Reviewed: Audio-Technica ATH-ANC700BT Headphones
Now that certain smartphone makers are moving away from wired headphones, wireless Bluetooth headphones are becoming pretty much the standard, especially as you move upward in the market. Yes, there will always be a place for wired headphones, especially in the recording sphere where latency is an issue, and in the audiophile community where only true analogue will do. But for those of us just listening to music or podcasts on the go, a great-sounding wireless headphone set is pretty much essential. Audio-Technica is no stranger to making great headphones. The ATH-ANC700BT set is among their latest product offerings and it’s packed with features for music nuts on the go.
Reviewed: Taurus Amplification Servo Analogue Guitar Enhancer
Taurus says the Servo pedal is capable of giving you the feeling that “you are playing on a much higher-quality instrument than it originally is.” That’s a big claim to make, but it also gives you a bit of a hint as to what the Servo’s job is. Basically it gives you control over various harmonic overtones already inherent in your instrument, and that’s gotta be a good thing whether you’re playing a cheapie guitar or something you spent a few months’ wages on
Reviewed: Mackie Thump15BST
I’m sure you’ve all seen Mackie Thump speakers in stores, at gigs and even in venues over the last few years. They have proven to be a popular budget priced speaker from the company that has been bringing you power speakers for a very long time. I’ve used and heard my fair share of the different models of Thump speakers since their release, and now have a chance to listen to the latest model in the range, the Thump15BST. Not only is it an upgraded amplifier and driver to the previous Thump models, it also comes with a range of added features like digital control and wireless streaming and connection between multiple speakers. This may just be the perfect party speaker for easy setup and big sound.
Reviewed: Fender Mirror Image Delay Pedal
“This’ll be interesting,” we all mumbled cautiously under our collective breath upon learning the news that U2’s austere and suspiciously silent guitarist The Edge had joined Fender’s Board of Directors. We are all too aware and constantly reminded of the fact that the guitar world is replete with celebrity influences of various degrees of cringe-worthiness (see: Kirk Hammett’s misguided ‘the first pedal made by a guitarist for guitarists’ slogan.) Could the man behind the man behind the glasses really be trusted with decisions affecting the first and last name in electrified instrumentation? We waited with bated breath until Fender unveiled their new line of stompboxes at this year’s NAMM conference.
Reviewed: Yamaha SessionCake SC-01 & SC-02
Every now and then, a new device comes along that makes us all stop and wonder why no-one has come up with something like that before. And of course, when a new device like this comes along, it usually opens up new channels of creativity and enjoyment. It is often Japan that comes up with these fun little devices that get our attention and intrigue, and that is certainly the case with the latest offering from Yamaha. The esteemed company has delivered a new concept in practise tools for guitar, keyboard, vocals and just about any instrument that you can plug in. In two brightly coloured devices, the SC-01 and the SC-02 offer us a new way to get together with friends, whilst totally separating ourselves from one another at the same time. It’s time we all took a look at the SessionCake, and apparently we’re invited to take a bite.
Reviewed: sE Electronics Voodoo VR1 Ribbon Microphone
I know there are many of you who simply own one studio microphone - or worse, have several yet still fall back on the same microphone time and time again. Going with the safe option on a microphone, you know it can have its pros and cons. Yes, you understand how that microphone works and can get a good result with it, but usually the results are all the same. There is no variation in colour or tonal texture, which is why I always recommend using several microphones in different ways for any application. Whilst the large diaphragm condenser is the staple for studio recording, the benefits of a ribbon microphone usually stand out in the mix when added for some tracking. It’s because of this that the sE Electronics Voodoo VR1 is such a clever option for the home studio recording kit.
Reviewed: Toca Percussion Kalani Flex Drum
Percussionist Kalani has teamed up with Toca Percussion to create a new and innovative drum that could appeal to many players. It’s called the Flex Drum and sound and playability aside, it’s actually the construction and versatility that could be the real selling point. For lovers of convenience and the next new thing, read on.
Reviewed: Steinberg UR-RT4 audio interface
Steinberg’s range of UR audio interfaces has been around for a number of years now, with details of the expected upgrade to certain models recently being released. At present, the existing models currently stand proud on features and audio quality for their price points. Steinberg did not need to bring out replacements for these proven interfaces, and that is not what they have done here. The new UR-RT4 is not a replacement for the UR44, so don’t think of this as just another upgrade. The UR-RT4 is part of a whole new direction for the UR range that introduces two new interfaces designed to deliver a greater standard in audio quality with something very special that will make these models stand out from the regular UR range, and that something special comes with the name of Rupert Neve in the design process.