Despite the rise in solid state digital gear that’s been prominent in audio and music production over the last few decades, many musicians and audio engineers still long for the warm sound that only a real tube-based amplifier can provide. But most tube amps are large, heavy, bulky things that can be cumbersome to work with, especially in situations that may require a minimalist setup in terms of gear. That’s where the new Ai ProTube preamp/DI box from GMF Music comes in:
Geared towards the acoustic instrument market the Ai ProTube has a real “tube” that will make any acoustic instrument sound warm and inviting with no unwanted signal compression. This isn’t just a tube simulation circuit; it is the real thing with a 12AX7 tube circuit.
The GMF Ai ProTube is an acoustic preamplifier, direct box, and all around solution for connecting your acoustic instrument into a sound source. If you don’t have a built-in pickup on your guitar or other acoustic instrument, no problem we will include a handcrafted transducer pickup to your order.
A few of this device’s features:
- Can be used as a preamp for an acoustic instrument with a built-in pickup or external pickup
- Can be used as a DI box to connect to a PA system
- The Ai ProTube is a high quality acoustic amp without the power amp or speakers, making it easy to connect an instrument to a power amp or PA system
- Add external effects with the built-in effects loop
GMF Music is currently in the planning stages for launching the Ai ProTube thru Kickstarter. Sign up for updates or contact GMF Music directly here.
Texas-based Moniker Guitars is like a dream-come-true for guitar enthusiasts. The company allows guitarists to custom design guitars online. Body shape, pickups, paint job, and more can be selected with the click of a button. Then, on-site artisans get to work, building those custom guitars by hand.
Moniker Guitars already offers plenty of options for players looking for a customized instrument. And the company recently expanded those offerings with the introduction of what it’s calling the Step headstock:
We’re excited to announce a new headstock shape… We’re calling it the “Step” due to the way the 3-D design steps down towards the bottom edge of the headstock.
The main color of the headstock will continue around the sides of the headstock and down the back of the neck. The “step” portion will have its own color which will continue as a binding stripe around the top edge of the headstock.
Moniker admits on its website that guitar players may have seen this design from other instrument manufacturers. But Moniker’s Step headstock is different from other brands because it offers the ability for designers to have two paint colors on the headstock, instead of just one:
…the fun part about our version is the ability to choose the two colors that make up the headstock. In the configurator, the primary color will be selected using the “Headstock” category. The step portion of the headstock can be customized under the “HS Step” category.
Moniker Guitars range in price, depending on individual customization requirements. Moniker’s online guitar building tool is free to use and available for everyone to try.
Since it first introduced the Variax guitar line over a decade ago, Line 6 has been working hard to improve the design and playability of what is often dubbed “the world’s first modeling guitar.” Line 6 took the Variax line to new heights with the JTV (James Tyler Variax) line that marked the first major upgrade to the Variax line. Now, Line 6 is taking Variax even further with the new Variax Shuriken guitar:
Featuring a longer scale length, advanced Variax HD technology and an assertive body shape, the Variax Shuriken guitar is the result of intense collaboration between Line 6, Yamaha Guitar Development, and guitarist Steve “Stevic” MacKay of Twelve Foot Ninja. Designed for heavier or more technical styles of music, Variax Shuriken delivers exceptional playability, clear and tight tone—plus the unrivaled versatility that Variax HD modeling provides.
If you like to perform with heavier strings and lower tunings, Variax Shuriken features a 27” scale length that delivers optimized playability and punchier, more-precise tones. The extended scale length also works in conjunction with Variax alternative tunings—so you can play in any tuning, regardless of the tension and feel of the strings. With Variax Shuriken, you can go far beyond the range of any standard 6, 7 or even 8 string guitar.
Variax Shuriken has all of the features of previous Variax guitars, with the ability to model a number of vintage electric guitars and acoustic stringed instruments. The increased scale length of Shuriken is new to the Variax line, and should be useful to players looking to get deeper, heavier tones. Variax Shuriken has Line 6’s Variax Digital Interface (VDI) built-in, so it works seamlessly with most VDI-equipped products.
Variax Shuriken is currently available for purchase from many musical-instrument vendors with a starting price of $1399.
Musicians and audio producers are always looking for new ways to extend their sonic palettes. For years, creating new sound textures required racks full of hardware, or other effects processors that came in the forms of pedals or dedicated computer applications. But the mobile computing revolution that’s taken hold in recent years with the advent of smartphones and tablets has made it much easier to put powerful audio-processing applications in the palm of your hand. The latest example of this phenomenon comes courtesy of a new iOS app called Echo Pitch:
Echo Pitch pitch-shifting multi-delay for iPhone. Echo Pitch has 4 delays where each delayed signal can be pitched one octave up or down in 1/2 steps, and can function as a 4 voice harmonizer. Echo Pitch also has a built-in looper, amp simulator and reverb. Each of the four delays can be routed into the other for incredible, swirling, ambient washes and otherworldly sounds.
The developers of Echo Pitch recommend that the app be used on an iOS device with an external audio interface, such as the IK Multimedia iRig or Fender Slide. The app is available for download in the iOS App Store for $3.99.
This video provides a good demo of the Echo Pitch app.
Musical instrument and audio equipment manufacturer Line 6 made waves in the guitar gear field when the company released the Helix processor last year. The Helix is Line 6’s first next-gem level processor, packed with high-end hardware and software designed to give guitarists access to the best possible tones.
The Helix processor itself comes with one of the industry’s largest built-in displays. But Line 6 promised it would release a computer-based application guitarists could use to create and edit Helix patches. (This follows suit with other Line 6 products that have also had their own computer-based editors.) When Helix units first shipped, the software editor was not yet available. Making good on its promise, Line 6 has now delivered its computer-based software editor for the Helix. From an e-mail sent today by Line 6:
Drag and drop amps, cabs, and effects to build complex signal chain
Quickly reorganize, rename, edit tones, and modify footswitch labels
Visualize every detail of your tone editing workflow on your computer
The Helix Edit application is a free download from the Line 6 website. In order to find it, go to the software download page, select “Helix” from the products menu, leave the software menu set to “All software,” select the appropriate OS for your computer from the operating system menu and then check the “Beta” box on the right before clicking the Go button. The Helix Edit software will come up as the first downloadable item on the next page.
Gigging musicians were living the mobile-gear life long before everyone was walking around with high-powered computers in their pockets. This required many musicians, especially guitarists, to have to tote around a kit full of tools and accessories, with the guitar tuner being paramount among them. But what about those times when you’ve accidentally left the tuner at home? Used to be, if you were lucky, you could borrow one from a bandmate. Or hope that maybe the bass player is actually in tune and you could tune off of his instrument. Those kinds of hassles are a thing of the past thanks to apps like UltraTuner from IK Multimedia.
IK Multimedia has been making products for the mobile musician for years. But those products have been focused on iOS. For the first time, along with its new iRig 2 and iRig HD-A, IK Multimedia is bringing UltraTuner to the Android platform. UltraTuner can be used with one of the above interfaces or it can also be used with your device’s built-in microphone.
UltraTuner features an advanced note-detection engine that delivers accuracy down to +/- 1/100 of a cent, making it ideal for precision tuning and calibration of all instruments from electric guitars to analog synthesizers and beyond. UltraTuner achieves such fine results thru a patented note detection engine that utilizes a proprietary dual-analysis process to deliver frequency readings with incredible accuracy.
Continue reading IK Multimedia Brings UltraTuner Guitar Tuning App to Android