on 03-04-201611:38 AM - last edited on 03-04-201602:00 PM by BBYMartin
The Yamaha P-115B is a great choice to consider in the ever popular sub-$1,000 digital piano market. It has all the essential features, very good sound and comes in a convenient footprint for those looking to acquire a piano, but not the size and inconvenience.
It never hurts to model a new guitar offering after a classic played by one of the instrument’s greatest heroes. And so it is with Fender’s new Hendrix Stratocaster. Based on the guitar used by the game changing innovator of the six-string, this may just be the Fender you’ve always been waiting for.
We are all familiar with the iconic DJ scratching away on vinyl, as the art of turntablism grew these DJ would create more complex routines using just vinyl records, turntables and a mixer. Over time with the move away from vinyl to digital, all these complex mixing routines have now moved onto the computer, to be controlled via DJ controllers. One of the big names in digital DJ controllers is Hercules and this year at NAMM 2016 they had some new hardware to show off, the Hercules P32 DJ controller and the DJUCED 40 3.0 software.
Ever evolving technologies is putting unrivalled control and affordability in the hands of regular consumers and hobby music recording techs. IK Multimedia has been at the forefront of this in recent years and with their introduction of the iRig Acoustic and iRig Pro Duo devices, they are giving users the option to play and record their musical ideas without being tethered to a desktop computer (although they will work with those too).
ESP guitars has previewed its new lineup of guitars including offerings from the ESP, ESP E-II, and LTD lines. There are new artist signature series models as well as new and updated guitars and basses to whet your appetite and ensure that 2016 is a year where ESP is sure to have exactly what you want just waiting for you to pick it up.
If you have ever been in a DJ booth at a club chances are you would have seen a DJM-900NXS and some CDJ-2000NXS’s. This mixer and CDJs respectively have become industry standards and have rocked numerous clubs and some of the largest musical festivals in the world. This year Pioneer has launched at NAMM 2016, the remastered version of their flagship products with the CDJ-2000NXS2 Professional Multi Player & DJM-900NXS2 profession mixer.
The Marshall name is synonymous with tube amplification and loud gritty rock music. In 2010 Marshall took an exploratory foray into digital modelling with the JMD line but for the most part has remained on the outside of this hotly contested field. That is likely to change with the introduction of the CODE series at NAMM 2016.
Gigging musicians that use iPads as their notation display rather than traditional paper-based music, consistently come across the problem of turning pages or scrolling while both hands are occupied. iRig BlueTurn is a simple Bluetooth solution to the problem - two soft illuminated footswitches to be operated by your feet.
on 01-22-201603:08 PM - last edited on 01-22-201603:13 PM by BBYMartin
IK Multimedia has always been able to come out with products for the mobile musician and audio engineer. The iLoud Micro Monitor joins a line of loudspeakers that further support that market. The speakers are incredibly small, but boast a feature set that is usually found in larger, more expensive studio monitors.
on 01-22-201610:08 AM - last edited on 02-12-201604:53 PM by BBYMartin
You can always count on Roland to announce products at NAMM that garner a second look. They've created quite a little buzz around a couple of new offerings that Best Buy is planning on carrying: The FP-30 Digital Piano and the Roland Boutique Series are going to have people talking for a while.
Now that 2016 is here, it’s time to honour all those resolutions you made when the clock struck midnight. There’s no better time than the present, but don’t worry, we’re here to give you some support in keeping those promises. So, if your New Year’s resolution was to learn a new skill, read on for how to actually make it happen in 2016.
Arguably offering the most flexibility and ease of control, a Multi Effects unit is a guitarist’s compact answer to altering their guitar sound. In this blog I will discuss how they work, what they offer, and recap all of your options when it comes to your search for that elusive tone that will ultimately define your playing.
Notions of vanity aside, if Shakespeare were alive today I believe that he’s be a guitar player and he’d agree with me that ESP makes some of the most aesthetically pleasing guitars in the world. That is only part of the equation, however, as the playability and tones produced are virtually unrivalled. In this blog I take a look at the ESP USA Eclipse and the ESP E-II M-II. Beauties indeed.
The M-Audio BX5 and the Yamaha HS5 studio monitors boast similar studio-level features and specs. They both pack a nice size : punch ratio. You can't go wrong with either of these little guys. I took them both for a spin, put them head to head and jotted down my thoughts.
In this blog, part 3 of a series looking at the wide variety of guitar effects pedals, the focus shifts to “pedals that modulate”. This grouping of pedals includes the chorus, flange, phase, vibrato, and tremolo pedals and I will discuss the differences between these as well as suggest some of the ways that you can use them in your effects chain to help you get the sounds you are looking for.
byBBYMartin11-17-201508:59 AM - edited 11-24-201504:28 PM
Best Buy has some amazing contests throughout the year. We just had a massive toy contest with over $5000 worth of the best toys available in 2015. This contest is just as impressive since the prize is a unique, limited edition guitar. What’s so unique? For one thing it is signed by the amazing Stephen Carpenter, guitarist extraordinaire. For another thing, it has 7 strings! Enter for your chance to win this awesome instrument!
byNikolaiGTR11-13-201511:33 AM - edited 02-02-201609:35 AM
With the ever-growing popularity of home-recording and podcasting, the range of microphones is getting wider and wider. So much, that some manufacturers have started to focus on the style and packaging of their products to stand out. Enter Neat microphones—Gibson’s latest division led by the great people that brought us the beloved Blue mics. For this blog entry, I’m reviewing the bee colony themed Bumblebee and Beecaster, as well as the futuristic Widget A and C.
A guitar and an amplifier, while clearly the most important ingredients in live performing, are but two of the components in this stew. While recipes differ from player to player, this is the core set of requirements that live players require as well as those extra little things that while not requisite, are certainly appreciated. In this blog I will go over some of the accessories that can make your performance truly shine by relieving stress and providing a helping hand when one is needed.
Considering buying guitar effect pedals can be a daunting task. With a myriad of different brands, copious advertising that seems to make impossible claims, and multiple effects and their variants it can be overwhelming to sort through. In this blog I will give you a brief overview of what various guitar pedals are intended to do and help you sift through to a general understanding that should help clear the path.
If your first question is “Why would I need a guitar pedal?” then your next question invariably is “what do they do anyway?” In this blog I will lay out the different types of guitar effect pedals and begin by looking at pedals that boost and distort. I will explain what they ultimately do to your guitar’s sound so you can get a better idea of when and why you may want to invest in one (or eight).
on 10-30-201502:59 PM - last edited on 02-12-201604:54 PM by BBYMartin
Yamaha has packed a lot into this instrument aimed at getting people to learn and enjoy playing music. If you or you have someone in your family who looks like they’re itching to let their inner muse out, then with the PSR E253, you’ve got a very cost effective start to realizing that dream.
There’s a lot to like and very few nits to pick with the Shure MOTIV line. Following up on my review of the MV88, I got to take the rest of the MOTIV line (MV5, MV51 and MVi) for a spin. These made-for-portable-recording devices are well designed, rugged and will get the job done... and get it done well.
on 10-14-201501:04 PM - last edited on 10-14-201502:46 PM by BBYMartin
The M-Audio Studiophile line attempts to straddles that edge between high-performing computer speakers and entry-level studio monitors. Their size is large when compared to desktop computer speakers, but small when compared to studio monitors. The AV 30’s features go beyond traditional computer speakers and approach those of studio monitors. These speakers have decent sound, can deliver a good punch and, in the end, are something to consider for even the most budget-conscious. If you’re looking for some good sound for your gaming, music or videos on your computer, then the AV 30’s are worth a listen.
The Yamaha FG720S dreadnaught style acoustic guitar and the APX500III electric acoustic feel, play, and sound like guitars well above their price points. In this blog I look at and play both of these guitars that prove cheap pricing doesn't mean cheap craftsmanship or cheap sound.
on 10-08-201504:14 PM - last edited on 10-15-201501:22 PM by BBYMartin
Shure is a foundation brand in the microphone and pro-audio realm. Their foray into USB and now iOS compatible microphones was inevitable and they've come up with a new line that sets a very high standard. I'm going to be sad to see this microphone go back once this post is published. It's a small little device, but surprises you with its features, capabilities and above all, sound quality.
on 10-08-201504:12 PM - last edited on 10-08-201504:49 PM by BBYMartin
Yamaha has evolved their near-field monitor line through the years—beginning with the "industry standard" NS10's back in the 1980's and arriving at the latest HS series today. The HS5's are small, but they pack a lot of performance and value into their diminutive size. I had the chance to put them through their paces in my studio for a few days and found them to be a small dark horse that defied my expectations.
Boss answers the boutique pedal manufacturers by releasing 2 new (old) pedals under their WAZA Craft branding that retain their original analogue warmth while adding some nifty new features. The Boss DM-2W Delay and the Boss SD-1W Super Overdrive are re-imagined for the modern guitarist. In this blog I will talk about their hallowed predecessors, compare them to this new iteration, and put them through their paces to see how kind time has been.
Almost all major guitar manufacturers now carry at least two brands of guitar under their umbrella. You have the one “name” brand that is the premiere flagship brand and then a less expensive brand that makes more affordable versions of the classics. Gibson Guitars has the Epiphone brand, ESP has LTD, and Fender has Squier. And while these guitars are more affordable than their famous brothers, that doesn’t mean that they don’t play and sound great, especially considering their price points. This blog will look at two Squier Stratocasters and discuss playability, sound, and value.
As technology advances it often makes the things we want to do easier, quicker, and more efficient. It can also make things significantly more confusing. As we continue to add peripheral devices in our music making lives, you may notice as I did, that similar looking cords and cables are not always created for the same tasks. TS vs. TRS or Balanced vs. Unbalanced are just two of the differences we encounter when we look to buy or upgrade our music related cables. In this blog I will do my best to try and explain, as I understand, some of these differences so that getting the connections you need is less of a chore than it need be and you can get it right the first time.
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!