From Apple Macintosh originator Jef Raskin’s love of the Renaissance-era cornetto to virtual reality pioneer Jarod Lanier’s mastery of various Asian wind and string instruments, there is a long history of engineers also being brilliant musicians — often using obscure or unusual tools to make their music. Ukraine-born engineer and musician Vlad Kreimer is the latest person to fit into that category, with an innovative mouth-controlled instrument called the Pipe that is capable of transforming a person’s voice into a drumbeat or synth.
“I’m a composer of electronic music, and I always wanted to use my voice, but I’m not a great singer,” Kreimer told Digital Trends. “The biggest problem for me was trying to sing with lyrics. I can write either vocals that have meaning to them but no rhythm, or I can write a good melody for singing, but no meaningful lyrics. I’ve found, in my experience, that the most important part of singing is expressing emotions and feelings. So instead I began using my voice as a lead instrument. Soon I realized that what I actually wanted was to sing like a synthesizer, but I needed to expand the sound of my voice beyond a conventional vocal performance. Eventually, I decided to add special FX processing to a mic to make the voice transformation complete. For me, the most attractive part of the Pipe is that I can make a whole performance with just it.”
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