Category: Product Reviews

New Roadie Automatic Guitar Tuner May Be The Future

Roadie-Tuner

Check out my full write up on The Roadie Tuner on Guitar-Muse.com

I’m a tech geek as well as a guitar nerd. So when I saw this new little gadget called Roadie that connects to a smart-phone or tablet via bluetooth and tunes your guitar automatically, I got excited. Not even because it’s something I think I need. I mean, I can tune my guitar just fine using my good old Boss TU-2 or my Planet Waves clip on tuner. But a handheld, automatic guitar tuner? That’s just plain cool! And it could very well be the future of guitar tuning.

We’ve seen inventions before that could tune up a guitar automatically. When Gibson launched their first series of Robot Les Pauls and SGs, it was the first time a guitar that could tune itself was widely available. The guitars got everyone’s attention and I don’t think there was a guitarist on the planet that didn’t want one. The only problem was that the technology was built in to a very expensive guitar, making it more of a luxury novelty than anything else.

Shortly after the advent of the Gibson Robot Guitars, we saw Tronical, makers of the auto-tune technology, release the Min-ETune System as a stand alone device. This system could be retro-fitted to most guitars and was more affordable than buying a Gibson Robot Guitar. However, this was not a practical solution for most beginners who would have to do some serious modding to their probably pretty cheap instrument.

I think Roadie does a better job of solving the automatic tuning problem by 1) being a hand-held device thereby eliminating any need to modify the guitar itself and 2) using smart-phone and tablet technology that’s already ubiquitous to do the digital processing.

At a eventual street price of $99, will Roadie make it into the hands of people who need it the most: beginners who have yet to develop any skills or an ear for pitch? Well, probably not so much for kids, who’s guitars may only cost $100. My guess is the early adopters of Roadie will be adult beginners who have the expendable income, guitar techs who have to tune a lot of guitars on a regular basis, and technology geeks who also happen to play guitar, like myself.

Roadie is the first device of its kind to make it out of the proto-type stage and clearly, plenty of people are excited about it with the Kickstarter Campaign skyrocketing well past its required goal. But Roadie is just the first iteration of what may be a new generation of guitar tuners. If the idea proves to be popular then inevitably, competitors will come along and the technology  and manufacturing process will become cheaper. The future of guitar tuners may be “automatic.” They’ll cost only about $20 or $30 and they’ll use our smart-phones which are only getting smarter and faster. But I suppose only time will really tell.

 

Review: Electro-Harmonix 45000 Multi Track Looping Recorder

ehx-45000-looper

The Electro-Harmonix 45000 Multi Track Looping Recorder is one of the most powerful looping units out there on the market today. This newest model from EHX boasts 4 separately recordable tracks, continuos over-dubbing, quantize, octave shift, punch-in and reverse recording modes, stereo recording, 34 stock drum loops and much more! Storage is kept on a removable SD drive, supported up to 2 GB for tons of recording time and the unit has a USB connection to allow editing of files on a computer.

Check out my full review of the 45000 on Guitar-Muse.com:
Electro-Harmonix 45000 Multi-Track Looping Recorder Review And Video Demo

And in this demo video, I show you a little bit of what the 45000 is capable of.

The EHX Epitome Mulit-Effects Pedal – Review & Demo

Electro-Harmonix Epitome Guitar Effects Pedal

One of the little perks of being a blog writer is that I get to review some pretty cool gagets. Lately I’ve been getting a lot of guitar effects pedals from Electro-Harmonix to review for Guitar Muse, and they’ve been quite a bit of fun to play with. The latest toy sent my way was the EHX Epitome – a multi-effects pedal that combines EHX’s Micro POG (octave generator), Stereo Electric Mistress (chorus/flanger) and Holy Grail Plus (reverb).

The Epitome is a great sounding pedal. Each effect section holds its own and doesn’t skimp on quality compared to their stand alone versions. The fact that you get three effects in one pretty much makes the Epitome worth it, but the real value in this pedal comes from the shear mess of crazy tones you can achieve by combining the effects.

Some of the sounds coming out of this thing don’t even sound like a guitar! You’ll have to hear it yourself to really know what I’m talking about. Luckily, I did a video demo, which you can check out along with my full review over at guitar-muse.com.

Check out my full review of the Epitome on Guitar Muse.

Review On The EHX Talking Pedal – With Video Demo

Talking Pedal

This article was originally written for Guitar-Muse 

The Talking Pedal by EHX – A Review

Ever want to create those awesome talk box tones with your guitar without having to shove a plastic tube in your face-hole? Well, now you can. Introducing the Talking Pedal from Electro-Harmonix.

If you remember, a while back I reviewed the Crying Tone pedal also from EHX, which is the first wah pedal of its kind to use absolutely no moving parts. The Talking Pedal uses the same innovative design which means there are no potentiometers and no switches that could possibly wear out over time.

It’s unique filter circuit passes the guitar signal through not one, but two bandpass filters which produces a wide variety of vocal-like vowel sounds. The Talking Pedal’s circuitry is completed with the addition of a fuzz-distortion effect that can be dialed in on the side of the pedal from a scale of 1-10.

The Talking Pedal can get its power either from a 9-volt battery or a or a standard 9-volt DC adapter and can be calibrated for use on slanted surfaces.

[CONTINUE READING ON GUITAR-MUSE.COM]

Review and Demo On The EHX Crying Tone

ehx-crying-tone-wah-pedal-222x160

This article was originally written for Guitar-Muse -

The EHX Crying Tone – A Rocking Wah Pedal

The first wah pedal was introduced in 1966 and since then the design has not changed much: a bunch of moving parts and potentiometer that eventually wears out over time. In the 90s the wah got its first upgrade in design with switchless optical sensors but still remained fundamentally the same. Well now after over half a century of same ol’, same ol’, EHX has changed the game completely with the Crying Tone: the first wah pedal with absolutely no moving parts.

DESIGN

Technology is a wonderful thing! And the same technology that allows your smartphone to automatically switch over from portrait to landscape view is what allows for the Crying Tone’s innovative design.

From the top it looks like a normal wah pedal but flip it over and you’ll notice the pedal mechanism is totally different. The bottom of the Crying Tone is beveled to allow the user to rock it back and forth with their foot. Movement is sensed by an accelerometer inside, which controls the frequency sweep.

Since there are no moving parts, it’s built like a brick. Constructed as one solid piece with some pretty hefty mass to it, the Crying Tone won’t fly all over the floor when you use it.

On either side of the pedal you’ll find the calibration button (for when the Crying Tone is not on a flat surface), a 9V DC input (also takes a 9V battery) and the in and out jacks, which are strategically placed at the fulcrum point so not to interfere with operation. Finally, on the top of the Crying Tone is the EHX logo which lights up and blinks red so you actually know when the pedal is on! That’s really all there is to it – innovation in simplicity.

[CONTINUE READING ON GUITAR-MUSE.COM]

Review and Demo: EHX Superego Synth Engine

EHX Super Ego

This article was originally written for Guitar-Muse 

Review and Demo: EHX Superego Synth Engine

The Superego Synth Engine by Electro-Harmonix is a unique new guitar effect pedal that combines elements of sampling, synthesis and infinite sustain. The pedal allows the guitarist to freeze sounds and sustain them indefinitely, gliss between frozen sounds and layer sounds on top of each other. With its user-friendly and compact design, the Superego lets you create some truly, unique “non-guitar” sounds that might get your audience to wondering where you’re hiding that keyboard player.

The Video is at the bottom of this page, but first we’re going to look at some of the functionality.

The Superego has 4 control knobs: Speed/Layer, Gliss, Dry andEffect. The Dry and Effect knobs each control the level of the dry and wet signals coming from the pedal. The Gliss control sets the speed at which sounds morph into one another; this is similar to a portamento setting on a synthesizer. Lastly, the Speed/Layer knob controls either the speed of the attack/decay of the frozen sounds (Auto and Momentary Modes) or how loudly previously frozen sounds mix with new ones (Latch Mode).

 [CONTINUE READING ON GUITAR-MUSE.COM]

Plexitube Tonebone by Radial – Review

radial-tonebone-plexitube-guitar-pedal

Radial Tonebone – Plexitube

The sound of a Marshall amp at your feet! The Plexitube from Radial features a real 12AX7 tube and a unique multistage solid state circuitry that combines to create authentic British distortion.

This pedal features two distinct distortion channels, each with it’s own level control. Plus, 8 different knobs and switches give you a ton of ways to tweak your tone. The high and low EQ knobs affect both channels, as do the top end boost/cut and mid boost switches. In addition to the global EQ adjustments, each channel has it’s own contour control and voicing switch, which boosts or cuts mid frequencies…[READ MORE]