Concord Music Hall
Live Nation
Lovers Lane

Gear: January 2012

| December 31, 2011 | 0 Comments

Of the dozens of musical gadgets we preview and review every year, a few stand out as “the best of best.” As we look back at 2011, we present Gear’s best of, uh . . . Gear!

EMG
JH Set Guitar Pickups

•June 2011

Metallica founder and frontman James Hetfield brought out his all-new heavy artillery (is there any other kind?) on the North American leg of the Big 4 tour by debuting his new EMG JH Set pickups.
The JH Set was designed with the sole input of Hetfield, which is a new experience for the company – as they usually share ideas with multiple designers. Hetfield wanted to craft a humbucker pickup that with a “stealth” design “that captures the clarity and punch of a passive pickup and still retains the legendary active tone that molded a generation,” according to EMG.

Korg
iElectribe Gorillaz Edition iPad App

•May 2011

Korg’s new Gorillaz iPad App is unique because it breaks down barriers in music making, by allowing bands to release music in two platforms: traditional CDs and through apps that allow fans to interact with the artist about potential future remixes and mashups. Blur founder Damon Albarn and fellow Gorilla Jamie Hewlett’s new album, The Fall, is notable for being recorded entirely on Albarn’s iPad. Fittingly, Korg and Gorillaz have teamed up to offer the special iElectribe Gorillaz Edition for a limited run of 10,000 units at $9.99 a pop. The program was designed for Gorillaz fans to choose an instrument and quickly build a groove in its 16-step sequencer. And freakout like the cartoons they want to be.

Nady Systems
AxeHead Portable Guitar Amp

•November 2011

Despite a flurry of portable guitar-amp apps aimed at iPhone and Android users, Nady Systems believes its new AxeHead portable amp has a place in your pocket.

The pocket-sized AxeHead plugs directly into your guitar or bass for instant, pro-sounding tone. It’s a practice tool that eliminates the need for a larger-sized amp or effects unit. Players can listen through headphones (not included) and crank it up like Mom and Dad ain’t never coming home.

AxeHead’s built-in amp simulation allows you to tailor your tone from ultra-clean to heavy distortion. With virtually no setup involved, you can sound like you’re onstage at Metro while jamming in your bedroom, office, or dorm. Early adopters have also said it’s also great for warming up discreetly for a gig.

Set up is easy: just plug and play. An 1/8-inch Aux input jack connects to your MP3 player, CD player, or any compatible audio source so you can hear accompanying music while playing.

Roland
GR-55 Guitar Synthesizer

•April 2011

Since its birth in the mid-’70s, the guitar synthesizer has taken the long road to respectability. Brave, early adapters were troubled by technical glitches and Moog-like novelty tones, more aligned to experimental music than mainstream sounds. In the last 10 years, Roland has been the leader in breaking barriers to make the guitar synth a more natural-sounding instrument. The GR-55 delivers exceptional tracking performance, aligning guitar tone, and synth tone while simultaneously powered by two independent synthesizer sound engines loaded with more than 900 of Roland’s onboard sounds, including pianos, organs, strings, vintage and modern synths, percussion, and many more. The GR-55 allows players to combine all three sound engines plus their guitar’s normal input to create any sound from the familiar to novelty tones.

Seagate
Goflex Satellite Portable Wireless Hard Drive

•December 2011

The Goflex Satellite is an idea that’s been years in the making. It’s a pocket-sized hard drive that can connect to any mobile device including cell phones, laptops, desktop computers, and tablets that are wi-fi connectable. Seagate has opened a way to store music and movies and also lets you stream your files when you get the urge. Most importantly to “Gear” readers, users can download music files (e.g., ProTools files) from the home-studio setup. On paper it’s a great idea, but as a first-generation model, Seagate has some gremlins.

Category: Columns, Gear, Monthly

About the Author ()

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.