Light rock!

Yamaha plans to produce Toshio Iwai's Tenori-On music device.

Toshio Iwai and his Tenori-On
It's a Fender Strat for nerds. FutureMusic

Toshio Iwai, the designer of beloved Nintendo DS music game Electroplankton, has been showing a prototype of his jaw-dropping Tenori-On instrument since 2005. Last week, Yamahaannounced plans to turn this Star Trek-worthy digital sound toy into an actual shipping product, retailing with an estimated price tag of around $1,000. For most consumers, that is an insane price for a beautiful sound toy, but electronic musicians and artists are falling all over themselves for this thing. The Tenori-On is a touch screen grid of white LEDs that allows you to compose music by activating little squares that trigger built-in sounds or samples loaded off a flash memory card. It has a built-in speaker, headphone output, and MIDI connections for other music gear. You really have to see this in action to appreciate it. There's a great video of the device on YouTube and a more in-depth one at Sonicstate. For now, I'll just keep honing my touch-screen music skills on Nintendo's ElectroPlankton.

About the author

Donald Bell has spent more than five years as a CNET senior editor, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently devotes his time to producing How To content for CNET, as well as weekly episodes of CNET's Top 5 video series.

 

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