COOL GEAR ALERT: IK Multimedia iRig Mic HD

irig mic hdPRESS RELEASE: IK Multimedia, a global technology company and leader in mobile music-creation apps and accessories, today announcediRig® Mic HD, the first high-quality digital handheld microphone for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac. iRig Mic HD improves on IK’s groundbreaking and highly popular iRig Mic, by offering pristine digital audio quality and multi-platform compatibility for all generations of iOS devices and Macs, in addition to its practical handheld form factor and other convenient features. Read More …

AIRA Officially Unveiled

aira_familyOkay, so I’m a huge guitar nerd and if you’re reading this you probably are too, but something about the new AIRA line from Roland has really caught my imagination. Maybe it’s all the cool spooky green lights that remind me of Type O Negative. Whatever it is, this newly-announced line of instruments – the TR-8 Rhythm Performer, TB-3 Touch Bassline, VT-3 Voice Transformer, and SYSTEM-1 PLUG-OUT Synthesizer – are all things that we guitarists can find ways to incorporate into our recording and composing, so I thought you might like to check ’em out here. Here’s the press release. Read More …

NAMM: Schecter Booth Visit

IMG_3029Schecter has really knocked it up a notch in 2014, especially with the KM-7 Keith Merrow signature, which was one of the big hits of the show. Schecter has really reigned in the abalone-trim look that some players were really turning away from, and in its place they’ve unleashed a whole bunch of new guitars with simple-but-deadly finishes. There are also models such as the new Banshees which are available with Seymour Duncan Nazgul and Sentient pickups – even the 6-string versions, which is notable because the Nazgul and Sentient were designed for 7 and 8-string players, and right now they’re only available on these Schecters. Schecter also used NAMM to showcase their USA guitars, including some pretty wild Custom Shop models. Let’s take a look. Settle in! Most of the pics are clickable, either to their respective product pages, I Heart Guitar news stories or the Schecter Custom Shop page. Read More …

The G4 Experience With Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, Andy Timmons & Mike Keneally

Joe SatrianiI know what I want for my birthday.

PRESS RELEASE: From August 11-15, 2014, musicians of all ages and levels will converge in California’s scenic Central Coast for the G4 Experience with guitar virtuosos Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, Andy Timmons, and Mike Keneally. This unique music camp that combines entertainment, education and a vacation experience will be held at the picturesque Cambria Pines Lodge in Cambria, California, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
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NAMM: Line 6 AMPLIFi Series

Line 6 AMPLIFiPRESS RELEASE: Line 6, Inc. (NAMM room 212A), leading manufacturer of innovative solutions for musicians, today unveiled AMPLIFi, an entirely new kind of guitar amplifier. By combining a high-performance guitar amp, a streaming Bluetooth® speaker system and a breakthrough iOS app into one powerful device, AMPLIFi will change the way guitarists practice, perform and enjoy music. “Eighteen years ago, Line 6 revolutionized the guitar amp market by releasing the world’s first modeling amplifier,” said Paul Foeckler, CEO of Line 6. “And now we’re doing it again. AMPLIFi completely redefines the guitar amplifier, bringing together our customers’ musical and personal lives like no other device.”

INTERVIEW: Testament’s Alex Skolnick

Alex SkolnickAlex Skolnick is one of metal’s great enigmas: he’s ridiculously intelligent, well-read and well-spoken, and he’s a virtuoso of jazz guitar, yet he also plays in Testament, one of the most brutal bands ever to pick up instruments and dish out thrash metal power. There are many who feel that the name ‘Testament’ should be spoken in the same breath as ‘Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax,’ thrash’s ‘Big Four,’ but Testament is about much more than thrash, always pushing their sound onward and into genres such as death metal and extreme metal. Skolnick’s lead guitar is a key ingredient of the classic Testament sound, veering from traditional metal aggression to fusion-influenced intricacy and back again, often within a single phrase. With Testament heading to Australia for the Soundwave festival in February and March (and with a new DVD, Dark Roots Of Thrash, out now), I caught up with Skolnick for a chat about what he’s been up to. Read More …