An undated handout photo of Korg's Wavedrum Mini. The portable Mini offers 100 sounds from its responsive pad and sells for about $300. (Handout via The New York Times) -- NO SALES; FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY WITH STORY SLUGGED CIR-GEEK-NOTES. ALL OTHER USE PROHIBITED.
Korg, a maker of keyboards and other musical products, introduced Wavedrum percussion synthesizers in 1994, and they became known among musicians for versatility and performance. The same synthesizer is now available in compact form with the Wavedrum Mini, which sells for about $300 at music dealers nationwide.
The portable Mini offers 100 sounds from its responsive pad. Just pick out your favorite percussion instrument from a numbered list and tap out a beat. It works with hands or sticks or whatever you use to bang a drum. A majority of the sound choices are typical for a synthesizer, but a few are cool and funky, like choir and space frog.
The Mini also features 100 recorded drum patterns that represent a variety of popular musical styles.
An included clip sensor can be attached to any surface to create a new instrument to accompany the Mini. It works better on a small object, like a cup or bottle, than it does on something larger, like your coffee table. Or you can attach it to your shoe to create a virtual kick drum.
If the names Monogram, Aurora and Revell instantly summon memories of "put tab A in slot B," then you'll recognize the design concept behind the iPhone covers from KitCaseUSA.
The injection-molded plastic cases are sold as three separate parts attached to a frame (called the sprue, if you really want to know) like scale model airplanes of yore. You assemble them just like those plastic model kits, but without the model airplane glue that produced such heady fumes.
The parts are available in six colors (blue, white, pink, green, black and orange), so you can mix and match the pieces for a custom look.
As with those scale models, there are some tiny parts to be careful with, specifically the on/off and volume buttons. The kit has an extra volume button, but be careful with the on/off; there is only one.
Each section of the phone is $12, so a full case is $36 plus shipping (which is free within the United States). Since the parts are available separately, you can update the look with a single $12 section if you get bored with the one you have.
NEW YORK TIMES