All items tagged with "Excellent"

Mega-pedal serves up soaring vocal harmonies, impressive guitar effects

Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I’ve been playing music for coming up on 30 years now, and I’ve tried a ton of music gear. These days, I run a fairly bare-bones setup, with a smaller amp for those close venues, a couple of dual-effect pedals (Visual Sounds’ Route 66 and H2O), and a Boss VE-20 vocal harmony box to thicken up the background vocals in my disco band.

I’ve always had a thing for multi-effect boxes, though, running through my share of a few complicated ones that never quite gave me what I needed in terms of both effects sounds and onstage ease-of-use.

When I heard about TC-Helicon’s new VoiceLive 3 mega-stomp box, with a huge range of guitar effects and amplifier modeling, an amazing vocal-harmony processing system and a stage-quality looping feature, well, I had to try it out.

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COTE: The leather iPad sleeve you’ll fall in love with

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I don’t really like using iPad cases; I tend to put one on just before I hand my device over to my kids, and then it comes off again as soon as they’re done. One of the best things about the iPad mini is its form factor, but that’s lost when you slap on a big, bulky case.

COTE by BUKcase
Category: Sleeve
Works With: iPad mini
Price: $133

But although I like my iPad to be naked when I use it, I need some protection when I’m on the go and carrying it around. That’s when I’m most likely to drop it — and when it’s most susceptible to getting scratched up in the bottom of my bag.

I’ve found the COTE leather sleeve from BUKcase to be the perfect solution to this problem.

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Rebel Desk makes standing or sitting at work easy and optional

Photo: Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac

Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Sure, the health benefits of not sitting all day are substantial, even if the positives of standing all day are inconclusive. The trick, it seems, is to change position often, or maybe even to walk while you work.

The Rebel Crank-Up 1000 standing desk is a boon to those who want to be able to work in an erect posture but still sit down when they need to; sitting improves fine motor control and lessens leaning, for example.

As I stood at the review unit Rebel Desk sent my way, I couldn’t help but feel cooler, hipper, and more upright than I had in various office jobs over the years. Whether I’ll lose any weight from standing all day or not is debatable — one study showed an extra 50 calories burned per hour of standing — but at least I’ll have less time in the saddle than I used to. That can’t be a bad thing, can it?

The Rebel Desk makes all of this standing and sitting again super easy with a thick tempered glass top (it comes in a Teak model, too) and some seriously sturdy desk legs. This is one solid piece of office furniture.

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Tiny gadget cures MIDI of its cable addiction

Photo: Jim Merithew, Cult of Mac

Photo: Jim Merithew, Cult of Mac

Getting your MIDI keyboard connected to your iPad or Mac can be a frustrating experience. You’ve got to make sure you’ve got the right wires that connect to your output device of choice, and then you’ve got to make sure you never ever lose them.

PUC by Zivix LLC
Category: Music & MIDI
Works With: iOS, OS X
Price: $129

Hopping onstage for a gig at the local brewpub can be a frightening experience if you’ve lost that one special cord that goes from your keys to your Ableton Live setup on your Mac, and missing out on a recording session because you can’t find that special 30-pin adaptor for your iPad is just a pain in the butt.

The folks behind the excellent JamStick, Zivix, have your answer, then, with a cool-looking little round gadget called a PUC that connects any MIDI keyboard or other capable device to your iPad, your Mac, your iPhone, your PC — you name it, if it’s got Wi-Fi and can run a MIDI app, you can use the PUC to send your MIDI performance to it.

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Mujjo Low-Key Macbook Sleeve Is Full Of Understated Style [Review]

Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Not everyone has a fancy computer backpack or messenger bag. Some folks just have non-techie backpacks, bags, or luggage, and they’re perfectly fine with that.

13-inch Macbook Sleeve by Mujjo
Category: Macbook Cases
Works With: Macbook Pro, Macbook Air 13-inch
Price: $69

However, most of those folks would benefit from a sleeve or two to cover and protect their precious technology. And, if you’re going to go that route, you might as well go all the way and get something that’s special.

The Mujjo Low-Key Macbook Sleeve is angling for just that “all the way” look and feel.

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Pelican Voyager Provides Rugged Style With Less Added Bulk [Review]

photo: Jim Merithew, Cult of Mac

photo: Jim Merithew, Cult of Mac

Sometimes you just want an iPhone case that protects that beloved all-encompassing communications and gaming device from the vagaries of your crazy life, for sure.

Voyager by Pelican ProGear
Category: iPhone Cases
Works With: iPhone 5/5s
Price: $50

There are numerous options for those of us who tend to the “drop our gear constantly” school of gadget ownership, but most of them end up being incredibly bulky and difficult to use. Some even provide a screen guard that is less than touchable, as it were.

The Voyager series for the iPhone 5 and 5s, however, aims to provide similar drop, screen, and debris protection as many of these other cases, all for a more affordable price.

I took the case out for a spin to see if it could, in fact, protect my iPhone 5 without trouble, and whether the added bulk is worth the trade off in protection.

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Thule’s Snap-On iPhone 5s Case Is Molded For Extra Grip & Protection [Review]

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Thule’s Gauntlet case for the iPhone 5s is a slim, stylish snap-on cover that offers plenty of protection. Just like its big brother, a thin folio that will effectively protect an iPad Air, the Gauntlet employs a molded texture for grip and durability.

Gauntlet by Thule
Category: Cases
Works With: iPhone 5 & iPhone 5s
Price: $27

The iPhone case provides plenty of access to all buttons, ports and cameras. It comes in black, turquoise or pink, and it will protect your device without making it too big and bulky.

One of the Gauntlet’s best features, however, is its slender price tag. Available from MyBanana, it costs less than £16 ($27) – and it’s worth every penny.

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Baron Fig Confidant Is The Best Paper Notebook I’ve Used [Review]

Baron Fig Confidant Is The Best Paper Notebook I’ve Used [Review]

Yes, we’re reviewing a paper notebook. The thing is – spoiler – this one is awesome. Forget Moleskine, which is nice marketing wrapped in faux leather wrapped around thin, porous, easy-bleeding pages. The Baron Fig Confidant is what you want.

The Confidant by Baron Fig
Category: Notebooks
Works With: Pen or pencil
Price: $16

It’s packed with clever “features,” and yet you don’t notice the book at all when you’re using it. Does any of that sound familiar to you Apple users?

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Booq’s Python Camera Bag Is Perfect For Mirrorless Minimalists [Review]

Booq’s Python Camera Bag Is Perfect For Mirrorless Minimalists [Review]

Python Mirrorless byBooq
Category: Bags
Works With: Cameras, iPad mini
Price: $80

I have a kind of standing checklist of things I like and things that annoy me in bag design. Booq’s Python Mirrorless Bag flags just one of my “annoyances,” and that’s a purely aesthetic matter. That’s not to say it’s perfect, but it’s pretty damn good at what it does.

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Start Every Day With This Great Sounding Cup Of Music [Review]

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Tiny portable bluetooth speakers are all the rage these days, and we’ve seen our fair share of them.

Music Cup by Music Cup
Category: Bluetooth Speakers
Works With: iPhone, iPad, any audio
Price: $39.99

Trouble is, the smaller the speaker, the worse it sounds. Honestly, if your bluetooth speaker sounds worse than the built-in speakers on your iPhone, you’ll likely not want to go through the trouble of even pairing the thing up.

The Music Cup bluetooth speaker is small, shaped like a mug, and it sounds pretty darn good.

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