You've got your guitar, and a tune in your head. But you also imagine a particular tone you'd like your skull crushing rock epic to sound like. Your guitar is certainly a part of that overall sound, and your playing styles and techniques will certainly contribute. Ultimately, though, your amplifier is what will define your tone. The number of amplifier options and technologies involved seem endless, and can be confusing. How do you even begin looking? I'll try to help you find the amp that will deliver the sound you want.
on 02-05-201511:58 AM - last edited on 02-05-201501:27 PM by BBYMartin
When my children were younger, I remember my wife and I contemplating questions like: when is my child ready for music? and How can I make sure they’ll like it? Even though we’re both classically trained pianists and I write and produce music for a living, we STILL grappled with these questions! Well I'm going to try to give all parents some answers. In addition to my own perspective on this subject, I bounced a few ideas off Jennifer Gasoi (2014 Grammy Award Winner- Best Children’s Album). She obviously has some fantastic insights and tips. You’ll see her perspective liberally peppered throughout this post.
on 01-25-201503:30 PM - last edited on 01-26-201511:52 AM by BBYMartin
Another NAMM show has come to a close and while all the exhibitors contemplate packing up their booths, I'm reflecting on all that I've seen over the past few days. There weren't any show-stopping standout announcements this year, but there was a lot to see!
on 01-25-201501:41 PM - last edited on 01-26-201511:58 AM by BBYMartin
Like most of you in the home and project studio game, I like to read the trade magazines and gear review sites frequently. I'm a firm believer in the "it's-not-about-the-gear" mantra, but hey, if money weren't an object...
on 01-25-201512:00 PM - last edited on 01-26-201512:03 PM by BBYMartin
Akai terms their Advance line of controllers as "unprecedented" plug-in control. The 49-note version that I played with came pretty close to the mark. I can see its potential as a studio and live situation controller that, once you adjust your workflow, will help you organize, recall and control all of your software synths and effects.
on 01-25-201511:15 AM - last edited on 01-26-201504:31 PM by BBYMartin
Don't be intimidated by the long, complicated name of this product, it should just be called "fun". The Korg Kaoss line of X-Y instruments and controllers has been around for over a decade and they've all been noteworthy tools in electronic music production. This is the smallest version I've seen and it has a lot going for it.
on 01-25-201510:21 AM - last edited on 01-26-201504:05 PM by BBYMartin
In the crowded market of digital pianos, it's hard to stand out. The Casio PX-760 seems to accomplish just that feat with a feature-rich package that impresses but at the same time, doesn't intimidate.
on 01-24-201511:56 PM - last edited on 01-26-201504:36 PM by BBYMartin
Saturday is always the busiest day (and night) at NAMM - as you can see by the crowd waiting to get in. The weekend brings out a lot of local people who couldn't make it the last two days and/or folks looking to spot artists roaming the floors. We didn't have any specific appointments to hit today, so I took the opportunity to just walk around and see what I could find.
on 01-24-201506:00 PM - last edited on 01-26-201504:41 PM by BBYMartin
Saturday was a-buzz with artist endorsement and demonstrations. That came with the obvious lines and crowds huddled around the booths to the displeasure of convention centre security. NAMM sometimes becomes a game of "Do I know him/her?".
on 01-24-201504:40 PM - last edited on 01-26-201504:48 PM by BBYMartin
It wasn't really until today that I saw something that made me literally stop and backup.
Zildjian is famous for its cymbals and has an artist endorsement list that goes on forever. These cymbals not only look different, but the display also encouraged you to listen to them through headphones.
on 01-24-201502:28 PM - last edited on 01-26-201504:49 PM by BBYMartin
The XW-J1 DJ Controller for your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad is ideally suited to mixing music and videos. The controller is equipped with the latest functions and a number of effects, so even beginners can use it intuitively for successful performances.
As the controller is compatible with iOS, Mac and Windows, the product offers functions that are coordinated with the popular djay and vjay app from Algoriddim and Deckadance from Image-Line.
on 01-24-201511:00 AM - last edited on 01-26-201504:53 PM by BBYMartin
Shure has introduced a line of products for the portable or desktop recordist who doesn't want to deal with lots of gear with bells and whistles. The new MOTIV line microphone solutions aren't just re-issues of existing products, they've designed new products that have a cool retro feel and a feature-set that is just right.
on 01-24-201510:15 AM - last edited on 01-26-201505:05 PM by BBYMartin
Yamaha introduces a new category of mixers with their AG line. The AG03 and AG06 are hybrid mixing consoles and USB audio interfaces for web/podcasting, gaming audio, and music production. This new approach to mixers eliminates the need for software by putting all the control at your fingertips.
on 01-24-201509:40 AM - last edited on 01-26-201505:04 PM by BBYMartin
The one stand-out customer request that IK Multimedia has had to wrestle with over the past few years is releasing the fantastic products that are enjoyed on iOS devices for Android devices. This year, they've been able to deliver upon that request!
on 01-24-201507:39 AM - last edited on 01-26-201505:00 PM by BBYMartin
As with any NAMM, there are artist endorsements and demonstrations galore. Just look for a crowd around a booth and there's probably somebody you know sitting there talking or playing an instrument. Saturday (today) is usually when they come out in force, but yesterday proved to be fruitful.
on 01-24-201501:26 AM - last edited on 01-26-201504:57 PM by BBYMartin
Today was busy! Even the exhibitors on the floor thought it was busy. The weather was fantastic (although I only caught a glimpse of it on the walk to the Annaheim Convention Centre), there were some artists spotted and some cool new gear discovered by yours truly.
on 01-24-201512:25 AM - last edited on 01-26-201511:48 AM by BBYMartin
Even though I've been here before, NAMM is exciting, overwhelming, thrilling and exhausting. The first day was a hit-the-ground-running experience even though my brain and gear-geek self were asking my body and schedule to slow down. My francophone co-hort (Marc-Andre) and I caught up on each others' past year, took a spin through the exhibit floor, saw a lot of new and familiar faces and, most importantly, took lots of photos, videos and notes on lots of interesting things!
on 01-22-201504:00 PM - last edited on 01-22-201504:39 PM by BBYMartin
A decade ago, I probably wouldn't have recommended digital pianos to anyone looking to purchase one for learning the instrument. These days, given the advances in technology and relative prices, I'd say they're something that one needs to seriously consider. They're a great option for the modern family who want to start learning and enjoying the instrument.
on 01-22-201512:33 PM - last edited on 01-22-201505:01 PM by BBYMartin
Of all the products that Casio has announced this year, I've seen much-a-buzz about the new "Millennium Falcon" controller - aka the XW-PD1. And with good reason! There is a lot packed into this little package.
The NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Show is the biggest annual showcase of musical technology and innovation. This year's show runs from January 22nd to January 25th. Best Buy and Casio have sent two writers to Anaheim to bring you articles, photos and videos of the excitement. This post will be updated throughout the show with links to all of our coverage.
on 01-16-201511:26 AM - last edited on 01-16-201503:07 PM by BBYMartin
The Fender DG-60 dreadnought acoustic guitar will soon be available at Best Buy. I’ll come out and say it—this is a great guitar for the price. If asked to recommend something for a beginner or as a small-gig instrument, I’d put the DG-60 on the list for sure. It has a nice look and feel coupled with great playability and a brighter tone that fills the room.
Christmas time should be a time of joy and happiness for everyone - including the musician on your list. Let me tell you from experience, that coffee cup with musical symbols and that piano keyboard scarf are NOT what he or she will be happy to see on Christmas morning. Never fear, I’ve got some ideas from the Best Buy selection that will bring a smile to that muse’s face this December.
on 11-17-201412:19 PM - last edited on 11-17-201412:34 PM by BBYMartin
The musical instrument selection at Best Buy has grown yet again and this time, it’s expanded into the band instrument realm. A selection of entry-level brass and woodwind instruments have arrived for the budding musician in you or your family.
byBBYMartin10-01-201411:00 AM - edited 10-02-201401:55 PM
International Music Day is on October 1st and Best Buy wants to celebrate with musicians and music lovers across Canada. Best Buy is encouraging you to share YouTube links to music you have created with the rest of the country in a comment on its Facebook page. This is a great way to showcase your talent and boost the views to your performances on YouTube. Each eligible Facebook comment also counts as an entry to win a selection of recording equipment worth approximately $1000 from Best Buy. Read on for more details
on 09-18-201401:57 PM - last edited on 09-18-201404:59 PM by BBYMartin
The iLoud Studio Monitor Speakeris a small package that can pack a hefty little punch. It's meant for listening to music like other wireless speakers, but it also has special features. If you're a musician looking for a small keyboard amp or software-driven guitar amp, or if you need to check mixes on the go to make sure they'll translate well to other systems, the iLoud has you covered.
Welcome to the Plug-in Blog!
Get the latest news, reviews and how-to’s from tech enthusiasts across Canada and learn how technology can enhance your lifestyle. Looking to eliminate techno stress? You've come to the right place!