Benn and Gear: Boss SY-1000 Review

Benn Jordan doesn’t actually tell you everything you need to know about MIDI guitar, though he gives you a fair introduction. But he pulls no punches in his review of the Boss SY-1000. His dismay at the presets is more understandable when, later in the review, you get to hear his own presets, which, unlike he Boss ones, sound more like something you might have heard in the last 20 years, and harness the emotive potential of synthesis in a way that the Boss presets fail to do.

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Poly Digit and Bebo

The rollout of the Poly Effects  pedals has been one of the slowest in memory.  It was at least three years ago that Loki Davison unveiled his concept for a modular, programable, touchscreen, pedal. Now that his concept seems to be finally hitting the street, we see that like some Source Audio pedals, the basic housing allows either pedal to perform the functions of the other. Here are a couple of demos outside the noisy NAMM environment that show some of the fascinating possibilities.

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Laptop Meet iPad Update

One upside of sheltering in place is that it has given me time to get back to playing guitar through my Laptop/iPad rig. I posted some video snippets on Facebook, which prompted some questions about my setup. You can read about some of my earlier experiences here. But the time seems ripe to reveal the results of some improvements in both my technique and the technology.

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Cool Pedal Alert: Hologram Electronics Microcosm

Every now and then, a pedal comes along that embodies the concept of modern electric guitar. Hologram Electronics’ Microcosm is one such pedal. Here is modern guitarist extraordinaire Mike Baggetta’s “non-demo,” where he shows you how to make music with it.  I also include Hologram Electronics’ specs and some other demo videos. Not a cheap pedal but not bad for something that is more like a musical instrument. ​ Pre-order is now open for the second batch of Microcosms, shipping in late June 2020.

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NAMM 2020

At NAMM 2020 back in January, the worst thing you had to worry about was getting NAMMthrax (or NAMMonia), that is, a bad cold from shaking all those hands. We live in different times now; hope you and yours are healthy.

What this year’s winter show lacked in number of interesting product debuts it made up for in decibels. Complaints were constant about being unable to hear the gear, or talk to the vendors. (You can experience this in some of the videos). That said, there were a few cool releases that should appeal to the modern guitarist. If April seems late for the roundup, consider that many of these products are just now shipping.

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