. We've seen projects from trailblazing artists like De La Soul and TLC, an album of music just for cats, and the introduction of Artiphon's versatile Instrument 1 which was named one of TIME Magazine's Best Inventions of 2015. Here's the latest batch of inventive music-making tools that expand creative possibilities for adventurous musicians because, as Brian Eno said, "you can't really imagine music without technology."


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    An acoustic guitar may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about digital music, but ACPAD seamlessly adds a range of controls for guitarists looking to enhance their picking and strumming with electronic sounds. After years of performing with custom-modified instruments, Berlin-based musician Robin Sukroso invented this streamlined device to make his hybrid playing style accessible to more musicians. From programming drum beats to triggering digital effects and recording software, ACPAD adds the flexibility of MIDI control to a traditional instrument. Folktronica fans take note!

    Guitar Triller

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    Guitarists looking to coax new sounds out of their instruments have a decidedly lower-tech option in the Guitar Triller. This handheld accessory designed for striking strings offers options beyond picks or fingers for playing stringed instruments. The resulting sounds range from delicate hammered dulcimer-like tones to rapid-fire heavy metal shredding. Sometimes simple tools can do surprising things.


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    Best known as the Beatles' sonic laboratory, Abbey Road Studios has been a hub of musical innovation for more than eighty years — so it's fitting that they're now supporting the development of new music technology through their RED incubator program. Their first project is Titan Reality's PULSE* controller, a sophisticated 3D sensing platform that uses gesture and object recognition to create a wide range of virtual playing techniques and sounds. You can hit it like a drum, scratch it like a turntable, or sweep your hand over it like a harp. Any requests for "While My Spatial Sensor Gently Weeps"?


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    Embracing technology in music isn't always about being ahead of one's time. The Obscura Chiptune Synthesizer from repeat creators Arcano Systems looks backwards to the 8-bit sounds of vintage video game systems like the Nintendo, C64, and Amiga. Its MIDI jack makes it easy to control, and its Arduino-based circuit design makes it customizable for those inclined towards hardware hacking. Perfect for that opera you're writing about Donkey Kong.

    We're looking forward to hearing music made with these new instruments. To check out more projects that offer sonic adventures, head over to the Sound section of our Technology category.

  2. Meet the new Creator Resources page — with help from A to Z

    Running a project can come with a lot of pleasant surprises and sometimes a few unexpected curveballs. It’s a fantastic chance to become better at your craft, create the things you’ve dreamed of, and connect with the community that loves your work. Then comes the part where you might find yourself becoming an expert in international shipping, custom packaging, or the fine points of vendor relations.

    But if your goal is to create something amazing — a film, an album, a poster, a gadget — you probably want to put your time and energy into creating, not wondering how best to track package deliveries. And here’s the good news: there’s a whole community behind you, full of creators who’ve already tackled these challenges and can tell you exactly what works, what doesn’t, and who can help.

    Over the past few years, we’ve spoken with countless creators about how they made sure their rewards all arrived in one piece. They’ve shared stories from factories and mailrooms, and pictures from packing parties in their living rooms. Drawing from these conversations — every lesson learned and insight gleaned — we’ve put together a list of services that can help with all things fulfillment related.

    Introducing the Creator Resources page


    The companies on the Creator Resources page offer services that range from printing stamps and shipping labels to manufacturing parts to help you make almost anything. And even better, they all have experience working with Kickstarter creators on projects across all of our categories. With solutions for projects both large and small, there’s something on this list that can help just about any creator out.

    Not sure where to start? There’s a wealth of knowledge and experience in the conversations happening on Campus. Drop in and ask fellow creators for advice on how and why they choose to work with specific fulfillment services.

    For even more, check out our Creator Handbook, which outlines the tools available to all creators on Kickstarter. There are plenty, from a dashboard that tracks your funding progress to a Backer Report that catalogues information on your backers and lets you export it all into sortable CSVs. The Creator Resources page even contains a few services that can help with navigating questions around taxes and the legal issues.

    Join the conversation

    If you’ve already stared down all these tough questions, we’d love to hear which fulfillment services worked for you and left your backers wowed over great packaging and speedy delivery. You can join this Campus conversation to share your experience and trade insights about how other creators approached fulfillment.

    And if you’re involved with a service that helps creators complete their projects, we’d be happy to learn more about what you’re doing. There are a few brief questions at the bottom of the Creator Resources page that you can answer to share more information about your company. We don’t charge to be listed on this page, nor do we collect a referral fee when creators use these services. We’re just trying to make it a little bit easier for creators to create — to put their time and energy into making great things the whole Kickstarter community can be proud of, and stress over packaging and tracking numbers only as much they want to. Happy fulfilling!

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