It is hard for me to think that it has been nearly 37 years since I was first awed by the guitar playing of Allan Holdsworth on the album ‘Feels Good to Me’ by Bill Bruford. His style was first shown with Soft Machine, and now we get to see it develop as part of the legendary Switzerland 1974 recording!
IK Multimedia ‘s AmpliTube has been the ultimate guitar amp simulator since it was released several years ago, and it just keeps getting better and better! Now they have announced an entirely new version–AmpliTube 4–featuring a computer-grade DSP system, new microphone options, expanded effect sequencing options, an updated look and more! And it’s a free upgrade for owners!
The EasyAcc DP100 Ultra Portable Bluetooth Speaker lives up to its name, since it’s smaller than a can of soda. This tiny Bluetooth speaker puts out decent sound for its size, convenience, and price while its battery lasts up to 20 hours of playback time. This low-energy Bluetooth 4.0 speaker is now available at Amazon for $35.99.
As I mentioned previously in this series on Car Audio, I test a lot of premium factory car stereo systems, and while I am impressed with the quality they achieve I have found they still cannot stand up to the sound quality of aftermarket components installed properly. If you are ready to upgrade that factory stereo system, read on.
Last fall I reviewed Marco Minnemann’s excellent solo album Eeps. I called it ‘musician’s music’, “that is technically insane and that you will listen to again and again to absorb the details of what they are playing and how they are putting it together”. Now he is back with Celebration out June 1st, and it sounds awesome so far!
In the first part of this series on Car Audio I discussed basic terminology and history of radios in the automobile. This part takes a look at the types of music sources, and the music itself, that we play in our vehicles. Regardless of what type of car stereo equipment you employ in your vehicle, it all begins with music.
For anyone who plays a guitar, when AmpliTube arrived with a built-in tuner it was a revelation. Suddenly you didn’t need a tuner – just your phone, which you already had! Then IK Multimedia introduced UltraTuner and things got even better. Now they have introduced UltraTuner for Apple Watch, and the convenience factor is through the roof!
Music in the mobile environment is more than just an accessory or option to drivers, and for many it is a necessity. Every new vehicle I test usually arrives with a premium audio system, and I love putting the stereo systems through their paces almost as much as the vehicles themselves. But car audio can be more, much more.
Back in 2013, Cambridge Audio released the Minx Air 100, in efforts to make good use of Apple’s new AirPlay feature. Now it could have been a fault on both parties, but they didn’t do the best job. But late in 2014, they bounced back with what was a more sophisticated model in the Cambridge Audio Bluetone 100 Bluetooth Speaker.
Even as I shift away from making music on iOS devices and back to my home studio, one thing remains: noodling around on my guitar using iRig and Amplitube. Since their introduction five years ago they have become ubiquitous tools for guitarists and bassists. Now that IK Multimedia has expanded their reach to Android devices even more musicians can benefit!
A year ago when I reviewed the previously unreleased album ‘S.O.S.’, I didn’t single out each player for their amazing contributions because the album was more about bringing together three amazing musicians for an even more amazing outcome. Now with the release of Mike Osborne’s earliest solo works as ‘Dawn’, we can single out his amazing contributions to jazz.
This week is the Musicmesse Festival in Frankfurt, Germany. This event, along with January’s NAMM, are the biggest events for the music industry and the place for new gear announcements. We won’t cover everything, but Roland has some new gear that simply needs to be discussed. The big announcement is their hotly anticipated JD-Xa Analog + Digital Crossover Synthesizer!
PlayStation game consoles/Xperia mobile devices and Spotify Premium Music Service have partnered together for a new music experience where players can now enjoy their favorite musical works while the play on the gaming consoles or use their Xperia mobile devices.
In a “rich getting richer” move by Jay-Z, and a way for artists to make even more money than they already have, joined forces with 15 of today’s popular musical artists to announce TIDAL, the first ever artist owned streaming service. The subscription-based service has two tiered plans offering high quality music and sound.
Just over a year ago, IK Multimedia released UltraTuner for iOS devices, and my review summed up “It’s the Best iOS Tuner Available.” Between the accuracy, easy visibility and simple usability, there is no other tuner I have needed since. Now IK Multimedia has released UltraTuner for Android, allowing anyone with Android 4.1 or later to get in tune!
Jason Michael Paul Productions has added more tour dates for their increasingly popular The Legend of Zelda Symphony of the Goddesses Concert Series featuring music from the popular video game series. Enjoy the engrossing music with special visuals plus join the fans and take your interest a step further by dressing up as your favorite character at this special event.
Over the last couple of weeks my wife has been saying “I am really liking this Amazon Prime Music“, because of added content and features that work with our Echo ‘smart speaker’. Today Amazon unveiled an updated iOS app that opens up streaming of Prime music with unlimited skips to Prime members, making the experience more ‘Pandora like’.
It seems as if Ms Swift may have lost the war in the saga of free music. Many artist states that free streaming is “killing the music industry”. But for the first time ever, the annual revenue from streaming music services like Rdio, Pandora, Spotify and Soundcloud have eclipsed the yearly revenue of hard copy albums.
Have you listened to Kendrick Lamar’s new album “To Pimp A Butterfly” yet? Well it seems as if 9.6 Million other people have!
It has been nearly five years since Travis reviewed the original iRig and two since I reviewed the iRig HD. Now IK Multimedia is back with iRig 2, the low-cost sequel to the best-selling classic iRig. And while this doesn’t knock iRig HD off the sonic perch, it brings in Android compatibility and a number of great new features!
I remember the Roland Rhythm Composer TR-808 at music stores in Boston and thinking it was cute and fun but not very ‘drum-like’, which was the prevailing opinion. Then songs like ‘Planet Rock’ and ‘Sexual Healing’ landed and suddenly it was THE sound – and has made a comeback in recent years. Now it gets a documentary premiering at SXSW.