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5 gadgets that will turn you into an artist

Become a film director, an artist or even a DJ

You may have never been trained as a painter or musician, but today's tech tools make faking it easy. Here's our favourite gear for the creatively minded.

4. Rhapsody in blue

Ever seen the 1983 cult animated film Rock & Rule?

Set in a post-apocalyptic, unnamed future, it's filled with technology both old and new. Toward the end, rock god Mok Swagger performs a song with an instrument that he plays by waving his hands in the air over glowing tubes.

Fortunately, we didn't have to go through a nuclear war to get the same gadget in real life. Two of the results of ToyQuest's partnership with the Blue Man Group are the £80 Percussion Tubes and the £70 Keyboard Experience, both available from www.iwantoneofthose.com.

Loaded with a handful of preprogrammed Blue Man Group drum sounds, the descriptively named Percussion Tubes are an array of eight motion-sensitive tubes that you can play, and that includes altering volume and tempo, by waving your hands in the air above them. You could just use the included drumsticks, but where's the fun in that?

The Keyboard Experience has two fewer tubes but includes a 37-key synthesizer. Both toys sport an input for an MP3 player (for playing over your favorite tracks), a recording mode, and an audio-out jack.

Visit Digital World for the latest digital audio, games and home-entertainment news and reviews

5. The only scratch you want on your iPhone

In the early 1980s, we had everything we needed to DJ: two turntables, a microphone, and a massive collection of records. The only problem was that the turntables (and most of the records) weren't ours (think 'parents'; if we had actually performed any kind of scratching with either, we wouldn't be here now.

Wannabe turntablists have had several, um, scratch-free options in the digital era, including CD turntables and an assortment of software DJ tools. MixMeister is one of the companies that makes DJ software, but MixMeister Scratch (soon available as a free download) is quite possibly the only truly portable scratching tool you'll find.

MixMeister Scratch runs on the iPhone or the iPod Touch. Just play a song from your collection, pick a scratch type, and spin your mix right on the screen. It's quite possibly the only DJ-ing you can do during a train ride.

  1. Become a film director, artist or even a DJ
  2. The tools you need to become the next Nick Park
  3. Superstar DJ, here we go


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