Behringer’s CAT synth just stole the show at NAMM

Cats and synth’s are two of internet’s favourite sweethearts and Behringer have brought them back together with the unveiling of a new synth.

NAMM is the self-described, largest event in the world for music makers, music lovers, music tech, instruments and everything audio-based. There have been many new products and announcements to get excited about but Behringer’s new synth is the one on the drooling lips of many music tech enthusiasts.

An inspired clone of a classic 1970’s synthesiser called the Octave Cat, Behringer have revealed the CAT. Using the blueprint of the original’s modulation and filtering capabilities and omitting the keyboard, the CAT Synthesiser offers a desktop synth module with powerful customisation.

There is a dual VCO design powering the sound with unique blending capabilities between the two. VCO1 provides sawtooth, triangle and modulated pulse waveforms and can be used with VCO2, offering saw and square waves.

The CAT is set up to work with other synths and can be used with effects systems for an even more dynamic range. There are CV inputs for the two VCOs, VCF cutoff and resonance, and the VCA. There are also CV outputs for both envelopes in the modules.

There is currently no release date or price range for Behringer’s CAT synth but we’re excited to find out when we can get our hands on this great sounding module.

Who needs a guitar amp with Boss’ new headphones?

Boss’ Waza-Air headphones are making guitar practising more personal with an amp simulator and effects module that slips right on your head.

There’s nothing more satisfying than cranking up the amp, slipping the strap over your head and striking out a chord that rings across your surroundings. But we’re not always in a position where the privilege of playing loud and proud is acceptable.

Boss have an answer for every guitarist who has thought; ‘damn I wish I could crank up my guitar right now’. Their upcoming headphones offer guitarists a Wireless Personal Guitar Amplification System, putting a true to life guitar playing sound in your eyes – just for you.

Using a gyroscopic sensor in the headphones they simulate space so the sound adjusts as your head moves. It creates a 3D space in which the amp simulation is coming from and reverberating around so it’s not just putting a guitar amp in your headphones; it’s putting a whole room of sound on your head.

Use the BOSS Tone Studio app to connect and customise your sound exactly how you want it. There are 5 amp types to choose from and control, and over 50 different effects to play with any sound you like. The large, custom 50mm drivers inside each can offer incredible sound quality for whatever the guitar tone you’re going for.

Connect your phone and play songs or audio files so that you can play along to music. With the app’s ‘Stage’ mode the Waza-Air headphones stream music in the backline alongside your amp so you can take to the virtual stage as you rock out.

The headphones are expected to be available in January and will set you back £378 / $400. Maybe it will make a good, late Christmas present. Here’s all it’s offering:

  • Over-ear guitar sound system with wireless connectivity, premium amp and effect tones, Bluetooth audio streaming, and sound editing via your smartphone
  • Advanced BOSS spatial technology and integrated gyro sensor deliver natural “amp-in-room” tone with 3D ambience and dynamic sound localization
  • Five unique amp types derived from the Katana stage amplifier series, including a full-range voice for bass or acoustic/electric guitar
  • Access over 50 customizable effects in the BOSS Tone Studio app
  • Integrated BOSS wireless technology provides exceptional sound quality with ultra-low latency
  • Easy-to-use controls for guitar volume and Bluetooth audio playback, plus instant access to six user-configurable tone settings
  • Large, custom-designed 50 mm drivers deliver premium audio quality with rich, full sound
  • Conforming earpads ensure optimum driver performance for uncompromised guitar tone
  • Wide headband provides comfort for long playing sessions
  • Durable construction with deluxe chrome-plated metal parts
  • Versatile two-way design folds down for compact storage or flat transport in a guitar bag pocket
  • Built-in rechargeable batteries with auto standby/wake function to conserve battery life
  • Up to five hours of play time with the headphones and up to 12 hours with the included WL-T Transmitter
  • Wirelessly edit, organize, and download tones with the BOSS Tone Studio app for iOS and Android mobile devices
  • Unique onboard tuner function with audible tones that guide your tuning; visual chromatic tuner also available in the BOSS Tone Studio app

    Download “BOSS Tone Studio for WAZA-AIR” for iOS
    Download “BOSS Tone Studio for WAZA-AIR” for Android

4 unbeatable Black Friday deals on Yamaha keyboards

Black Friday is upon us and if you’re inkling for a new keyboard there’s no better time than now with these 4 great deals.

Yamaha P121 73-Key Weighted Action Compact Digital Piano with Adjustable Padded Keyboard X-Style Bench – $549.99

Yamaha P125 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano with Sustain Pedal and BB1 Padded Wooden Piano Bench – $599.99

Yamaha Dgx660B 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano and Furniture Stand with 3-Pedal Unit for DGX-660, and Padded Wooden Piano Bench – $799.99

Yamaha YDP103 Arius Series Digital Console Piano with Bench – $799.99

Get Jamstik’s wireless, MIDI Smart Guitar for nearly 40% off

The Black Friday deals are coming in thick and fast and this enticing offer could put a digital guitar in your hands at an unbeatable price.

Get the unique, digital Jamstik guitar for 37% off right now in an incredible Black Friday deal. It’s a ‘Smart Guitar’ that is portable, wireless and MIDI activated for recording straight into your computer.

The Jamstik 7 comes with companion apps to help you get playing and guide you through guitar playing in a way that no other guitar can. The app will guide your fingers as you go.

It also works as a MIDI controller opening up a world of possibility recording and producing guitar on a DAW. Make your strums sound like any instrument and record straight into your device.

The bundle edition is also on offer for a 29% discount, offering a guitar strap, hex wrench for adjusting the strings, carrying case, 2 clear and 2 black plectrums, 2 strap screws, an “extender”, batteries and a manual to help you get started.

Jamstik 7 Smart Guitar – $229.99 $144.49 (37% off)

Jamstik 7 Bundle Edition – $249.99 $178.49 (29% off)

Make sure to check back on the RouteNote Blog all this week where we’ll be finding the best Black Friday deals on instruments, music equipment, and more.

The best MIDI keyboard Black Friday deals

Don’t miss out on your chance to get one of these incredible keyboards at a special price to plug into your computer for a whole dimension of musical possibilities.

Akai Professional LPK25 – $49

ROLI Seaboard Block – $244.97

The ONE Smart Keyboard Pro 88 keys – $686.87

Make sure to check back on the RouteNote Blog all this week where we’ll be finding the best Black Friday deals on instruments, music equipment, and more.

Check out this guitar with ‘Chord Assist’ built in (video)

Music is a wonderful thing to be shared by all and with new technologies we’re capable of making it more accessible even when its hard to pick up and play for someone.

Joe Birch is a developer and musician living in the UK. He has a genetic condition that causes him low vision and, whilst he is a musician himself, Joe recognises the problems that people with hearing loss and sight issues face when learning an instrument.

Using Google’s developer platform ‘Actions on Google’ Joe was able to build a Chord Assist guitar. Using braille, speakers and an LCD screen it can guide the player in a variety of ways in shaping chords on the guitar and get them playing in a unique way.

Joe says: “I love seeing people pushing the boundaries and breaking the expectation of others. When someone builds an innovative project that can change the lives of others, it inspires me to achieve the things that I am passionate about. That’s what this whole developer community is really all about, we are here to inspire each other.”

Eco plectrums for the environmentally conscious guitarist

Environmental concerns are pervading into every industry now and musicians are getting more options with their equipment as the world changes.

The climate is pretty much an unavoidable topic now, so product alternatives are coming out left, right, and centre to help us feel a little better about our own impact. It’s easy to think that playing music doesn’t have much of a footprint, but every little helps – as they say.

Rombo Picks are a German plectrum manufacturer who have developed a new series of eco-plectrums. The Eco-Black series is made from 100 percent recycled materials in response to growing concerns about the amount of plastic created and wasted around the world.

Rombo claims that their Eco-Black series reduces their CO2 emissions by 90%, decreases energy consumption by 65% and reduces their total resources used by 61%. Each size pick in the series features micronodules for grip and high-mirror polished tips.

The series comes in four thicknesses: 0.45mm, 0.75mm, 1.25mm, and 2mm. Check them out and try out a taster pack with one of all four thicknesses from their website.

Fender unveils their most advanced series, updating all the classics

Fender promise that with their new line of their most popular models, you will “never play a Fender the same way again”.

Fender have unveiled the American Ultra Series, the latest versions of all their biggest and baddest models in possibly their most exciting form yet. The series will replace the 2016 American Elite Series launched in 2016.

The American Ultra Series features 4 guitars and 3 basses from the most iconic of the axe manufacturers creations. They’ve all been enhanced with new design elements to enhance playability and take their sound to the next level.

Ultra Noiseless™ Pickups

American Ultra features two new types of hum-free pickups: Ultra Noiseless Vintage pickups deliver authentic Fender single-coil sound while Ultra Noiseless Hot pickups offer high output and modern performance.

Newly-Designed Body Contours

New back body curves offer hours of gigging comfort while a super-sculpted neck heel gives you unparalleled access to the upper registers of the fingerboard.

Fender’s “Fastest Playing Necks”

With enhanced rolled edges, 22 medium-jumbo frets and a smooth Ultra Satin back finish, our “Modern D” neck shape and 10”-14” compound-radius fingerboard make for comfortable chording and effortless soloing.

Here are all the new models in the American Ultra Series:


Designed for a thick and burly tone, the American Ultra Stratocaster HSS features an Ultra Double Tap™ humbucking pickup for a fat double-coil tone or a clear, powerful single-coil sound.

  • One Ultra DoubleTap™ humbucking bridge pickup; two Ultra Noiseless Vintage single-coil pickups (middle and neck)
  • “Modern D”-shaped neck profile
  • 10”-14” compound-radius fingerboard; 22 medium-jumbo frets


A true icon, the American Ultra Stratocaster features sleek updated contours, articulate single-coil pickups and advanced switching options.

  • Three Ultra Noiseless Vintage single-coil pickups
  • “Modern D” neck shape; 10″-14″ compound-radius fingerboard with 22 medium-jumbo frets
  • S-1 switch adds neck pickup to positions 1 & 2


Engineered for high performance and fresh new sounds, the American Ultra Tele® retains that classic Tele twang while adding advanced wiring options for a hotter output and fatter tone.

  • Two Ultra Noiseless Vintage single-coil Tele pickups
  • “Modern D” neck shape; 10″-14″ compound-radius fingerboard with 22 medium-jumbo frets
  • S-1 switch for series/parallel wiring


A left-of-the-dial legend, the American Ultra Jazzmaster combines articulate tone and a stylish offset body with sleek new curves and fresh wiring options.

  • Two Noiseless Vintage single-coil Jazzmaster pickups
  • “Modern D” neck shape; 10″-14″ compound-radius fingerboard with 22 medium-jumbo frets
  • Dual volume phase circuit inverts pickup phase/activates trim pots


Pure and powerful, the American Ultra Precision Bass delivers all the tone and versatility of its iconic P Bass® predecessors – with updated features for modern playability.

  • One Noiseless Vintage split-coil P Bass middle pickup; one Noiseless Vintage single-coil Jazz Bass bridge pickup
  • “Modern D” neck shape; 10″-14″ compound-radius fingerboard with 21 medium-jumbo frets
  • Redesigned preamp with Active/Passive switching; HiMass bridge


Comfortable and fast, the American Ultra J Bass® features a powerful active-passive preamp for sweeter highs, focused mids and lots more usable bass.

  • Two Noiseless Vintage single-coil Jazz Bass pickups
  • “Modern D” neck shape; 10″-14″ compound-radius fingerboard with 21 medium-jumbo frets
  • Redesigned preamp with Active/Passive switching; HiMass bridge


By adding a B string to the venerable Jazz Bass design, the American Ultra J Bass V delivers high-speed playability and a thunderous low end.

  • Two Noiseless Vintage single-coil Jazz Bass pickups
  • “Modern D” neck shape; 10″-14″ compound-radius fingerboard with 21 medium-jumbo frets
  • Redesigned preamp with Active/Passive switching; HiMass bridge

Check out the Fender store to find out more about each guitar.

These 3 stringed guitars are helping kids learn to play

There are many more ways to learn instruments these days than to just pick it up and practice for years and Loog are back with some unique guitars for aspiring guitar heroes.

Loog guitars are recreating the guitar so that kids as young as 3 can start playing and hone their skills to build up to the six stringed sword they’ll eventually wield. With a new Kickstarter project they’re hoping to give fledgling axe-wielders a new way to get started.

The Loog guitars start at a miniature 3 stringed version for kids 3 and up. The guitars are sized so that younger players can handle the instrument without it towering over them, allowing them to scale up as they grow themselves.

Next in line is the medium sized 3-stringer for 8 year olds and older. Then it eventually moves up to the Loog Pro VI, the company’s only 6 string version aimed at teenagers as young as 12.

The guitars come with a built-in amplifier and speaker so there’s no plug in required. Kids can start jamming out and learning the ropes wherever they are thanks to it’s wireless playability.

Loog have created a companion app to really help kids get on their way with unique and fun learning tools. Flashcards teach chords, educational games make learning fun, a play-along songbook gets them playing along with songs using tutorials to guide them through, and more. There’s even an augmented reality feature that uses the selfie camera to guide kids.

The Loog Mini Electric Guitar is available for $99 on Kickstarter, offering the guitar aimed at ages 3+ as well as chord flashcards and access to the full app. It’s then $149 for the Pro and then $199 for the the six stringed Pro VI.

Head over to their Kickstarter now to find out more and inspire a child to start playing guitar now.

The top 5 sites to get FREE copyright free images

Images are a powerful tool and finding the right one – whether it’s for your album artwork, an article header, t-shirts, etc. – doesn’t need to be difficult.

Getting a top class image that you can use how you want at no cost is actually really easy! Thanks internet.

Here we’ve collected some of the best places on the web where you can head to explore and download fantastic, quality images that are free to use, and free from copyright.


royalty free licensed stock images  Unsplash

With over 110,000 photographers contributing their incredible images making up a library of over 810,000 images, Unsplash has an incredible array of amazing images.


Royalty free stock images licenses free to use

Freerange offers an incredible selection of stock images that are totally free to use however you like. Supported by ads rather than your purchases, their talented community of photographers earn money every time users click on ads – so maybe give them a click if you like their photos!


Royalty free stock images licenses free to use flickr

Flickr isn’t just for images, they are also a great source of video. Now they aren’t exclusively in the business of public domain images but with more than 3 million high-quality images that are free to use how you like they are an amazing source for free images.


Royalty free stock images licenses free to use

Hundreds of thousands free stock photos area available from Pexels, all licensed for free use under their own ‘Pexels license’. They call their work: “Empowering Creators”.


royalty free licensed stock images pixabay

Pixabay are a massive source for open licensed images with over 1 million free photos, illustrations, vectors and videos. They collate a lot of their images from other sites for a comprehensive range to discover from.