An Analog Filter That’s Playable for Producers, Guitarists Alike: Waldorf 2-pole Video

Synth maker Waldorf revealed the 2-pole Analog Filter in the USA at the NAMM show. Now, they’re coming home to Germany with more details. The emphasis here is making a filter for everyone: producers and synthesists, yes, but also DJs and guitarists. We already know guitarists like having access to this stuff if it can be playable (see KOMA, Moog), and if Waldorf can sell DJs a buttery filter instead of the awful stuff you get on many DJ mixers, they may be doing the world a public service. The hardware has an all-analog filter path, which makes sense for …

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Deep in Debt, Big Retailer Guitar Center May Be Acquired

While the biggest US name in pro audio made headlines last week with uncertain financial news, so, too, did the biggest US name in music retail. Yes, we were so caught up watching Avid, makers of Pro Tools, Sibelius, and Media Composer, as they were dropped from NASDAQ and delayed earnings reports once again, we missed the latest on Guitar Center. The big box music giant may not be able to keep up with its debt. The Wall Street Journal [paywall] reports that the retailer’s largest creditor is in “advanced talks” with owner Bain Capital to take over the company. …

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A Guitar Amp That Doubles as Home Speaker System: AMPLIFi, with Bluetooth and iOS Integration

Line 6 made a name for themselves by making amps that used digital models to change their sound. AMPLIFi is their latest notion in amps. Instead of just being something guitarists would use in the studio and stage, for the first time it’s an amp system you might want to bring into the home. AMPLIFi is an amp, first and foremost. And like other Line 6 products, it uses digital models to change tones and effects. But while it can be loud like a traditional guitar amp (in 75- or 150-Watt versions), inside is a full-spectrum, five-speaker system. That means …

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Wild, Techie, Wonderful: NAMM’s Gear Delights [Gallery II]

Hardware and software continue to thrive (above). Pro audio lives on. People still make strange, wonderful products for tiny niches of people passionate about every element of sound. Marsha Vdovin is a veteran of the NAMM trade show like few people we know, so seeing the show through the eyes of her camera reveals some weirdness and wonderfulness we always appreciate. And Wonder Woman, too. Magic Kingdom, indeed. Gallery II, go! -Ed.

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The POD that changed everything. Photo (CC-BY) Lauri Rantala.

Yamaha will Acquire Line 6, Major Innovator in Guitar Tech

Even in a big year for acquisitions – with Gibson acquiring Cakewalk, for one – this news comes as a surprise to many of us. Yamaha, the 1887-founded Japanese conglomerate with a stake in everything from golf carts to wheelchairs to jetskis to pianos, is acquiring Line 6, the independent California-based guitar and sound product manufacturer. Yamaha is a huge force in products for music and sound, without question, with an unparalleled design, manufacturing, and distribution apparatus. And music is at their core – look closely at those motorcycles and jetskis, and there’s a reason you’ll see tuning forks. Yamaha …

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Leaked: Moog Minifooger Stompboxes, $139-199 [Uninformed Analysis]

American retailer Sweetwater leaked news of Maschine Studio yesterday; today, it’s pocket-sized, affordable versions of Moog effects that seems to be out of the bag. Yes, it’s a rumor, non-official, unconfirmed, yadda yadda – but this one’s hard not to believe at face value, it makes so much sense. The units, many of which appear to be intended for combination with an expression pedal: Delay, US$199: bucket-brigade analog delay. Tremolo, $179: Tremolo pedal with sub. Boost, $139: Both volume pedal and “boost” functions, each with either a more Moog-like voltage-coltrolled amplifier or a classic-sounding operational transconductance amplifier for overdrive. Drive, …

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How an “Acoustic Synth” Wants to Change The Way You Think About Guitars [Videos]

It’s been a long time since we had a new hit like the electric guitar. Amidst the wonderful explosion of innovations in electronic instruments – digital and analog – the sound possibilities of acoustic and electro-acoustic instruments seem to have gone largely dormant. This is the guitar that hopes to change that. In fact, its creators don’t even call it a guitar, preferring instead “Acoustic Synthesizer.” Asheville, North Carolina’s Paul Vo, he of the Moog Guitar and Moog Lap Steel, wants to give guitarists unprecedented control over the timbres they play, both experimental and traditional, vastly expanding the range of …

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Guitar Innovation, Then And Now: Paul Vo Reinvents Fretless, Acoustic Guitars [Videos]

Imagine any acoustic instrument able to act as a synth, and you begin to appreciate the potential instrumental pioneer Paul Vo may be about to unlock. As we reported last month, music-technological innovation can absolutely involve guitars, not just synths with keyboards. So, it’s fitting that we tun now to a lover of keyboards and guitars alike, Chris Stack, for a look in video at the work of Paul Vo. Vo may not be a household name in sound tech, but he should be, as the inventor of the impressive Moog Guitar. Here, we get look back at what came …

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Bartok, awesome, angular music, awesome, angular nose. Photo (CC-BY) cuttlefish.

Bartók String Quartet on Electric Guitar, Magic of Bluetooth iPad Page Turning

Here’s digital music of a different variety: the stunningly-modern music of Hungarian composer Bela Bartók, transcribed for four electric guitars. Where’s the computer? Glad you asked: think computer music software (Notion, which looks lovely here), and an iPad and Bluetooth page turner. There’s no way you’re playing this string quartet and turning pages, unless you have three hands. Guitarist Joe Gore – playing with guitarists Joe Gore, Joe Gore, and Joe Gore – tackles this epic score, and demonstrates just how great it sounds on electric guitar. It’s worth reading his whole story, which deservedly waxes poetic about the beauty …

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Moldover, Playing Live with Latest Sensor-Laden, DIY Controllers (The Mojito!) [Music Video]

Matt “Moldy” Moldover helped champion the notion of controllerism, focusing live performance on manipulation of digital parameters. In his latest music video, he shows off his latest creations. What’s nice about what he’s doing currently is that he’s able to augment traditional live rigs with buttons and sensors. Having your controls clamped to a mic stand? Eminently practical for vocalists and instrumentalists. The guitar gets the full sensor treatment, too. Moldover explains to CDM: Both the guitar and mic controllers are prototypes I made for my recently completed Super Villain Tour. The microphone attachment is called The Mojito. It’s simply …

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