1. Electro-Harmonix Mainframe Bit Crusher
For all your gritty down-sampling and chaotic bleep-blooping requirements, you can’t go wrong with a bit crusher, and the latest offering Electro-Harmonix looks to occupy that niche quite nicely. The Mainframe Bit Crusher can destroy your signal all the way from 24-bit down to a measly 1-bit, crushing things from 48kHz to 110Hz to take you straight into video game soundtrack territory. There’s also a low-pass, high-pass and band-pass filter built in, letting you shape the characteristics of your signal and tame any shrill frequencies with ease.
Elsewhere, a tuning mode lets you tweak the sample rate of the Mainframe to make sure you’re in key with your song, and there’s also expression pedal functionality, secondary control modes and storage for presets. Hear the unit in action below, and keep your eyes and ears out for more news soon.
2. Zoom PodTrak P8
Capitalising on the popularity of their dynamic PodTrak P4, Zoom have squeezed a squillion features into the new all-in-one PodTrak P8 podcasting system, providing budding content creators with everything they need to make a splash on the broadcast charts. With a colour touchscreen display, six microphone inputs with EQ and dynamic controls on each channel and the ability to record 13 tracks at once, the PodTrak packs an awful lot of power into one very nifty unit, and could very well become one of the best selling hardware units on the market.
If that’s not enough, the PodTrak 8 also features switchable phantom power, nine sample pads and four banks to slot your sounds into, individual headphone volume controls for each microphone input and Bluetooth connectivity. Dive into everything on offer below – we can’t wait to test this thing out.
3. Lollar Novel Foil Pickups
Lollar have risen to become known as one of the biggest names in the pickup world today, thanks to both the crisp sound of their products and their intuitive mission to provide something unique to the market. Their new drop-in Novel Foil pickups are testament to this, providing players with a fuss-free solution to mounting their lauded Gold Foils into a humbucker-routed guitar.
Gold Foil pickups are noted for providing a much richer sweet spot in the upper frequencies, and Lollar claim that these new Novel Foils will live up to that reputation, touting ‘a crystal clear top end with lots of in-your-face harmonic overtones, plus a wide dynamic range that can make your tube amp give up the dirt’. If you’re not convinced already, listen to the sound demos below. These bad boys are available as either neck, middle or bridge pickups, and you can even choose which colour the rings, covers and caps via the Lollar website. Tight!
4. Teenage Engineering OB-4
Those mad scientists at Teenage Engineering have been busy toiling over a new instrument for a while now, and what they’ve unveiled is quite interesting, to say the least. The OB-4 fuses a Bluetooth speaker with an FM radio and line-in connectivity to offer an updated take on the classic boombox, but what really makes it unique is the Tape function. This mode lets you record whatever you’re listening to for up to two hours and listen back, loop and even time-stretch the ensuing audio, which could prove to be quite a deadly tool in the hands of those invested in plunderphonics or tape manipulation.
In the specs department, the OB-4 is loaded with two 4″ bass drivers and a pair of neodymium speakers to output ‘crystal clear, open natural sound with 38 watts per channel. It also makes use of a rechargable battery that’s able to last up to 40 hours on a single charge and withstand eight hours of constant usage, and is available in a range of finishes. As nifty a bit of kit as it is, the OB-4 does appear to be on the pricey side, so we’ll wait and see how they take off with buyers.
5. Gibson Special Flying-V Tribute
The Big G have linked arms with online retailer zZsounds.com for a special run of Flying-V Tribute Edition guitars decked out in an Worn Olive Drab finish. With an all-mahogany body and neck and slim tapered profile for clean playing, the Flying-V doesn’t step too far outside the general comfort zone for Gibson aside from its odd finish, with a rosewood fretboard and 22 frets finishing off the build of the guitar.
Elsewhere, the guitar features 490R and 490T humbuckers which are tweaked to provide a little extra grunt in the midrange, while a volume and tone knob and a three-way pickup selector switch lets you flip between tones with ease. It’s unlikely any of these models will make their way through to Australia, but if you’re keen to find out more, head to zZsounds.com for more.
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