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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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Your Best Sound: The 411 on 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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Fender Stratocaster HSS Plus with iOS Connectivity

by chckn8r from 04-20-2014

Fender Strat Headstock

It was really only a matter of time before Fender would introduce USB connectivity to their Stratocaster line. 


Why would you want to have a USB port on your guitar?  

 

It really comes down to convenience. By putting a small USB port (and an A/D converter) in your guitar, the guitar signal is digitized locally and then transmitted to your computer (or other device) over a USB cable.

 

The guitar retains all its standard analog capabilities BUT outputs to USB as well.

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Your Best Sound: Learn about Audio Interfaces

by chckn8r from 04-15-2014

Interface CoverIf, like most home or project studio owners, you’ve opted to use a computer as the center of your studio, then you’ll most likely be hearing a lot about audio interfaces. 

 

For the typical home user, the sound card on your computer is just fine. Unfortunately, for a studio owner, you’ll very quickly find that the onboard sound system is inadequate for your needs. They’re typically noisy, they lack inputs and outputs you’ll most likely need and they can be inefficient in the way they translate analog and digital audio.

 

That’s where audio interfaces come into the picture. An audio interface is a piece of dedicated hardware that you connect to your computer. In the most basic sense, the interface is the audio middleman between you (the real world) and the computer. 

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Musical Instruments for Any Sound

Having the proper musical instrument or equipment can inspire you to produce a symphony of sound. Whether you’re looking for guitars, amps, keyboards, DJ equipment, or microphones, Best Buy has you covered. We carry a wide selection of musical instruments from top brands such as Fender, Yamaha, Dunlop, Digiflex, Boss, LTD, Levy’s, On-Stage, Roland, Squier, and more.

Guitars and Amps

Whether you’re shredding in a metal band or singing songs on your porch, we offer all kinds of guitars for every skill level from electric, acoustic, bass, and hybrids. If you perform live or jam in the garage, an amplifier can really accentuate the sounds.

DJ Equipment

The art of turntablism has come a long way since the early 70s when DJ Kool Herc scratched his first record in the South Bronx. Now in the digital age of music, the old school medium has taken on an entirely new art form. A new breed of DJs has emerged to use technology to create new sounds that were once not possible. Whether you’re a traditionalist or a part of the new school, we have professional turntables, mixers, and controllers that can get the crowd moving.

Microphones

Microphones are great for projecting voices and essential for capturing sounds. We have condenser mics that are typically used in professional recording studios, dynamic mics that are durable and ideal for live performances, and wireless mics that are great for singing while dancing.

Want More Info? Check out some of our resources


Electric Guitar Buying Guide

Acoustic Guitar Buying Guide

What to Consider When Buying Equipment for Live Sound

More to explore