The Amp Hook by The Wishbone Workshop
If necessity is the mother of invention, then surely modification and interpretation are the weird aunties prone to having a little too much fun at family gatherings. Clutter is over by the food table scarfing down all the mince tarts while form and function argue about design principles over the last of the Coonawarra Shiraz. As a family they come up with a lot of amazing ideas, most of which end up as incredible improvements adopted by all and sundry. However, not every brain-fart can be a profound paradigm shift; there is, after all, plenty of room for baby-steps where progress is concerned. What in god’s name is he prattling on about you may ask? Well, dear reader, as I approached The Wishbone Workshop’s debut product The Amp Hook for review I thought to myself ‘how much could I possibly write about a mic stand?’ Much to my amusement I found, quite a bit.
SAMSON QH4 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
One device that often gets overlooked in home recording is the humble headphone amplifier. So much so that it is often hard to find a decent one that is readily available, doesn’t take up too much space and doesn’t hit the hip pocket too heavily. This is where the Samson QH4 is going to make a lot of you smile. It can solve any number of your rehearsal and recording issues. Especially considering many of us are looking for quiet ways to practice and record these days.
PRESONUS STUDIO 192 MOBILE USB 3 AUDIO INTERFACE
It only took a very brief glance for me to know that this was a PreSonus device, with the now all too familiar grey/blue housing and fixtures standing for quality. As suggested by its size, the Presonus Studio 192 Mobile is not just your ordinary two input home recording interface. Whilst not as large as some other rack units, it still has a little more bulk to the casing than many compact USB audio interfaces, and that is due to what is going on around at the rear, as well as what is happening under the hood. This unit delivers four physical analogue inputs and six physical analogue outputs on the casing, but that’s only just the beginning.
TC Electronic Distortion Pedal Family
There is definitely something in the air in Sweden that makes their designers so good, particularly when it comes to innovation. While the rest of the world wallows in the ‘form following function’ entry-level principles, the nation that filled the world’s houses with flat pack furniture has delivered on this stereotype so many times that it’s getting to a point where we’re going to have to ask them to leave some of the good ideas for the rest of us. TC Electronic is a shining example of the aforementioned ingenuity. They already lead the new breed of pedal peddlers by the time they bought out their Tone Print equipped models, a change which propelled the rocket of tonal possibility farther into the stratosphere than ever. It seems like every time they bring out a new pedal it instantly becomes that year’s must-have.
ERNIE BALL MUSIC MAN S.U.B. SILO3 ELECTRIC GUITAR
The Silo3 is based on the Ernie Ball Music Man Silhouette, a workhorse guitar that has proved itself popular in hard rock and fusion circles for decades. It offers much of the tonal muscle of a really nice Strat but with certain ergonomic tweaks. The Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Silo3 is a budget priced version of the Silhouette.
Steinberg UR22 MkII Recording Pack
There once was a time when Steinberg offered real competition to some of the biggest names in high end digital audio workstations. But not all is fair in business and while other DAWs were embraced by the industry, Steinberg’s flagship product Cubase fell to the wayside. However, as the UR22 Mk II Recording Pack shows, this didn’t mean that the company ceased making high quality products.
SOYUZ SU-017 TUBE CONDENSER MICROPHONE
Every now and then a product arrives on my desk that really gets me excited. It usually has to be something very special to get any sort of reaction out of me, and that is exactly what the Soyuz SU-017 tube condenser microphone did this month. Before I even got it fully set up, in fact, before I even had it out of the box, I knew this microphone was rather special. The care and attention to detail that has gone into the packaging lone tell you that this is no ordinary microphone. There have been plenty of renowned engineers and producers raving about this microphone, and after getting my hands on one, I can now see why.
PRESONUS AIR12 ACTIVE SPEAKER
PreSonus is a name that first made its way into the audio world in studio equipment, with recording interfaces, preamps and controllers. However, many of you may not have known this, but over the years they extended their range to studio monitors and from there, grew the speaker offerings in both size and power to meet the demands of professional sound reinforcement applications. The latest offering in this range is the AIR12 from PreSonus, which delivers quality audio at great volumes whilst still remaining portable.