UDO Audio, Ernie Ball Music Man + more: our top five gear releases of the week

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UDO Audio, Ernie Ball Music Man + more: our top five gear releases of the week

1. UDO Audio Super 6 Binaural Synthesiser 

Finally! If you’ve been following the development of this synth since it was announced midway through 2019, you’ll know how big of a deal this is: the UDO Audio Super 6 is finally here. This analogue-hybrid beast, inspired by classic ’80s units from Roland and Yamaha, features FPGA digital oscillators with analogue filers and amps, and allows for a stacked binaural mode that splits six true stereo voices to create a thick 12 voice tone.


In addition, the Super 6 boasts a super-wavetable oscillator, FM, sync, X-Fade and sub-oscillator modes, an inbuilt arpeggiator, a Juno-style chorus, delay and a 64-step sequencer. It’s a huge sounding synth that aims to bridge vintage and modern in a manner never seen before, and we reckon the Bristol-based company have done a stellar job. We cannot wait to hear it in action!



2. Ernie Ball Music Man StingRay Short Scale

After teasing the models earlier in the year at NAMM, Ernie Ball Music Man have now officially launched the Short Scale StingRay basses, bringing the classic sound and feel of the bass into a new shortscale format for smaller hands. The new 30″ scale bass makes use of an ash body and roasted maple neck and fretboard with 22 frets, as well as a specially designed passive humbucker with higher output neodymium magnets to deliver that classic mid-heavy tone.


Elsewhere, three-way switching allows users to flick between parallel, single-coil and series modes with ease, while a push/pull boost volume pot is perfect for busting through the mix for any big slap solos you might want to take. These new basses also feature revamped light tuners, modern bridges and chrome hardware are available in two cool finishes: Starry Night and Vintage Sunburst. Check them out when you can!



3. Jackson Audio El Guapo Overdrive/Distortion

As of late, the virtual guitar world has been obsessed with the playing of Mateus Asato, and as of late, we’ve seen a flock of companies throwing their name in the hat to snag signature deals with the talented shredder. This has led to the Jackson Audio El Guapo, a crisp new dual overdrive/distortion pedal that draws inspiration from a Marshall Plexi and JCM800 that can handle ‘soulful overdriven tones’ and ‘liquid high-gain tones’ alike. 


Featuring a bunch of clipping options to choose from for each side of the pedal, as well as an active Baxandall-style EQ with independent controls for gain, tone and volume, there’s a tonne of versatility on tap with the El Guapo. There’s even a Gain Cycle feature to let players toggle between gain stages on the fly, which could make for a pretty unique tone when used effectively. You can watch Asato putting the pedal through its paces in the video below.



4. Native Instruments Komplete 13

It’s been a hot minute since we’ve seen anything new come out of the Native Instruments camp, but this new announcement should salve our gearless woes. The software dons have announced Komplete 13; an expansion on their popular cache of soft synths, sounds and effects that brings the overall package up to a whopping 1.1TB of content. 


As well as bundling in the new Super 8 synth, Raum reverb and Crush plugin packs, Komplete 13 features a new Cremona Quartet string instrument and NOIRE plug-in, as well as a totally revamped Guitar Rig 6, which promises new effects and machine learning technology to effectively model hardware. It’s a whopping package that’s best suited to those among us working in the box for immerseive sound-shaping projects, but it’s totally worth it. 



5. Two Notes Engineering Torpedo Captor X 16

Two Notes Audio Engineering released the Torpedo Captor X – a powerful reactive load box with IR cab simualtion, attenuation and stereo expanding capabilities – earlier in the year to considerable acclaim. Now, the French firm have caved in to the demands of their customers and released a new 16 Ohm version of the Captor X for guitarists using matching cabinets, with CEO Guillaume Pille saying that “We received many requests from our customers and dealers for a 16 Ohm version of the Torpedo Captor X, and we are delighted to be able to fulfill this from today via our global network of retailers”.



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