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Music

Fret Friend is like a blackboard for learning guitar

Learning to play guitar is hard. Though there's no effective replacement for many of hours of repetitive practice, today's six-string students do have numerous teaching aids to help make the learning curve a little less steep. PocketStrings, for example, caters for chord shaping on the go, Fretlight illuminates fretting finger positions, games like Rocksmith make learning more fun and countless mobile apps can turn the ubiquitous smartphone into a powerful teaching tool. But there are times when simply marking finger positions on a fretboard might make chords and scales easier to remember. Naturally, you don't want to be taking a Sharpie to your axe of choice, which is where Fret Friend may come in handy.Read More

Music

Tone Shifter 3 puts iOS interface and MIDI controller at your feet

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.Read More

Music

Relay G10 billed as the easiest wireless guitar system ever

Wireless technology has been available for a good many years, but reliability, affordability and complexity issues mean that many players prefer to remain cabled to an amp. Line 6 is looking to solve such problems with the Relay G10, a plug and play system that's claimed as easy as using a cable and has enough battery life to survive the longest of noodlefests.Read More

Music

AutoPot dials in saved parameter presets on floor stomps

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.Read More

Music

Vox gives odd-looking Starstream guitars some modeling magic

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.Read More

Music

TriplePlay wireless MIDI controller gets foot control

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.Read More

Music

Virtual Jeff turns any guitar into a divebomber

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.Read More

Clip-on device gives unplugged electric guitar a sound boost

Noodling away on an unplugged electric guitar is a great way to practice chops any time, day or night. But the raw sound can be a bit disappointing, lacking body and volume. DelSonix says that its clip-on guitar speaker can give a solid body electric a 10 dB sonic boost, which can be directed straight at the player.Read More

Music

Top tune creation innovations of 2015

Twenty fifteen has been a helluva year for instrument creation, bringing a torrent of new ways to make sweet, sweet music with a bang, pluck, tap or scrape. Choosing a handful of tasty tone-tastic highlights from the last 12 months has been tough, really tough. But after much ruminating, we've managed to stealthily avoid picking from a hat and have come up with a select bunch of monstrous melody-making favorites.Read More

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