Here’s the American Standard Stratocaster electric guitar by Fender. This beauty had the privilege of spending some time in my studio for a little routine check. And what a ride it was! For some rock chords, blues riffs, funky rhythms and lots of modern jazz, this Strat is a versatile, high-end guitar. The American Standard I personally tried is equipped with three single coil pickups, features a black body finish with a classic white pickguard. The sexy curves of this solid body (it has contours that fit the musician’s arms) makes this guitar a gem of modern electric instrument manufacturing. The Stratocaster model, with its two asymmetrical horns continues to be the most imitated guitar body amongst all lesser brands of electric guitars. Thousands of timeless albums feature the tones of this american musical giant. Hendrix, Clapton, Stevie (and many more) used the Strat as their main instrument. We shouldn’t take this lightly!
When it comes to guitar effects pedals, or “stomp boxes” as they are often referred, the Boss brand pedals are certainly among the most ubiquitous on a guitarist’s pedal board. The BOSS OD-1X—BOSS’ newest Overdrive offering—The BOSS BD-2w Blues driver, and the BOSS TE-2 Tera Echo are among the newest effect pedal offering from the revered company. The 3 pedals on review here all have their own little nuances and tones to offer and it ultimately will depend on what you are looking for in your pedal that will determine which you will want to purchase and add to your pedal board.
The Roland CUBE GX20 is a compact 20 watt guitar amplifier with an 8” speaker and an attitude that aggressively snarls in your face metal. It features independent Clean, Lead, and Solo channels as well as modelling for 6 different amp types. This ensures that whether you’re sitting in your room shredding or running a line out from your GX20 to do some home recording, your needs are met with this lightweight, solidly constructed, and versatile bad boy.
The age old adage that "bigger is better!" can finally be put to rest once and for all. Roland's mighty might of an acoustic guitar—and more—amplifier, the AC-40 is versatile enough to fill many different needs and wishes.
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.
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!