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Gear: October 2012

Steve Vai
Ocean Way Mic Locker App

With Apple’s new iPhone 5 release flooding stores this month, the timing is right for guitarist/composer Steve Vai (in collaboration with acclaimed microphone expert Allen Sides and Metal Sidecar, LLC) to release the Ocean Way Microphone Locker App. The company calls it an “indispensable and vital tool for any musician or recording engineer who is looking to pair the right microphone with the right instrument and how to use it.”

The app contains a comprehensive list of microphones and instruments, giving diagrams and specs on each mic. Vai’s head designer for the app is Sides, known in many circles as the world’s leading authority on vintage and modern recording microphones and their uses. Sides owns the world’s premier microphone collection. He is also the owner of Ocean Way and Record One recording studios in California and has a 40-year career as a Grammy-winning engineer who has worked with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Green Day. The app is available for iPad and iPhone, with a cost of $9.99.

Roland
VT-12 Vocal Trainer

With reality shows like “American Idol,” and “The Voice,” dominating television and the interwebs these days, now seems like a good time for Roland to announce its VT-12 Vocal Trainer, a compact practice and warm-up tool for vocalists.

The VT-12 offers a visual pitch display, built-in exercises, backing tracks, and two-voice support. It tracks a singer’s pitch and displays it in real time in half-step increments with an illuminated pitch meter that brightens as they approach the correct pitch and darkens as they move further away. A guide tone (there’s over a range of 24 semitones) can also be played with a button press to help singers identify the correct pitch.

An onboard metronome allows singers to develop their timing skills, with options for manual entry of the desired tempo or real-time entry with the tap tempo function. “The Review” feature is great for self-evaluation, letting the user record their singing and listen back with the VT-12′s built-in speaker or through headphones.
The VT-12 also features a companion book by Anne Peckham, a vocal professor at Boston’s Berklee College of Music.

It also offers ten user tracks that allow singers to easily record songs from an external music player like an iPod and store them in the VT-12 for vocal practice. Each user track provides 10 minutes of recording time. Singers can employ a review feature with user tracks to record their voice along with the music to evaluate their performance.
The VT-12 is available in three colors: black, aqua blue, and metallic orange. MSRP is listed at $99. For more information, visit RolandConnect.com.

News & Notes

Downers Grove-based Tobias Music is holding its annual Taylor Roadshow and “Find Your Fit” Sale the weekend of Oct. 20 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and 21 (at the Tivoli Theatre, 1 p.m.).

Tobias is inviting guitarists to “come hang out with the representatives from Taylor Guitars, on both days.” Owners Paul and Ken Tobias are encouraging guitarists “to test drive one of the most dazzling displays of Taylor Guitars ever assembled.” Almost 100 Taylor’s will be available. All Road Show guitars will be available at “Road Show” prices.

The main event, The Roadshow will be held on Sunday, Oct. 21 at the Tivoli Theatre in downtown Downers Grove. Doors open at 1 p.m.; show starts at 2 p.m. (The Chicago Bears play Monday night that week!) Special guests include Mike Ausman from Taylor Guitars and West Coast recording artist and TV personality Marc Seal. Admission is FREE. For more details visit tobiasmusic.com or see their ad in this issue.

– David Gedge

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