While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.
Tapping out rhythms with your fingers can help relieve boredom in the workplace or each hit could sound out some must-dance-to electronica, depending on whether you're using a desk or a pad controller. Like Onyx Ashanti's impressive Beatjazz Hands, the T8 from Remidi puts wireless control of digital music in the hands of the performer, but without all those bulky 3D-printed components. The system comprises a sensor-packed glove and a tech-filled wristband that wirelessly connects to a laptop or mobile device running music creation software.
German pro audio gear maker Elysia is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a limited run of its 500 series hardware modules. The front panel of each karacter, nvelope, xfilter and xpressor module is made from recycled vinyl records.
Open-back headphones, where the outer earcups are perforated to allow air and sound to pass freely in and out, can bring a more natural, spacious feel to music listening. But sound leakage is a big drawback – users can hear much of the world around them and anyone nearby can clearly hear sounds coming from the headphones. Closed-back headphones, where the outer cups are solid, offer more isolation, but staging can feel restricted and the listening experience very much in your head. The Sentio headphones from British audio house Rock Jaw combine both headphone designs in one.
Four years after launching the G5 Guitar Effects and Amp Simulator Pedal, Zoom has announced what the company claims is the "finest collection of guitar effects offered in one package." The G5n multi-effects processor packs 78 effects, amp and cabinet emulators, together with factory patches created by a diverse line-up of guitarists and onboard rhythm patterns.
In March last year, guitar maker Gibson brought some eye-catching sparkle to its twin-horned classic by adding more than 400 carat of diamonds and pounds of 18 K gold to an SG for the creation of the two million dollar Eden of Coronet. Master Builders from Fender's Custom Shop recently raided the jewelry box to give the workhorse Telecaster a luxury makeover inspired by an 18th century pocket watch.
Learning to play guitar is hard. Though there's no effective replacement for many of hours of repetitive practice, today's six-string students do have numerous teaching aids to help make the learning curve a little less steep. PocketStrings, for example, caters for chord shaping on the go, Fretlight illuminates fretting finger positions, games like Rocksmith make learning more fun and countless mobile apps can turn the ubiquitous smartphone into a powerful teaching tool. But there are times when simply marking finger positions on a fretboard might make chords and scales easier to remember. Naturally, you don't want to be taking a Sharpie to your axe of choice, which is where Fret Friend may come in handy.
Though interfaces like the excellent iRig Pro Duo are great for bridging the divide between music creation apps running on an iPhone or iPad and an electric guitar, changing tones on the fly does involve taking playing hands away from the guitar to make a touchscreen selection. China's Tone Shifter has developed a box that places such control, and much more, at a player's foot-stomping disposal.
Guitar players who want to tap into the legendary tones of Marshall amplifiers no longer have to fill their homes with numerous heads and speaker cabinets. Thanks to a collaboration with Swedish audio software developers Softube, a number of Marshall's classic preamps, amps and cabinets have been digitally captured and made available in each member of the Code family.
Though lossy digital music formats like MP3 offer today's music lover many advantages, including the chance to carry whole collections around on one portable device, the listening experience can be less than satisfying. Not surprising then that modern audioholics are fueling an upsurge in analog formats like vinyl, with media analyst Nielsen recording a rise of 30 percent in US sales last year. Singapore-based Akai Professional is looking to tap into this growing market with a stylish new turntable named the BT-500 that's said to offer "no-compromise audiophile performance," together with analog-to-digital conversion and wireless streaming capabilities.
There's no shortage of Bluetooth speakers jostling for a place in your shopping cart, making it a challenge to stand out. Fluance is hoping to catch your eye with the unusual looks of the Fi70, and please your ear with a 3-way driver system powered by a 280 W integrated amplifier.