Category: Music Tech

For the Music Geek
Geekazine reviews music technology gear on a regular basis. Join us here, or at YouTube.com/geekazine for new videos!

ViCoustic Designer FlatPanel VMT for Acoustic Sound Control

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSWhat if your sound panels held a design? What if your video background didn’t look like wood, or brick anymore. Designer sound panels and sound rooms are what ViCoustic does. ViCoustic Flat Panel VMT This is a 2×2′ panel that can be customized to any pattern you would like. The Flat Panel VMT is made from VicPET, which is recycled plastic. These panels are thin, and can reduce the sound of a room. The best part is you can customize them with your own patterns. Create a Vector image with your brand or logo, then put them up into your studio for 2 solutions in one. If you’re looking to spruce up your living room, bedroom, or other, you can choose from multiple patterns, and turn your room into whatever design you desire. Other ViCoustic Panels ViCoustic makes other types of...

Band in a Box 2018 Review for Musicians, Podcasters, and more

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSAs a musician, I can appreciate a good music backing track system. As a podcaster, I am always looking for new ways to enhance my audio and video podcasts. Band in a Box has been around for 28 years, making MIDI arranged music. With today’s technology, Band in a Box has become a great tool for musicians to get their ideas out. Making My First Song in Band in a Box 2018 Coming to the interface, the song making process was not that difficult. I was able to make some 12 bar songs with a wide array of musical styles. Since Biab started in MIDI, there was a great selection of styles to choose from. But the software also has live backing tracks – real musicians playing standard patterns that I could use to make the song sound better. The base...

Sound Devices Partners with Sennheiser AMBEO VR for Binaural Audio Recording

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSThese days it’s all about VR, but VR is not just about creating a virtual environment for your eyes, it’s also about sound. Sound Devices has partnered with Sennheiser to offer direct recording and monitoring of 360° spatial audio for VR with its MixPre-6 and MixPre-10T portable recorders. These are the first portable recorders to deliver onboard Sennheiser AMBEO VR to binarual decoding. Check out Sound Devices at SXSW – Jeff Records a song! Sound Devices says that “this allows VR creators to assess and make creative decisions about spatial audio content at time of capture, without needing a post-production workstation.” In other words, it is going to save VR creators a lot of time and headaches during production of their content. Sound Devices is positioning themselves strongly in the emerging VR market. This partnership is a powerful one. You can expect...

Adobe Audition CC 2018: Why Podcasters Should Switch

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSAt NAB 2018, I talked with Durin Gleaves about Audition and Premiere Pro – new features and a lot more. One topic that is close to me is podcasting. He offered a lot of great information on developing a podcast using Audition. What’s New in Adobe Audition CC 2018 If you’re using Multi-track, you can now hide all those tracks that you’re not focusing on. The best part is unless you lock the track, it will cut and snap on the timeline so you don’t lose any sync of tracks. This is perfect so you can focus on a specific track in taking out any umms and ahs, or hide any music or sfx tracks. Adobe has added a ducking feature to channels. You can duck music, or the secondary voices in a panel discussion. If you move the primary voice...

Installing a Tronical Tuner on My Epiphone Guitar

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS Last month I installed a Tronical Tuner on my guitar. If you’ve seen them on Gibson guitars, it’s labeled “Min-E Tune”. It takes about an hour to do, and fairly straightforward. So let’s get into it. What is Tronical Tuner This is a device that will self-tune the guitar. Similar to those clip-on tuners, the device will take it one step further and tell each tuning peg whether to fix a flat or sharp string. To do this, it needs to replace the tuning pegs on the guitar. The new pegs have a small motor inside that will turn when you run the tuner. Simply press a button, then strum the guitar. The device will get you ready within seconds. Installing the Tronical Tuner You can get this done when it’s time to change your strings. You’ll need a wrench...

ModMic 5 Gaming Microphone for Your Favorite Headphones

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSModmic is an accessory for your favorite headphones that don’t have a microphone attached. While at SXSW, I talked with Antlion – the company behind the ModMic 4 and ModMic 5. What is ModMic? This is a microphone that can be affixed to many headphone combos to turn into a headset. Using a neodymium magnet and an adhesive attachment for the headphones, you simply let the two click together. ModMic 5 is switchable between a uni-directional microphone, and a Omni-directional. With a single flip of the switch, you can go from high-quality voice recordings, to noise-cancelling goodness if the surrounding environment is a bit noisy. The microphone is modular, with an extension cord, and a mute switch adapter. With the additional adapter, you can plug your ModMic 5 and headphones into your smartphone to take a call. A USB converter is...

Sound Devices MixPre multi-track: I Record a Song at SXSW

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSSound Devices is a good ole Wisconsin company that works in sound. These are high-end audio devices that are used in pro recording of music, video projects, and more. If you know what a Dead Cat is, you probably have heard about Sound Devices. But they decided to travel to SXSW and show everyone else what their new MixPre multi-track recorders do. What is MixPre-3 6 and 10? Small, lightweight, and can record up to 10 audio tracks. That is the MixPre-10T in a nutshell. Weighing in at under 2 lbs, the 10T can be placed under a DSLR camera, or attached to a mixing board to record interviews, panels, live concerts, and more. Sound Devices will be bringing out the 10M if you need to sync time code with video. Each MixPre comes with Kashmir microphone preamps inside. This gives...

Cabot: I Play with the Cajon Robot Drummer

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSCabot is making a MIDI device you can attach to your Cajon drum. The result – a robotic drummer for your solo gigs. A device that is fun to watch, along with fun to play with. I know – I played along with it at SXSW. How Cabot Works The Robot drummer is controlled via app on your iOS device or via PC using your favorite MIDI software. You can create the rhythms through the app, then send to the device to play. A pedalboard is available to start, stop, and transition the drummer for your need. Cabot is Crowdfunding Soon The prototypes are now set, Cabot will be launching their crowdfund very soon. To get on the list, simply Go to Cajon-Robot.com and choose “News” and “Subscribe”.

Relish Swiss Modular Guitars

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSWhile at NAMM, I talked with Sylvan at Relish Guitars about their modular options. The Mary, Jane, and Mary Aluminum guitars are a different way to think of building and repairing guitars. What is Relish Modular Guitars The guitars can be opened simply through a magnetic back. Inside, you can easily change out the pickups, change batteries, or add new hardware, then snap on the back and continue to play. The guitars are built using moulded wood veneer in a “Sandwich” construction. The fingerboard is made of Bamboo, with a Maple neck. The pickup touchpad works just like a toggle switch to move back and forth. Some models will have the touchpad, others with the toggle. All guitars are produced in Lucerne, Switzerland, and held high in Swiss craftmanship standards. Guitars will start at $2,500 and will be available in May....

New Features from Avid Pro Tools

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSI got to talk with Avid at NAMM about Pro Tools updates. I also sat in on a very interesting demo on MIDI drums. I talked with Adam Lebowski about those new features. What is in Pro Tools HD 2018 Seven new feature sets to help creators make music. Retrospective MIDI record allows you to add a MIDI performance into your timeline so your not distracted. Track Presets allow you to build sessions on the fly. You can create a chain of Effects that you may use on a regular basis. A vocal chain with light compression, and EQ for male or female vocals, a drum chain, a guitar chain, and even an overall chain. Improved MIDI editing with keyboard commands. Nudge a note left, right, trim, and transpose with a keystroke. Of course, Avid is also improving session data with...

aFrame Drum from ATV

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSElectronic Hand Drums can add a lot of new sounds and feels to music while keeping their roots in hand drumming. ATV has come out with a fun drum in the aFrame – a $1,599 device that matches that of a frame drum. About the aFrame Frame Drum To begin with, this drum is diamond shaped. This makes it easier to not only hold and position when you put on the drum strap, but also get different tones by where you strike the drum. The frame is Bamboo, with a polycarbonate surface. On the back is the drum module, with multiple buttons, USB, and microSD card support. The aFrame can be placed on a snare stand when you want to sit. The strap also can hold a battery if you want to be as portable as possible. Simply plug in a...

Playing the Yamaha Clavinova CVP-709 with Piano Room

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSWhile at NAMM2018, I was able to try out the Clavinova CVP-709 digital piano. A fun piano that has many options including the Piano Room – giving you options for sounds and backline for practicing. About the CVP-709 A wood key keyboard gives this digital keyboard a realistic touch response. Being a digital piano, you can choose from many voices on the keyboard. Piano Room This is a dedicated area where a player can go in to play. The new features include 2 world-class CFX and Bösendorfer Imperial grand pianos, along with many vintage electric pianos. You can also enter into “jam” mode to play with a virtual band. The band allows you to perform and practice with 40 different musical styles. The Yamaha Clavinova CVP-709 starts at $14,499 and is available now. Check out Yamaha for a retailer.

DDJ-1000 by Pioneer DJ for Rekordbox DJ Controller

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSWhile at NAMM 2018, I got to check out the Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000 4 deck DJ controller. This is a device that works with Pioneer DJ’s rekordbox music management software. About the DDJ-1000 This is a two digital turntable DJ controller, with mixer. The jog wheel has undergone some updates, including moving several options to the LCD display in the middle of the wheel. You can check playback time, beats per minute, waveform, playback postition, loop points, and hot cue. You can also adjust the jog wheel so it can be as loose or tight as you need. 16 pad page buttons are available on the unit to add any sound. Add in effects, with some new ones including Mobius SAW. The DDJ-1000 can be configured to any DJ. You can even add 2 turntables for some old skool vinyl sound....

OMB Guitars Gives You a Band Behind Your Music

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSWhile at NAMM, I got to try out the new OMB Guitars system that turns your solo acoustic practice or performance into something with backing tracks. The device will tell the computer how to work the Bass and drums around your playing. Change chords, and the device will react to it. Play a rock song, get a rock beat. Play a reggae song, geta reggae beat. OMB also turns your guitar into a multi-tone instrument. Switch to Solo mode and your guitar becomes a piano, accordion, violin, or many other MIDI sounds. All controlled through the app. OMBGuitars was successfully funded while at NAMM. You can get the device to mount on your acoustic or electric guitar, or you can buy a guitar with it already installed. OMB just finalized crowdfunding and will be available soon. Check out OMBGuitars.com for more...

Sony C-100 Microphone is a Low Cost, Hi-Res, Dual-Element Condenser

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSStepping up your game in recording, podcasting, or whatever you do can be easy if you have this microphone in your bag. This large Diaphragm condenser mic has a lot of features that can help you mic up any instrument – from Tuba to Piccolo. All with a price that doesn’t bring down the house. About the C-100 Condenser Microphone This is an alternative to the Sony C-800G microphone. Inside the cage is a dual-capsule that can cover the spectrum. The 25mm capsule covers 20 Hz to 25 kHz, while the 17mm capsule covers 25-50 kHz ranges. You can select it to be a cardiod, omnidirectional, or figure-8 polar pattern. A low-cut filter and -10db pad are also available options. Other microphones in the High-Resolution series include The EMC-100N (Omni-Directional) and the EMC-100U (Cardioid). The Sony C-100 starts at $1399 and...

Sony’s New Wireless Noise Cancelling Earbuds

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSSONY has unveiled its latest wares at CES 2018, including the world’s first truly wireless Noise Cancelling headphones with a splash-proof design. Since more smartphone makers are ditching the headphone jack, it’s a good time to go wireless. The WF-SP700N are the world’s first truly wireless Noise Cancelling headphones with splash-proof and sweat-proof design. These headphones are made for an active lifestyle. Sony tested them extensively with people doing actual workouts, so rest assured that these headphones will stay in your ear while jogging or working out at the gym. They come in a wide variety of colors and not only will they shut out background sound, but they can also withstand rain as well as a sweaty workout. They have an IPX4 rating so they will stand up to your daily grind. If that isn’t enough, Sony says that the...

Fusion Guitar with Built-In Amp, iOS adapter

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSAs we continue to bring guitar modeling through iOS apps, it only makes sense to merge into the guitar. That is what Fusion Guitars did – an all-in-on guitar that you can use for practice, recording, or performance. What is Fusion Gutars A guitar with a built-in amplifier, full range speakers, and a Lithium-ion battery so you can play without being plugged into the wall. The iOS cradle allows you to connect your device right on the guitar to use any iOS app out there. Headphones to play in privacy, and a guitar cable to play a little louder. The guitar itself is a a full scale neck and fingerboard – in Maple or Rosewood. strings are held by an adjustable wraparound bridge. Two high output pickups with coil split switch. In all, the guitar is 8 pounds,9 ounces. You can...

Beatbuddy with MIDI Maestro Pedalboard for a Drummer in a Pedal

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSBeatbuddy by Singularsound is adding a new pedal to the arsenal in the MIDI Maestro. I sat down and talked about these items at NAMM 2018. We also got a great demonstration on how they work. What is Beatbuddy This is a personal drummer pedal. It adds drums when you are practicing, doing a solo gig, playing in a band, and more. With the 2-button adapter, you can add stops, and accent sounds such as cymbal crashes or hand claps to the pedal. With the MIDI software, you can setup your pedal for your shows, or even create beats for original songs. What is MIDI Maestro This is a MIDI pedalboard that can do more than just control your Beatbuddy. Set up guitar effects, lighting, or anything else that can be MIDI controlled. The mushroom buttons also help those musicians who...

Roadie Bass Prototype, Roadie 2 Tuner for Guitar

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSI sat down with the folks at Roadie to check out their new guitar tuners at NAMM 2018. Roadie 2, which is available now, is the update to their popular guitar / mandolin / ukulele tuner. They were also showing off a prototype for the new Roadie Bass, which will give low string musicians a tuner for quick fixes. How the Roadie Tuner Works Simply choose the string, what you want it to tune to (such as an Open E guitar), then go through the strings by placing the device on the tuning nut. When you hit the string, the tuner will determine the note, and make adjustments. Once you’ve tuned up all strings, you can put it back in it’s carrying pouch to play. Roadie 2 and Roadie Bass are $129 each, with the Roadie Bass available later this year....

Poly Expressive MIDI Foot Control for Additional Control of your Sound

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSStomp pedals are nice, but they can be a pain to get a specific sound. Bending over to turn dials, then trying to get that same sound through 3-4 devices. Poly Expressive is working on a way to use the MIDI interface so you can get the sound you want every time by simply moving or tapping your foot. What is Poly Expressive MIDI Foot Controller This is a board that can sit in front of you. When you want a specific sound, tap on the area you designated for it. The board also allows you to create expressive foot areas, so when you slide your foot, the pedal will change it’s sound. Great for Wah, adding/removing feedback, and even adding MIDI tonal sounds. The Poly Expressive is made with a polycarbonate and aluminium composite, so no matter how hard you stomp,...

iRig Stomp I/O is a Pedalboard for Guitar, Voice, or Any Instrument

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSAs we get into this digital music age, we want to feel safe when we put something in front of our feet. We don’t want iPads damaged, or iPhones stolen during a gig. IK Multimedia – an innovative music company – has been working to merge iOS, tones and pedals. The iRig Stomp I/O comes from years of building, learning, and re-building. The end product is something you will use for both practice, and for performance. I talked with Dan from IK Multimedia about this new product coming to shelves this year. What is the iRig Stomp I/O It’s a pedalboard for your need. Set up with 4 main buttons and a expression pedal, you can make these buttons do whatever you need. You connect this up to your guitar, then add your PC, iPad, Mac, or any device that will...

Monster Clarity Bluetooth Headphones and Earbuds

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSMonster unveiled some really amazing headphones at this years CES show. Jeffrey talked with Stephen at CES 2018 about not only the new Headphones and Earbuds, but also about the Joe Perry Sound of Rock Blaster. Monster Clarity HDX Headphones, Earbuds Monster’s Clarity HDX headphones are a breath of fresh air. They are packed with cool features. Let’s start with the Tile tracker circuitry that’s built in. This uses the same technology as the popular keychain finder tags, and you know what that means. It means that if you lose your headphones, you can find them using a smartphone app. How many times have you lost your headphones or earbuds? This is a great feature. Right now that technology is in their headphones and will shortly make its way to the earbuds. They also feature Google Assistant for voice-command features. These...

Taff Optical Pickups at NAMM

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSMost instruments get amplified using either Microphones, pickups, or Piezo sensors. But Taff has been introducing a new way to amplify the sound – through optics. Host Sergio Michel talks with Taff Optical about their line of optical pickups at NAMM. What is an Optical Pickup? Using the instrument’s body to modulate a path of light, the Taff optical sensor will be a great way to give the fullness of their instruments through only one pickup. Constant volume, all without distortion. Taff Optical helps stringed instruments like the cello, upright bass, acoustic guitar, and many other acoustic instruments. More information at TaffOptical.com including release dates and prices.  

Silver Lake Reverb Pedal by Seymour Duncan

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSStopping at the Seymour Duncan booth for two reasons: to talk with Pantera Bassist Rex Brown, and to find out about a new pedal called Silver Lake Reverb. Host Sergio Michel talks with Riley Giffen about this new pedal What is Silver Lake Reverb? This is a digital reverb workstation, with stereo inputs, and MIDI control. With 8 types of reverb, you can move from a room sound, to a spring, gated, or hall sound with the turn of a dial. You can add dynamic expression to adjust the Mix, Mod, or Damp settings, depending on how you are playing. There are over 100 preset locations, MIDI switchable for song setup, and the ability to send in Stereo to your amps, or mixer. Sergio also inquired about the Solid State guitar amp heads. Riley talks about the PowerStage 700 wth stereo...

Richard Bosworth Talks Stone Tone for Piano

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSWe talked with Chris Poland about the Stone Tone for guitar. Now, Sergio Michel talks with Richard Bosworth – concert pianist – about how Stone Tone gives him an extra boost playing. Stone Tone uses Granite to create a sustain that adds to the stringed instrument. Whether Guitar, Piano, Bass, or another stringed instrument, the granite piece adds more clarity when you strike the notes. We learn more about Bosworth, including his performance at the White House in 1999.

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