Not every person who wants to play the guitar wants to devote their life to it (there’s a marriage metaphor in there somewhere); and yet many people who wanna dabble want more than just a few rounds of Rock Band 2. Fender and Apple are tapping into this market with a new USB-equipped Squier Stratocaster ($199.99) that’s meant to thrive in GarageBand. You get a standard 1/4-inch output jack, a 30-pin connector cable that works with older iOS devices, plus cables that let you hook up directly to a Mac or PC.
Gear By on Aug 16, 2012
Tim Allen doesn’t deserve a cherished spot in American history for his comedy stylings. God no. But he deserves a spot for getting the country, and dare I say, the world hooked on Do It Yourself projects. Channel your inner Tim and pick up one of these Unfinished Electric Guitar Kits ($125-$300). Modeled after the Les Paul, Stratocaster, and Flying V, you get everything you need to build your own instrument. Hey, while we’re talking Home Improvement, can we get Richard Karn’s Facebook page over 750 Likes? Geez… I feel bad for the guy. Freaking butter has 39,000 more.
Gear By on Jun 27, 2012
Ready to graduate from Rock Band? Fretlight teaches you how to play guitar via LED lights embedded in the instrument’s neck, making it real easy to know when and where to put your fingers (unlike on a first date). Video and audio software triggers the lights to respond, and each Fretlight guitar (models start at $399) includes over 100 lessons. Dude, forget Clapton, it’ll be no time before you’re covering Carly Rae Jepsen!
Gear By on May 16, 2012
Playing an instrument is one of those things that – despite its girl-magnet factor – can be just too damn daunting for the average dude who has Call of Duty games to be played and Doritos to be ingested. But the AlphaSphere could be the instrument to buck that trend. With 48 pressure-sensitive pads just begging to be pressed, this thing is as fun to play as it is to look at. Load the Sphere with your own sounds or connect it to your computer with the intuitive software. You can trigger, loop, and manipulate audio files, and if the responsive LED lighting doesn’t get you some tail, well, you didn’t want her anyway.
Gear By on Mar 16, 2012
Ah, wood. Nature’s metal. Perfect for making things: coffee tables, dressers, even guitars. ESPECIALLY guitars. Most guitars are made from the bones of sinners and the sinew of liars. Sinuous Guitars ($1750+) thought that this was a bit dramatic, and opted for poplar bodies, hard maple necks, dual Humbucker pickups, and a spectrum of finishes. If none of this sounds legit to a world weary thrasher like yourself, just note that the founder of Sinuous forges the Herman Miller’s Eames line of furniture for fun. Duel the devil in style!
Tech By on Nov 23, 2011
Lucky you if you’re ambidextrous. Musical group, Fol Chen, along with Monome and Machine Project, created this intriguing new handheld instrument, the Tetrafol, which allows users to control sound with their bare hands. The new Tetrafol features a battery-powered wooden tetrahedron, which contains the hardware that detects orientation and movements. These movements are then used to change the playback of sound. Fol Chen includes their own creations in the instrument, but users can also upload their own sounds, then play them back through built-in speakers. The Tetrafol team is only making 100 of these instruments, so if you snooze, you’ll lose. Retails for $110 and available here.