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Digital music

Line 6 has unleashed what's claimed to be an entirely new kind of guitar amplifier. In addition to a powerful guitar speaker sitting behind the red grille at the bottom, the AMPLIFi is also home to full range stereo speakers in the black top section. The design is claimed to offer players a wider frequency range, but the inclusion of Bluetooth technology also allows the system to be used as a streaming audio speaker. Impressive stuff, but the company didn't stop there. A companion app has been created that opens up the system to a new world of tone. The Remote app will even suggest matches for the sound of guitars in favorite songs so that you can easily nail the tone of your heroes, or jam along to tracks without sounding (too) out of place. Read More
For guitarists who like to experiment, digital signal processing technology has opened up whole new worlds of tonal exploration and control. Unlocking the parameters, effects and features in computer-based software while playing can be a cumbersome affair though, often involving some nifty tap dancing on multi-effects units like the G5 or stopping every so often to adjust the settings on a tabletop MIDI controller. The Guitar Wing from Livid Instruments attaches to the instrument itself and offers wireless function control of software plug-ins, Digital Audio Workstations (DAW), iOS apps, MIDI effects and so on, all within reach of the picking hand and available while playing. Read More
AV design deity Bang & Olufsen has announced the launch of its BeoSound Essence sound system. The system is aimed at providing users with a simple means of listening to their digital music collection and, as ever, it is a thing of beatific beauty. Read More
Earlier in the year, Utah's Aaron Myer launched a Kickstarter campaign to get his BluAmp Bluetooth 50-watt amplifier into the hands of wireless music lovers. Unfortunately, the campaign didn't reach its funding target, but Myer pushed on regardless. The newly revamped BluAmp 50 has been joined by a less powerful sibling, the BluAmp 20, and Myer has hit Kickstarter for a second time. Read More
Battery-powered Bluetooth speakers are great for those who like to share their sounds with friends while out and about, but can't always satisfy when streaming music in the kitchen or living room. If your wireless audio needs lean more towards semi-permanent placement than portability, you may find that upmarket looks, room-filling output and quality audio tend to go hand in hand with a rather large price tag. This is something that the folks from the Studio Proper design house in Melbourne, Australia are looking to address with the PA1 wall-mounted Bluetooth speaker. Read More

Spotify has made a move to get music artists onside by making its formula for calculating royalty payments and analytics openly accessible through the new Spotify Artists website. Read More

Playing music without having to run a cable between speakers and smartphone, computer or media player has great appeal, but is not without issues. Bluetooth technology is well supported, but has limited range and pairing can sometimes be a real test of character. AirPlay or Wi-Fi give a little more freedom to wander, but you're tied to a router and all the finicky logins and security settings that go with that particular territory. The Korus wireless speakers from Core Brands use a wireless audio protocol called SKAA that promises increased range, easy setup, almost latency-free high fidelity playback. Read More
We're no strangers to gigantic audio throwers here at Gizmag. A couple of years ago, we brought news of a monstrous iPod dock called the iNuke Boom that Behringer claimed capable of pumping out an incredible 10,000-watts, and earlier this month Sweden's Studio Total unveiled the 8000-watt second generation Wall of Sound. Yet both these systems combined couldn't come anywhere near the awesome power of the extremely expensive Opera Only from Italian designer Andrea Pivetta. Read More
It doesn't seem too long ago that a quality headphones amplifier was the size of a chunky paperback novel, and would occupy so much space in a laptop bag that it would probably get left behind more often than not. Now the UK's Cambridge Audio has managed to squeeze a high-end digital-to-analog (DAC) converter and headphone amp into a device that's smaller than a matchbox. Read More
Musicians are spoilt for choice when it comes to MIDI controllers, but the QuNeo 3D Multi-Touch Pad Controller from Keith McMillen offers a new take on a familiar form, boasting a mix of pressure-sensitive touch sliders, velocity-sensitive pads, and 251 programmable LED lights – all in a package that's the same size as an iPad. Gizmag puts it through its paces. Read More
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