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Guitar Effects

The Line 6 AMPLIFi TT guitar tone processor and Bluetooth audio streamer

The home audio landscape has undergone quite a change in recent times. Where the living room hi-fi once ruled the roost, the expensive and carefully matched components are now dead silent and the once proud tower speakers have been repurposed as stands for photo frames or vases. Music lovers seem quite happy to accept an often huge drop in sonic quality for the convenience and wireless ease of the small Bluetooth speaker. But the folks over at Line 6 are looking to breathe new life into those dusty stereo system circuits with a new addition to the AMPLIFi range called the TT.  Read More

The BeatBuddy with its footswitch (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)

When musician David Packouz couldn't find a stomp-based drum machine that didn't sound, well, like a drum machine or one that could provide fills, changes and accent hits on the fly, he set about designing and building his own. He took his BeatBuddy project to Indiegogo in December 2013 and it went on to raise more than four times its funding goal by the close of the crowdfunding campaign. The first post-crowdfunding production run started shipping at the end of August and Gizmag was offered a system for review. But with my attention focused elsewhere during September (namely the IFA and Photokina trade shows), I had to hold off until mid-October to start spending some quality time with this nifty drummer-in-a-box pedal. And it was definitely worth the wait.  Read More

iRig HD and AmpliTube begin Android invasion

IK Multimedia has announced that its iRig HD guitar interface is breaking free of its iOS/Mac chains and moving into Android territory. Following hot on the heels of Samsung's Pro-Audio SDK 2.0 platform release, IK has now revealed the Android-friendly iRig HD-A and a special version of its AmpliTube virtual rig app.  Read More

A Little Thunder from Andy Alt

For the last few years, guitarist Andy Alt has been chipping away at a new kind of electric guitar pickup that allows a player to add a separate low end signal to the two lowest strings. A Little Thunder has been designed as a humbucker replacement and is reported to take only 5 minutes to install, without harming your precious guitar in the process. At the press of a button, git-fiddlers can bring a touch of funky bottom to a solo picking performance, making it a good fit for dark metal gods with hands too small for a 7 or 8 string shred machine or sonic scientists on the lookout for a new six-string laboratory for wacky riff-offs with the band's bass player.  Read More

The ToneWoodAmp from Ofer and Helene Webman

Acoustic players looking to augment the natural sound of their guitars with live effects may well have to succumb to a world of cables, amps and stomps to do so. Ofer and Helene Webman out of Phoenix, AZ, have developed a smartphone-sized box called the ToneWoodAmp – or Twamp for short – that brings the kind of effects enjoyed by electric guitarists to acoustic pickers without needing to route the instrument through a big power amp.  Read More

Aalberg Audio's Ekko and Aero

Norway's Aalberg Audio has developed what's billed as the world’s first remote-controlled effects pedal for electric guitars. The first part of the equation is a delay pedal named Ekko that's cabled up somewhere between the guitar and amp pretty much like any other floor stomp. Things get interesting when its Aero companion enters the picture, which can be mounted onto a guitar or attached to a strap or belt and wirelessly controls the Ekko effects on the fly.  Read More

The B9 Organ Machine from EHX

New York's EHX (electro-harmonix) has designed an effects pedal that allows guitarists to dial in classic tonewheel and combo organ sounds from the 1960s and 70s without having to worry about trudging through multiple MIDI parameters or having to route a signal through a special synth pickup to a computer before it gets to the amp. The B9 Organ Machine offers nine presets with either chorus, tremolo or vibrato effects, a percussive "key" click control and knobs to determine the mix of dry signal and organ preset at the output jack.  Read More

Portalmod's MOD Duo prototype mounted in acrylic housing

The MOD system from Brazil's Portalmod was born of a desire to break free from the confines of carefully considered manufacturer-supplied digital effects for guitar and bass, and sail into the vast uncharted territory of independent developer-generated plug-ins. The hardware features its own mini computing system capable of wirelessly receiving user-customized virtual pedalboards configured via a browser-based interface. Having sold out of its original Quadra model, the company is currently making plans to release its next product, the MOD Duo, in the US.  Read More

Gizmag reviews the TriplePlay wireless MIDI controller and pickup from Fishman (Photo: Pau...

In addition to showing off its new Fluence pickup at this year's Winter NAMM, Fishman followed last year's debut of Godin's Session Custom TriplePlay guitar with a TriplePlay version of Fender's HSS Stratocaster. The wireless MIDI controller and hex pickup allows players to tap into a world of almost infinite digital sound generation, tracking the picking and neck action and sending the signals to a computer for processing and output. Gizmag was given the opportunity to give the system a whirl, but rather than break in a brand new instrument, we opted to attach the stand-alone version of the system to an otherwise innocent and unsuspecting guitar of our own.  Read More

The Amp1 from Thomas Blug's BluGuitar

Toneheads will doubtless already be familiar with Thomas Blug. In 2004, Fender held a competition in Europe to find the regal ruler of its iconic Stratocaster to celebrate the guitar's 50th birthday. The German fret master took the crown, and has been known as the Strat King ever since. He's also known for his mammoth tone, something he's brought to the recently-revealed Amp1 in buckets. The 100 W signature boutique tube amp is also small enough to fit on a pedalboard or throw in a gigbag.  Read More

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