When I looked at the catalog of recordings from The Who, I mentioned that they were about to launch a ‘super deluxe’ version of their classic rock opera Tommy. Now that it has arrived, and I’ve had a few weeks to listen to it thoroughly, I wanted to check back. My thoughts? It is at once essential, solid, andRead more
Just over a year ago I reviewed iRig Keys, the 37-note multiplatform mini-key controller. It remains in constant use by either myself or my son! Now IK Multimedia is introducing iRig Keys Pro, featuring 37 full-size velocity sensitive keys, Lightning, 30-pin and USB cables, for universal compatibility with all models of iPhone, iPad, and Mac/PC.
iRig KEYS PRO is
One of the only annoying things about playing the guitar is tuning. I already use my iPhone as my primary tuning device since it is always with me. The Roadie Tuner on Kickstarter utilizes an iPhone app and pairs with a device via Bluetooth to automatically tune each string for you. The device will be $99 and releases soon.
Sometimes it is easy to be cynical and assume that young people are only seeking the quick and easy path to pop stardom – many are working hard to become the next generation of truly great musicians. Combining passion for the music with hard work and research, here are a few videos by one young guitarist you will definitely remember!Read more
Ironically for someone who is a bit of an audiophile jazz purist, I hopped on the MP3 train way back in the late 90s and have been all-digital ever since. In the early days I used WinAmp … just like everyone else. Now we get word that WinAmp is shutting down before the end of the year.Read more
There’s a saying that impact and influence are not measured by sales. While true for jazz, it also holds in the rock music world. Soft Machine was a creative psychedelic rock group founded by Robert Wyatt and toured with Jimi Hendrix. Wyatt went on to record some tracks while staying with The Experience that document his creative and influential style.Read more
Back in 2010, as The Beatles catalog was about to land on iTunes, I looked through all of their major releases and some solo works. This week we celebrate the release of ‘Tommy: Deluxe Edition’ from The Who, so I thought it would be fun to step through their catalog and look at all of the major releases.Read more
I have already posted the launch announcement and my first impressions, so it is time to close things out. And I really thought that the best way to do it was to highlight the five things I like best, that have kept iLoud at my side since it arrived. I have included a new hands-on video as well.Read more
Earlier today I posted about IK Multimedia’s new iLoud Bluetooth speaker system. This is their entry into the portable speaker market, but with a twist – rather than just releasing yet-another Bluetooth speaker, they designed an audio system with musicians in mind. I have had a chance for a first look, and it is awesome. Check out my first-impressionsRead more
Over the last few years the Bluetooth speaker market has gone from non-existent to absolutely amazing. At GearFest we listened to a number of speakers that were loud, paired easily, and sounded great. Today IK Multimedia released iLoud, another of the cool products revealed at CES. iLoud brings the musician’s sensibilities and needs to the world of Bluetooth speakers.
Every year we get newly discovered classics or hidden gems from artists, and while very often these are out-takes, cutting room floor scraps, and other ‘cash grab’ items … every now and then there is a real gem. ‘Looking For The Next One’ from the saxophone trio of John Surman, Mike Osborne, Alan Skidmore is one such gem.Read more
Over the last week we’ve lost two visionary artists in very different musical genres; two men whose names might not have been household names and who might never have burned up the pop charts, but their impact was broad and far-reaching, and who will be sorely missed. Those men were jazz drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson and rock musician Lou Reed.Read more
A quick search of past posts will reveal how much I love my SONOS system; I use it constantly. Now SONOS has announced the SONOS PLAY:1. The most affordable way to jump into SONOS yet, the PLAY:1 has two custom-designed drivers with dedicated amplifiers. Small but powerful, the $199 PLAY:1 is ready to rock your world. Get it.Read more
Have you ever said to yourself, “You know what I need? A portable Bluetooth speaker in the shape of a travel mug that fits right in my cup holder in my car.”? If so, you’re in luck! iCreation’s speeCup is a very convenient, nicely powered speaker that fits your criteria. The speeCup retails for $129.95.Read more
When you bring together masters like King Crimson bassist/stick-master Tony Levin, Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess and maniac drummer Marco Minneman, you know the results will be a shred-fest. But will it be any good? Rest assured, not only is this CD a humbling listen for musicians, it is a high-quality and rewarding journey through modern-day instrumental rock.Read more
Back at CES one of the cool things IK Multimedia announced was iRig BlueBoard, a Bluetooth pedalboard that works with any app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac that supports Apple’s Core MIDI protocol. IK announced iRig BlueBoard for pre-order back in August, and today they announced that BlueBoard is now shipping! Look for my hands-on review
While I have always been an advocate of ‘owning’ music (as opposed to stealing or streaming), I have stuck with the latest tech trends: through the years I have had 45′s, 8-tracks, LPs, cassettes, CDs and MP3s. Each has strengths and weaknesses, but I am still bemused about the recent vinyl resurgence – which continues with estimates of 30%
While I do possess the ability to learn some songs by ear, it is always much better if I can at least have the chords available then match the style of the song. An interesting Mac application called Capo 3 was just announced that makes this process much easier. For $29.99 Capo 3 will detect chords and beats from iTunes
Tribute albums always make me cringe, because I have heard way too many that either feel indulgent or like a cash-in. But more and more I am hearing tributes that are smart and thoughtful and pay real tribute to great artists. ‘Jazz and All That’ is such a tribute, going far beyond just being a Dave Brubeck tribute album.
One of the overlooked features in iOS 7 is the new Inter-App Audio routing system. While not as powerful as AudioBus, Apple’s system provides yet another set of Core services that ensure system-level capability and functionality. Today IK Multimedia announced that their flagship AmpliTube app us iOS 7 compatible and adds Inter-App Audio routing system support.
Here are some specifics
I gave up on Apple and fully switched to PC in the mid-90s, the biggest task was moving a decade of digital music from MotU Performer to Cakewalk. Cakewalk remains atop of PC music-making software, with Sonar in heavy use by studios and hobbyists. Gibson Brands has bought Cakewalk, but don’t expect it to be like their mid-90s OpCodeRead more
In an adaptation of an infamous truism, if it exists there is a dubstep for it. The latest example comes in the form of a challenge to Andrew Huang from one of his YouTube followers. Huang created a dubstep based on the opening to Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, and the video here. So what do you think – cool or crap?Read more
I thought I had done a review of the original WiFi2HiFi, but I’d actually just complained about the ordeal getting the copy I’d won in a website giveaway. But the app itself was good enough that when the new version was announced I was interested in trying it. My experience was not very good, with unexplained lost connections and dropouts.Read more
I have made no secret of my love for Rdio. We also use Spotify and Slacker, but I always go to Rdio. It started with having Mary Halvorson’s trio album, and has progressed from there to just being a service that works well for me. Recently they added ‘ultra-personalized’ radio stations, and now they are launching a free music service!Read more
Along with a rather anemic product announcement keynote, Tim Cook reiterated the upcoming release of iOS 7, and with it iTunes Radio. While some have called Apple ‘late to market’ with iTunes Radio, I would say they are launching at the perfect time. Some of the reasons include the established user base of iTunes, and profit struggles of streaming services.Read more