Recording - July 2011 - 42

Help pages (which are easy to get to from the main menu). You can choose four instrument sounds to play back in a Groove, and each hit can have four dynamic levels (or rest). Note, however, that only two sounds can play at once: one sound is always available, and every step in the Groove can play back one of the other three sounds at a time. So, for example, you can have a snare, kick, and woodblock alternating as one sound, and a hi-hat as the other. Where BeatFactor really shines is in its choice of sounds and in the flexibility of the Grooves you end up with. If you’re interested in setting up tracks in odd time signatures, with meter changes as often as once per measure, BeatFactor will thrill you—you can build a Groove that shifts cleanly from 4/4 to 9/8 to 5/8 to 13/8, with or without triplets. There’s no limit to how many measures a Groove can have. And the onboard sounds include over 150 samples of everything from rock drums and classical percussion to reggae and African instruments, with multiple articulations for realistic-feeling grooves. The samples are tightly-edited and don’t ring out, but are clean and clear. BeatFactor’s not going to replace an expensive rhythm machine, but if you’re looking for an easy way to create surprisingly complex grooves to practice with, check it out. (And if you have an idea for how to make the Groove Editor work more smoothly, drop Frank a line; he loves to get feedback from users!)

compatible with Mac OS X 10.5+ and Windows XP/Vista/7 and bundled with Native Instruments Guitar Rig LE 4. It’s a no-driver solution for adding guitar input to any computer, and it works like a dream. But just for fun, I hooked it up to my iPad using the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit to see what would happen, and I was gratified with the results. The what? The Camera Connection Kit. It’s a set of two small gizmos that attach to an iPad’s docking connector, ostensibly to allow photos to be moved on and off of the iPad easily. One has an SD card reader, but the other has a conventional USB port... and it is being used to allow all sorts of USB devices to be connected to the iPad, including audio interfaces and MIDI controllers. Many apps support CoreMIDI and CoreAudio over this connector, and it provides an easy way to use existing hardware with your iPad. In this case, my guitar apps instantly recognized the GuitarLink Plus and took audio from my Schecter without complaint. The only audio artifact I could hear was a faint digital background noise on very loud signals, and as it didn’t use the TRRS connector on the iPad, there were none of the feedback issues we heard with interfaces that used the TRRS. If you’re looking for a quick and easy solution for guitar input to your laptop, one that can also talk to your iPad with the addition of the Camera Connection Kit, the GuitarLink Plus does the job handily.

Alesis GuitarLink Plus
$69; www.alesis.com The GuitarLink Plus is a 5-meter (16.3’) guitar cable with a good-quality 1/4" plug at one end and a USB connector at the other (with blue LED for active signal),

TheGigEasy
$79 to $99; www.thegigeasy.com I know, in an article otherwise chock-full of apps costing just a few dollars and interfaces costing $70 or less, it can be jarring to see a price tag like this on something as seemingly simple as an iPad stand. You might find yourself scratching your head and asking yourself, “What could possibly make an iPad stand worth this much money?” I’ve had a chance to work with a number of iPad stands from different makers, and there are some good ones and some not-sogood ones. Some are solidly made but not as flexible as you might like them to be— perhaps they’re not easy to position, or it’s difficult to put the iPad in or take it out—and some are just plain cheap, dropping your iPad or letting it rattle around. And with the advent of the iPad 2, which is substantially thinner than the original, many stands just plain don’t fit any more. And then there’s TheGigEasy. How does it differ from the competition? Well, where do I start... it uses four spring-loaded arms

that hug the iPad tightly, making it exceptionally easy to place and remove while holding it rock-steady. It can be purchased with a variety of stand mount options, everything from a mic boom arm to a conventional Manhasset music stand to a VESA arm mount like those used for swivelling monitors. It can be turned to any position, landscape or portrait, with a solidly detented ‘click’ at each position and a full 360 degrees of rotation. If you have an iPad 2, converting TheGigEasy to hold it is as simple as attaching four self-adhesive rubber bumper pads, which come free with the unit, and I’m told that a special iPad 2 version offering full access to both camera lenses will ship in July. You wouldn’t trust a thousand-dollar guitar to a cheaply-made stand, or put your best vintage tube mic on a flimsy mic boom you got in the bargain bin, would you? Well, you might... and you might curse the day you did when your precious investment ends up slipping, sagging, or just plain falling to the floor. Saving a few dollars on a cheap iPad stand is, in my opinion, a false economy. I’ve been living with TheGigEasy for several weeks now, using it in my studio as I play guitar through my iPad, play virtual instruments on it, and set it up for cue sheets when I do my radio show, and it’s been an utter delight. I’m going to pay to keep it now that this review is over. I wouldn’t trust my iPad to anything else.

42

RECORDING JULY 2011


http://www.alesis.com http://www.thegigeasy.com

Recording - July 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - July 2011

Recording - July 2011
Fade In
Contents
Talkback
Fast Forward
Put Your Foot Down!
A Guitar Gear Grab Bag
Fat Guitar Tones Without The Mud
Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5017
iOS Music Tools For Guitarists
Reviewed and Revisited: BOSS RC-30 Loop Station
Reviewed and Revisited: IK Multimedia AmpliTube 3.5
Tech21 Blonde
It’s Your Music—Know Your Rights. Chapter 16: Licensing Music For Video Games
Eventide Space
Recording’s Showcase of Sounds
TC Electronic Flashback, Shaker, and Hall Of Fame
Readers’ Tapes
Advertiser Index
Fade Out
Recording - July 2011 - Recording - July 2011
Recording - July 2011 - Cover2
Recording - July 2011 - 1
Recording - July 2011 - Fade In
Recording - July 2011 - 3
Recording - July 2011 - Contents
Recording - July 2011 - 5
Recording - July 2011 - Talkback
Recording - July 2011 - 7
Recording - July 2011 - Fast Forward
Recording - July 2011 - 9
Recording - July 2011 - 10
Recording - July 2011 - 11
Recording - July 2011 - Put Your Foot Down!
Recording - July 2011 - 13
Recording - July 2011 - 14
Recording - July 2011 - 15
Recording - July 2011 - 16
Recording - July 2011 - 17
Recording - July 2011 - 18
Recording - July 2011 - 19
Recording - July 2011 - 20
Recording - July 2011 - 21
Recording - July 2011 - A Guitar Gear Grab Bag
Recording - July 2011 - 23
Recording - July 2011 - 24
Recording - July 2011 - 25
Recording - July 2011 - 26
Recording - July 2011 - 27
Recording - July 2011 - 28
Recording - July 2011 - 29
Recording - July 2011 - 30
Recording - July 2011 - 31
Recording - July 2011 - 32
Recording - July 2011 - 33
Recording - July 2011 - Fat Guitar Tones Without The Mud
Recording - July 2011 - 35
Recording - July 2011 - 36
Recording - July 2011 - 37
Recording - July 2011 - Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5017
Recording - July 2011 - 39
Recording - July 2011 - iOS Music Tools For Guitarists
Recording - July 2011 - 41
Recording - July 2011 - 42
Recording - July 2011 - 43
Recording - July 2011 - Reviewed and Revisited: BOSS RC-30 Loop Station
Recording - July 2011 - 45
Recording - July 2011 - Reviewed and Revisited: IK Multimedia AmpliTube 3.5
Recording - July 2011 - 47
Recording - July 2011 - 48
Recording - July 2011 - 49
Recording - July 2011 - Tech21 Blonde
Recording - July 2011 - 51
Recording - July 2011 - 52
Recording - July 2011 - 53
Recording - July 2011 - 54
Recording - July 2011 - 55
Recording - July 2011 - It’s Your Music—Know Your Rights. Chapter 16: Licensing Music For Video Games
Recording - July 2011 - 57
Recording - July 2011 - Eventide Space
Recording - July 2011 - 59
Recording - July 2011 - Recording’s Showcase of Sounds
Recording - July 2011 - 61
Recording - July 2011 - TC Electronic Flashback, Shaker, and Hall Of Fame
Recording - July 2011 - 63
Recording - July 2011 - Readers’ Tapes
Recording - July 2011 - Advertiser Index
Recording - July 2011 - 66
Recording - July 2011 - 67
Recording - July 2011 - 68
Recording - July 2011 - 69
Recording - July 2011 - 70
Recording - July 2011 - 71
Recording - July 2011 - Fade Out
Recording - July 2011 - Cover3
Recording - July 2011 - Cover4
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