Posts Tagged ‘Fender’
That your musical “sound” depends more on your hands/skill than the gear you play is a philosophy with which I personally agree. Too many times have I seen a very talented musician make a piece-of-junk guitar sound incredible while a mediocre guitarist (like myself) will make a beautiful, expensive guitar sound mediocre. One guy I know, a Mr. Charlie Pate of Nashville TN, has an interesting strategy for acquiring some of his guitars; he buys cheap, used Ibanez semi-hollow bodies for $ 200 or less and then spends the rest of his dough on custom pickups, to get a sound he likes. It works for him, but then again, this guy could play a cardboard Ukulele with one string and you’d think it was an old growth Gulse.
I can wax philosophical about talent all I want, but it is also true that good, solid gear makes great players sound greater. A link came my way today that reminded me of Mr. Pate’s strategy and it was successfully demonstrated. This “mod” strategy for optimizing cheaper musical equipment may be a way for the budget-minded shredders out there to use whatever post-holiday funds you have left to make some of your mediocre gear better.
This guy Bill Machrone is an amp artist for sure and if you are looking for a way to make your $ 499 Fender Blues JR. sound like a new amp, send it to him. His list of mod kits is extensive and affordable.
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Next week’s Rock Band 3 launch marks a giant step for the franchise, with the pro mode edging its gameplay closer to actual musicianship. The keyboards and drums are easier transitions to make, given what’s essentially one-to-one mapping for notes and logical input solutions. But what about a guitar, arguably the genre’s flagship instrument? We’ve seen and tried two solutions to the pro guitar input conundrum: the Squier Stratocaster, an actual guitar that’s still not ready for primetime, and the Mad Catz Fender Mustang, a 102-button replica more reminiscent of peripheral than instrument. Still, with a mid-November release date, the latter’s likely to be your only official option for pro guitar rocking this holiday. So, how does it fare? Read on to find out!
P.S. For all your other Rock Band 3 queries, check out Joystiq’s exhaustive review!
Gallery: Rock Band 3 Fender Mustang Pro guitar review
Continue reading Rock Band 3 Fender Mustang Pro guitar review
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Weekend Warriors. Many of us musicians whom play music semi-professionally or rock out at home adopt this term. It’s a badge many of us wear with pride as we describe how, despite everything else going on in our lives – kids, careers and all challenges in between – still manage to play music. Finding time to rehearse or learn new music can be challenging, and if you live in an apartment, cranking your Marshall stack is probably not an option. But fear not, Weekend Warriors. The iRig for your iPhone may be the solution to a problem you didn’t know you had.
I’ve been a musician almost my entire life. I grew up learning guitar and bass from my dad who taught me the fundamentals of blues and early rock music. Fender guitars and amps were our mainstay and there’s nothing like the sound of a Telecaster ringing out crisp and clean from a Twin Reverb. Today IÂ play bass and guitar in a classically-inspired acoustic folk trio and produce and engineer music in a small project studio in Milwaukee. Because of the nature of my current group, I have a few amps and electric guitars that are collecting a bit of dust. Not only is it hard to find time to escape to the basement to use my amps and stomp boxes, it’s not exactly convenient.
But a few weeks ago, IK Multimedia offered GeekDad a chance to review a pre-production unit of their upcoming device, called the AmpliTube iRig. I jumped at the chance and I’m happy to say that this changes everything. The iRig allows you to use your iPhone (and other compatible devices such as the iPod Touch and iPad) as a mobile effects rig for your electric guitar and bass using a custom version of their award winning AmpliTube software.
The hardware component, the iRig, is a dongle that plugs in to the headphone jack of compatible iPhones. IK Multimedia’s engineers adapted the headset capability of these headphone jacks to allow for connecting electric guitars and basses to the iPhone, an impressive feat considering what they were working with. The iRig also has a headphone jack so you can listen to yourself play. It’s compact and easy to use, especially when connecting to headphones.
Both the input and the output of the iRig is controlled by the AmpliTube app. AmpliTube is a modeling environment that allows you to take a clean guitar signal and route it through any number of guitar amps, speaker cabinets, microphones and effects. Their software is used in many recording studios as it allows engineers to access a huge arsenal of equipment in software instead of having to own each real component. Each component is modeled by IK’s engineers, capturing how each device colors the guitar signal. The effect is impressive in the studio but I was unsure how well it would translate to the comparatively underpowered iPhone.
After unpacking the iRig, hooking it up and downloading the app, I connected my Fender Stratocaster and plugged in some studio headphones. The app started up and defaulted to the amp selection. Imagine my surprise when presented with a Fender-styled guitar amp complete with realistic-looking knobs, vinyl covering and a silver mesh grill. The attention to detail is most impressive, and just the tip of the iceberg. Playing my guitar didn’t just sound full and clean, it sounded like a Fender Strat plugged in to a Fender Twin Reverb! Twirling the Bass, Mid, Treble, Presence, Reverb and Tremolo knobs faithfully adjusted the sound of my guitar. I could also cycle through a 1
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