guitars

Record Run for iOS review

The first mobile game from Harmonix (makers of Rock Band and Dance Central), Record Run introduces a rhythm and beat element to the runner genre. Will Record Run hit platinum, or is this game destined to be shelved?

Pros

Run to the beat: By introducing rhythm to vanilla running gameplay, Harmonix has spiced up a mostly stale genre. Enjoy some sweet tunes while you jump over obstacles and avoid danger.

Be the DJ: One of the huge draws of Record Run is the ability to import your own songs. Sing along to radio Gaga, crank it up like a true … Read more

Acoustic Stream guitar gadget does everything but play for you

There are plenty of gadgets that help you record your guitar, tune your guitar, monitor the humidity levels, or send a wireless signal to an amp or sound board. The Acoustic Stream on Kickstarter just happens to do all those things, which may qualify it as the most overachieving guitar gadget ever created.

Currently working toward a $50,000 funding goal, the Acoustic Stream is centered around a Bluetooth connection with an iOS app. The device sits just inside the sound hole on an acoustic guitar. Tap on your guitar twice to activate the recording feature and capture your sound in the app. If your smartphone isn't handy, then just let the device capture the recording and sync it later.… Read more

TronicalTune: A robot tuner for almost any guitar (hands-on)

I took my custom champagne-sparkle Telecaster electric guitar to a party last weekend full of local musicians. I'm used to people ogling the paint job, but this time they were ogling the back of the headstock, and for a good reason. I had just installed the TronicalTune, an automated robotic tuning system.

There were a lot of "ahs" and "that's so cool!" comments as I pushed a couple of buttons and the tuners started spinning around on their own, like little magic silver dervishes. The tiny motors make a satisfying whirring noise, but the device also works surprisingly well. It puts your guitar into your choice of 18 different tunings, from standard to whatever your imagination can come up with.… Read more

JamStik wireless fretboard turns you into a guitar hero

LAS VEGAS -- Want to learn to play the guitar? I speak from personal experience when I say it's tough, especially if you rely on apps or videos that merely show you what to do without providing any feedback.

The JamStik teaches you guitar by way of a wireless fretboard, real strings, and a couple innovative iPad apps. I just got a demo here at CES and came away impressed.

To look at the JamStik is to see a six-string, 15-inch fretboard that requires no tuning, instead relying on infrared sensors that track your finger placement and a Wi-Fi-powered … Read more

Roadie Tuner turns those pesky guitar pegs for you

Some people have a knack for tuning a guitar by ear. Others invest in tuners of all shapes and sizes -- tuners that plug in, tuners that stick onto the body, tuners that attach to headstocks -- to hit the perfect note. How about a handheld, smartphone-connected tuner that takes care of the actual turning of the pegs for you? It's coming.

The Roadie Tuner on Kickstarter has blown past its $60,000 funding goal with over a month to go. The gadget hooks up with an Android or iOS smartphone tuning app via Bluetooth. You physically move the device from tuning peg to tuning peg, and it turns the peg until that string is in tune. The app handles all the audio processing, listening to your guitar via your smartphone mic and telling the Roadie how much to turn each peg. You can also plug electric guitars directly into your smartphone using an adapter. … Read more

Band to take the stage with 3D-printed instruments

3D-printed electric guitars and bass guitars are nothing new for Olaf Diegel, a design engineer and professor of mechatronics at Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand. Since 2011, he has been building gorgeously intricate custom electric instruments he calls ODD guitars using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) printing to craft the bodies.

He then adds a mahogany or maple wood core, a wooden neck, tuning pegs, a bridge, pickups, and controls for a fully playable instrument.

These guitars are available through Diegel's Web site, and now he's added two more to his range. The four will be played together live onstage at the EuroMold design fair in Frankfurt, Germany on December 3-6, by the "3D-printed Band" (band name subject to change). … Read more

Modder Ben Heck tailors guitar for one-armed player

Modding star Ben Heck has built a lot of gaming mods for one-handed players, but a guitar is an entirely new kettle of fish. How do you modify a two-handed musical instrument, ensuring that it keeps its acoustic and structural integrity so that someone with only one hand can play?

When Ian Pierce, who lost his right arm working on the railroads, contacted Heck asking for a way to be able to play with his band again, Heck took the challenge. He called on local musician Tyler Kapla to make sure he didn't do anything too heinous to the guitar, tested the concept as the project progressed, and crafted a system that uses two pedals and a 3D-printed pick holder to strum the strings, while Pierce uses his left hand on the fingerboard. … Read more

Review: Capo 3

Pros:

Simple UI: Most utilities are available from the main screen, with little need to jump menus and screens. This helps users maintain focus on their project while enabling access to tools that they need. The ability to increase and decrease spectrogram intensity on the fly via hot key also helps.

Useful features: Capo displays guitar chord diagrams as the song plays, which can be edited on the fly. The quick access to tempo and pitch change on the bottom-left corner helps you break down music at your own pace. Advanced users can take advantage of region selection tools, thanks … Read more

Marshall Hanwell: An 'iPod' speaker on steroids

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed I'm not a big fan of any type of wireless speaker, and more specifically I have no love for Bluetooth or AirPlay speakers. For me the sound compromises that come with compact size and wireless technology are hard to swallow. I have less of a grudge against the smaller, under-$200 models; they produce "good enough" sound, but the more expensive models' sound pales next to a pair of wired Adam Audio, Audioengine, or Emotiva self-powered speakers.

So when I first spotted Marshall's $800 Hanwell speaker I wasn'… Read more

Demo: Rock out with the Firefly smart guitar pick

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Peter Holm and Brandon Williams from Capacitron came by the CNET TV studios this week to demo the world's first smart LED guitar pick, the Firefly Pick.

The pick comes in four versions. The Firefly Pick Original flashes rhythmically as you pluck the strings on the guitar. The Firefly Pick Air responds to hand motions as well as guitar picking for awesome air guitar sessions. The Firefly Pick Duo flashes a color on the down stroke and a different color … Read more