In 2014, Livid came out with Guitar Wing, which we covered in Guitar Moderne. We were impressed with the possibilities of controlling effects parameters right from the face of the guitar, unchained from pedals and standard hardware controllers. The downside was that the unit can be difficult to fit on your instrument and makes a large visual statement that may or may not be to your liking. On the upside, it is very versatile and, streeting at a little over $100, reasonably priced.
The folks at GTC have come up with an alternate device that debuted at NAMM a couple of years ago. As hearing anything at NAMM is an exercise in futility, we were glad to come across a video that clearly demonstrates the enormous possibilities of their Revpad. Smaller than the Guitar Wing, it comes with its own hardware multi-effects and can also send MIDI to external effects. On the strength of this video, the effects sound great and the Revpad seems nearly as versatile as the Guitar Wing. At around $1000, it is pricier than the Livid product, but when you factor in the cost of the laptop and/or external hardware effects you would need to add to Guitar Wing, they seem comparable values. What do you think?
The journey Reid Karris took to become a player of prepared guitar echoes others who attack the instrument with implements from the kitchen and hardware store. Attempts at “normal” playing left him unsatisfied, until he found his true musical self in a combination of tabletop and worn guitars. His lengthy description of his process and his music was worth presenting in full, as it offers valuable insights to anyone considering abandoning genre guitar for the wilds of experimentation.
Not just a superb guitar player and mainstay of John Scofield’s Uberjam band, Avi Bortnik is an app developer. His metronome app, Time Guru, is designed to improve your time by gradually removing the crutch of its own beats, while his delay app, Echo Pitch, offers some new twists on an old theme. Voxbeat allows you to create drum patterns using your voice and phone. Check them out. Sorry this took so long Avi.
This video is to accompany my Electronic Musician column “Electronic Guitar.” The July column is on Glitch Guitar and the video features the Red Panda Particle, the Electro-Harmonix Canyon, and Ableton Live’s Beat Repeat plug-in. The issue is on the stands now and the article should be available online next month.