Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Paul Ridden

The Trio Band Creator from DigiTech

Last October, Gizmag grooved along to what has to be the world's most reliable drummer – the BeatBuddy drum machine stomp. Next month, DigiTech will release a new guitar pedal called the Trio that crams a funky bass player into a pedalboard-friendly box alongside a virtual bin basher. The Band Creator pedal is reported capable of automatically generating bass and drum parts that match the rhythmic feel or chord progressions being belted out by the guitar player leading the power trio.  Read More

The Urban 500 all-in-one portable DJ station from Tibo Electronics

As far as equipment bulk goes, digital DJs can have a much easier time of it than their vinyl spinning and scratching counterparts. But even if your groove controller of choice is something as portable as Pioneer's DDJ-WeGO3 or as compact as IK Multimedia's iRig MIX, the loudspeakers that will get you heard above the party chatter can add significant weight to a gig bag. The UK's Tibo Electronics has taken an all-in-one approach with its new Urban 500 DJ station, which sits a media controller atop a 500 W speaker tower with wheels on the bottom to help you trundle to your next gig.  Read More

The Zorloo team says that it's managed to integrate a headphone amp and DAC into the 8 x 3...

Though certainly convenient, listening to music through earphones plugged into a smartphone is not always a satisfying experience. Some music lovers, like myself, prefer to carry around a dedicated high quality audio player, while others who like to groove on the move might give the source audio a welcome boost by using a mini middleman like Cambridge Audio's DacMagic XS. Either way, higher quality comes at the expense of increased pocket bulk. The folks at Hong Kong-based Zorloo claim that they've managed to shrink down a digital-to-analog converter, headphone amp and control board to dimensions small enough for integration into the inline playback/volume controller of the company's upcoming Z:ero earphones.  Read More

Gizmag reviews the Roadie automatic guitar tuner (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)

Necessary evils though they are, changing strings and tuning up have got to be two of the most boring and/or tiresome guitar-related tasks around. Band Industries offered a helping hand in November 2013 when a crowdfunding campaign was launched to bring an app-controlled motorized tuner named Roadie to market. The campaign was successful and the handheld robotic tuner recently became available to buy. Gizmag nabbed one of the first commercial units off the production line and has been whizzing and whirring away with gusto ever since.  Read More

The El Capitan Ekoa small jumbo acoustic from Blackbird Guitars

An acoustic guitar needs old tonewood soundboard, body and neck to really make the unplugged party pop, right? Well no, not really. Guitar makers have experimented with a host of other materials over the years, including aluminum and carbon fiber. Blackbird Guitars has now followed the 2013 launch of its Clara concert-level ukulele, which is made from something called Ekoa, with a NAMM debut for an acoustic guitar called El Capitan that's constructed from the same sustainable material.  Read More

The interchangeable mic capsule system is reported compatible with most of Zoom's existing...

Zoom North America has revealed a new addition to its HD videocam range at this year's NAMM Show in California. As well as being capable of recording video at higher-than-HD resolution, the Q8 also boasts the modular microphone capsule system first seen in the H6 audio recorder.  Read More

The Variax Standard combines Yamaha guitar building know-how with Line 6 tone digital mode...

Guitarists wanting the classic tones of yesteryear can risk financial ruin by amassing a sizeable collection of original instruments or they can take a much cheaper route and turn to the digital world for help. Line 6 has been modeling vintage guitar sounds for a good many years, with its Variax guitars offering multiple vintage tones on one instrument. Now the company has added a very special new member to its Variax family, the Standard, which represents the first major collaborative effort since Yamaha acquired Line 6 in January 2014.  Read More

The Musicboard from Orange Music Education

As students of music will doubtless agree, music theory can be a bit, well, dry. It's certainly not as memorable or interesting as getting to grips with an actual instrument, but it is rewarding. The education wing of instrument amplification titan Orange Amps has announced what's billed as the first truly interactive music theory teaching tool in the world. The Orange Musicboard has been designed to engage students both visually and aurally, and is set to make music theory class rock.  Read More

The MintBox Mini from Israel's CompuLab

Israel's maker of small fanless computers CompuLab has revealed a tiny computer for Linux lovers, the MintBox Mini. A fifth of the size of the original MintBox, which was based on the company's fit-PC3 and launched in 2012, the silent, fanless Mini will come with a quad-core processor, solid state storage and be available in the second quarter of 2015 for US$295.  Read More

The KT Platform Tactile Monitor from Porter & Davies

Nearly 3 years ago, we told you about a system from the UK's Porter & Davies that helped drummers feel the low end thunder they were kicking out by shaking the very stool they sat on. Now the company has extended the technology to other members of the band with the launch of the KT Platform Tactile Monitor, which is said to transmit sound to the player by kinetic transfer, promising that you will "literally feel it in your bones."  Read More

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