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Native Instruments has unveiled new versions of its Guitar Rig, Kontakt and Komplete digit...

Mobile music-making apps like Amplitube and GarageBand have proven themselves to be popular, powerful and versatile additions to the digital toolbox of both bedroom enthusiast and professional alike. Dedicated computer software is by no means dead in the water yet, though, as evidenced by the new releases from Native Instruments. The computer-based music production and performance specialist has announced new versions of its Guitar Rig amp and effects package and Kontakt sampler, and the multi-product Komplete bundle.  Read More

The AcousticLink guitar interface for acoustic players

For a good while now, electric guitar and bass players have been able to interface their instruments with computers and mobile devices thanks to solutions like the JAM from Apogee and the iRig from IK Multimedia. Now, acoustic players are to get their chance to join the digital party with the launch of the AcousicLink solution from Alesis.  Read More

Roland has announced the release of the MICRO BR BR-80 pocket digital recording studio

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.  Read More

The iPerform3D application is an online guitar learning experience that allows users game-...

For visual learners, video guitar lessons from musicians or teachers might seem the perfect tool to quickly nail a killer lick but in truth they can be somewhat limited in the tuition on offer. The mobile convenience of teaching apps have added another useful layer to the overall learning experience but nothing quite matches the expert guidance and hands-on approach of a professional tutor. If you're looking for a similarly interactive learning experience that's available whenever the mood grabs you and allows you to zoom into the action, slow down the pace without affecting pitch and view exactly what's going on from any angle - the iPerform3D online tuition service warrants a closer look.  Read More

Air Picks are small pick-shaped devices that play classic guitar riffs with a rhythmic fli...

Rocking out with an imaginary guitar has gone from appreciative concert mimicry to a very serious business. Next month, finalists from around the world will head to Finland in the hope of being crowned Air Guitar World Champion. For those who aspire to get to the winner's podium in later years or just want to rock out to classic tunes wherever they happen to be, the newly released Air Pick could prove just the ticket. Rhythmically strumming the chunky guitar pick produces one of three included tunes from the built-in speaker.  Read More

The Laser Pitch Detection Pickup system accurately detects the pitch of a string - even be...

If you've tried to digitally capture a guitar performance or turn your six-string into a powerful MIDI synth using an interface or special pickup, you'll no doubt be familiar with signal lag and pitch accuracy issues. As you pluck a string, there is a very short delay before it reaches its final frequency - it might only be a few milliseconds but it can be enough to cause latency angst. Germany's M3i Technologies has developed an optical system for accurately detecting the pitch of a string - even before a player has plucked it. The Laser Pitch Detection (LPD) Pickup system runs a beam under each string, from the bridge to the end of the fingerboard, and monitors its return to photosensitive receptors in the unit. When a player's finger touches a string, the beam is shortened and the system quickly measures and calculates the exact pitch.  Read More

Researchers have coated a guitar tailpiece with a thin layer of DiaForce, which allows for...

For most of us, digitally capturing our six-string virtuosity involves plugging an axe into a guitar interface like Apogee's JAM and then launching some software on a laptop or mobile device. Researchers from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films are currently developing a somewhat neater, and potentially more accurate, solution that also holds the promise of replacing the humble guitar pickup. The guitar's tailpiece has been thinly coated with a contact material which is claimed to precisely capture complex playing movements in minute detail and convert them to digital control signals for onward processing.  Read More

Garcia (center) and Matt Kelly (right) on stage

Jerry Garcia was ranked 13th by Rolling Stone magazine in its "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" feature and Garcia’s band The Grateful Dead was ranked 55th by Rolling Stone in its “Greatest Artists of all Time.” Now Garcia’s “Lucky 13” custom Alembic guitar is to be auctioned for charity on eBay on June 5. The recipient charity, Amicus Foundation, is run by sometime Grateful Dead member Matt Kelly (that's Jerry and Matt at work in the piccie) who now works full-time for charity. All proceeds will provide educational opportunities and assistance to hill tribe refugees along the Thai/Burmese border and to underprivileged Thai communities. Go to it deadheads – a piece of GD history and a good cause!  Read More

When attached below the picking area of an acoustic guitar, the Pik'N Board offers players...

For many of us, washing clothes by hand is no longer a necessity. Yet the simple ridged device used before the advent of washing machines is still in production today and continues to be used all over the world. Leaving soapy water well behind, the washboard found a new life in the hands of musicians playing everything from skiffle to dixieland, and jazz to blues. Solo guitar players can now provide their own inexpensive snare-like percussive accompaniment, by attaching a Pik'N Board to their instrument. The mini-washboard is positioned below the picking area of an acoustic guitar, with players extending the pick stroke to tap out a latin beat or scrape in some cajun spice.  Read More

Brisbane's Tym Guitars has housed a 50W combo amp in a foam frame, making the FAMP a light...

As most musicians will tell you, playing in front of a live audience is what makes it all worthwhile. Unless you're successful enough to have a dedicated road crew, though, loading and unloading the equipment can be backbreaking work. All that could change thanks to an experiment in "what if" amp building by Tim Brennan of Brisbane's Tym Guitars. He says that late nights, stupid conversations and an obsession with building things that people might laugh at has resulted in the FAMP – a 50W guitar amp combo encased in a foam housing.  Read More

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