Jamstack Bluetooth speaker clamps onto your electric guitar

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It’s bigger than it looks here.
It’s bigger than it looks here.
Photo: Jamstack

The $249 Jamstack is a Bluetooth speaker that clips onto your electric guitar, hooks up to your iPhone, and lets you run iOS amp simulation and effects apps. It’s like adding a teeny-tiny amp to your guitar, only with way more wires.

For practice, it looks pretty neat — but for recording, it seems killer.

RødeCaster Pro is the perfect box for iOS podcasters

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The RødeCaster Pro bundles everything you need to record a podcast in one box.
Everything you need to record a podcast, in one box.
Photo: Røde

Podcasting on iOS is perfectly feasible, as long as you don’t want to use Skype or FaceTime to talk and record the audio at the same time. The new RødeCaster Pro mixer/recorder neatly sidesteps this issue, as well as putting everything a podcaster might need into one sturdy box. And because the hardware is made by Røde, it’s probably pretty good.

Roli Songmaker Kit GarageBand Edition adds touch control to Mac

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Any Songmaker Kit can be turned into the GarageBand Edition.
Any Songmaker Kit can be turned into the GarageBand Edition.
Photo: Roli

Roli makes touch-sensitive controllers for music apps, and they come in Blocks, little modular units that can be snapped together via magnets to form bigger, better controllers. They’re kind of like Transformers for music. Now, Roli will now sell you a GarageBand-friendly version of its amazing Songmaker Kit, optimized for use with the Mac version of GarageBand.

But what if you already bought a Songmaker Kit? Should you return it and buy the new one? Nope. The hardware is exactly the same, all you need is a software update.

Today we’ll see what the Songmaker Kit GarageBand Edition can do, and find out how to update your own Blocks to use it.

Gig on the go with Roland’s awesome iPhone mixer

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The new Roland Go Mixer Pro
The new Roland Go Mixer Pro
Photo: Roland

Remember the Roland Go Mixer? The little pocket-size audio mixer that hooks up to your iPhone via its Lightning port, and lets you record a whole band at once? I do, although God knows I’ve tried to forget it. What looked like a promising product turned out to be missing basic functionality. Now, though, Roland has introduced the Go Mixer Pro, and it looks like it fixes everything from the original Go, and more.

Amazing Songmaker Kit has everything you need for making music on the go

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ROLI-Songmaker-Kit
This might be the cutest MIDI keyboard kit ever.
Photo: Roli

Roli’s new Songmaker Kit is a kick-ass portable music-making setup that hooks up to your iPad, iPhone or Mac. It consists of a mini version of Roli’s amazing Seaboard keyboards, along with a couple of the company’s modular Blocks. Everything connect via Bluetooth, creating a custom music workstation that’s easy to use and extremely portable.

Let’s take a look at the Roli Songmaker Kit and see how you can use it to make music anywhere.

How to plug your guitar into your iPhone and rock out

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guitar iPhone setup
This is all you need to make some awesome noise.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Short of learning air guitar, hooking a guitar up to your iPhone is just about the easiest way to get started playing music. But it’s not just for practice, or goofing around at home. You can record and edit serious music with an iOS device, and even produce whole records.

But we’re already getting ahead of ourselves. Today, we’re just going to hook things up and rock out.

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You don't need expensive equipment to record your guitar, an iPhone or iPad will do just fine.
You don't need expensive equipment to record your guitar, an iPhone or iPad will do just fine.
Photo: Lee Peterson/The App Factor

Smart keyboard will teach you how to play piano

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Learning piano was never this much fun.
Learning piano was never this much fun.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Best List: The ONE Light smart keyboard

Who doesn’t want to play piano? Learning to tickle the ivories must be right up there with writing the great American novel: Many of us have a hankering to become more musical.

The fantastic $299 ONE Light smart keyboard is the way to go if you want a piano that will show you how to play without hiring a teacher.

Drive your guitar to new places with this mighty Moog effects pedal

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Moog's MF Drive packs a lot of sonic punch in a small package.
Moog's MF Drive packs a lot of sonic punch in a small package.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Best List: MF Drive guitar pedal by Moog

The magic of what Moog has done with this analog stompbox isn’t completely evident until you plug an expression pedal into it.

Certainly the drive tones are exceptional and the controls provide a myriad of useable and inspirational tones, but the expression pedal unlocks Moog’s industry-leading love of sonic experimentation.

UE Boom 2 brings the jams anywhere, anytime

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With the UE Boom 2, Ultimate Ears makes a great speaker even better.
With the UE Boom 2, Ultimate Ears makes a great speaker even better.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Best List: UE Boom 2 by Ultimate Ears

We loved the original UE Boom and the new 2.0 version is even better. The UE Boom 2 is stain-resistant, stylish, shock-resistant and completely waterproof. We’re not sure who is trying to listen to their tunes underwater, but if that’s your jam … you are good to go.