Make your technology a force for musical expression with this digital guitar [Deals]

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The Jamstik is a versatile and super portable MIDI controller that plays just like a normal guitar.
The Jamstik is a versatile and super portable MIDI controller that plays just like a normal guitar.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Computers, tablets, even iPhones have grown into powerful tools for music making, but for many who play guitar the bridge from analog instrument to digital devices can be an intimidating one. The Jamstik Wireless Smart Guitar is a great way to cross the digital divide, a MIDI controlling guitar with frets and strings that feel familiar to any guitarist’s fingers. It’s also cheaper than most keyboard controllers (and certainly guitars), available right now for just $149.99.

iPad drummer goes head-to-head with old-school skin-pounder

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iPad drummer Appleman recently battled with a drummer on an analog drum kit.
iPad drummer Appleman recently battled with a drummer on an analog drum kit.
Photo: Appleman/YouTube

If you close your eyes, the iPad drummer known as Appleman sounds like he is tearing up a real set of skins. What you see in his YouTube videos, in which he covers the drumming parts of rock classics like Marilyn Manson’s “Beautiful People,” contradicts what the ears hear.

But how would he do against a drummer on an analog kit? Fast fingers met fast sticks recently as the anonymous Appleman went mano a mano with 17-year-old drumming phenom Yamachika Takuto.

By the sounds of the exchange of solos and the cheers from the audience, the two battled to a draw.

5 Apple Watch apps that are best left unmade

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Netflix Watch
Don't look for Netflix on your Apple Watch any time soon. You'd go blind.
Photo: Netflix (via YouTube)

The Apple Watch has been out for a few months now, and it’s given us plenty of time to decide what we do and don’t want from the wearable. It’s a versatile device, to be sure, but that doesn’t mean that we expect it to do everything for us. In fact, a lot of the apps that we use all the time on our iPhones and iPads would be ill-suited, if not impossible for that plucky little screen.

Here are some Apple Watch apps that wouldn’t break our hearts if nobody ever got around to making them.

Soundtrap takes on Garageband in an epic battle of recording software apps

A singer records vocals using Sountrap recording software, which can be used on any device.
A singer records vocals using Sountrap recording software, which can be used on any device.
Photo: Soundtrap/YouTube

Geography doesn’t have to get in the way of the band coming together.

A startup company by the name of Soundtrap Monday rolled out what it calls the first online music and audio recording studio, allowing musicians to collaborate remotely in real time using any operating system.

It will likely directly compete with Garageband, Apple’s popular software used to create music and podcasts that first launched in 2004.