Tech Blog

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There is a world of accessories that can enhance a musician's playing - from pedals to amps and everything in between, students and teachers of every discipline can reap the endless benefits these add-ons can provide. Below is a list of my personal must-haves, and, while mostly for the guitarist and bassist, I included some items that would be a welcome addition to any musician’s toolbox.

 

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Review of Gibson's Les Paul 70s Tribute Guitar

by Blogger on ‎11-27-2013 03:46 PM - last edited on ‎12-24-2013 10:55 AM by Blog Editor in Chief

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What do Stairway to Heaven, Smoke on the Water and Hotel California all have in common? They’re all classic hits from same decade, the 1970s – one of the most thrilling and experimental times in music history. And, not surprisingly, a handful of these all-time favourites were written, recorded and performed on a select few guitars. 

 

One favourite was Gibson’s Les Paul. To pay homage to the feel and tone of the instrument that made some of the most unforgettable tunes during a decade when rock was king, Gibson introduced their Les Paul Studio '70s Tribute earlier this year. As someone who has always appreciated the Gibson brand of guitars, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to put this newly minted instrument to the test.  Here’s a quick breakdown of how I thought it measured up.

 

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How to choose the right speakers for your home

by Blogger ‎11-26-2013 03:27 PM - edited ‎01-11-2014 12:08 PM

Home-icon.jpgShopping for speakers can be a surprisingly overwhelming task. Unless you’re a hardcore audiophile and gearhead, it can be a challenge navigating the sea of complex terminology, numbers, and seemingly conflicting advice you’ll run across. As with anything you’ll want to get the speakers that provide the most bang for your buck, and know that your purchase is well suited to your home.

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Give music on your iPhone the live concert treatment

by Blogger ‎10-15-2013 03:21 PM - edited ‎10-15-2013 03:22 PM

LiveTunes main.jpgIf you have a lot of music on your iPhone, and you tend to like how a live concert sounds, there’s an app that puts the two together in a unique way. LiveTunes is an iOS app that simulates the sound effects of a live concert for tracks you already have stored on your device. Imagine how a song recorded in a studio would sound if it had all the elements of a venue, audience and acoustics. That’s what LiveTunes delivers with particular coolness.

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Review: Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear headphones

by Blogger on ‎08-31-2013 12:06 PM - last edited on ‎01-14-2014 11:39 AM by Blog Editor in Chief

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Sennheiser already scored a winner with the over-ear Momentum headphones, but now, they’ve slimmed down the profile and slightly changed the design materials to create an on-ear version that are considerably more portable. These won’t have the noise isolation of the bigger model, but the components inside are virtually identical, all but ensuring music will sound great on these.

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If you have a Sonos sound system and an Android phone, you will probably love the latest update. In basic terms, you can now play music stored on your phone or tablet wirelessly over to a Sonos system. This follows in the footsteps of iOS, which added local streaming playback back in December.

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Review: Sony Bluetooth Speaker Ball

by Blogger ‎05-16-2013 06:47 PM - edited ‎07-09-2013 07:55 PM

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It’s not easy to imagine big sound coming out of a small package, which is what Sony endeavours to deliver here with its wireless Bluetooth Speaker Ball. The SRS-BTV5, which is the product’s actual model number, is a bit like a baseball, except it’s lighter and much more colourful. It’s meant to be versatile, but what it outputs in sound is what makes it tough to listen the way you’d like to.

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Review: iRig Mix Mobile Mixer

by Blogger on ‎05-13-2013 11:14 AM - last edited on ‎10-31-2013 04:15 PM by Blog Editor in Chief

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Not everybody is a DJ, but it’s one of those things that most people appreciate in some way. Whether it’s dancing the night away in a nightclub or listening to a great set of tracks in your car, DJing seems to have become an art people are drawn to, and the power of smartphones today means you can do a little bit of it yourself. To be fair, the iRig Mix Mobile Mixer isn’t going to replace expensive DJ gear outright, but it is a good entry point into mixing tracks.

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Review: Focusrite iTrack Solo

by Blogger on ‎04-30-2013 04:14 PM

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The iPad has been a pretty interesting device for musicians over the last few years. There is a growing ecosystem of hardware and software that makes these tablets invaluable to musicians. One of the latest such products I’ve been able to check out is the Focusrite iTrack Solo. This handy little device lets you record guitar and vocals straight on your iPad without the need for any computer intermediary, so it is a great solution for use in the studio or on the go.

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Match YouTube videos with songs on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch

by Blogger on ‎03-31-2013 08:21 PM - last edited on ‎04-01-2013 09:17 AM by Administrator

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It’s already widely known that Vevo is the go-to app for watching music videos on a smartphone or tablet, but what if you wanted to watch music videos based on songs you have in your own collection? MusicTV is a neat little app that does just that; it scours YouTube and plays a music video that matches the song you’re playing.

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Sennheiser isn’t known for releasing headphones that will attract the kind of attention celebrity-themed ones do these days, but the quality of the product and the trust the brand earns is why you should consider a good pair from them. The Momentum over-ear headphones are a stylish pair (by Sennheiser standards) that offer some of the most balanced sound you can find for the price.

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Rdio offering free music streaming for Canada

by Blogger ‎01-29-2013 03:06 PM - edited ‎01-29-2013 03:07 PM

Rdio logo.jpgIf you were ever on the fence about trying out Rdio, you can go way beyond just the seven-day trial they usually offer and stream music for free for a full six months instead. The new deal, announced earlier today, allows you to sign up without any credit card or payment information to start listening to anything in the full catalog of 18 million tracks.

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CES 2013: Sennheiser Momentum headphones going red and black

by Blogger on ‎01-11-2013 11:49 AM - last edited on ‎01-16-2013 02:53 PM by JorgeM Recognized Expert

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Like SMS Audio in the post below, we’ve got another cosmetic change for a pair of headphones — Sennheiser’s Momentum. Future Shop carries the original brown model that came out last year, but Sennheiser will be releasing a black model with a red cable within a few months, I was told. There’s nothing different under the hood, so the sound will be the same, and the $399.99 price tag will likely be, too.

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CES 2013: SMS by 50 Cent to launch new colours for on-ear Street headphones

by Blogger on ‎01-11-2013 05:22 AM - last edited on ‎01-16-2013 02:55 PM by JorgeM Recognized Expert

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Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to talk to 50 Cent himself about the latest SMS Audio headphones bearing his name and likeness, but then again, there wasn’t a whole lot of news to report, either. The one piece of info that might interest you is that new colours for the Street on-ear headphones were presented at CES, and word is they’ll be hitting Canada sometime soon, possibly before the spring. There are no technical differences between these and the original models, so this is purely a cosmetic change. The new colours are navy blue, monster green, metallic orange, metallic pink, metallic red, metallic teal.

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CES 2013: Ion Party Rocker is like a wireless music disco ball

by Blogger on ‎01-10-2013 09:07 AM - last edited on ‎01-10-2013 09:47 AM by Administrator

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Ion is a company known for making smartphone and tablet accessories that are a little unusual, but plenty of fun. The Party Rocker is a big standing speaker that can play music wirelessly from any Bluetooth-enabled music player or via a standard 3.5mm line-in cable. The light at the top projects lights like a disco ball onto the walls and ceiling of a room, and can change the colours and patterns based on the beat of the music you’re playing. There’s also a microphone for those who want to go all-out and start singing along.

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