There’s a stack of different plugs, cables and connectors aimed at piping sound into your iPad, but when studio-stalwart Focusrite makes one, we pay attention. The iTrack Solo is a two channel interface compatible with the iPad, as well as your Mac or PC, offering mobile recording all the way up to 24-bit / 96kHz. The onboard preamp is the same as used in the brand’s flagship Liquid Saffire 56 interface, and there’s phantom power for microphones. As well as the mic-in there’s a quarter-inch input for guitars etc., as well as a chunky volume control for monitoring. Front “halo” indicators change from green to red if your recording levels go too high, and the aluminum casing should prevent it from getting damaged at the bottom of any gig bag. Once you’ve created a masterpiece in Garageband (or other recording app), you can use the line-level phono outputs to run it through your sound system of choice. Sound like something you can get down to? You’ll be able to get your hands on the iTrack Solo starting next month, and it’ll set you back $160 at your local dealer — in the meantime, you can jam on the PR after the break.
What you see above is the gTar, an upcoming electronic musical instrument from Bay Area-based startup, Incident Technologies. It’s got what appears to be an iPhone docked in the pick-guard and it looks pretty cool lit up in the teaser video after the break. Beyond that, there’s not a ton of information about the thing available online, but we did some digging and have pieced together a pretty good idea about the thing. The device made an appearance at South by Southwest earlier this month, and bits and pieces have made their way into the web by way of startup site AngelList and social networks like Facebook, Twitter and, of course, YouTube. A posting on the former describes it as “a consumer electronics device that enables an interactive music entertainment experience to anyone without any kind of previous musical knowledge.”
From the looks of it, the thing is a little bit Guitar Apprentice and a little bit Tabber. Unlike the plasticky Guitar Apprentice, however, this device looks like a genuine guitar (strings and all), albeit one with a light up fretboard for Tabber-like educational purposes and a “docked mobile device.” The guitar also makes it possible to share music socially, though it’s not entirely clear whether this is accomplished via the docked smartphone or an external output like a PC, though given the company’s connections to the developer community, we suspect that both will be options, be it through built-in functionality or available APIs. The gTar is also being positioned as a music creation device, rather than simply an educational tool (à la Tabber) or a simple overblown Guitar Hero-style controller.
Check out a flashy, if rather uninformative teaser after the break.
NAMM 2012: Antares previewed its ATG-6 Auto-Tune guitar technology last year, and now it’s been implemented into the new Parker Auto-Tune MaxxFly.
Developed as a collaboration between the two companies. The MaxxFly offersinstant string tuning, Solid-Tune Intonation, an extensive selection of guitar and pickup models, a wide variety of popular (as well as unique) alternate tunings, and a virtual capo that provides a full two-octave range. It also has a dedicated MIDI interface.
Like the Droid Bionic of the guitar world, the Firebird X was announced almost a year ago, packed with piles of impressive technology, and delayed so many times that practically everyone forgot it existed. Well, on September 30th the Firebird X will finally start filtering into retail channels for the rather excessive price of $5,570, in your choice of either Redolution of Bluevolution finishes. On board are a boatload of effects as well as an automated tuner, which we’ve come to expect from the so-called “robot guitar” series. The Pure-Analog sound processing engine is also open to developers, allowing owners to add on new effects and sounds down the road. But, enough with our ramblings. You know the drill, gallery below and PR after the break.
No word yet on if the volume peaks at 11, but what Line 6′s new Mobile In offerings will do is turn your iPad or iPhone into a pro modeling amp, with a sick range of amplifiers, guitar cabinets, stompboxes, tones and rack effects. The setup comes in two separate parts: the free mobile Pod app and the Mobile In adaptor, which lets aspiring metalheads (or Fleeting Foxes) connect their guitars to an iOS device using the 30-pin connector. Line 6 says this connection blows similar jack-based apps out of the water, and it’s throwing in 24-bit/48kHz digital sound for good measure. Although you’ll get a killer 110dB of dynamic range for guitar, you can still achieve 98dBs when you plug in another mono or stereo-line level — that old keytar, perhaps? With that kind of combo you’ll be thankful to know that it records and works with other CoreAudio apps like GarageBand — perfect for jamming out with your keyboard toutin’ buddies without the back-breaking work of carrying a heavy amp. Have your lighters ready for when the $79.99 adaptor ships this fall, but until then, check out the video and full PR after the break.
Who needs a recording studio — or even a full band — for that next demo? Grab your guitar, BOSS’ latest portable Micro BR digital recorder and a fistful of ego for a do-it-yourself session that only a mother could love. The BR-80 lets you record two tracks at once and offers eight tracks of playback along with 64 virtual tracks to mix and master any epics you’re dreaming up. For hookup, it’s packing aux and 1/4-inch inputs, a headphone out, and even a USB port to interface with a computer. You can also record using its onboard stereo field mics if you lose your cables at a gig. Inside, it’s packing four and six-string COSM effects, DNA from its VE-20 to spice up your vocals, and eBand options. There’s support for WAV and MP3 formats, but better yet, SD cards up to 32GB giving you a whopping 550 hours of recording time to lay those burnin’ licks down. It’s currently available and shipping for about 300 bones — eRoadies not included.
Marshall struck solid gold when it lent spare amp parts to Zound Industries (Urbanears) for the Major and Minor headphones, and is now releasing a remixed version of the original smash hit. The updated headset is by all means a Major headphone, but it now features an in-line remote with a mic that’s sure to please on-the-move fans of the supra-aural fit. At $119, the new cans will set you back about 20 bones more than the original, although you can’t put a price on the amount of rockstar-cred you’ll gain. The Major is available now from Marshall Headphones’ web store and at your local brick and mortar if you’re GASing for some new JCM-esque headgear.
In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you’d like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with “Insert Coin” as the subject line.
We’re not sure proper air guitarists would ever consider adding a bonafide pick to their cherished imaginary pastime, but what if a petite plastic plectrum could turn those strokes into stringed acoustics that more than just you can hear? That’s the idea behind Air Guitar Move, a $50 motion-sensing guitar pick that pairs with a dedicated iPhone app using a single dock-connected string. The minds behind Move aren’t new to product design — Colin Karpfinger created Thumbies, a suction cup-based gaming control accessory for iPhone, and Ronald Mannak has launched other freestyle electronic toys, including the V-Beat AirDrums and AirGuitar — so if they meet their $25,000 funding goal, we imagine that we’ll have a very solid iPhone accessory on our hands.
A $39 pledge gets you a single Move with a 20 percent discount, and a pledge of $49 will net you a pick from the first shipment, so you’ll be strumming away a month before folks in the first group. The creators have yet to commit to a ship date, but head over to Kickstarter if you’d like to make a pledge, or jump past the break for the intro video and an update on our last featured product, ZionEyez.
New audio input capabilities are nothing new for JVC, but soon you’ll be able to show off your guitar chops alongside whatever bands you choose to idolize — so long as you’re kosher with rocking a boombox atop your left shoulder, of course. The company has announced that the 2011 offering from its Kaboom line will showcase a guitar / microphone input (1/4-inch) with mixing capabilities to allow for gigs to be played from anywhere you darn well please. The RV-NB70 will have all the key ingredients of previous models, including an iPod dock (updated to be both iPod and iPhone compatible), a USB host that enables use of a mass storage device, an audio input and CD / radio playback. True to the original’s design, this fellow features much of the same look while promising 40 watts of guitar soloing power. Your next box ‘o fury can be had right now for $299.95, and if you’re eager for an encore, the full presser (as well as a demo vid) is just past the break.
The guitar is one of the coolest musical instruments around. You can get all sorts of guitars from toys to game controllers up to the real thing for musicians to use. This new concept product is called the Hyper Touch Guitar and it looks like a mash up between a video game controller and a real guitar.
It has no strings on it and uses a multitouch screen that allows the player to change how many strings or frets the guitar would have. The number of customization options for the guitar is vast and the player can use one guitar for a bass, a 6-string, or a 12-string I guess.
That concept looks really cool too with a carbon fiber design on the body. The designer is Max Battaglia. I wonder if this will ever become a real product.
Well, it looks like Ubisoft still thinks there some room left in the rhythm game genre. It’s just announced that it will be releasing Rocksmith for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 sometime this fall, which is actually a revamped version of the Guitar Rising game that has been in development at GameTank for some time now. The hook with this one is that it’ll actually let you use any real guitar to play the game, and it even promises to teach you how to play if you don’t know already. Ubisoft also says that you won’t need an amplifier to play — you just plug your guitar right into your console, apparently with a standard USB instrument cable. Details on the game itself are otherwise fairly light, although it does seem like you’ll have a pretty solid lineup of music to play along with, including tracks from David Bowie, The Black Keys, Interpol, Nirvana and The Rolling Stones. Head on past the break for a teaser video.
NAMM 2011 PRESS RELEASE: Roland is extremely proud to announce the GR-55 Guitar Synthesizer, a revolutionary new product from the world’s undisputed leader in guitar synthesis technology. Combining PCM synthesis with digital instrument modeling derived from the respected VG-99 V-Guitar System, the GR-55 represents Roland’s latest breakthrough advances in guitar synthesis, offering playability, features, and sound quality that far surpasses the capabilities of previous generations of guitar synthesizers.
As we were entered the 2011 NAMM show one of the first booths we visited was the ever popular Ibanez exhibit. We found some great guitars, especially the Steve Vai, Joe Satrianni and Paul Gilbert Models. Below are some quick pics of some of the cool Ibanez guitars from this year’s show.
Ibanez Photo Gallery
Misa Digital Kitara
We’ve already covered the best music tech and drum products of NAMM 2011, but it’s also been an innovative and interesting year for guitar gear, particularly for the more technologically advanced players out there. So, from digital guitars and profiling amps to endless loopers and cosmic delay pedals, we’ve rounded up the 10 best guitar tech products released at the show. First up: Misa Digital’s Kitara guitar…
You’ve got to respect a company that’s attempting to re-invent the guitar, and that’s Misa Digital’s goal with the Kitara. It’s got frets, so guitarists should be able to get a handle on playing it pretty quickly, but there are no strings so your right hand is left free to play the built-in touchscreen.