GEAR

Sweetwater’s GearFest 2017

Sweetwater’s GearFest 2017
Sweetwater’s GearFest 2017 Draws Record Crowds and Sales Free Music and Pro Audio Trade Show Continues to Grow GearFest completely takes over the Sweetwater campus with parking, camping sites, gear tents, a performance pavilion, the retail store, and the massive interior of the Sweetwater building. Sweetwater Sound announced that GearFest 2017 was a bigger success than ever, breaking every record established by previous GearFest events. Launched... 

Toontrack releases Singer-Songwriter EZkeys MIDI

Toontrack releases Singer-Songwriter EZkeys MIDI
Toontrack releases Singer-Songwriter EZkeys MIDI Toontrack announced the release of the Singer-Songwriter EZkeys MIDI pack, a collection of MIDI playing variations inspired by some of the most iconic singer-songwriters of the past few decades. This release marks the twenty-ninth individual title in Toontrack’s line of piano MIDI for EZkeys. About the Singer-Songwriter EZkeys MIDI pack For decades now, the piano has been a natural vehicle to help... 

ANALOG ALIEN JOE WALSH DOUBLE CLASSIC

ANALOG ALIEN JOE WALSH DOUBLE CLASSIC
ANALOG ALIEN JOE WALSH DOUBLE CLASSIC Essential classic rock tone This signature pedal offers independently selectable compression and tube amplifier emulation circuits that deliver stunning studio-inspired vintage guitar tones—worthy of the classic rock shredder. Divided into two color-coded sections—amp and compressor—the amp section is reminiscent of classic tweed models. The gain control runs from chiming clean to hairy distortion that responds... 

M-AUDIO AV42

M-AUDIO AV42
M-AUDIO AV42 Value and quality-driven desktop monitors M-Audio’s AV42 powered speakers offer recording hobbyists a significant step up from conventional computer speakers in quality and value. We were surprised by the definition these near-field monitors achieve. Bass-reflex MDF cabinets account for the solidity of the AV42’s low end, whereas waveguide-controlled 1-inch silk-dome tweeters, like those found in high-end models, deliver clear highs... 

SE ELECTRONICS GUITARF

SE ELECTRONICS GUITARF
SE ELECTRONICS GUITARF Superior guitar cab isolation The sE Electronics guitaRF allows you to obtain isolated guitar cabinet sounds without the hassle or expense of building an isolation booth. It features a moveable arm, which accommodates side-address condenser or ribbon microphones, and a special port holds an SM57 or similar dynamic instrument microphone. A flat base slips under amps, for extremely close miking. The result is clean, clear sound... 

SLATE MEDIA TECHNOLOGY RAVEN MTI

SLATE MEDIA TECHNOLOGY RAVEN MTI
SLATE MEDIA TECHNOLOGY RAVEN MTI Revolutionary touch-screen control In a world inundated with multitouch devices and apps, the Slate Media Technology RAVEN MTi control surface offers a connection to most popular DAW software that’s nothing short of refreshing. Most striking about this 27-inch touch-display control surface isn’t just the novelty of manipulating multiple virtual faders at once, it’s the speed and accuracy with which the RAVEN... 

WESTONE AM PRO SERIES AMBIENT EARPHONES

WESTONE AM PRO SERIES AMBIENT EARPHONES
GEAR SPOTLIGHT WESTONE AM PRO SERIES AMBIENT EARPHONES In-ear Monitors with Passive Ambience The Westone AM PRO Series ambient earphones are the on-stage solution performing musicians have been waiting for. In the past, musicians have used in-ear monitors but have not felt as connected with the crowd, or even other things onstage—mainly the other musicians. The AM PRO series has found a way to maintain low frequencies so that your monitor signal... 

ULTIMATE GOPRO PROTECTION

ULTIMATE GOPRO PROTECTION
ULTIMATE GOPRO PROTECTION Since GoPro cameras were released, these miniature cameras have shown up on stages and video shoots everywhere. While the cameras can be mounted in tough, waterproof housings, added protection for these cameras can go a long way. That’s why SKB created a special set of waterproof, impact-resistant iSeries GoPro cases designed to keep one or two GoPro cameras and their accessories safe from the elements. Whether subjected... 

PINT-SIZED POWERHOUSE SYNTH

PINT-SIZED POWERHOUSE SYNTH
PINT-SIZED POWERHOUSE SYNTH Roland’s JD-Xi analog/digital crossover synthesizer offers a compressive music creation toolset that’s perfect for today’s electronic musicians. In addition to a four-part sound engine, which combines a monophonic analog oscillator, two SuperNATURAL synths, and drum sounds, the JD-Xi comes fully equipped with a pattern sequencer, a vocoder, and an amazing set of effects. A set of 37 velocity-sensitive mini keys provide... 

MIGHTY GUITAR PROCESSOR

MIGHTY GUITAR PROCESSOR
MIGHTY GUITAR PROCESSOR Line 6’s Helix multieffects processor combines next-gen effects modeling and advanced stereo signal routing into a refreshingly easy-to-use pedalboard processor. At the core of the Helix is Line 6’s new HX dual DSP modeling engine, which offers 45 amps, 30 cabs, 16 mics and 70 effects, each rendered with impeccable detail. What’s more, the Helix supports up to 32 effects at once, including up to four amp emulations,... 

AMPLITUBE COMES TO ANDROID

AMPLITUBE COMES TO ANDROID
AMPLITUBE COMES TO ANDROID Android-toting guitarists looking for a way to jam with their tablets or phones are sure to appreciate IK Multimedia’s iRig UA, a DSP-driven device that brings AmpliTube effects to a whole new user base. By loading the DSP on the hardware itself, IK Multimedia was able to circumvent latency issues inherent with Android devices. The AmpliTube UA controller app—available from the app store—provides a detailed user interface... 

VINTAGE TWANG

VINTAGE TWANG
  VINTAGE TWANG PRS introduced the S2 Vela as part of their 30th anniversary. An unusual design for PRS, the S2 Vela is built around an asymmetrical double-cutaway mahogany body and features a combination of tried-and-true techniques and hardware innovations. Joining the PRS Starla humbucker at the bridge is a Type-D single-coil at the neck, which invokes the sound and spirit of classic 1950s twang. And while a set of S2 locking tuners offer... 

YAMAHA JOHN PATITUCCI TRBJP2

YAMAHA JOHN PATITUCCI TRBJP2
YAMAHA JOHN PATITUCCI TRBJP2 Versatile bass designed by one of the greats The way the maple-topped ash and alder body of the Yamaha John Patitucci signature TRBJP2 model six-string bass springs to life with the lightest touch speaks volumes about the quality of this instrument. From body construction to pickup design and its voiced electronics—it reflects the demanding standards of its master bassist creator. While the brass tailpiece is totally... 

INTUITIVE CONTROL

INTUITIVE CONTROL
INTUITIVE CONTROL Yamaha’s innovative TouchFlow Operation makes their TF Series digital mixing consoles among the most intuitive and user-friendly models available. Each model comes equipped with a touchscreen-based editing channel complemented by a series of logically laid-out encoders and a Touch & Turn knob, which allows the user to instantly control any onscreen parameter. Simplified setups such as Vocal Mode take the guesswork out of setting... 

YAMAHA AG06

YAMAHA AG06
YAMAHA AG06 Quick, quality and versatile mixing Yamaha released a pair of powerful small-format mixers/USB audio-interfaces for 2015, the three-channel AG03 and the six-channel AG06. We recently got our hands on the AG06 and were impressed by the feature set Yamaha managed to pack into such a portable unit. Class-compliant USB connectivity makes the AG06 well suited for traditional music recording, but there are also onboard options for recording... 

BEEFED-UP BILLY BASS

BEEFED-UP BILLY BASS
BEEFED-UP BILLY BASS Few bass players are as discerning about tone as Billy Sheehan—one of the reasons his signature line of Yamaha basses keeps evolving. The Billy Sheehan Attitude Limited 3 bass model doles out a bold low end, clear highs, and midrange articulation that’s second to none. A spline-jointed body and redesigned neck joint serve up tight response and fast action. At the neck, a Yamaha woofer pickup offers plenty of body, and the... 

MIX MASTERS

MIX MASTERS
MIX MASTERS Yamaha unleashed a revitalized line of 10 new MG Series mixers, ranging from six to 20 inputs. On the basic end, there’s the MG06, which sports a pair of preamps and two stereo channels. The fully loaded MG20XU comes with 16 mic pres, three-band parametric EQs, four aux buses, and Yamaha’s acclaimed SPX digital multieffect processor. Regardless of the channel count or the feature set, all these mixers deliver serious bang for the... 

AGED TO PERFECTION

AGED TO PERFECTION
AGED TO PERFECTION This year Yamaha revised their popular L Series acoustic guitars, introducing a full lineup of A.R.E. models (A.R.E. stands for Acoustic Resonance Enhancement, the company’s patented process for aging their tops). Combined with a modified, non-scalloped bracing design, these heat- and pressure-treated solid spruce tops provide discerning players with the broken-in sound coveted by vintage guitar collectors. The new series also... 

In The Mix

In The Mix
In The Mix Studio wiz Russ Long reveals his secrets to maximize your mix All the instruments and vocals have been recorded, and now it’s time to turn those tracks into a finished record: You’re ready for the mixing process. But you know the mix can make or break even the best recordings. How do you ensure you’re crafting the perfect mix? Mixing is as much art as science, and the pros rely on hard-earned experience to transform great tracks... 

Talking Synth

Talking Synth
Talking Synth Ace musician Michael Bearden shares his tips on finding the right synth for your sound Synthesizers open up entire new worlds of music. With today’s technology, synths—digital and analog, software and hardware—offer nearly limitless options when it comes to creating sounds and textures. Synths allow musicians of all stripes to generate music from scratch or completely shape existing material to taste. But how to best harness the... 

Magic Mic

Magic Mic
Magic Mic A Grammy-winning producer shares his insights to finding the perfect studio mic  Getting clean, pristine sound begins at the source: the microphone. Designed to capture both nuance and ferocity of a performance, these devices are specialized for the studio. Some work well for specific duties, such as vocals, and others are able to handle multiple applications. But making sense of the seemingly endless varieties available is a dizzying... 

Amped Up

Amped Up
  Amped Up Find the right amplifier with sound advice from guitar master Steve Lukather  When it comes to crafting the perfect sound, the amplifier is every bit as important as the guitar itself. And with the countless variations available—from monster stacks to boutique boxes—there are seemingly endless choices when it comes to selecting the right amp. We turned to five-time Grammy-winning guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer Steve Lukather... 

Mastering the Master

Mastering the Master
Mastering the Master A studio legend details the crucial final step in the recording process Between the final mix and the finished record lies a mysterious final step: mastering. But what is it? Why is it important? Is it necessary? In fact, mastering is vital to the recording process. Imagine having to lunge for the volume knob every time a new song came on the radio, each with a vastly different sound level. Or, consider why your favorite music... 

Art of the Pickup

Art of the Pickup
Art of the Pickup Get the inside scoop on picking the perfect pickup The key to a guitarist’s tone is the pickup—the unassuming device sitting underneath guitar strings that translates vibrations into sweet melodies and sonic fury. In fact, few pieces of gear have a greater impact on a guitar’s tone—and there are seemingly endless varieties to choose from. Some players soar with the stock units that came with their guitars, while others experiment... 

Pedal Power

Pedal Power
Pedal Power Guitar master Joe Bonamassa shoots from the hip about selecting the right effects pedal For a guitarist on a quest for the ultimate pedalboard setup, the sheer number of options can make any search downright bewildering. There’s a seemingly endless supply of cutting-edge digital varieties guaranteed to pack entire guitar rigs into a single pedal. But there are also plenty of vintage classics and even hand-built boutique rarities to... 

Open Rec

Open Rec
Open Rec Discover the essentials for creating a stellar home recording studio Over the past few decades, the home studio has gone from a novelty to an extravagance to a staple of modern recording. Today nearly anyone can capture pro-studio results without ever leaving their home. In fact, much of the music we hear every day began in repurposed basements or spare bedrooms. But with new production gear hitting the streets daily, outfitting a recording... 

Road Hazards

Road Hazards
Road Hazards From the glory of a spectacular show to the appreciation of screaming fans, there’s plenty of glamour to be found onstage. But after the last chord’s played and the show’s wrapped, a rather unglamorous process begins—load-out. But then again, what could be more vital than protecting your instruments and gear from the rigors of the road as they’re transported from gig to gig? Whether you’re a pro who relies on roadies or a... 

POSITIVE APP-TITUDE

POSITIVE APP-TITUDE
POSITIVE APP-TITUDE Discover what today’s mobile music-making apps can do for you Few technologies have revolutionized how musicians write, practice, perform and record music than Apple’s iOS platform. Since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010, software developers have harnessed the power of portable devices, creating a myriad of new and exciting creative paths for musicians. With thousands of apps to choose from and... 

String Theory

String Theory
String Theory Everything you need to know about finding the perfect guitar From B.B. King’s soaring vibrato to Jimmy Page’s heavy riffs and Tom Morello’s pulverizing solos, the electric guitar has formed the very foundation of rock and modern music for more than a half-century. But before you’re ready to extend the legacy of these six-string legends, you’ll need the right instrument. And selecting an electric guitar is no easy process,... 

AMPED UP

AMPED UP
AMPED UP Find the right amplifier with sound advice from guitar master Steve Lukather  When it comes to crafting the perfect sound, the amplifier is every bit as important as the guitar itself. And with the countless variations available—from monster stacks to boutique boxes—there are seemingly endless choices when it comes to selecting the right amp. We turned to five-time Grammy-winning guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer Steve Lukather... 

FALL GEAR – PRS

FALL GEAR – PRS
BIG BOTTOM BLISS PRS has released two affordable bass guitars that have players reconsidering their brand loyalties. The ash-bodied SE Kingfisher bass offers the fat and chest-pounding bottom end that jazz and R&B players dig. The alder-bodied SE Kestrel bass comes loaded with single-coil pickups and offers a bit more definition in the upper mids. Both feature extremely stable five-ply maple and walnut necks, and a two-way bridge allows for strings... 

AUDIX SCX25A MICROPHONE

AUDIX SCX25A MICROPHONE
AUDIX SCX25A MICROPHONE Phenomenal piano sound  Capturing piano is challenging especially during live performances. The Audix SCX25A-PS large diaphragm studio condenser mic kit we reviewed comes with a pair of SCX25As and two piano mounts that separate into mic clips. We found the SCX25As to be refreshingly flat in their frequency response without sounding dull, capturing the fullness of the instrument but not overaccentuating any particular range.... 

LIVE LESSONS

LIVE LESSONS
LIVE LESSONS Our experts reveal their strategies for achieving pristine live sound Sounding great live is every act’s goal—and it’s a challenge nearly all musicians face, from coffeehouse singer-songwriters to touring arena bands. Achieving perfect live sound can be complex, taking into account everything from room acoustics to microphone selection and placement, as well as the limitations of the house PA system. But with so many variables... 

COMMANDING THE MIX

COMMANDING THE MIX
COMMANDING THE MIX Nailing the right mix for your music takes skills, gear and discriminating ears  You’ve penned the perfect songs, recorded flawless tracks, and you’re well on your way to creating a masterpiece. But what about the mix? Snagging that ideal sonic blend can be tricky business, and the stakes are high. The right mix can mean the difference between fulfilling your dreams of revealing your musical brilliance to the world—or not. For... 

KEYS TO SUCCESS

KEYS TO SUCCESS
KEYS TO SUCCESS The world of keyboards is vast and complex, so how do you choose the right one for you?   From the classic analog synths of the ’70s to the cutting-edge digital workstations of today, keyboards have been an integral part of music for nearly half a century. Nearly every genre, including pop, rock and jazz, relies on keyboards in the studio and onstage as a mainstay instrument. And scoring and production for TV and film wouldn’t... 

Apogee One

Apogee One
Apogee One RECORDING ON THE GO The pocket-size Apogee One is a pro recording engineer’s Swiss army knife. Featuring Apogee’s world-class 24-bit/96 kHz digital converters and excellent input options, the redesigned Apogee One provides astonishing results to anyone recording on a laptop or iPad. A breakout cable provides inputs for mic and guitar, and the preamp provides up to 63 decibels of pristine gain. With two channels of simultaneous recording,... 

AIR Music Technology Loom and Vacuum Pro

AIR Music Technology Loom and Vacuum Pro
AIR Music Technology Loom and Vacuum Pro VIRTUAL INSPIRATION AIR Music Technology is offering a pair of soft synths—Loom and Vacuum Pro—that make in-the-box sound design a blast. First, there’s Loom, which takes all of the baffling elements of additive synthesis and distills them into 30 easy-to-use sound modules. These modules can be combined and manipulated to build amazing sounds. On the flip side, there’s Vacuum Pro, an old-school... 

Fender’s Pawn Shop Bass VI

Fender’s Pawn Shop Bass VI
Fender’s Pawn Shop Bass VI VINTAGE LOWS Fender’s Pawn Shop Bass VI is easily the most accessible recreation of the historic bass to hit the street. In its run from 1961 to 1975, the original Bass VI six-string, E-to-E baritone guitar found favor in the hands of Jack Bruce, George Harrison, and others looking to add exciting textures to their music. In that same spirit, Fender loaded the Pawn Shop Bass VI with a pair of Special Design Hot Jaguar... 

Avid S3L System

Avid S3L System
Avid S3L System SERIOUS LIVE SOUND Avid VENUE systems have been at the heart of some of the largest live sound rigs anywhere. But they’ve been priced out of reach for small and midsize venue operators until now. The Avid S3L System marries a 16-fader console with an E3 VENUE DSP engine and up to four Stage 16 Remote I/O boxes. The result is an incredibly portable live sound mixing system with powerful routing flexibility and onboard processing.... 

Tom Oberheim SEM with MIDI to CV Converter

Tom Oberheim SEM with MIDI to CV Converter
Tom Oberheim SEM with MIDI to CV Converter OLD-SCHOOL MEETS NEW When analog synthesis icon Tom Oberheim re-emerged on the scene with new SEM models, longtime synth lovers rejoiced. But the CV-only synth module was lost on modern MIDI-based rigs. Enter the updated Tom Oberheim SEM with MIDI to CV Converter. The two-oscillator synth module dishes out all of the old-school Oberheim tones, which can be triggered from any standard MIDI keyboard. What’s... 

Rupert Neve Designs 511

Rupert Neve Designs 511
Rupert Neve Designs 511 PREAMP WITH LEGACY Lots of gear claim to have some connection to the Neve legacy, but the 511 mic pre is one of the few 500 Series modules designed by Rupert Neve himself. Naturally clear and transparent, the Rupert Neve Designs 511 is an excellent match for any sound source. There’s the Portico 5012’s sweepable high-pass filter onboard, and when it’s time to kick in that timeless Neve mojo, just turn up the Silk/Texture... 

Lewitt MTP 340 CM

Lewitt MTP 340 CM
Lewitt MTP 340 CM LIVE STUDIO-CLARITY The Lewitt MTP 340 CM condenser microphone offers live singers studio-style vocal clarity. Its contoured frequency response focuses on the midrange that brings out the best in most vocal styles, while rolling off unwanted bass. In addition to its impressive SPL handling, there’s an internal pop filter that smoothes out harsh transients for an extra polished sound. And with its die-cast all-metal body and hardened... 

SOFTTUBE CONSULE 1

SOFTTUBE CONSULE 1
Softube’s Console 1 MIX WITH FEELING Softube’s Console 1 hybrid virtual mixing console system offers the flexibility of a plug-in with amazing tactile control—and provides powerful channel-strip processing with the analog workflow that only a hardware controller can. It’s a simple two-part system consisting of a channel strip plug-in and a dedicated hardware controller. With the plug-in activated on every track, the Console 1 hardware provides... 

ESP LTD MH-1000 EVERTUNE

ESP LTD MH-1000 EVERTUNE
ESP LTD MH-1000 EVERTUNE SET IT & FORGET IT ESP’s EverTune equipped instruments virtually eliminate the need for retuning. A partnership between ESP and EverTune has led to guitars—such as the ESP LTD MH-1000 EVERTUNE and LTD EC-1000 EVERTUNE—that feature the EverTune Bridge. It’s an all-mechanical, highly adjustable system that keeps string tension constant and intonation perfect across extended playing sessions—no matter how hard you... 

TASCAM DA-3000 – STUNNING RECORDING

TASCAM DA-3000 – STUNNING RECORDING
TASCAM DA-3000 STUNNING RECORDING  When absolute fidelity is vital, the TASCAM DA-3000 stereo DSD recorder is the last stop in any pro recording rig. The DA-3000 brings the stunning detail of Direct Stream Digital recording to down-to-earth recording setups. Built around the phenomenal digital converters from TASCAM’s acclaimed DA-RA1000HD recorder, the DA-3000 is capable of capturing 24-bit/192 kHz PCM or 1-bit/5.6 MHz DSD audio to inexpensive... 

SONY SOUND FORGE PRO 11

SONY SOUND FORGE PRO 11
SONY SOUND FORGE PRO 11 Next generation of editing and mastering  Sound Forge Pro 11—Sony’s latest version of their flagship recording application—offers a full step up for those who create, edit or mix in Windows. The workflow is nothing short of phenomenal. In-application tutorials do a sensational job of walking you through frequently used menus and windows. The massive time display and input meters allows tracking without having to sit... 

AUDIO-TECHNICA AT2020USB+

AUDIO-TECHNICA AT2020USB+
AUDIO-TECHNICA AT2020USB+ Pristine performance and USB connectivity The Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone combines the crystalline sound of the award-winning AT2020 with a host of features that make USB-based recording a treat. Perfect for tracking music and podcasts alike, the powered headphone circuit delivers crisp audio and features an external volume wheel. The Mix wheel makes it a snap to dial in the perfect blend between... 

STRING SWING FLAT-FOLDING GUITAR STAND

STRING SWING FLAT-FOLDING GUITAR STAND
STRING SWING FLAT-FOLDING GUITAR STAND Bridging security and portability String Swing has kept guitars safe for 25 years with an array of guitar hangers, and the Flat-Folding Guitar Stand is the latest addition to the company’s line. In the stowed position, both the acoustic and electric versions compress to a mere 1 1/2 inches in height. Unlike most stands on the market, they also sport a solid frame that folds into place, making it virtually roadie-proof.... 

KYSER RED BANDANA QUICK-CHANGE LIMITED EDITION CAPO

KYSER RED BANDANA QUICK-CHANGE LIMITED EDITION CAPO
KYSER RED BANDANA QUICK-CHANGE LIMITED EDITION CAPO Reliability with flair  Designed to make transposing instruments a one-handed, tuning-free affair, Kyser capos have been used for decades by players like Bruce Springsteen and Dwight Yoakam who have come to depend on their quality and design. Originally crafted as a custom piece, the limited edition Red Bandana Capo is guaranteed to dress up any guitar. Like all the capos in the Kyser line, the... 

TELEFUNKEN M80

TELEFUNKEN M80
TELEFUNKEN M80 Superior performance with dynamic convenience Featuring a wide frequency response, the M80 serves up condenser-like performance in a thin, rugged design. The head and capsule were designed to reduce proximity effect, resulting in a more consistent production experience regardless of venue. This was especially apparent in the studio when we miked our Fender Deluxe Reverb. Because of the broad range of frequencies this amp produces it’s... 
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