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Get functionality of 4 devices in 1 for your guitar. Record or perform wirelessly, tune & protect instruments from environmental damage Read more

Boston, MA Technology
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on March 29, 2014.

Get functionality of 4 devices in 1 for your guitar. Record or perform wirelessly, tune & protect instruments from environmental damage

Boston, MA Technology
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About this project

Acoustic Stream is Funded!

Help us meet our stretch goals!

  • $60,000: Live, in-ear, audio monitoring
  • $75,000: Windows and Mac app with direct integration into Garageband, Logic, and any other audio recording software

Live Audio Monitoring: Plug headphones into your Acoustic Stream to monitor to your performance live so you can tune out all the other distractions. If you use headphones that have an integrated microphone (like your iPhone earbuds), you can record from that microphone simultaneously.

Windows and Mac Integration: Want to make your new single even faster? Record straight to your Bluetooth-enabled computer using your favorite recording app. Don't worry, you can still record to your phone or tablet when your computer isn't nearby.

Acoustic Stream in the Media

CNET - "...the most overachieving guitar gadget ever created."

Hotdigitalnews.com - "One guitar gadget to rule them all"

Guitar Noize - "Even if Acoustic Stream was just a wireless transmitter and app that helps you monitor the humidity of your acoustic guitar via a smartphone that would be pretty cool, but the Acoustic Stream also helps you to wirelessly tune your guitar via the app, record wirelessly to the app and the most impressive part, in my opinion, perform wirelessly via the app!"

Acoustic Guitar Magazine - “Sounds like a gadget many guitarists would love to have!”

TechCrunch - “The only thing this thing can’t do is get you a gig at the Whiskey A Go Go.”

What is it?

A creativity enabler... that protects too!

Acoustic Stream provides musicians with the functionality of 4 devices in 1. It empowers guitarists in the creation and performance of your musical inspirations, while also providing the peace of mind that your prized instrument is properly monitored while you are away. It is our strong belief that technology is meant to serve you, the musician. Acoustic Stream performs its functions simply and easily, then gets out of the way of your creative process.  Now on Android and iOS!

Solving Problems

  • I often lose my song ideas, because I don’t have an immediate, easy, mobile way to record them as electronic files.
  • I can't perform without tethering myself to an amplifier.
  • I have no way to monitor my instrument's environment remotely.
  • I sometimes forget to check the humidistat in my guitar case which puts my instrument at risk for damage.
  • I have too many devices to carry around and maintain.
  • The expense of multiple devices required to address all of my needs is just too high.

Acoustic Stream gives musicians the features and capabilities they need most by wirelessly connecting their instrument to the power of their smart phone or tablet. It simplifies life and saves money by combining recording, performing, tuning and protection into one compact device. Instruments are susceptible to damage from rapid environment changes and now musicians can protect their investment by simply placing Acoustic Stream inside their instrument or case. Acoustic Stream uses intelligent sensor technology to warn users of imminent damage that could cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars in repairs and lost value.

We believe the true value of Acoustic Stream goes far beyond record, perform, tune, and protect. With flexible audio inputs, sensors, and especially software, it provides an adaptable platform with tons of future capabilities.

How It Works

With Acoustic Stream, you're always ready to capture a song idea, riff, chord progression, or lyric. Record directly to your Bluetooth-connected iOS device. Not connected when inspiration hits? No worries. Using patent-pending TapStream technology, double tap on the outside of your instrument to start recording. Acoustic Stream stores your song on board and syncs it later to your iPhone or iPad. Once synced, the Acoustic Stream app lets you sort, trim, name, organize, and even push recordings to your favorite cloud-based storage solution such as Google Drive, Soundcloud or DropBox.

It's easy to set up for wireless performance in individual or small group settings. First, plug Acoustic Stream into your guitar's output jack. Then connect your smart device, receiver, or another Acoustic Stream directly to your amplifier and you’re ready to play. To stream two channels at the highest possible quality use, two Acoustic Streams. Enjoy the freedom to move around onstage untethered wherever you perform.

Tune quickly and accurately using TapStream technology. Simply tap three times on your instrument to activate tuning mode in the app for a hands-free experience.

Acoustic instruments are easily damaged by large and rapid changes in temperature and humidity. Acoustic Stream constantly monitors your instrument's status. If Acoustic Stream detects dangerous conditions, push notifications are sent to your iOS device, allowing you to take corrective action before your prized possession is damaged.

Acoustic Stream works with any iOS device that supports Bluetooth Low Energy (iPhone 4s, 5, 5s, 5c, iPad Mini, iPad 3rd and 4th generation, iPad Air and iPod Touch 5th generation). The Acoustic Stream app (iOS 7 required) is free and always will be free. Future iOS devices will be supported as they become available.

Acoustic Stream also works with any Android phone or tablet that supports Bluetooth Low Energy (also referred to as Bluetooth 4.0).  The app requires Android version 4.4 or higher.  It too will be free.

See and Hear It Work

We have created a demo video to show you where we are in the development process of Acoustic Stream. Notice the sonic improvements as the hardware design evolved to the final version. Enjoy!

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We have tested our Acoustic Stream prototype with electric guitars and it works like a charm!  Use two Acoustic Streams, one at your axe and one at your amp.  In this configuration you don't even need your smartphone or tablet.  Just plug and play.

Check out a video showing this capability with an electric guitar.

's video poster
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Here are some audio examples too.

Acoustic Guitar Example:

 Electric Guitar Example (Clean):

 Electric Guitar Example (Distorted):

Acoustic Stream can be used for instrument and vocals at the same time

We have tested the audio design circuit for Acoustic Stream and it's ability to wirelessly stream (play) and record using two channels simultaneously. In the video below you can hear the audio (guitar and vocals) for a song recorded by Alex Bean.  The start of the video was recorded using the iPhone 5 microphone. The second part of the video, the vocal and guitar tracks were streamed wirelessly using Acoustic Stream. The vocals were recorded using a $30 lapel microphone and the guitar track was recorded using a Taylor 214ES preamp output.  The recording was then inserted into the video using Garageband and iMovie. The production version of Acoustic Stream will use this same circuit inside it's compact packaging. We think this will make it super easy for singer/songwriters to quickly capture their instrument and vocal creations!

's video poster
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Acoustic Stream using an inexpensive lapel mic and acoustic/electric guitar output

How (and where) do you want to use your Acoustic Stream?

We realize that one size does not fit all and there are many ways you may want to attach Acoustic Stream to your instrument. Microphone placement can have a dramatic effect on recording quality and there's certainly no reason why you can't stream or record your cello, violin, or even your trumpet! Thats why we are posting 3D engineering models of Acoustic Stream to let the maker community create adapters for any location or instrument. Share your designs and ideas back to the Acoustic Stream community and we will send you good vibes.

Why We're Here

I bought my prized Taylor 815C back in 1999. It was the biggest investment I had ever made in an acoustic guitar. I loved that guitar and spent thousands of hours playing it. From the day I brought it home, I always stored it in its case, and kept it humidified when I wasn’t playing it.

Throughout the entire winter of 2003, I traveled for work during the week. On the weekends, I always had a long honey-do list. I was so busy that I totally forgot about my guitar safely tucked away and humidified in its case.  After a few months of craziness, I finally had some time at home to relax. I opened the case anxious to play, but to my horror, I saw three ugly cracks running lengthwise on the soundboard. The edges of the frets were sharp and protruding; the action had changed radically and the distinct tone I loved was gone. Despite my best efforts, both the sponge in my humidifier and my beautiful Taylor guitar were bone dry. I kicked myself for not paying better attention to my instrument. I looked for monitoring and warning systems on the market, but nothing existed at the time.

Fast forward to 2011 - now I had four instruments that I worried about daily. As iPhones and apps began to change all the rules about connectivity, I thought, "Surely, there must be something out there?" I searched again, but nothing! "There must be a device that can watch over my acoustic guitars?" I googled and googled, but still nothing. I decided right then and there that I would create the solution to my own problem.  And that's how Acoustic Stream got its start.

Follow Bob Bean’s blog on the making of Acoustic Stream

More of Bob's blog posts include:
See a Need … Fill the Need 
Love Songs Lost
What Makes Developing an Easy User Experience Hard?
3 Lemons in a Violin Case
Conversation with a Luthier

Past and Future Timeline

Bob's damaged guitar
Bob's damaged guitar
Experimenting with mounting locations with an early prototype
Experimenting with mounting locations with an early prototype
First Acoustic Stream with Audio Capabilities
First Acoustic Stream with Audio Capabilities

Where Your Pledge Goes

Based on production of 1000 units.
Based on production of 1000 units.

What Musicians Say

Because Acoustic Stream was designed by musicians for musicians, it was important for us to present the device to professionals to get their feedback during the design process. Here’s is what they had to say:

“Until now, there hasn’t been a way to easily and effectively monitor the environmental conditions of your acoustic instruments. Acoustic Stream changes all that.”
- Jim Mouradian, Mouradian Guitar Co.

“Creative thoughts happen randomly, it’s nice to know that we will be able to capture those ideas simply and immediately with a device like Acoustic Stream.”
- The Ballroom Thieves

“Acoustic Stream is a smart device that will help me capture my musical inspiration, without stifling my organic creative process.”
- Gabrielle Eisenberg, Pianist

“I find creative inspiration to be very fragile and exceptionally rewarding. I strive every moment to preserve my song ideas, now Acoustic Stream will help me do this with ease.”
- Thomas John Cadrin, Guitarist

Who are we?

Learn more about the team.

Thanks to Our Supporters

We want to thank our supporters for believing in our dream.

  • Long Haul Films – for our videos and incredible support of the project
  • LS Research – for conceptual design creativity
  • Imran Ashraf – our app designer
  • Jason Bassi of RedEye/Stratasys – our rapid prototyper and fellow guitarist
  • Jay Thurston of Protofinish – our prototype finishing expert and fellow guitarist
  • Jim and Jon Mouradian - for helping us define and refine the features going into Acoustic Stream and being part of our video
  • Jono Gray – for sharing his creative process of songwriting and performing on our video
  • The Ballroom Thieves – for letting us debut their new song and being in our video
  • Thomas John Cadrin – for being an awesome singer songwriter and helping with our video
  • Gabrielle Eisenberg, Pianist – for being so creative and part of our video
  • Alex Bean – for joining the team and rocking it with the electric guitar
  • Ricky Berger – for help with everything from legal to business advice
  • Art Williams – for help in filing our patents
  • Our advisors, contributors and friends: Mike Roberts, Kishen Gohil, Rich and Glenn Walters, Robo OReilly, J.P. O'Connor, Paul Tesini, Doc Bottlehead and PB, and Raja Ramachandran
  • Our families, friends, and Kickstarters – for believing in our dreams

Risks and challenges

We want every Acoustic Stream we ship to deliver the awesome experience we've been working so hard to create. We’ve done our best estimating our development schedule and large-scale production process timeline, but these are areas where unforeseen risks can pop up.

Selecting and sourcing components throughout the world can result in shipping delays or quality issues – that’s why we’ve selected all of our partners ahead of time. Development of Acoustic Stream has already gone through two electrical hardware prototypes and three packaging versions. Our team of skilled engineers, partnered with experienced advisors and suppliers, is ready to conquer any unforeseen challenges.

Expect full transparency and constant communication throughout and after the campaign. We're thrilled to bring you this product and appreciate your support, just please don’t ask us to play “Free Bird”.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Yes, you can! Tapping to start tuning or recording is configurable within the app.

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  • When streaming between two Acoustic Streams, we use an aptX Low Latency codec which gives us a signal delay ranging from 25 to 32 milliseconds. This is comparable to the actual time it takes sound to travel 30 feet through air to your amplifier.

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  • Acoustic Stream's bluetooth signals have a range of approximately 30 feet.

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  • Yes. The adapter converts the 1/4" output jack on your guitar to a 1/8" input on your Acoustic Stream.

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  • Just like your phone, how long your battery lasts depends on what features you use most. The battery lasts while recording, streaming, or tuning for 8 hours. If you're using Acoustic Stream to monitor humidity, the battery can last much longer (6 months or more).

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  • Charge your Acoustic Stream with a micro usb cable connected to your computer or usb power adapter.

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  • Yes! We know most classical musicians don't want to mount hardware to their instrument, so each Acoustic Stream has a microphone built into it. It will be able to pick up your instrument if it's just on a table or stand near you. If you have other audio recording equipment that you'd like to use instead, you can plug that into your Acoustic Stream as well.

    To monitor humidity, your Acoustic Stream only needs to be inside the case with your instrument.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $19 or more

    17 backers

    FAN CLUB: Get exclusive updates about Acoustic Stream, great karma, and our undying gratitude! Download music as featured in our video including Thomas John Cadrin’s EP, The Ballroom Thieves' new EP and performance video.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $47 or more

    20 backers

    FANATIC FAN: Play with us! Get an exclusive Acoustic Stream t-shirt and download music as featured in our video including Thomas John Cadrin’s EP, The Ballroom Thieves' new EP and performance video. Also receive 5 limited edition Acoustic Stream guitar picks.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $97 or more

    250 backers All gone!

    BACK STAGE PASS - EARLY BIRD 1: Receive one Acoustic Stream device with adapter at half the expected retail price (MSRP $200). Also included are 5 Acoustic Stream guitar picks and a download of Thomas John Cadrin’s EP, The Ballroom Thieves' new EP and performance video.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $127 or more

    73 backers Limited (427 left of 500)

    SUPER GROUPIE - EARLY BIRD 2: Missed out on our first early bird offering? No problem! You can still get one Acoustic Stream device with adapter (MSRP $200) at a great pre-order savings. Still included are The Ballroom Thieves' new EP and performance video, Thomas John Cadrin's EP, and 5 Acoustic Stream guitar picks.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $147 or more

    3 backers

    GROUPIE: Even if you missed both our early bird offerings, you can still pre-order one Acoustic Stream device with adapter (MSRP $200) and be among the first to have this awesome device. Get ongoing updates, 5 guitar picks, and download The Ballroom Thieves' new EP and performance video, and Thomas John Cadrin's EP.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $294 or more

    15 backers

    PERFORMER: Perfect for multiple instrument owners or for high-quality live streaming, get 2 Acoustic Stream devices and 2 adapters. Don't worry - you still get The Ballroom Thieves' new EP and performance video, Thomas John Cadrin's EP, and 10 Acoustic Stream guitar picks.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $3,000 or more

    1 backer Limited (11 left of 12)

    VIP BACK STAGE PASS: Become a Beta tester and adviser to our development team! Help us refine the user experience by meeting with our designers throughout our development cycle (airfare and accommodations not included). You'll still get 2 Acoustic Streams with adapters, 10 picks, and downloads of Thomas John Cadrin’s EP, The Ballroom Thieves' EP and performance video.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (40 days)