Mooer are set to blow multi-effects out of the water with this pedal

Mooer’s new multi-effects pedal gives unparalleled power with hundreds of effects, amps, and more in one board.

Mooer have unveiled the next in their GE multi-effects pedals and the 300 is a serious monster that takes on every other pedal in the game. Their new GE300 brings 164 effects, 108 digital amp models, 43 optional factory cab simulators and is capable of recreating an environment for custom tones using Impulse Response.

Mooer’s new pedal is packed full of features to leave you satisfied no matter what the sound you’re after is. With a new Synth Engine you can use the pedal’s tri-voice polyphonic synthesis module to edit wave form, pitch, filters, and arpeggiators without the need for guitar modifications or pickups.

Mooer say the pedal will feature 10 customisable footswitch controls, programmable stereo effects loop, 30-minute looper that can store loop sessions, external device switching, direct USB audio and that’s just the start of what it is capable of.

They’re promising that the user interface will be intuitive like it’s GE200 pedal but with far more capabilities. Mooer will be showcasing their final prototype for the GE300 at NAMM so it’s not going to be available until at least the 2nd half of this year. We’ll have to remain drooling over what we know until then.

This pedal puts the sound of Roland’s classic Juno synth in your guitar

TC Electronic’s new pedal brings the classic sound of 80s style synthesizer modulation to your guitar.

NAMM 2019 is already bringing us a lot of exciting new music tech and instruments to look forward to from the biggest brands down to the niche-st indie makers. A new pedal from TC Electronics has caught our eye, and not just because of it’s beautiful retro synth look.

The June-60 is a chorus pedal that takes inspiration from Roland’s classic Juno-60 synth. The pedal uses an all-analogue bucket brigade circuit that has been fine-tuned for guitars to create “warm, pulsating ’80s-style modulation in two flavours”.

The pedal looks gorgeous with the bold colours of classic synths in grey, yellow and red with dark wooden panels on the side.The design is simple with two buttons for control. The first gives a slow moving, rich chorus and the second is a faster, wobblier chorus that works great on a rock tone. Combine both modes together and let the double sine curves battle it out in your tone.

Aside from the stomp pedal and the two buttons there is the option to switch between mono and stereo chorus so you can optimise the sound to exactly how you want the pulsing tones to fill the room. With it’s bucket brigade delay circuit the sound is an authentic recreation of the same analogue circuitry that the Juno-60 used to create it’s unique tone.

The June-60 pedal in a nutshell:

  • Authentic recreation of the legendary synthesizer chorus from the ’80s
  • 2-button interface for intuitive and breath-taking modulation tone
  • All-analog BBD (Bucket Brigade Delay) circuitry
  • Mono/stereo switch for ultimate chorus experience
  • True Bypass for ultimate signal integrity
  • “Built-like-a-tank” metal chassis
  • Runs on 9 V battery or TC Electronic Powerplug 9 (not included)
  • 3-Year Warranty Program*
  • Designed and engineered in Denmark

The June-60 will be available for $49.99 sometime in the first quarter of 2019. Find out more on TC Electronic’s site.

The 5 best budget MIDI controller keyboards 2019

Laying your ideas out and creating tracks is simpler than ever with the help of DAW’s and thousands of plugins but without a digital instrument you can only get so far.

We’ve got you covered with the best MIDI keyboards for playing, recording and controlling your software that don’t break the bank.

Arturia have built a feature packed controller with the MiniLab MkII that gives musicians and producers extensive control over their software and costs less than £100.

The MiniLab, as with all of the controllers listed here, has been built with portability in mind. It fits 25 slim-line keys, 16 knobs, 8 pads and touch controls into a package small enough to fit into your rucksack and doesn’t require a whole studio to fit in and work with. It comes with Ableton Live Lite with which it works seamlessly.

Kelly from the RouteNote team got hands on with the MiniLab MkII and delved into it’s power for a review. You can check it out here.

Get your own and find out more here.

Alesis offer an incredibly affordable solution to basic music production with their Vmini controller. This bite sized keyboard offers 25 velocity-sensitive keys to play virtual instruments and control samples with.

The Vmini packs essential controls into a tiny package making it easy to take anywhere and lay out ideas from. There are four assignable knobs for volume control or effect manipulation and 4 velocity-sensitive pads give control over clip launching or finger-banging out a beat.

It’s not as feature-laden as some of the others but for the price you get a quality keyboard that is more than enough to lay the groundwork out for your ideas and small enough to take anywhere you go.

Get your own and find out more here.

This is my personal favourite and the controller/keyboard I have used when I want to simply plug in, play, record, and expand. The APC Key’s giant clip-launching grid makes it the perfect Ableton companion and lets you create on the fly and easily manipulate and launch clips and tracks, all without touching your computer.

The APC Key adds 8 customisable control knobs for adjusting each tracks volumes or effect parameters all of which are easily switched between using the expansive functions on the controller. The 25 key keyboard ensures that you have all you need to play and write your music whilst it’s function-packed pads give you extensive control over your DAW and instruments.

It works as soon as you plug it in and comes with Ableton Lite Live so you can craft your masterpieces with ease and without hassle.

Get your own and find out more here.

The Keystation offers 7 more keys than the others making it the perfect option for the travelling player who wants a better range for laying down melody. The highlight of M-Audio’s offering is it’s 32 velocity-sensitive synth-action keys offering dynamic range in a portable package.

It’s controls beyond keys are limited but offer pitch-bending, modulation, and sustain whilst octave controls let you increase your range even further. The keyboard uniquely supports iOS connectivity with the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit so you can link it up to your iPad or iPhone to play and compose with iOS audio apps.

Get your own and find out more here.

Akai’s MPK Mini MkII offers a more performance based solution to it’s DAW-control built sibling, the APC. It features a 4-way joystick for pitch and modulation manipulation as you play and an on-board arpeggiator makes the creation of intricate melodic lines simple.

The MPK features a sustain pedal input allowing for truly expressive playing that is still in a package small enough to take wherever you go. 8 backlit velocity-sensitive MPC style pads and 8 assignable Q-Link knobs mean you still have power over your software.

Get your own and find out more here.

Got a favourite we didn’t mention? Share it in the comments below.

Devialet are back to melt your face off for under £1000

Devialet came to prominence with their incredibly powerful 4,500 watt speaker and now they’re back and a bit more realistic.

Back in 2016 we wrote about Devialet’s Gold Phantom speaker, the successor to their Silver model which doubled the power and saw it coated in 22-carat gold. It could truly blow you away with 4,500 watts worth of power that were capable of up to 108 decibels of sound blasting.

Devialet are back with another impressively powerful speaker but this one won’t cost you $3000. The Phantom Reactor is their latest offering which packs a powerful 900 watts of power into it’s more compact design for 2 grand cheaper than the Gold Phantom.

Whilst not as powerful as the Gold Phantom the Reactor is still capable of up to 98 decibels. The Reactor is portable meaning you can take this unmatched sound power with you anywhere for an incredible sound at home or on the go with high fidelity.

The Devialet Phantom Reactor lets you hook your music up via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, optical connection or a plain old 3.5mm mini-jack. Devialet have yet again achieved an immensely powerful speaker that doesn’t take up space, and it’s much more affordable this time.

Explore the ins and outs of Devialet’s Phantom Reactor and purchase your own for £990.

Light up your music with a lightning-fuelled synth

Infuse your music with the elements with a synth module that overdrives your music with actual lightning.

The digital age of music has brought with it many innovations and developers are always looking for new and unique ways to create music like never before. Latvian developers, Erica Synths have unveiled their new eurorack synth module that truly puts the sound of electricity behind your music.

The Plasma Drive integrates a Tesla coil into an overdrive synth that boosts audio signal to 3000 volts. Using “a new and previously unexplored method” the module transforms your audio into a series of continuous high-voltage discharges in a xenon-filled tube.

Erica Synths worked with another Latvian company, Gamechanger Audio, who are responsible for the Plasma Pedal. The natural predecessor to the Plasma Drive, the pedal infused a Tesla coil into a distortion pedal for guitars and basses providing a uniquely elemental crunch for real high voltage rock.

They both have the same effect on your sound but Erica have brought it to synth racks as part of their Erica Fusion Series. The Plasma Drive module offers CV control over distortion and dry/wet mix and octave up and 1 and 2 octaves down tracking oscillators to create even more harmonics.

The Plasma Drive will be released on the 20th February for €310. If you’re interested in the Plasma Pedal you can nab yourself one of them for €247 from Gamechanger’s site.

Tencent take Siri on with their own voice assistant

Watch out Siri, you may be about to launch in China in the shape of Apple’s smart speaker but Tencent are looming with their own artificial intelligence on the way.

As Apple build up to the launch of their HomePod speaker in China this week on the 18th, native tech giant’s Tencent have announced the readying of their very own powerful artificial intelligence. China’s most notorious tech company Tencent have revealed that they are preparing the launch of their own smart-assistant called Xiaowei which will debut in their popular messaging app WeChat, the biggest social media platform in China, and will be used to control Tencent’s services like QQ Music.

The Western world, and in particular the US, has quickly adopted voice assistants and made them part of the home in recent years with AI’s like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri aiding people through their smartphones and smart speakers. China however has not seen the same level of uptake and they remain a novelty in China, making this potentially the first big digital assistant from a native Chinese company to have an impact across China.

Tencent sell smart speakers in China as well as other local internet companies like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Baidu Inc. which use voice assistants to accompany them. Integrating this into further tech products like their apps could mark a shift in China’s adoption of the new technology that sees them catch up with the popularity voice assistants have seen in the US and other Western countries.

WeChat is a massive platform in China with over 1.08 billion monthly active users at the end of September 2018. On Wednesday Tencent said they are also focusing on expanding the monetisation of their Mini Programs. Mini Programs is a platform for external apps that can be integrated into WeChat to provide extra features such as e-commerce, task management, coupons, and more.

Tencent haven’t announced when Xiaowei might go live for it’s apps.

Bose’s new car system takes noise-cancelling on the road

Noise-cancelling technology is so popular it’s almost standard in any decent pair of new headphones now but Bose want to take that technology to entirely new dimensions.

Gone are the days of having to actually listen to and acknowledge the things happening around you and most importantly, the people – bleurgh! With any of the plethora of noise cancelling headphones available today we can slip on our music and shut out the world, using tech to actively cancel out noise beyond your cans. Bose are taking this privilege to cars to get rid of all of that annoying ambient rumbling so you can listen to your music on the road with no distractions.

Bose are evolving their acclaimed noise-cancelling technology, QuietComfort, to bring it to change our listening experiences when we’re in our cars and driving on the road. Their new Bose QuietComfort Road Noise Control (RNC) technology is now available to global car manufacturers to cancel out the noise of the road beneath your tyres and the shudders of your vehicle’s frame.

The RNC technology works using accelerometers on the vehicle’s body to measure vibrations coming through the car that cause noise. They use the information from the sensors to create an acoustic cancellation signal which they can then output through the vehicle’s speakers to cancel out as much of the targeted noise as possible. The technology listens and adapts as it travels over different services as well as apparently adjusting it’s process as the vehicle ages as well for the best results.

Bose Automotive’s manager for Active Sound Management Solutions, John Feng said: “For years, we’ve been asked why we can’t simply adapt our noise cancelling headphone technology to vehicle cabins for a quieter driving experience. But we know it’s much more difficult to control noise in a large space like a car cabin compared to the relatively small area around your ears. However, through research advances and our relentless efforts to solve tough problems, we’ve achieved a level of road noise reduction that sets Bose apart from competitive offerings.”

At first it seems like it could be a risky move as being aware of your surroundings is rule number 1 when you’re driving. But the sensors are built into the vehicles frame to sense vibrations running through the vehicle but aren’t able to cancel any sounds that aren’t specifically travelling through the vehicle. So car horns, sirens, and even the sound of wind as a lorry passes will still be just as audible.

Bose will collaborate with manufacturers during the vehicle development process to custom-engineer QuietComfort RNC into the car. Tuning adjustments can be made quickly and easily throughout the development cycle, and the solution is available for vehicles with or without Bose premium sound systems. QuietComfort RNC is planned to be in production models by the end of 2021.

Let’s put a Bluetooth speaker in concrete, said no one ever

Except someone actually did say that and then they made it and now you can own your very own concrete Bluetooth speaker AND it’s surprisingly pretty decent.

It seems there’s a new Bluetooth speaker on the market every single day. You can get high quality speakers that could fill a stadium and cost over $2,000 or you can get a $15 stormtrooper head speaker that fits in the palm of your hand and can take selfies. It seems there’s no end to Bluetooth speaker manufacturing, but this concrete speaker brings something new to the table at last.

If you’re sick of tacky plastic Bluetooth speakers then French audio manufacturers Le Pavé Parisien have you covered with a speaker that wouldn’t look out of place built into the pavement. The speaker literally looks like a block of concrete with an industrial grate on the front for the audio to output but whether it’s aesthetic appeals to you or not, it has to be the sturdiest portable speaker on the market.

concrete le pave parisien bluetooth speaker french music portable

Le Pavé Parisien promise high-end audio quality as well as a powerful sound though 60-20,000 Hz means it’s bass may lack – which is disappointing considering it’s sturdy looking design. The company say: “Its natural resistance and the density of the material make it possible to obtain a clear and precise sound. We diverted the latest generation concrete (UHPFRC), lighter and more resistant, to create a unique speaker: The Parisian Cobblestone.”

They also promise that it’s design lends itself to easy repair if anything goes wrong, though being made of concrete you’d assume the tech is safe inside it’s hefty shell. Believe it or not the speaker isn’t actually that heavy either, weighing only 1.5 Kg which is roughly the weight of a chihuahua puppy and much more suited to being carried around in a handbag.

The speaker is available to purchase now for €349 and you can even customise your speaker with an engraving of your choice in the concrete, whether it be a word, phrase, or symbol. They are planning to begin shipping the concrete speaker at the end of January.

Find out more here:

Skullcandy’s earbuds go wireless for the first time

Infamous headphone makers Skullcandy are finally ready to catch up with their competitors with the reveal of their very first truly wireless music offering – look out Apple AirPods.

Skullcandy have carved out a notorious name in the low-to-mid range earphone and headphone market as a brand that people trust for quality that won’t dent your funds. The company has been producing headphones since 2003 and have now just announced that they’ll be launching their very first wireless earbuds.

The company have announced Skullcandy Push, truly wireless earbuds that slip into your ear with no entangling or excess involved. The earbuds have a simple design with their iconic logo and a single button which you can use to answer calls from the connected device, switch tracks when you’re listening to music, and control the volume with. The button can also activate your device’s AI assistant which you can talk to using the Push’s built-in microphone.

The Skullcandy Push boasts an impressive 12 hours of battery life with 6 hours of play in the earbuds and then an additional 6 hours in the charging case. When you store your Push buds in their case they will recharge any of the battery lost in use so they’re ready with a full battery for the next time you bust them out to listen. Their battery life also rivals Apple’s Airpods which last for 5 hours of listening time, however their charging case adds up to 24 hours of potential listening time.

As of their announcement the earbuds only come in one available colour; Psychotropical Teal. They look funky and compared to last month’s leak about Skullcandy’s wireless earbuds they look a lot more like something you might happily wear out and about. The earbuds feature a “gel ear hook” to clip them into your ear making it a smoother fit, something Apple’s Airpods have been criticised for. A simple rotation unhooks the Push from your ear.

As with Apple, if you lose an earbud or charging case they offer a replacement at a reduced price of $49 under their ‘Fearless Use Promise’. Apple offer a similar scheme however at a higher price of $69 per replacement.

Skullcandy plan to sell the Push exclusively from Target for $129.99 until the 15th January, after which they’ll be available at select retailers.

Apple’s next AirPods might scan and shape themselves to your ear

As Apple build up to the launch of the next generation of AirPods a new patent suggests that their updated earbuds will come with a lot more sophisticated tech.

Apple’s AirPods have received mixed reviews in the 2 years they’ve been available with praise for their quality and wireless functionality but drawing criticism for their size/wireless design making these $160 earbuds very easy to lose. Some listeners complained that the AirPods weren’t comfortable, either not fitting into their ears or being uncomfortable when pushed firmly into their ears. A new patent suggests this might be in some way solved with their first upgrade to their AirPods since they launched.

The approved patent application, which 9to5Mac discovered, shows an earbud design that “can be worn interchangeably in either a left or a right ear of a user”. The patent describes that the earbuds would use biometric sensors to sense it’s position in the ear to “alter operation of the earbud in accordance to which ear the earbud is determined to be sitting in”.

Apple Airpods wireless earbud next generation technology music listening patent biometric sensors

The patent fuels the fire that we could be seeing new AirPods releasing soon. A new Ming-Chi Kuo report just days earlier suggested that updated AirPods could be releasing as soon as the first quarter of 2019 and will include wireless charging technology. However details in the patent imply that their biometric sensor technology might not feature in their earbuds until 2020.

Despite the concerns with certain aspects of Apple’s earbuds they have become the most popular Apple accessory in years – and not just because people keep losing them down the side of the sofa. According to people surveyed many users said that they plan on buying AirPods before they would buy a new iPhone. We will probably find out more about the future of Apple’s AirPods in the coming months and what we can expect in the next generation.