So, what happened to all those kickstarter music instruments?

Kickstarter created a huge buzz when it was launched. Twice, we wrote articles on kickstarter projects

Let’s see what happened to all these projects five years later. Please leave a comment if you have more updates, or thoughts on what makes a project successful.

Here we go…

Artiphon
Over one million dollars raised. Artiphon captures the essence of guitar, piano and even violin through a combination of a slick hardware interface and a smartphone. Gorgeous woodworking and years of iterative design gave birth to an instant classic.

2022: The kickstater launched a sucessful music instrument company with a line of multiple instruments. These items are still for sale.

Mogees
1,641 backers helped launch this vibration based on controller for your phone.Even we wrote a nice review on it.

2022: The Mogee sensor was sold at multiple retailers and is now sold out. It appears the company has closed shop and moved on.

Axoloti
Proves there is hope for MIDI based digital synths. A kickass stand-alone digital modular synthesizer.

2022: The product line has sold out. Axoloti maintains an active community around this synthboard, and may do another production run. It will likely be a new version.

The Motion Synth
$75,000. Turn your iphone into a motion controlled synthesizer. Now excepting orders at auug.com.

2022: The product is still available online for sale on-line. It is unclear if their initial product line will ever sell out.

Machina
Midi controller jacket combined with the fashion of DJ Culture. $77,002.

2022: Machina is a clothing company with many different products. The midi jacket may not have been a huge success, but it did provide more buzz for a company that seems to be doing well.

Pianu
A clever piano learning system & game.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1849388916/pianu-a-new-way-to-play-piano

2022: The product never came and kickstarter backers were left disappointed. Pianu exists now as an online music learning app.

Drumpants
Skinny jeans crossed with a drum machine raises $74,236. The product even made an appearance on Shark Tank that will leave you speechless.

2022: The company website is up, but appears to have been abandoned for a few years. Links to purchase items are no longer working.

Imitone
Voice controlled MIDI controller. Try the beta at imotone.com.

2022: Imitone is now an app. It is still going strong with new updates released in 2022.

Kitar
A modular designed guitar led to a $19k successful kickstarter campaign. Solid. Well executed concept.

2022: The company is gone. This reddit thread discusses that the product was too expensive.

UkeBuke
A high-end luthier combines with a story-teller to make a documentary and sell some beautiful instruments.https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/608092588/the-ukebuke/description

2022: Looks like the project “finished” in 2019, but lots of people never received their order.

Luminth: Plug it in. Make music. $13k, June 2013
Custom Website: nthsynth.com

The second kickstarter entry from NthSynth. A package of a minimal USB controller and a software package. Clever graphic design on the software package allows control over a range of electronic synths and drums. The nicely packaged controller provides some input options and lights. The low price point of $100 helped make this project successful.

2022: Project made some apps, but stopped doing much after 2014.

Molecule Synth: An Electronic Synth for Everyone $33.6k, Sep 2012 
Custom Website: Moleculesynth.com
Major Inbound Links from: Make Blog, BoingBoing, Hack Things, Infinity Lab

A modular system based on hexagonal shapes. Link together sensors, audio circuits and speakers in new ways. Visually its very interesting, and taps on the emotional wake of doing diagrams in biology class. A nine piece set cost $300.

2022: Success. Project completed in 2013. People liked their kit.

Nth Music Synthesizer, $33.8k, March 2012
Custom Website: nthsynth.com
Major links: gizmodo, Synthtopia, various synthesizer forums

An open hackable synth with a bunch of knobs and buttons. A gritty sounding module with a range of oscillators and a filter. A clear case provides a sharp simple visual design. MIDI controllable unit costs $300. We love the montage shots of outdoor synthage.

2022: Project made some apps, but stopped doing much after 2014.

Qunexus: Smart Sensor Keyboard Controller $45k, December 2012
Custom Website: www.keithmcmillen.com
Major Links: Engadget, YouMustGetIt
A mini keyboard controller that provides pressure, velocity and location controls. The keyboard can also be used as a step sequencer. The device works with MIDI, USB and CV controles. The price point is $150.

2022 Update: Still available at www.keithmcmillen.com

Touchkeys: Multitouch Musical Keyboard, $74k Sep 2013
Major Inbound Links From: sequencer.de, createdigitalmusic, Synthtopia, sonicstate

The birth of a new standard. A seemless way to add location control to existing keyboards (or by pre-installed keyboards) The partner control software ensures the device adds to the ability of existing piano keys without creating a rubbery mess of computer controlled music. We wrote a piece on why we support this project.

2022: Still available for purchase online as product or kit. Made partnerships with Novation and Doepfer.

C.24 – Musical Keyboard for Ipad $136k, August 2013
Custom Website: Miselu.com
Major Links: engadget.com, sequencer.de
A very clever design for a portable controller keyboard that attaches to the iPad. The keyboard is collapsible, and the ratio of the keys has been rethought. The $99 price point is impressive.

2022 Update: The company is gone. Unclear if anybody ever received their order.

Quneo: 3D Multi-touch Open Source MIDI and USB Pad Controller $165k, June 2012
Custom Website: www.keithmcmillen.com
More brilliant work from Keith McMillen. Building on the success of the Qunexus, Keith put together a MPC style controller with location aware buttons. The first edition versions went for $200.

2022 Update: Still available at www.keithmcmillen.com

Landfill Harmonics: Inspiring Dreams one note at a time $214k, May 2013
Website: https://www.facebook.com/landfillharmonicmovie
Major Links: wired, npr, washingtonpost, make, slate, la times
The best trash to musical instrument project. Based out of Paraguay, this project involves teaching kids to build instruments and start a youth orchestra. The instruments and music are wonderful.

2022 Update: Project finished! Movie is available for viewing online

gTar: The first guitar everybody can play $353k, June 2012
Custom Website: Incidentgtar.com
Major Links: guitarworld.com, likecool.com, needplease.com
Naturally, the top kickstarter project is a guitar everyone can play. The guitar is a controller which plays audio from the iphone. Frets are lit up, and the software on the iphone can correct any issues that happen during the playing.

2022: Project had an initial release and distribution. It is no longer available. Some members of the community were left hanging looking for updates.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s