Though interfaces like the excellent iRig Pro Duo are great for bridging the divide between music creation apps running on an iPhone or iPad and an electric guitar, changing tones on the fly does involve taking playing hands away from the guitar to make a touchscreen selection. China's Tone Shifter has developed a box that places such control, and much more, at a player's foot-stomping disposal.
More than a year after the release of the excellent BeatBuddy drum machine/pedal, the team at Singular Sound has announced the arrival of a baby brother: the BeatBuddy Mini. Gizmag has been putting the new device through its paces for the past few weeks, so read on for our impressions.
Tweaking settings on effects stomps for different song requirements can be a bit of pain. Not only do you have to indulge the patience of the audience by crouching down to your pedalboard to turn the knobs, but you also have to remember which value positions give the desired sound. GigRig's AutoPot allows players to set value presets and have up to three of its arms change the settings for them.
Back in 2012, Vox reached back through its mold-breaking design history for the launch of the Apache travel guitars. The swinging 60s have again provided some inspirational fodder for next generation instruments, though only in name this time around. The Starstream Type-1 guitars feature an onboard modeling system that includes 27 different tones to play with, and a rather distinctive body shape.
Fishman's TriplePlay MIDI controller and pickup gives guitar players access to a world of digital sound generation, whether it's playing a funky vintage synth from your fretboard or blowing a haunting melody on a flute. The controller wirelessly links to music creation software running on a laptop, which then outputs the tones via the audio jack to headphones, powered speakers or even an instrument amp. But you don't really want to be leaving your laptop, which may contain personal information, just off stage when touring small clubs, so Fishman has launched the FC-1 Floor Controller. This allows players access to patches and presets from connected sound modules and synths.
If you're looking to divebomb and squeal like Steve Vai or Joe Satriani, but your vintage guitar doesn't have a vibrato system, you could avoid losing chunks of tonewood by installing a top mount system like the FRX from Floyd Rose. But switching from hardtail to whammy will still involve slamming your axe on the maintenance table for a while. Sydney, Australia-based Fomofx says that its Virtual Jeff can be installed in just 30 seconds on just about any guitar, and easily removed when not needed.
String-pickers, digital tunesmiths and bin bashers are not the easiest of folks to buy gifts for. Some are quite conservative and prefer tried and tested old tech while others are gearheads who like to gather in the latest, the novel and the bizarre just in case the need arises. And then there's the (often) eye-watering cost of instruments and accessories to consider. The holidays are almost upon us and a state of muso-related panic may now be setting in. Here are a few ideas that should hit the right note.
Europe's Strat King Thomas Blug brought his full-fat tone knowledge to market earlier this year in the shape of a 100 W boutique amp called the Amp1. The celebrated string picker has been busy adding to his BluGuitar platform ever since, and has now announced that, with the recent addition of two new guitar amp cabinets, the Amp1 System is now complete and available to buy.
For a good long while now, IK Multimedia has been helping to satisfy the mobile noodling needs of electric git-fiddlers with a succession of instrument interfaces that bridge the gap between a smart device hosting digital effects and amp simulations and a plank of wood, some pickups and a few strands of tensioned steel. Now the company is taking aim at dreadnought picker types with the iRig Acoustic, which is billed as the first acoustic guitar mobile microphone/interface specifically made for acoustic guitars and ukuleles, and one that's claimed to rival pro-grade studio microphones.
The Fusion Guitar takes an iPhone dock, amplifier, battery and speakers and rolls them into one compact, completely self-contained noodling package. We caught up with one of the inventors, designer and guitarist Dave Auld, for a closer look at this world first take on the electric guitar.