Guitar and Vocal Effects for LIVE as well as the Studio

12 05 2012

VoiceLive Play GTX is the first ever combination of complete vocal and guitar processing, VoiceLive Play GTX takes everything that VoiceLive Play gives to singers and adds award-winning TC Electronic guitar effects and AmpTones. Artist presets offer signature vocal and guitar sounds while full editing ability allows you to define your unique style. Pro or Practicing, acoustic or electric, VoiceLive Play GTX is the singing guitarist’s dream machine.  And if you are going to use it on stage you can even get a special microphone that has a switch right on the mic so that you can turn it on and off as you like.  It is full of presets that imitate some of the most famous songs by the most famous bands.  It is even affordable at around $250 US.  Check it out!

Click on the links to see a video hosted by Dire Straits guitarist singer on how it works.

200+ song & artist inspired presets for vocals & guitar
Dedicated guitar effects processing from TC Electronic. No amp required
Key for harmonies and pitch correction set automatically from guitar input
Plug in your MP3 player to the AUX input and sing along using Vocal Cancel feature

Read an in depth article about the unit in the New York Times

Drum Stuff

29 11 2011

If you are ever in need of some drum equipment or drum lessons while in the Toronto area you might want to try Drumland in Toronto.  They provide a large selection of drums and equipment along with private drum lessons for all ages.  Check it out at Drumland.

Affordable Digital USB Interfaces for GarageBand

13 07 2010

If you are looking for a simple yet effective and affordable way to input audio into GarageBand try this interesting group of products by Apogee Electronics. They have several useful interfaces for composers including a guitar interface, a single channel called the One and a two channel iput interface called the Duo.

iPad Can Make a Great Touch Contol Panel for Music Recording

13 07 2010

Entrackment by Talkative

If you work with GarageBand you probably find yourself wishing for a controller surface that you can use for panning, track volume, etc. Unfortunately control interfaces usually cost hundeds of dollars or more. Well the guys at Talkative have developed an affordable app ($2.99 – yes that is three bucks) for the iPad called “Entrackment” that turns it into a controller for GarageBand and apparently soon to be added support for Protools, Logic Express, Logic Pro, and Record.


Gigging Apps for Guitar Players – An Effects Rack in Your Pocket

21 05 2010

Most of my articles on this blog are slanted for educators but here is one for gigging musicians, specifically guitar players. After working as a gigging musician for so many years I really appreciated this application when I came across it while investigation useful ipod and ipad music applications. I found it mentioned on a great blog called “IK Multi Media, Musicians First”.

It is called the iRig by AmpliTube. Guitarists have always been interested in new gadgets and effects and almost always fighting with buzz caused by a multitude of patch cables in their systems. Several years back a few companies started to manufacture multipurpose guitar effect foot controllers that cut down on all the stuff and cables but this new iRig app is just too sweet. It is a small plug in that works as an adapter so you can plug it into your iphone and then plug your guitar using a regular 1/4″ lead into it. It also has a line out for headphones or to go to your amp. I live in Tokyo and I see guitarists taking trains with all their gear and I would think this would be a wonderful solution for most gigs.

Videotape your Music Performances with Great Stereo Sound

28 04 2010

If you need to video tape music performances and also want a great stereo audio track for uploading, streaming, assessment, or sharing online try the new Samson Zoom Q3 Handycam. This little device is oh so easy to use and Samson has stuck a great stereo condenser mic on the top so you can also get a great audio recording at the same time. This little pocket cam will mount on a regular tripod and download onto your computer using the built in USB plug. From live musical performances and rehearsals, interviews, conferences to video podcasts, journalism, education, recitals, school plays or sports, the Samson Zoom Q3’s pristine audio quality takes your videos to another level with ease. The stereo mic is the same as that found in Samson’s H4n Handy Recorder.

Best USB Microphone – Upgrade your Recordings by Upgrading your Microphone

24 04 2010

So many teachers have asked me for tips on what they can do to consistently get great recordings of their students. One of the easiest ways is to add a better microphone to your setup. It makes sense that if your input device has a better dynamic range that it will give your recordings better dynamic range. What I mean by that is that your recordings will sound more crisp and alive.

Most new laptops come with a built in microphone and they will do in a pinch but the audio quality is less than desirable. An easy was to create better recordings of your student’s performances and not entail becoming an audio pro is to add a reasonably inexpensive microphone to your setup. There are many great microphones available but they are not plug and play (usb).

Most good to excellent quality microphones are expensive and have a three pin XLR connection on them. This type of connection will not plug into your computer. To do that you will need a digital interface that will not only let you to plug in your mic but also digitize your audio signal so the computer can use it. Using a USB microphone allows plug and play recording with no external and expensive interface because it is built right into the mic itself.

I have used several of the most popular and there are several good USB mics on the market. They are all a little bit different and produce different results. One of the best I have found so far is the Samson G-Track Condenser microphone (another great one is the “podcaster” see previous post). It is a great all purpose mic that will dramatically upgrade your audio recordings. Street price is around $100 which is a bargain for the amount of quality it will add. The best thing is that you will not have to study audio engineering for it to make a big difference. USB mics are easy to use and set up.

One of the nicest things about this mic is that it is also a digital interface for your other input needs. Samson has added standard 1/4″ and stereo phono inputs on the mic so it can act as a digital interface for inputting other sound sources such as synths/guitar/or stereo mixes of other files from other audio devices such as when you want to lift and edit the soundtrack from a video.

If you go to the Samson homepage found here, you will be able to hear the difference. They have audio samples posted that will give you a better idea of what you will get for your money. For the average none tech geek it will be a pleasant and easy addition that will make a dramatic difference to your recordings. It will be the best hundred dollars you have spent.

Here are some of it’s features.

Large diaphragm studio condenser microphone
Mic and Instrument/Line gain control with clip LED
Stereo input jacks for instruments or line level signal
Stereo headphone jack for no latency monitoring with level control
3-position headphone switch for stereo, mono, computer monitoring
SuperCardioid pickup pattern
USB bus-powered and compliant
Audio I/O and USB cables included
Desktop microphone stand included
Optional shockmount available