Reviewed: Cort L100P Parlour Acoustic Guitar
If you did a survey of people’s idea of a typical steel string acoustic guitar, I’d think the common response would be something along the lines of a concert, orchestra or jumbo-style guitar – that is, a bigger bodied instrument that we’ve grown to see on TV in the hands of famous musos and what most music stores stock. Guitar history, however, is littered with small bodied examples from early Spanish explorers to Central America, Europe and indeed the United States of America. The Parlour guitar, as it is often referred to, became popular for its smaller size, projection and considerable volume. Whilst typically a mainstay of many brands’ lineups, the Parlour has enjoyed a resurgence over the last few years for anything from country and bluegrass through to singer-songwriters, rock and a range of other purposes and genres. Coming from its Luce series, the Cort L100P follows the traditional Parlour look at quite an affordable price.
Reviewed: Alto Professional TS312 Powered Speaker
It’s been a while since I last got to hear and test any powered PA speakers from Alto Professional, and before I even had this guy out of the box, it was evident that there had been some serious improvements with the new Truesonic 3 range of speakers. Now, I don’t need to deliver the written version of an unboxing video. We’ve all seen those and don’t need to know how many layers of packaging this speaker has in it, but I can certainly say that when the TS312 was out of the box and plugged in, I was more impressed with it than I originally expected. These speakers are a big step up from the last time I got to test out any PA from Alto, so let’s take a closer look.
Reviewed: Katoh Madrid Nylon String Classical Guitar
Nylon string guitars are an interesting beast. From the entry level models you often see in schools through to exquisite handmade instruments, they can have a huge variance in specs and quality. Specifically made for the Australian market, Katoh has been producing classical guitars for over 30 years and seems to have created a strong following for their reliable instruments that don’t cost the earth. From their Professional series, let’s have a look at the Madrid.
Reviewed: iZotope VocalSynth 2 VST Plugin
For those of you who have used iZotope plugins before, you will no doubt be aware of the wide range of effects they offer to cater for all range of needs in audio production and repair work. There is essentially a tool for just about every audio task in the iZotope range, and those of you looking for vocal effects are certainly not left wanting. With VocalSynth, many loyal users were converted to iZotope’s products and now that the latest update has been officially released, I am sure there is about to be a much wider user group for VocalSynth 2 with the range of effects it has on offer.
Reviewed: TC Electronic SpectraDrive Bass Preamp Pedal
For an instrument with such limited impact on the length and breadth of the frequency spectrum, it never ceases to amaze me how much bass effects pedals hone in on the particulars of any given sound. I guess it stands to reason; essentially, the less you have to play with the more you have to focus on the toys in your toy box in order to have the same amount of fun as your more overstocked counterparts. In a way, the world of music would be a much less wild, muddy and confusing place if guitar players paid as much attention to the minutiae of tonality as bass players are forced to. If every six stringer’s first pedal was a ten-band EQ as opposed to a dirt box, imagine how much more creative they’d have to be to stand out in the throng. But I digress.
Reviewed: Nektar Pacer MIDI DAW Footswitch Controller
Foot controllers are usually something that you associate with guitarists and to be honest, when I first had this unit land on my desk, I thought it was just another MIDI controller for an effects rig. Then I actually looked at the product and saw what was on offer. I am, of course, talking about the Nektar Pacer, a new foot controller that has been brought out by the innovators at Nektar, who originally delivered the Panorama keyboard that changed the way in which Reason users could interact with their software. With the Pacer, the team at Nektar has again changed the way in which musicians, producers and engineers can interact with their DAW of choice.
Reviewed: Vox MV50 High Gain and Boutique Mini Heads
It almost feels like a magic trick. You feel deceived. God, it even has the Vox logo emblazoned on the front panel. But how could it be? That logo is the frontispiece atop one of the heaviest, British, class A tube amps in history. This runt is the distant cousin of an AC30? Gobbledygook. How could one fathom that something so tiny could emanate from the same spring of power and glory, envisioned by the same minds that ear-splittingly amplified some of the biggest names in rock history? It just should not be, but it is. Oh, but it is!
Reviewed: Jackson Guitars Pro Series Signature Mick Thomson Soloist SL2
Slipknot have been massive players on the metal scene for many years. Highly influential for their combination of brutal riffs and energetic syncopated grooves and rhythms, the band has spawned various signature models and endorsements for many of its members. The latest sees Jackson releasing the Mick Thomson Pro Series signature model. A ‘Soloist’ shape with a few tweaks, let’s have a closer look.