Roland’s new Bluetooth speaker doubles as a guitar amp

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Roland’s BTM-1 would look at home on a Russian billionaire’s yacht.
Roland’s BTM-1 would look at home on a Russian billionaire’s yacht.
Photo: Roland

If you play an electric musical instrument, and you also listen to music from your iPhone, and you also (perhaps) have a pink neon flamingo on your nightstand (bear with me here), then you will L-O-V-E the new Roland BTM-1, a combo Bluetooth speaker and guitar/synth amp.

Let’s check it out.

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.

Roland’s new audio recorder works with iPhone and Apple Watch

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roland r-07
Tiny, and made to work with the iPhone and the Apple Watch.
Photo: Roland

CES 2018 bugYou iPhone is pretty handy for making quick audio recordings. Many musicians use the Voice Memos app, and some have upgraded to Music Memos. Unfortunately, the quality of the recordings from those apps isn’t good enough for actual music making.

For a start, it’s not stereo. Second, the iPhone’s mics are fine, but nowhere near as good as even a cheap external microphone. But using your iPhone to record is so convenient. Roland’s R-07 is a pocket audio recorder that works either alone or in tandem with your iPhone. It gives you the quality of a proper recorder with stereo mics — and the convenience of an iPhone app.

Best gadgets of 2017

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Best gadgets 2017
What gadgets grabbed our attention in 2017? Funny you should ask.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac's 2017 Year in Review Welcome to Cult of Mac‘s Gadget of the Year extravaganza. Unlike some other blogs, where harassed writers get a last-minute order from the boss to come up with an end-of-year list, and then spend a half-hour writing up the first five Google results for their given subject, our top gadgets are all rad, and all genuinely worth your cash.

Two of them will even change how you use technology, which isn’t a bad score for just one year. Let’s take a look at our favorite gadgets of 2017, and see why they’re so good.

Roland’s pocket-sized GO MIXER adds great audio to iPhone movies

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go mixer hero
The GO MIXER adds good-quality sound to your iPhone videos.
Photo: Roland

The Roland GO MIXER is a little box that improves the audio on your movies. Aimed mostly at musicians, but usable by anyone with a microphone and the need to shoot a video, the little Lightning-powered box hooks together all your musical instruments and mixes them, live, before sending the audio to your iPhone (or Android device).