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NAMM 2014: Gear-Geekedness

by chckn8r from 01-28-2014

SousaphoneI'm a gear geek. I'll admit it.

 

When I was asked to cover NAMM for Best Buy Canada, I was on cloud nine. The show was busy and we had a lot of appointments with vendors with a focus to get a first look at the exciting gear that Best Buy will be offering you.

 

Along the way, I HAD to take a look at the gear that I'd love to take home to my studio. Here are some of the products I saw that had me checking my bank account.

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NAMM 2014: Things that made you go Hmmmm....

by chckn8r from 01-28-2014

26 string bass guitar.jpgThe trip to NAMM this year was packed! I thought I'd write a post of some things that personally caught my eye in a head-scratching way. My francophone counterpart, Marc-Andre and I walked dozens of kilometers over the past four days. 

 

Here's a few of the things that made me go hmmm ...

 

(including the 24 string bass guitar shown here!)

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NAMM 2014: ESP Guitars - Works of Art

by chckn8r from 01-26-2014

ESP Guitars - or are they?From what I understand, Best Buy and ESP are negotiating an exclusive model of their guitars that you can only get through Best Buy. Unfortunately, I can't share any details about that deal at this point in time.

 

However, I took a spin through the ESP booth today and was left speechless by what I saw. There are some beautifully crafted guitars hanging on the walls throughout the booth. The folks at ESP obviously like building guitars and are very creative .... to the extreme! To placate your interest, take a look at the photos of the models we found there...

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NAMM 2014: Gibson Les Paul Guitars

by chckn8r from 01-26-2014

Wall of Gibson GuitarsGibson showed us some truly beautiful guitars in the Melody Maker and SG lines. They are celebrating their 120th anniversary this year and have added some really tasteful extras to their lines to celebrate.

 

What I really found exciting was the Min-ETune feature hardware that Gibson demonstrated to us. Will this be the end of manual tuning?

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The Soundboard: Picking Your Studio Monitors

by chckn8r from 06-24-2014

KRK RokitsThe goal of a studio monitor is to represent audio in the most accurate, uncoloured form it can. That being said, all speakers colour sound to some degree. Monitor speakers are designed to be as flat as possible whereas it’s assumed that consumer or Hi-Fi speakers enhance aspects of the frequency spectrum.

 

A pair of monitor speakers are going to be your best friend. Regardless of whether you record, edit, mix or master audio, your studio monitors will determine how well your work translates to … well, pretty well everything else out there: car audio systems, TV’s, headphones and earbuds.

 

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Roland F-20 Digital Piano Review

by chckn8r from 05-21-2014

Roland F-20 Piano LessonsI was both excited and skeptical when I heard that Roland was releasing the F-20. I was excited because of the sub-$1,000 price point for a weighted-action, 88-note digital piano. I was skeptical for the same reasons.

 

The appeal of a digital piano is unmistakable – especially for families who want to start piano lessons, but are hesitant to invest in an expensive instrument. The Roland F-20 seems to make the commitment to music a bit less painful.

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The Soundboard: All about Microphones

by chckn8r from 04-24-2014

manymics.jpgAny meaningful discussion with an recording engineer will inevitably morph into a discussion about microphones. Just as a closet full of shoes is never enough for a lot of the women I’ve known, a closet full of microphones is rarely ever enough for most recording engineers.


There are a lot of different types of microphones and there are a many, many brands, shapes and sizes to pick from. I hope to at least get you started with a road-map of what to look for in microphones and I apologize in advance for setting you on this path! If you’re set on recording as a hobby or career, there’s a very good chance that you’re going to get slightly obsessed with microphones.

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Raise your Voice and the Roof with the Right Microphone

There’s something about a microphone that makes you feel like a superstar. Whether you’re bringing down the house with your killer vocals or inspiring audiences with a speech, microphones are necessary for projecting your voice to a crowd. Make your voice heard with Best Buy’s wide selection of mics from brands like Sony, Shure, Audio Technica, Samson, and Neutrik.

Dynamic Microphone

Dynamic mics are the most common type of microphones used in live sound environments. These mics are ruggedly built, don’t require a power supply or batteries, and produce excellent sound quality. They also have a limited frequency response so they can withstand high sound pressure levels, making them ideal for use with vocals, drums, guitar or any other kind of instrument.

Condenser Microphones

Condenser microphones are usually used in recording studios due to their sensitivity to loud sounds, but they are gaining popularity in live music settings as well. They offer a greater frequency and transient response, which is the ability to accurately reproduce the speed of a musical instrument or voice.

Wireless Microphones
 
Wireless mics use radio waves to transmit your sound to an audio receiver and give you the freedom to move around the stage. They are also great for performing dance routines while singing since you never have to worry about getting tangled up in wires.
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