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Music Instrument Product Reviews
Get the straight skinny on the music gear you want with The Hub’s exclusive Hands-On Reviews. You’ll find in-depth details on all manner of musical instruments including guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, and many more. Looking for live sound or recording hardware or software? We’ve got you covered there too. Whether you’re a DJ seeking to amp up your show, a beginning guitarist looking for learning tools, or a seasoned weekend warrior searching for the right music gear and accessories to fit your needs and budget, count on The Hub for no-B.S. product reviews. And be sure to stay tuned as we continue to add new music equipment reviews in the coming months.
Backline, Front-of-House and Monitor in One Box
By Ara Ajizian
Ahh, the theremin. It still captivates us with its eerie, warbly sound, not to mention the touch-free method by which it’s played (it just looks fun, doesn’t it?). Although some might say the theremin’s time came and went, it left an indelible mark on the late, great Bob Moog. His love for electronic instruments began with the theremin, spawning every incredible innovation and instrument that he gave us during his lifetime. And of course, those innovations continue today at Moog Music, so it’s fitting that they have re-imagined the instrument that started it all and brought us the Theremini, a superbly musical and intuitive instrument that incorporates the classic playability of the theremin with a sound engine based on the Animoog. That, and a host of other modern features, deliver an amazing amount of musical potential in an instrument that’s truly inspirational and fun to play.
Zildjian’s SoundLab, the company’s proving ground for developing new cymbals, has just introduced the limited edition Project 391—a new series with sounds unlike anything the world’s oldest cymbal maker has produced up to now. Led by Paul Francis, Zildjian’s Director of R&D, the SoundLab team set out to achieve sounds that weren’t a current part of the company’s tonal palette. They’ve unquestionably achieved that aim using a new alloy and manufacturing techniques that deliver what some drummers refer to as a “Euro sound.”
Cut the cord for your live performances!
By Ara Ajizian
Harmony Central Editorial Director
I was cleaning out the dark corners at the back of my closet recently and came across an ancient relic among the cobwebs and old papers—my old four-track “portable studio.” It was massive in size and weight, with a strange rectangular insert people once called a “cassette tape.” As I studied this long-forgotten piece of recording equipment, and recalled the days of yore when I would actually use this artifact to lay down musical ideas, I took stock of just how far we’ve come in the past 20 years technologically. Thanks to the ever-decreasing size of laptop computers and the advent of mobile technology like smartphones and tablets, the “portable studio” is now truly a reality. All that’s needed is your favorite recording software and a compact interface, and you have more recording power at your fingertips than ever before. With its palm-sized profile and powerful capabilities, the Fender® SLIDE™ interface makes mobile recording as seamless as ever. As a bonus, it’s also designed to be a learning tool when used in conjunction with the included Rock Prodigy Lite app. It all adds up to an affordable, versatile and very functional tool.
Trigger Finger Pro is a hardware/software hybrid controller that readily adapts to just about any workflow, but mastering its interface requires some learning.
By Barry Rivman
Musician’s Friend Senior Staff Writer
In the jargon of producers and recording engineers, equalizers fall into two general categories: "surgical" and "character." The surgical EQ is used correctively, e.g. when you wish to focus on a problem frequency without affecting the neighboring frequencies. Much like a surgeon, you want to go into a narrow band with a very precise cutting tool–an appropriate simile since we primarily "cut" or reduce problem frequencies. Examples would be taming harsh frequencies on cymbals; sibilance or plosives in vocals; fizz or wool on distorted guitars; or overly woofy bass.