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Music

Thunderous guitar pickup gets an Ego boost

Back in 2014, guitarist Andy Alt nailed a successful Kickstarter to fund the production of a box-shaped pickup that's actually home to a single coil humbucker and a two pole bottom feeder pickup to give a guitar some extra low end wallop. It was only a matter of time before A Little Thunder made its way into a signature guitar, and thanks to a partnership with Italy's Marconi Lab custom shop, that guitar comes in the shape of the eye-catching Ego Thunder.Read More

Old computer storage tech gets a job driving novel guitar stomp

Having a guitar sound repeat once or more can be a powerful playing weapon, and has been used to great, ahem, effect by axe gods like Brian May and Jimmy Page for a good many years. Before digital stomps wrapped the effect up in a pedalboard-friendly box, players would gun for looped tape machines like the Echoplex and Space Echo. Now technicians from a German music company have come up with an oddball analog echo effects unit that generates the delay effect using a 3.5-inch floppy disc.Read More

Wooden toy piano given polyphonic synth overhaul

If, like me, you grew up watching Charlie Brown cartoons on TV, then you may have also got your very first taste of classical music from the virtuoso hands of a certain blond-haired, Beethoven-obsessed kid hunched awkwardly over a toy piano. Though said toy piano has often been played far beyond its limited range, imagine the kind of sonic wonders Schroeder could perform if he sat down in front of Liam Lacey's Vintage Toy Synthesizer.Read More

Digital guitar makes striking the right chord as easy as pushing a button

Learning to play guitar is tough. And until you've got some mighty fine calluses to show off, it can be quite painful too. Though there's no substitute for years of sustained practice, a number of devices have popped up over the years that promise to get you up and running quickly and easily. The MI guitar is a little different. Its makers are not promising a shortcut to real guitar wizardry, they simply say that you'll be strumming along to your favorite tunes in minutes.Read More

Modular guitars cater to the constantly-changing player

Building a guitar to satisfy the ever-evolving needs of all players would seem an impossible task. Metal axemen have monumentally different requirements to country twangers, Strat-lovers seek a different tone to humbuckers, and electric git-fiddlers go shopping with a different wants list than acoustic pickers. Having said that, the 20:14 range of guitars from Barcelona's Aclam Guitars does seem to tick a lot of customization and personalization boxes.Read More

Review

Review: Wireless Trym floor stomp tweaking with an Aero controller

Back in 2014, Norway's Aalberg Audio hit Indiegogo with the Ekko and Aero, a digital delay stomp for guitar and the means to change its parameters without having to crouch down during a song and twist away at its control knobs. Though the crowdfunding effort proved unsuccessful, the company forged ahead with production anyway and released the novel double act last year. More effects pedals have since been added to the range, including the Trym tremolo unit that Gizmag has spent the last few weeks wirelessly tweaking on-the-fly with the Aero Bluetooth controller.Read More

Yamaha acoustics bring out rich tones in dry-sounding rooms

As many pickers will tell you, playing an acoustic guitar in some rooms, like a lounge or bedroom, can result in rather lifeless and dry tones fighting for air. Yamaha is looking to inject some concert hall warmth and vitality into such performances by taking a technology originally developed for its acoustic pianos and installing it in a new range of acoustic guitars. Its TransAcoustic guitars add reverb and chorus effects to the sound coming from the instruments themselves without having to add in external effects or rely on microphones or amplification.Read More

Tablet-sized music player gets a hand on hi-res audio

With the availability of music streaming apps and ever-expanding options of flash drive storage, it's no wonder that mobile devices reign for media consumption. But a new startup is ready to show how bigger can mean better, catering to dedicated enthusiasts and audiophiles alike. The Nativ Sound Vita music player is designed to offer touchscreen access to all music with innovative voice control and wireless multi-room playback.Read More

Review

Review: One Smart Piano learning system

The One Smart Piano learning system promises to have you playing your "first piano piece in minutes" with the help of light up keys and an accompanying app. So how long before a complete novice can tap out something beyond a children's ditty? We sat down at the keys to find out. Read More

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