There are an awful lot of guitar effects pedals that massage, tweak, clean, or otherwise enhance the signal from a guitar's pickups before it reaches the amplifier. The Anti-Effect from Poland's Chaosound turns its back on all that goodness and tries its best to destroy the sound instead.
Most guitarists will have tweaked each stompbox in a pedal board chain well before the gig starts, and will probably stick to the same bank of available tones for the whole performance. Those in the mood for sonic experimentation, however, might feel tempted to dive down mid-song for a remix using the control knobs on the front of the effects pedal. If you're smart (or quick), no-one will notice. If you had a FLEXeFX pedal or two, though, you wouldn't even have to take your gifted hands away from the guitar at all. You could change your sound on the fly using your foot.
Gizmag has been following the development of the Antares Auto-Tune for Guitar
technology with great interest since it was first teased back in May 2011. In January 2012, it was launched in two guitars
at the Winter NAMM show, but only one of those has actually made the leap into production. Peavey released its AT-200
as last year came to a close, and I've spent the last few weeks in the company of this game-changing guitar while also chatting with some of the folks involved in its development.
While Bob Wiley's Ministar
and the Apache Series
from Vox are certainly travel-friendly
guitars, they're not exactly adventure-proof
. Chris Duncan's Alpaca Guitar, on the other hand, is precisely that. Described as a great sounding, go everywhere instrument, it's lightweight, durable and weather- and water-resistant.
Should you find yourself thinking about supergroups, you'll likely center on the famous names that make up the bands and not the instruments they use. Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, for example, rather than the double-necked Gibson EDS-1275, or Cream's Jack Bruce instead of his Gibson EB-3, or Brad Wilk of Audioslave/RATM and not the custom Gretsch drumkits he uses. Being as much fans of the tech behind the hits as the talented folks who create them, we've grouped together a super collection of favorite music-making gadgets from the past year.
One of my most painful (but at the same time wickedly amusing) memories relating to the Guitar Hero
and Rock Band
gaming boom a few years ago was when a high-scoring king of the button/paddle guitar controller
tried to show me how easy it was to play a real guitar. He soon learned that playing a real instrument can be very tough at the beginning, so much so that many would-be axe gods give up before the calluses have even had a chance to form. GuitarBots
from Ovelin is a new online learning system that combines challenge and reward computer-based gaming and a real instrument to take string pickers from the tentative first steps right through to more advanced soloing and rhythm play ... and it looks like a whole lot of fun, too.
John D'Angelico is regarded by many as the greatest archtop guitar maker of all time. Prized for their smooth, mellow tone and excellent sustain, it's said that only around 1,200 instruments were made during his career in the Lower East Side of New York. This year, the first D'Angelico reissues have been selling faster than they can be made. Fueled by this success, the iconic brand is being relaunched with a new very limited edition USA Masterbuilt version of the 1942 D'Angelico Excel and three standard models.
British pro-audio manufacturer Focusrite has announced U.S. availability of its iTrack Solo audio recording interface for the iPad. Featuring studio-quality guitar and microphone inputs, the palm-sized device is claimed to be "the perfect companion for any singer/songwriter wanting to take their demos to the next level – with audio quality that's so good, they can be used in the final mix."
Marking something of a diversion from the company's more familiar analog synths, tonesmiths at Moog Music are in the early prototype stages of a novel technology capable of activating and controlling the natural harmonics and resonant frequencies of the strings of an acoustic instrument, and placing them at the disposal of the player. The LEV-96 sensoriactuator is currently installed at the sound hole of an acoustic guitar for beta testing, and features touch-enabled sliders and buttons for precise sonic tweaking and adjustment.