I was recently contracted by Guitar Player Magazine to review the new IK Multimedia Stomp I/O (look for the review in GP in the next couple of months). It lets you send audio and MIDI to an iPad, so I took the opportunity to set up a quick rig employing three of my favorite apps: iDensity, Aum, and Borderlands
This makes me sad. From when I first encountered Source Audio, back when the original Hot Hand was still tethered to the pedals by a cable, I encouraged the company to target laptop jockeys. I was thrilled when they introduced the Hot Hand USB. It seemed like such a good idea at the time: a way for DJs and electronica musicians to stop looking like they were reading their email, as filter sweeps and other effects could be connected to the performer through their hand movements. I even figured out how to use it with guitar without tying up either hand. (See video below and read the article here ). Unfortunately it never caught on and is being discontinued. If it looks like something you could use, grab one now while they last.
I saw this at a NAMM recently and it looked interesting but was vaporware at the time. Also, it required wearing an unwieldy contraption on your foot. Since then the folks at Chroma Coda have made some changes to the Poly Expressive concept that makes it more attractive (getting rid of the footwear, for starters). They have also launched a Kickstarter campaign. What do we think?
There is a wonderful world of effects out there, but maximizing their usefulness often requires modifying parameters on the fly—think Whammy pedal, or runaway delay feedback. Unfortunately, modifying parameters, and even engaging or switching off effects, tethers you to the pedal in a way that can hamper your visual performance.
There have been solutions: In 2014, Livid came out with Guitar Wing, which I covered in Guitar Moderne. It allows control of MIDI effects parameters right from the face of the guitar, unchained from pedals and standard hardware controllers. Source Audio’s Hot Hand, covered here, also permits free-ranging parameter control, either through MIDI (using the Neuro Hub), or through an expression input on the pedal or switching device. The folks at GTC Sound Innovations have come up with yet another solution that debuted at NAMM a couple of years ago and I recently got to put it through its paces. First watch the GTC folks demo some classic effects.