Reviewed: Gruv Gear GigBlade Silver
The gig bag has long been the perfect sidekick for a guitar. I can guarantee that it was the first accessory purchased to go with any guitar that has even been bought, and rightly so. With the investment that goes into purchasing an instrument, it’s also paramount that one invests in something to keep it safe and sound. Gruv Gear have released a number of high quality gig bags in recent years, with a focus on comfort, convenience and cool as hell designs. This month we got our hands on the GigBlade Sliver, the new slim and lightweight take on the classic GigBlade bag.
Reviewed: Akai Professional Fire FL Studio Controller
Most of you who have been producing music over the last 20 years will have come across the Fruity Loops platform in one of its various guises. So it goes without saying that there is a pretty big user group for FL Studio out there today. With that in mind, Akai have stepped up to the plate and delivered a dedicated hardware controller for FL Studio that is really going to change how you look at this piece of software and improve your workflow in ways you probably didn’t realise were possible – until now.
Reviewed: Gruv Gear GigBlade 2
It’s a skin-blistering, 40-degree day in Australia. You wake up speckled with sweat only to realise you have a gig to play in an hour, and have to haul your guitar on public transport. Ambling to the bus stop with your lofty hard case in one hand, you’re barely managing the stuffed tote bag full of pedals, leads, strings and slides in the other before you see the bus splutter away in front of you. In this scenario, the day is done – there’s no way you can carry it further without your back discs quite literally imploding. Enter Gruv Gear’s GigBlade 2, the world’s first side-carry hybrid guitar bag. Gruv Gear are a premium lifestyle accessories company that unusually has set its talents to the music industry. The GigBlade 2 is the second iteration of Gruv’s gig bag opus, with additional space, a revamped shoulder strap and weather cover.
Reviewed: TC Electronic TC8210-DT and TC1210-DT Plug-ins
Plug-ins have made writing, producing, recording, mixing and mastering music infinitely easier than patching in clunky hardware. They’re generally a software reproduction of a piece of hardware, that are used as either an insert or auxiliary effect depending on your workflow, although many plug-ins do their job without reproducing a specific piece of hardware. TC Electronic have historically produced high-end, studio grade hardware. While they have been producing plug-ins for some time, the TC8210-DT and TC1210-DT bring a tangible piece of hardware to the fold. These plug-ins are both ‘desktop’ versions of their 19” 1U rack counterparts, and make ITB (in the box) mixing even easier. The TC1210-DT is a ‘spatial expander’ that is primarily used to add excitement or thicken up a signal, while the TC8210-DT is a handy little reverb plug-in to heavily effect a signal or help sit different elements into a mix.
Reviewed: Martin Authentic Acoustic Strings
Martin already make some of the best acoustic guitars on Earth, but with their newly updated line of Authentic Acoustic strings, they’ve now crafted the perfect strings to pair with their instruments.
Reviewed: JVB Strings Polymer Coated Electric Guitar Strings
If you’re like the majority of the music world, there’s a good chance you’ve been buying the same type of strings for your beloved instrument since you were a sweaty teenager spending hours shredding away in high school. Whether they’re the factory standards that came with your instrument out of the box or a meticulous and financially devastating result of trial and error, we quickly grow attached to our favourite strings. Sooner or later, anything else starts to feel and sound alien to your loyal ears and fingers. For me, playing without my preferred gauge of D’Addario’s makes me feel as out of place as GG Allin on the set of Play School. Naturally, I was incredibly apprehensive about the prospect of defiling my fretboard with another brand of strings.
Reviewed: Lock-It Retro Vintage Chestnut Bay Guitar Strap
At some stage in your guitar playing career you are going to need to stand up to play and/or use a strap. As humble and innocent as the guitar strap may seem, they are of course not all created equal. There are many variations in material, size, width, length, looks, fastening mechanisms and more with the latter being one of the main innovations in the world of guitar strappage. Numerous companies offer locking type straps and attachments that can involve anything from modifying your instrument to installing locks and clips. Hailing from the US, Lock-It straps offer a solution that gives you locking peace of mind without the need for altering your guitar.
Reviewed: Sonuus G2m MIDI Converter and i2M Musicport
UK-based developers Sonuus have developed a name for themselves in providing unique music devices in a market that seems to be awash with ‘me too’ products. In fact, if you ever have one of those, “I wonder if I can do that?” moments, the team at Sonuus has probably already thought about it and come up with a device to help you achieve your sound. That’s why I was pleased to see these two boxes land on my desk this month. The G2M and i2M are reminiscent of the older days of MIDI conversion and thru boxes where all manner of possibilities could be achieved with the addition of a clever little box to your signal chain. These two, however, offer something rather different to a conventional thru box. They are very much worth having a look at.