Why Don't They Make...
Back in October we launched our spiffing "Why Don't They Make" feature. For those who missed that column, it was a collection of SMART IDEAS from musicians and players — inventions, cures for niggling gear problems, and so on. Maybe a few attentive manufacturers might even pick up op the collected intelligence, and do something with it, we hoped.
Well, no sign of that, but we have had more creative input since then, with some of our more talented readers putting brain cell to paper to come up with... the SMART-EAR computer that could listen to a guitar solo off tape or record, analyse it, then print out the notes or poke them up onto an LCD display. "At the moment I have to listen to the music over and over again," explains mild-mannered genius Jason Watton of Prestatyn. "After a while this gets boring." Change your taste in music, the cynics reply.
How about a calculator which would display the notes of a chord after you'd tapped in your request on its keys? It could even beep the notes out and therefore double as a tuning reference. Seen it already, you say, but how about making it a CREDIT-CARD sized gadget so you'd always have it with you?
Still thinking miniaturised and computerish, Peter Langan of Gourak would like a cheap VOICE DUMP for modules or synths like the FB01. And indeed why not.
Quite a few HOME-RECORDISTS we know would like some infallible way of identifying cassettes, what's on them, and where the music starts. Why not fit the four-track's tape counter with a little printer (again like some calculators). It would spit out the figure on the counter on a small adhesive strip so you could stick it to the cassette. Stupid idea? Yes, that's what we thought.
We were more impressed with the dream of a BATTERY SIZER. You know that feeling when your ghetto blaster needs six of those big round batteries and you've just mistakenly coughed up for six of the medium sized ones. They produce the right voltage (six lots of 1.5V) but don't fit the case. Along comes the adjustable battery sizer which sucks in your wrong cells, but is itself the correct dimensions to fit in the battery recess of your mobile ear cruncher. Difficult if the case was smaller, of course.
With presumably bitter experience Chris Gardner of Louth in Lines suggests that guitars should have built-in STANDS which pop out of their backs as soon as you put the instrument down: "Save the beggars from falling over and breaking."
And Jon Payne has three, simple guitarists' problems which countless manufacturers have tackled, but none of their solutions seems to have caught on. "A built-in TUNING device so that you can tune your guitar when everyone around you is making so much noise you can't hear yourself think... a PLECTRUM holder that you can stick onto your guitar — I've lost millions from jamming my picks between the strings and other places... and an ANTI-TWIST device for shoulder straps."
You got any bright ideas?
Write to "Why Don't They Make" at the Making Music address. Unfortunately there may only be huge amounts of success, fame and money as a reward.
Previous article in this issue:
Next article in this issue:
mu:zines is the result of thousands of hours of effort, and will require many thousands more going forward to reach our goals of getting all this content online.
If you value this resource, you can support this project - it really helps!