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Gear: May 2011

| April 29, 2011

RockBoom Keychain Speaker

ChicBuds made its name selling earbuds for girls in 2006, and though the female demographic is their target audience, they’ve finally found a speaker with the ball(s) to appeal to their male audience.

The RockBoom Keychain Speaker fits nicely on your keyring with a USB-rechargeable speaker that connects to any PC or Mac. With its mini stereo jack and 2-watt amplification, it offers some of the best distortion-free sound we’ve heard in a speaker this size, compared to competing speakers we’ve used from Maxell and iHome. We connected our speaker to both our Mac at the office and an iPod while traveling on our IE commute on I-290, and the RockBoom was able to cut through highway road noise without any difficulty, offering clean sound without connecting bulky power cables and speaker wires. Just be reminded that speakers this size don’t offer any noticeable bass reproduction. As with any mini speaker, low frequencies are not its strong suit. RockBoom comes in two manly colors: “Blue Water” which is a rich cobalt blue that is textured to look wet with water droplets, and “Grey Crackle” that looks weathered and cracked, “just like a sweet pair of jeans,” according to the company. RockBoom’s big advantage is you don’t need to keep feeding it AAA batteries week after week; it comes with a built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery, that offered about three-and-a-half hours of music play on a single charge. That’s a little less speaker time than the four hours claimed by ChicBuds, but we were driving the speaker pretty hard with the new Beady Eye album and an hour of sports talk on The Score .

If you’re looking for a portable powered speaker for the beach this summer, or a quick listen while playing back your new demo, ChicBuds has come up with an effective and inexpensive ($29.99) solution with their RockBoom Keychain Speaker. For more info, visit

iElectribe Gorillaz Edition
IPad App

Korg‘s new Gorillaz iPad App is unique because it breaks down barriers in music making, buy 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 mash-ups.

Blur founder Damon Albarn and fellow Gorilla Jamie Hewlett‘s new album, The Fall, is notable for being recorded entirely on Albarn’s Apple 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.

“The aggressive sound, unique functionality, and intuitive beat-building style of the Korg Electribe series made it a favorite of Gorillaz for The Fall,” according to Korg, “while retaining the intuitive beat-making features of the iElectribe, the special Gorillaz Edition has been customized to generate samples from the The Fall, allowing the user to create music in a wide variety of musical styles.” With its interactive capability, the tool will enable 10,000 fans to offer their own take on Gorillaz’s new album. The iElectribe Gorillaz Edition features a unique design and synthesizer engine including 128 new sounds created by Gorillaz, and 64 ready-to-use pre-programmed patterns by the team of Gorillaz, producer Stephen Sedgwick, and Korg. Vist for details

News And Notes

If it’s May, it must mean it’s time for the Texas Guitar Show (May 14th and 15th) and the Rebeats Drum Show (May 21st and 22nd). Both shows will return to their normal locations in the western suburbs. The Guitar Show arrives at the DuPage Expo Center in St. Charles and the Drum Show at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles.

— David Gedge


Category: Columns, Gear, Monthly

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