Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Guitar Effects

The AMPLIFi FX100 from Line 6

A few short weeks after claiming to have reinvented the guitar amp with a pair of AMPLIFi streaming music player and combo instrument amp hybrids, Line 6 is expanding its new connected range with the introduction of the AMPLIFi FX100. The effects unit leverages the connected world of iOS devices to grant players access to a wealth of professional-quality tones in the cloud, as well offering intuitive creation of brand new sounds, the ability to match the signature tones of fretboard masters from tracks in a user's music library, and share favorites with fellow musicians via an online community.  Read More

The footswitches can be used to send program change messages to the software, or they can ...

There are a number of ways to take digital amp and effects modeling to the gig or studio, including the new AMPLIFi models from Line 6, or routing your signal through a laptop or tablet running something like AmpliTube. Accessing and controlling settings on a device screen can be somewhat fiddly, though, and many guitarists feel more comfortable with physical knobs and switches. This is where the Amperage MIDI controller pedal could help to bridge the gap between analog stomp familiarity and the brave new world of digital tone tweaking.  Read More

The wirelessly-powered Eddie Kramer Series F-Pedals

In a similar way that wireless charging mats promise to liberate your smartphone from fiddly cables, the F-Pedals don't have 9 V batteries bulking out their frames or numerous power cables sprouting from the pedalboard. In fact, since the F-Board on which the effects pedals are placed to receive power includes its own rechargeable and replaceable battery pack, the two stomps currently being prepared for sale can also be used away from a wall socket for up to 20 hours.  Read More

The Guitar Wing class-compliant MIDI controller wirelessly connects to a computer over Blu...

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

The Beatbuddy guitar pedal drum machine from David Packouz

Though noodling is a whole lot of fun, and fingertip calluses certainly need regular workouts, there are times when it would be good to have your very own John Bonham or Mitch Mitchell to provide a rock-steady beat. Playing along to backing tracks or engaging the help of loopers, drum machines or rhythm boxes can work to some degree, but there's little or no room for improvisation or creativity unless you take your hands away from the guitar to mix things up a bit. Billed as the first guitar pedal drum machine, the Beatbuddy from David Packouz puts control of the beat at your feet, leaving your hands free to get on with some serious shredding.  Read More

The Farmer's Mill Electric Mud Grinder from Crushsound

Inspired by the kind of brown or muddy tones produced by ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons on tracks like Loaded from the 1996 album Rhythmeen, Jedrzej Lewandowski of Poland's Le 2 Workshop architects created the Farmer's Mill, which was unleashed, appropriately enough perhaps, on April 1 2012. The second generation has now been released. It's a little bigger than its predecessor, a lot better, and is now available in orange as well as white. Gizmag has spent the last few weeks making guitars wheeze, cough and splutter like they've been smoking 40-a-day since birth, and walks way mighty impressed with the destructive capabilities of the Mark II Electric Mud Grinder.  Read More

The iRig BlueBoard wireless MID pedalboard from IK Multimedia

When I reviewed the OPC Musician's Computer in March 2012, I also got the opportunity to sample a full-featured version of IK Multimedia's equally impressive AmpliTube 3 guitar effects and amp simulation suite. I did note, however, that one downside was having to activate virtual pedals and tweak settings via the mouse (or in the case of iOS versions, by touching the virtual controls on the screen). The latest addition to the company's iRig family puts parameter control at your feet, in a wireless pedalboard called the BlueBoard.  Read More

The new Moog Minifooger analog stomp family

Moog Music has announced a new range of versatile and expressive analog effects stomps for electric guitar and bass. Each of the five affordable and compact Minifoogers features an expression pedal input that can be CV-controlled (just like an old Moog synth), and gives the player control of one predetermined parameter for the chosen unit, expanding the stomp's sound beyond what's available via the knobs up top.  Read More

The Guitarduino from Igor Stolarsky

In addition to being a talented player and having a guitar named after him, Les Paul was a dedicated tinkerer. It's rather fitting, then, that one of those famous guitars has been modified to include touch-controlled synths and effects, and an onboard drum machine. The system is built around an Arduino brain externally mounted near the bridge, which routes signals from sensors and buttons through custom code to a preamp/effects processor or a digital audio workstation suite. As you can see and hear from the video after the jump, the aptly-named Guitarduino is quite simply extraordinary.  Read More

Peavey is now shipping three Vypyr VIP amps featuring variable instrument input

While Peavey regularly releases electric guitars, like the excellent AT-200 for example, it's perhaps best known for its amplifiers. Five years after unleashing its Vypyr line of modeling amps, the company debuted three new additions at NAMM earlier this year. The first to sport a variable instrument input technology that allows them to be used for bass, acoustic or electric guitars, the Vypyr VIP amps are now shipping.  Read More

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