Jack Conte is an absolutely amazing musician with lots of technical chops. In this remix video he rips up Doin’ It Right by Daft Punk using the QuNeo and a series of robot fingers, projectors, and other gear to build an amazing performance. Continue reading »
I’ve seen plenty of guitar apps in my lifetime – enough for two lifetimes, in fact – but JamStar, an app by an Israeli programming house, has almost won my heart.
The premise is simple – you tune your guitar and then play notes or chords. The app (which runs on a phone or your browser) senses your strum and lets you move on or asks you to repeat the notes. You do this, ad infinitum, until you get good. The app gives you feedback as you play, offering pointers, and you can move from basic G-C-D strumming patterns to, say, more complex folks songs. As a self-taught guitarist, I could see how having an app to simply say if your Am chord sounds like a buzzing mess is valuable. Continue reading »
This fascinating custom guitar made for John Lennon by VOX in 1966 sold for a whopping $408,000 at a Julien’s auction hosted in New York City last week. The prototype hollow body was used by Lennon (and also George Harrison) during the filming of some of the sequences that made up the group’s ill-fated Magical Mystery Tour video (maybe not their greatest work). Continue reading »
I was lucky enough to get Incident Tech’s new gTar, a MIDI/DSP-based guitar that is perfect for both teaching and composition. The guitar, with the current software and feature set, isn’t quite the shredder’s dream – yet – but as a teaching system it’s excellent and I found it quite playable both “live” and while recording MIDI music.
To be clear, this is not an electric guitar with built-in pickups. You can’t plug it into an amp and go all Van Halen on your basement without an iPhone or iPod. Instead, the guitar outputs MIDI signals for each string and fret and can either connect directly to an app like Garage Band or Logic or you can connect it to an amp via the headphone-out jack. The gTar also has a series of embedded LEDs in the neck and, using your iPhone or iPod, you can play along to a preset number of open source and licensed songs. A free play mode turns the iPod into a mini amp with multiple instruments and a custom light show maker.
If you have been to any Rock and Roll show within the last 50 years (and I’m even talking about a pickup show at your local watering hole), the chances are high that you have been exposed to a Marshall guitar amplifier. The logo and stylings are distinctive but it’s likely you would remember it as much for how it bad it hurt your eardrums — due to sheer volume — as you would by it’s one-of-a-kind looks.
Now you can enjoy the comforts of the company’s audio response from the safer, more control-able distance of a pair of headphones. You could still probably use the headphones to induce tinnitis too though, if that’s what you’re into.Continue reading »
I’ve had a pretty good experience with Sol Republic’s Tracks On-Ear Headphones. They are a good sounding, moderately priced set of phones, complete with a modular approach to fashion (you can switch out the component parts in different colors). I’m a fan.
My only gripe with them at all is that when you are wearing glasses or sun glasses, the headphones can eventually apply a bit of pressure on your ears and become a tad uncomfortable. Because of this, I am pleased to see their evolution to an in-ear model called Jax In-Ear. Continue reading »