Guitar Rig Software, Hardware Bundle Available Soon On The Cheap

Native Instruments is releasing some cheaper ways of getting at their software guitar modeler, Guitar Rig, in the form of a cheaper software version and a hardware bundle: Guitar Rig 3 XE is a "lite" version of Guitar Rig, focused on the basics — 5 guitar/bass amps, 12 cabinets, and 21 effects. It also some of the "helper" modules from Guitar Rig, including a metronome, tapedeck, and tuner — but no looping module, which is one of my favorites. (See the full list.) US$99 on its own. Guitar Session bundles the XE software with Cubase 4 LE, some pop drums …

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Soft Flickr Finds: Obscenely Complex Bass Effects on a Single Channel

As the last couple of decades have led to making music in software, some of the materiality of physical instruments is lost. No matter how much you love your hardware synths, odds are you spent at least a little time looking into the void of a computer screen. And to the public, much of that is obscured by the back of a display. Instruments face outward; computers face inward. Enter online photo sharing. Screen grabs can make software rigs visible. For example, someone’s been busy putting together a monster bass channel strip in Ableton Live: Contained: the synth source is …

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Cakewalk’s New $50 Studio Instruments: Keys, Drum, Bass, String With Slick Interfaces

Finding exotic software instruments is rarely a challenge. A lot of users stumble more quickly when it comes to the basics. Cakewalk has unveiled a new set of soft synths called Cakewalk Studio Instruments, and a number of things about it are immediately interesting: It’s dirt cheap. US$49.99 for the whole package. It focuses on a few basics. There are four modules: Drum Set, Bass Guitar, Electric Piano, or String Section. It’s available via mass-market outlets. Music tech stuff only trickles into the mass market, as a rule. Cakewalk says you’ll be able to pick this thing up at Apple, …

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Plattabass, DIY Hybrid Bass – Turntable, Coming Soon

Winning the award this month for “Most Insane Project Mockup”, I give you the Plattabass. It’s a bass. It’s a record player. It has magnetic sensors embedded in the neck. And yes, that is a crossfader. Even crazier: Mobius (Ray Belden) plans to actually build this thing. We’ll be watching. Proposed specs, courtesy Ray: 2 assignable cross faders, an extreme pitch control that goes to zero RMP, a thumb worn magnet that triggers a sensor inlaid in the back of the neck Three control knobs, and 2 TRS stereo outputs Fender P bass neck, Basslines 1/4 pound pickups, and Fender …

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Five Dollar Bass, Atmosphere Expansion Packs for Ableton Live

If you’re finding massive soundware libraries to be a little overwhelming — on your hard drive, your brain, and your wallet — you’ll like the idea of the new expansion packs from Tone Research. The first two are 13MB downloads priced at US$4.99 each. They work with Live 5 and get bonus features from Live 6. I’m still waiting on my copies, so I can’t yet comment on sound quality yet, but I’ll report back once I’ve thrown these into some songs. Tone Research Expansion Packs for Ableton Live Here’s what the creator has to say: Frost: Frozen Ambiance Frost …

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Line6’s KB37 Guitar/Vocal/Bass-Processing Keyboard

Multi-instrumentalists, Line6 must have you in mind. The equipment maker, known primarily for their guitar products, has plunked a keyboard on their multi-effects box / audio interface hybrid, TonePort. There are plenty of reasons to like the TonePort line: a broad approach to effects that caters to vocalists as well as guitarists, and cheaply-priced but good-sounding effects, in an interface with excellent low-latency performance. (Not to mention retro-looking VU meters, and they’re not just eye candy — they’re assignable.) Not everyone will need a keyboard in the same unit, but if you do, it’s nice to see a real mod …

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DIY Day: x0xb0x 303 Clone Chat, and an Open Source Musical Hardware Future

From South by Southwest comes an interesting chat with DIY synth x0xb0x (and MIDIsense) creator Limor Fried: Open Source Physical Objects: Limor Fried and her x0xb0x Synthesizer As someone in comments notes, the idea of selling DIY kits for devices like synthesizers is an old one. But that idea has fallen by the wayside in an era of big electronics makers, soldering iron-phobic consumers, and increasingly restrictive protection of intellectual property. That’s not to say protecting designs is all bad — many early electronic pioneers had their ideas blatantly ripped off and lost money as a result. But Limor’s synth …

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9-String Bass God, Mario Bros Musician, Interviewed

Joe at Tinfoil points us to his interview with Jean Baudin, the 9-string bass geek whose masterful performance of the Super Mario Bros. theme song launched him to Internet superstardom. He even talks about an 11-string bass. Every wish you could route all 11 strings to a different surround speaker? Now that’d require one serious, um, dodeca-pickup and digital connection: tinfoil.music presents Bass Gods Still in a guitar mood? Don’t miss Guitars as massive Where’s Waldo-style screen art over at Music thing.

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M-Audio Goes Virtual with Key Rig, Drum and Bass Rig

Remember hardware? Seems this year is all about trying to cash in on budget virtual instruments. M-Audio has now "released" (I think that means shippin!) Key Rig and Drum and Bass Rig, as promised at NAMM. Think bread-and-butter virtual instruments. Key Rig: "Stage keyboards": grands, Wurlitzers, electric pianos, FMs, clavinets. Polyphonic synth Hammond organ + rotary simulator, "pre-mapped to M-Audio brand USB MIDI controllers." (Plug in an Edirol keyboard, just to get them steamed.) Biggest news of all: a General MIDI module and drum kit! Party like it's 1990, baby!! Drum and Bass Rig: Loop player/creator with 250 loops (but …

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ThinAmp Portable Amp Fits in Laptop Bag

The ThinAmp from AXL, introduced in January at NAMM, is a portable amp packed into the size of a laptop: only 2" thick and just 5 lbs. (!) You can literally fit it into a laptop bag — in fact, you can probably fit it and your laptop into a laptop bag. The amp is geared at guitarists, but Synthtopia reviews it and finds it suitable for laptop, too. Of course, you can't expect a whole lot of sound out of a 2" amp; while it has EQ and DSP presets for reverb, vibrato, flanger, chorus, and the like, the …

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