Tuna Knobs Latest Music Innovation

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Last week, the ‘Tuna Knobs’ project closed on Kickstarter having raised over €30,000 ($40,000). This is €18,000 more than the project needed to be successful, so clearly the idea has struck a chord.

The simple idea behind Tuna Knobs is that they provide a tactile control for DJ/music making apps on your touch screen device. Anyone that has tried to use apps for a practical purpose live – as Ableton controllers for example – will have discovered that they are perfectly suited to the task in some ways, but can lack the precise control that you sometimes need. Tuna Knobs actually stick to your touch screen and, through the use of conductive rubber, allow you to control your touch screen device by turning the knobs attached to it. Watch the Kickstarter video below to see the device in action.

The people behind Tuna Knobs explain the product: “Tuna Knobs stick to your touchscreen using a micro suction cup and translate a turning movement to a touch command… Tuna Knobs use conductive rubber to translate turning a knob into the right signal for your touchscreen, not dissimilar to how a stylus works.”

With nearly 700 backers, there is clearly a perceived need being filled by this product, and this is just the latest music technology innovation to have gained crowd funding. It is worth checking out sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo from time to time  – you may occasionally stumble across a new product that is worth investing a little money in. There are a couple of incentives for getting involved early. In a very real sense, you are helping to bring something that you think is cool into existence and that is rewarding in itself. However, there are often early bird offers that mean you can sign up to receive a product before it is built and you are rewarded by paying a lower price for it. For example, take a look at this project currently up on Indiegogo. This project, raising funding for ‘Mighty Speaker’; a water, sand and dust proof Bluetooth speaker, has already raised $25,000 – 10 times the initial goal. Even though the cheapest early-bird offers have already been snapped up, you can still sign up and get a speaker for $30 cheaper than the eventual shipping price. You can take a look at the Mighty Speaker sales pitch here:

Seeing which products manage to secure funding through this method can be very interesting. Most of the articles discussing ‘Pono’, Neil Young’s new high quality, portable music system were fairly sceptical; does the average music fan really care that much about audio fidelity? Will they really want to spend more money in order to access this level of quality? The answer seems to be a resounding yes, at least for a certain section of music fans. Pono became the third most funded project in Kickstarter history, raising $6.2 million – way over the initial $800,000 goal.