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.
The company that's said to have put the "stomp" in stompbox has detailed three new guitar effects pedals, featuring a new technology called Multi-Dimensional Processing (MDP) developed by its parent company Roland. The TE-2 Tera Echo is a landmark pedal not only because of the new signal processing technology, but also by virtue of it being the one-hundredth BOSS Compact Series model to be released. The MO-2 Multi Overtone uses a guitar's harmonic characteristics to build unique rich sounds that enhance the normal tone. Roland says that the DA-2 Adaptive Distortion unit makes use of the MDP technology to deliver perfect distortion wherever you play on the neck.
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is little known to the public, but represents one of the most-challenging efforts in observational cosmology ever attempted. The most recent phase, SDSS-III, began in 2008 and includes the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS), a part of SDSS-III aimed at mapping the cosmos. Its goal is to map the physical locations of all major galaxies back to seven billion years ago, and bright quasars back to 12 billion years ago – two billion years after the Big Bang. This is being done so we can gain a better understanding of dark matter and energy, and hopefully encounter a few surprises.
When musical inspiration hits, it's vital to get it recorded before it disappears. Handheld recorders like Tascam's DR-07 MkII recorder
and or Zoom's new H2n Handy Recorder
are useful in this regard, but if you need a little more flexibility, something like a pocket-sized version of the BR800
portable recording studio could be the answer. Roland has announced that its BOSS MICRO BR multi-track digital recorder has now been updated. The MICRO BR BR-80 has twice the simultaneous playback tracks of its predecessor, a new effects processor and the ability to reduce the presence of vocal and lead guitar of pre-recorded audio to give players the chance to create their own.
With over a million sales notched up, Roland has announced that the next generation of Cube amplifiers is ready to be let loose. The Cube XL series is available in four sizes, starting at the practice 15W version right up to a gig-worthy 80W model. The amps all feature a host of tones and effects and an auxiliary input to allow a portable music player to provide backing tracks. Features on offer from the new range include amp modeling, channel-switching and a strange-sounding power squeeze function. Roland has also unleashed a couple of BOSS guitar effects pedals – one that offers the player pitch control and voice harmony possibilities and the other squeezing some tube amp sounds into a palm-sized stomp box.
For the budding guitarist one of the best ways to learn music is to play along with familiar tunes, and for more experienced axemeisters, the ability to build songs using loops and backing tracks is an important writing tool. The BOSS eBand JS-8 Audio Player is a versatile solution that suits both scenarios. Designed for guitarists who play and practice at home, the portable eBand has a built-in speaker stereo system and offers preset guitar sounds and effects, functions to change tempo and pitch and the ability to record sessions.