Mike Canavan is on a mission to bring guitarists the "greatest possible range and control over their tone" on a single instrument. The patented Pole Position Sliding Pickup System allows players to change the position of a guitar's pickup relative to the strings on the fly. This means a string-picker can opt for a bright bridge tone or a fat, warm neck tone, or anything inbetween – all with just a light touch from the picking hand.
When it comes to trusted audio equipment names, few match the reputation of industry stalwart Bose. Since the company first dipped its toes into the tranquil waters of noise-cancelling gear in 2000, it's over-ear QuietComfort headphone line has evolved to become recognized as some of the best in the business. So how well will its latest offering, the QuietComfort 25's, live up to this legacy? Read on, as we try Bose's newest cans on for size.
Yamaha has revealed the third generation of its award-winning Silent Guitars series ahead of a July release in the US. Described as the perfect guitars for practice, travel or stage, the new "near silent" SLG200 series guitars feature something called Studio Response Technology that's been designed to recreate the body resonance, tone and ambiance of an acoustic guitar in an instrument that, well, doesn't have much of a body.
If you fancy expanding your six-string sound beyond the reach of analog stomps, digital effects and power amps and into the world on sonic synthesis, there are a number of ways to go. You could create your own Frankenguitar hybrid like the Guitarduino
, or opt for less a less experimental approach by adding a special pickup to your existing axe, such as Roland's divided pickup
or the Tripleplay
from Fishman. Buying a new instrument with such technology already installed
is another option, but Boss has announced an analog-style synth floor unit called the SY-300 that's been designed to be used with any guitar pickup.
Just over a year ago, Livid Instruments ended a successful Kickstarter campaign
to bring its Guitar Wing wireless controller to life. The device is attached to the lower horn of an electric guitar or bass to enable wireless control of apps and DAWs running on a computer. After working closely with Apple engineers, the company has now announced support for the new Bluetooth LE MIDI protocol for Yosemite OS X and iOS 8.
Tiptoe through just about any online music synthesis forum and it won't be too long before you stumble across an Analog vs. Digital
debate. Both have their legions of dedicated followers, but if you're looking to dabble in some analog waveform manipulation and don't relish the thought of getting tangled up in patch cable spaghetti or having to sell the car and break your back to buy and install something like the Moog System 55
, futuresonus has developed a tabletop-friendly analog synth that features digital controls called Parva. The polyphonic synth offers eight voices, each with its own oscillators and filters, and is claimed the first analog synth to boast a USB master port.
The Jambé takes bits of electronic drums
, hand bangers
and finger tappers
and mashes them all up into one traditional-looking percussive instrument. Its makers say that a special combination of materials and sensors allow it to read every playing nuance, transforming the mighty wallop of a drum stick into thunderous sounds or a gentle tinkle from light finger taps with the help of an iPad or iPhone processing brain.
The (relatively) brave new world of digital music consumption can arguably more than satisfy the aural needs of most music lovers, but vinyl and CD collectors also enjoy a visual feast in the shape of album art. Sure, you might get some small pixel pleasure with your MP3, and if you're lucky perhaps even a PDF booklet, but you're unlikely to get anywhere near the satisfaction you'd get from some concept art and band info on a 12 inch square of cardboard or a glossy paper flip-book in a jewel case. The high fashion house of Astrella has linked the digital and the physical with a line of t-shirts where streamed music is part of the package. Next month, shoppers at two Bloomingdale's stores will be able to get access to music and more with the help of their smartphones.
There are many iOS apps that offer onscreen versions of musical instruments and, though a convenient way to practice chord positions or to quickly jot down a song idea, they can be a pretty poor substitute for the real thing. In 2013, Zivix launched a successful crowdfunding campaign to bring a backpack-friendly MIDI guitar designed for the mobile musician called the JamStik
to production. Now the company is back with an improved mini guitar that boasts better picking detection and processing speed, and uses Bluetooth LE instead of Wi-Fi to keep surfing channels open while playing.
One of the least exciting pieces of technology on a smartphone is the 3.5 mm audio jack. There's not a lot of room to make changes there, but Magzet is aiming to do some innovating by turning any audio jack into a magnet connector. It's a simple change, but one that promises to make plugging in audio devices easier, and a whole lot cooler.