If there’s one group of people who could seriously do with less wires — or in this case, cables — it’s guitarists. Walking around with two grand worth of Fender in your hands, trying avoiding a snake-pit of cables and simultaneously tapping out Van Halen’s Eruption probably takes some concentration (I wouldn’t know; I’ve never been on stage with anything but an air guitar, which was completely wireless).
IK Multimedia’s new four-pedal iRig BlueBoard pedalboard de-clutters the floor a little, as it’s the first completely wireless pedalboard for iOS and Macs. The board connects to its companion app on an accompanying iDevice (or to a Mac) through a Bluetooth connection.
You don’t have to spend too much time in a public place before you hear the iPhone’s default “tri-tone” alert — it’s everywhere, and everyone knows exactly what it means. But do you know where it came from? You might be surprised to hear that it wasn’t actually composed for the iPhone, but for a 1998 MP3 player for the Mac called SoundJam MP.
Apogee is the first name that pops into my head when I think “mobile, Mac-powered music-making studio.” Today, the company has revamped three of their user-friendly recording devices: the One, the Quartet and the Duet, upgrading their capabilities and making them all iPad-compatible.
LAS VEGAS, CES 2013 – Last year, I gave my friend Rachel — a NYC singer/songwriter/comedian with an impressive array of musical proficiencies — my old iPad 2 as a gift. It was her first tablet, or even touchscreen device. I worried she wouldn’t know what to do with it, so when she opened the box and gave me an inquisitive cock of the eyebrow, I told her that the very first thing she needed to do with it was install Garage Band.
To this day, I think it was Garage Band that is the real gift to Rachel, not the actual iPad. Using Garage Band, she can quickly jot out a song idea on the road, or even fully record a fantastic mix, all from a device small enough to fit in her purse. There’s only one trade-off: you have to use the touchscreen. There’s no physical instrument as portable as the iPad to take on the road with you.
That’s where the Jamstik comes in. A product so new and in-concept it doesn’t even have a distributor yet, it’s one of our favorite products of CES. It’s a tiny, ukelele-sized guitar with real strings that connects to your iPad over WiFi, and not only can you use it to record or even perform with your iPad, but it can also teach you how to play the guitar… or serve for an impromptu game of Guitar Hero.
Macs and musicians have always been synonymous (not to meantion aliterative), and some of the first creators to make a nonsense of the canard that the iPad is “only for consumption” were musicians. And where music nerds go, specialist hardware always follows. Here’s a list of the best Mac and iOS music accessories out there.