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.
Best Buy is making musical dreams come true in many ways. First with their huge selection of instruments available anywhere in Canada online and in store. Then there are the 6 Best Buy stores that offer guitar, piano and drum lessons. And finally they arranged a surprise for one of their drum students recently: the band "Theory of a Deadman" dropped in on his lesson at the Barrie Best Buy store. They offered a few tips and tricks and a whole lot of inspiration!
on 06-24-201403:33 PM - last edited on 06-25-201408:57 AM by BBYMartin
The goal of a studio monitor is to represent audio in the most accurate, uncoloured form it can. That being said, all speakers colour sound to some degree. Monitor speakers are designed to be as flat as possible whereas it’s assumed that consumer or Hi-Fi speakers enhance aspects of the frequency spectrum.
A pair of monitor speakers are going to be your best friend. Regardless of whether you record, edit, mix or master audio, your studio monitors will determine how well your work translates to … well, pretty well everything else out there: car audio systems, TV’s, headphones and earbuds.
on 05-21-201401:12 PM - last edited on 05-26-201401:39 PM by BBYMartin
I was both excited and skeptical when I heard that Roland was releasing the F-20. I was excited because of the sub-$1,000 price point for a weighted-action, 88-note digital piano. I was skeptical for the same reasons.
The appeal of a digital piano is unmistakable – especially for families who want to start piano lessons, but are hesitant to invest in an expensive instrument. The Roland F-20 seems to make the commitment to music a bit less painful.
on 04-24-201411:56 AM - last edited on 06-25-201409:03 AM by BBYMartin
Any meaningful discussion with an recording engineer will inevitably morph into a discussion about microphones. Just as a closet full of shoes is never enough for a lot of the women I’ve known, a closet full of microphones is rarely ever enough for most recording engineers.
There are a lot of different types of microphones and there are a many, many brands, shapes and sizes to pick from. I hope to at least get you started with a road-map of what to look for in microphones and I apologize in advance for setting you on this path! If you’re set on recording as a hobby or career, there’s a very good chance that you’re going to get slightly obsessed with microphones.
on 04-20-201402:26 PM - last edited on 06-04-201401:49 PM by BBYMartin
It was really only a matter of time before Fender would introduce USB connectivity to their Stratocaster line.
Why would you want to have a USB port on your guitar?
It really comes down to convenience. By putting a small USB port (and an A/D converter) in your guitar, the guitar signal is digitized locally and then transmitted to your computer (or other device) over a USB cable.
The guitar retains all its standard analog capabilities BUT outputs to USB as well.
on 04-15-201401:40 PM - last edited on 05-14-201402:51 PM by BBYMartin
If, like most home or project studio owners, you’ve opted to use a computer as the center of your studio, then you’ll most likely be hearing a lot about audio interfaces.
For the typical home user, the sound card on your computer is just fine. Unfortunately, for a studio owner, you’ll very quickly find that the onboard sound system is inadequate for your needs. They’re typically noisy, they lack inputs and outputs you’ll most likely need and they can be inefficient in the way they translate analog and digital audio.
That’s where audio interfaces come into the picture. An audio interface is a piece of dedicated hardware that you connect to your computer. In the most basic sense, the interface is the audio middleman between you (the real world) and the computer.
on 04-08-201410:54 AM - last edited on 05-14-201402:45 PM by BBYMartin
For the vast majority of home studio owners, the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software is the control center of their studio. The DAW is the program that allows you to create, record, edit and arrange audio.
Picking one that fits your needs can be a confusing tornado of options, features and opinion. Which one do you chose?
on 04-01-201402:29 PM - last edited on 05-14-201402:41 PM by BBYMartin
How are you going to be using your studio?
The answers to this question will set you on a path to figuring out what you might need to start your journey in recording. There are many, many different configurations of gear that can be assembled into a studio. Which configuration fits your needs best?
on 03-24-201409:53 PM - last edited on 05-14-201402:38 PM by BBYMartin
Home recording technology seems to get better and cheaper with every passing moment. What you can achieve in your spare room or home studio today was only in the realm of high-priced professional installations a dozen years ago. The problem you've probably already encountered is that there is a LOT of information out there. I'm going to try and break things down into manageable chunks. I'll walk you through some concepts you should be familiar with and touch on some gear that you may or may not want to consider.
on 03-20-201403:47 PM - last edited on 03-20-201405:26 PM by BBYMartin
If you name any prominent rock guitarist, there’s a pretty good chance that they have played or do play a Gibson guitar. Gibson has a long history as an instrument maker and is celebrating their 120th anniversary this year.
To mark the 120th year milestone, Gibson has released their 2014 models with features that help with playability and look great too.
on 03-13-201411:58 AM - last edited on 04-17-201403:52 PM by BBYJuby
In June of 2013, Roland announced a revamp of their popular CUBE line of guitar amplifiers. The CUBE line has been around since 1978 and has been the bread and butter of many practice and recording sessions. Randy Rhoads, Joe Walsh and Ritchie Kotzen are some of the artists who have used the amplifiers in the studio and on stage.
Roland has been a solid brand in the music industry for decades. The CUBE line of amplifiers has a great history and has served many guitarists well. Of all the smaller practice amps out there, I have to admit that the offerings from the CUBE line sure look cool. From what I heard from them at NAMM, they also SOUND great too.
on 01-26-201405:55 PM - last edited on 03-13-201408:57 AM by BBYMartin
From what I understand, Best Buy and ESP are negotiating an exclusive model of their guitars that you can only get through Best Buy. Unfortunately, I can't share any details about that deal at this point in time.
However, I took a spin through the ESP booth today and was left speechless by what I saw. There are some beautifully crafted guitars hanging on the walls throughout the booth. The folks at ESP obviously like building guitars and are very creative .... to the extreme! To placate your interest, take a look at the photos of the models we found there...
on 01-26-201402:30 PM - last edited on 03-13-201409:00 AM by BBYMartin
Gibson showed us some truly beautiful guitars in the Melody Maker and SG lines. They are celebrating their 120th anniversary this year and have added some really tasteful extras to their lines to celebrate.
What I really found exciting was the Min-ETune feature hardware that Gibson demonstrated to us. Will this be the end of manual tuning?
on 01-26-201412:36 AM - last edited on 01-27-201410:21 AM by BBYMartin
While we've been at NAMM, we've been hearing about the dreaded Saturday crush from the vendors and NAMM ventrans we've talked to. Up until today, it's been fairly easy to navigate the aisles between the booths. You might get the odd small crowd gathering around a performance, but nothing that would put you out.
Today, the artists showed up for their endorsement deals obligations and the crowds followed.
on 01-25-201405:52 PM - last edited on 01-27-201401:47 PM by BBYMartin
The Fender booth was a treat for us. Why wouldn't anyone like strolling through a large room full of iconic guitars, basses and amps.
There are some new things from Fender that will please both their established clientelle as well as their new ones. We got treated to a look at a few of the treats that Fender has in store for Strat lovers.
on 01-25-201405:30 PM - last edited on 01-27-201410:24 AM by BBYMartin
The Fender booth was a treat for us. Why wouldn't anyone like strolling through a large room full of iconic guitars, basses and amps.
There are some new things from Fender that will please both their established clientelle as well as their new ones. We got treated to a look at a couple of the Fender Amps that will be carried by Best Buy.
on 01-25-201401:20 AM - last edited on 01-27-201410:27 AM by BBYMartin
In the midst of all the blinking lights and touch-screens, I've been pleasantly surprised to find some really beautiful workmanship. Not just injection molded plastic and brushed metal, but wood and other natural materials crafted into instruments that I'd be extremely pleased to handle and play.
A stop by the Tanglewood booth prooved to be one of those times.
on 01-24-201407:19 PM - last edited on 01-27-201410:28 AM by BBYMartin
Shure Microphones are dependable and solid. They make arguably the most popular dynamic mics. Model Numbers like the SM7B, SM57 and SM58 are the bread and butter of any major studios' microphone closet.
Shure has some great new offerings for not only the professional musician and studio owner, but the home studio owner and weekend warrior.
on 01-24-201404:27 PM - last edited on 01-24-201404:34 PM by BBYMartin
Yamaha's got a lot to offer! In the last post, I talked about seeing the THR series of guitar amplifiers in action. I'll cover off the rest of our stay at the Yamaha booth - digital pianos, analog mixers, studio monitors, bass guitars and electronic drums. Not too much to cover...
Yamaha has a LOT of instruments and gear in its catalog. I mean a LOT. When you take into consideration all the acoustic band, orchestral AND contemporary instruments and gear, it's no wonder they book the entire ballroom at the Anaheim Marriott for themselves. We got a peak at some of the offerings that Yamaha has - we had a lot of fun doing it too.
on 01-24-201408:25 AM - last edited on 01-27-201411:03 AM by BBYMartin
It's only been one day at the NAMM show in Anaheim California, but I've been seeing a couple of themes recurring as I walk among the booths. Continued integration of or integration with touch-screen devices and miniaturization & portability seem to be features that a lot of vendors are including in their product lines this year. Day 2 will be a test to see if my hunches here are correct and to see if there are any other trends emerging.
on 01-24-201401:12 AM - last edited on 01-24-201409:41 AM by BBYMartin
NAMM is BIG and LOUD. Along the way to giving you a sneak-peak at some gear that Best Buy is going to offer you, my francophone co-hort and I came across a few things that gave us pause, made us stop and look or were just ... plain weird.
on 01-23-201411:15 PM - last edited on 01-27-201411:01 AM by BBYMartin
A tour through the Samson booth proved to be a treasure trove of good ideas and why-hasn't-anyone-else-thought-of-this discoveries. Not only were there things that make you go "hmmm", but the yet-to-be-confirmed forecasted price points seemed to be more than reasonable. After a long day walking the Anaheim Convention Center, the Samson booth turned out to be an energizing stop with many Easter eggs.
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