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jamstik, the Guitar You Can Take Everywhere, is Now Available for Purchase

Posted by Jessica Fisher on August 21st, 2014

Zivix has announced that their guitar-in-your-pocket, jamstik, is now available at select Apple retail stores and Apple’s Online Store. 

jamstik is a portable digital instrument you can use to learn, play, and create music on the go. It serves as a MIDI-enabled controller for multiple apps like jamTutor, jamMix, and Garage Band, and jamstik uses real strings and frets to give musicians a realistic experience while playing. The controller connects to your Apple devices wirelessly, making it an ideal instrument to carry around with you.

You can buy jamstik for $299.99 on the Zivix site now.

Smule Pass Unifies VIP Subscriptions in Magic Piano, Guitar!, Sing! Karaoke, and AutoRap

Posted by Carter Dotson on May 14th, 2014

Smule has announced their new Smule Pass service for unlimited access to music and features across several of their music apps. Users of Sing! Karaoke, Magic Piano, AutoRap, and Guitar! can buy a subscription in one app and get unlimited song access and storage, pro studio effects, and the ability to upload Sing! tracks to Smule.com.

Right now, all existing and upcoming purchases of VIP subscriptions in each individual app will get the Smule Pass for all four apps for the life of their subscriptions. It's not possible to purchase a "Smule Pass" per se - we've reached out for clarification on how future purchases will work.

Update: According to a Smule representative, anyone who buys a VIP subscription in an app and has the app linked to their Smule ID will get the Smule Pass, enabling access in the other apps.

Guitar! by Smule Jams Out A Left-Handed Mode, Unlocks All Guitars

Posted by Andrew Stevens on August 13th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Guitar! by Smule plays out a new update that unlocks all guitars and lets you choose your singer for rocking out the best performances ever. Also, a new left-handed mode is now available for all lefties to enjoy, and don't forget that new songs will release every week to keep a fresh sound for all guitarists to play. Start your jammin'!

· Play on: New free songs will be released every week.
· Choose your singer: Pick your collaborator for each song from top performances in Sing! Karaoke.
· Keep to the beat: Choose to turn on the metronome option on the play screen.
· Lefties, rejoice!: Left-handed guitar mode now available.

ZAP Guitar - No Strings Attached Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Lee Hamlet on July 8th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: MUSICAL FUN
Zap! Guitar is a fun way to play and create acoustic guitar music, whether users are guitar-aficionados or complete novices.
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Guitar! by Smule Strums Onto The App Store

Posted by Andrew Stevens on May 25th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Guitar! by Smule has players strumming along to the music in an app that combines guitar songs paired with real vocals from Smule's Sing! Karaoke app, which creates a unique feeling of playing alongside an actual singer. There are multiple songs to play along to, though there is also a freestyle mode for those who just want to play. Players will strum and pick while changing cords and creating vibrato by shaking the phone. Also, as players get better, they'll be able to rock out even more by unlocking electric guitars.

iRig Stomp Review

By Rob LeFebvre on September 6th, 2012
The iRig Stomp is a must-have for any guitarist seeking to seamlessly integrate OS into their effects setup for home or stage.
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AmpliTube Fender Update Adds MIDI and Recording, Audio Enhancements

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on July 12th, 2012
iPad App - Designed for iPad

AmpliTube Fender, from IK Multimedia, is a guitar amplifier modeling app, allowing users to rock that famous Fender sound with their guitar or bass, using classic amp sounds like the ’59 Bassman, the Fender ’65 Twin Reverb, the Super-Sonic, the '65 Deluxe Reverb and the Pro Junior. It also includes classic Fender stompbox models like the Fender Blender, Overdrive, Tape Echo, Phaser and Compressor.

Today, AmpliTube Fender gets updated to 1.2, bringing MIDI integration, digital audio support, audio copy and paste, and a redesigned (and Retina-compatible) interface.

With a connected MIDI capable device like the iRig MIDI, users can now use AmpliTube Fender hands-free on stage, controlling every knob, switch, or preset in the interface with a MIDI-capable foot controller. The feature is available as in-app purchase and it is free for iRig MIDI users.

AmpliTube Fender has always included a recording feature but the redesigned recording studio now supports audio copy and paste, for quickly moving audio around for the perfect mix. You can also copy from AmpliTube Fender and then copy to external apps like GarageBand.

Digital audio interfaces are now fully supported, allowing you to connect to any iOS compatible digital audio devices, like the StealthPlug USB audio interface cable, making getting audio in and out a snap.

The new AmpliTube Fender 1.2 update is now available in the App Store as a free update for all previous AmpliTube Fender users on iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

Capo Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Monica Stevens on July 3rd, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: MUST-HAVE FOR THE IN CROWD
Functional and supreme design in one compact musical accessory.
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Thrash with AmpliTube Slash

Posted by Lisa Caplan on June 18th, 2012

My isn’t Slash just having a massive comeback year? He’s got a new album, new band mates, and now he’s got a an app for rockers with his brand on it. While you’d have to be hiding in a bunker not to be at least passingly acquainted with the late 80’s metal icon of Guns N' Roses fame, you may not be familiar with IK’s line of audio accessories.

But, if you are a guitarist or bassist with an iPad you’ve likely at least stumbled across their AmpliTube apps. The first iteration was featured in the original iPad ads and lets you play and record music with realistic amp effects. Now they’ve released AmpliTube Slash, a universal app with the same pedals and Marshal amps Slash favors.

The app, like the rest in the series, is also a multi-track recording studio. Apparently Apocalyptic Love, Slash’s new album was helped along with several IK products including iRig.

“AmpliTube iRig comes in really handy for on-the-go practicing, recording, or just jamming on different ideas – even if it’s on the bus – it’s right with me all the time,"  Slash said, adding, “I’ll do some tweaks on the Marshalls, but there are also different effects that are available including distortion, chorus, auto-wah and more.”

AmpliTube Slash is sold as a stand-alone product or the effects can be purchased in AmpliTube’s main app as in-app purchases at $9.99 for the whole kit or a-la-carte effects for $2.99 each.

Guitar Companion Adds New Features

Posted by Kevin Stout on March 27th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Infinaut Technologies has released its 3.0.0 update for guitar instruction app, Guitar Companion. The update includes the addition of various features including a metronome with four rhythm choices, drum packs (including rock, blues, jazz, and more), alternate chord fingering, custom skins, an ad-free option, and making the app available in 16 languages. Many of the updated features come from suggestions from users.

Guitar Companion is a tool for both pro and beginner guitarists. It can be a quick reference to the seasoned player or a source of learning for the new player. The app contains a tuner, chord charts (over 1600), and scales (over 150). The simple interface displays a guitar fret board that can manually be strummed to hear chords (or auto strummed for lazy players).

The app is free with in-app purchases including perks like the rhythm packs and removing ads. Check out the video demo of version 3.0.0 of Guitar Companion below.

CES 2012: Guitarlink Air Provides Axe to Amp or iOS Device Output without the Wires

Posted by Lisa Caplan on January 12th, 2012

Ion Audio is getting a ton of press over the new iCades and my personal favorite their Guitar Apprentice, but Guitarlink Air looks pretty cool too. Announced at CES 2012, the system connects a guitar to Mac, PC, iPad or iPhone wirelessly. Guitarlink Air’s uses what it calls “high performance, low-latency technology.” The transmitter, a lightweight clip-on to a guitar strap funnels a 2.4 GHz signal that is amplified by an amp or digital output source without the annoyance or constraints of a cables.

Rockers can also use Guitarlink Air and an iOS device to practice with headphones or in conjunction with apps like AmpliTube and Garageband. and a free amp is included. The package, scheduled for a Q2 release, comes with Guitar Rig LE software that, according to Ion’s press release “shapes guitar sound with emulations of classic amplifiers and effects pedals.” No word yet on price, but its yet another one from Ion Audio for the wish list.

Guitar Apprentice for iPad Rocks CES 2012

Posted by Jordan Minor on January 10th, 2012

Just as the death of arcades hasn't stopped Ion Audio from putting out cool, new iCade accessories, they aren't letting the decline of games like Guitar Hero keep them from getting into the plastic instrument race. However, like their previous Piano Apprentice iPhone accessory, the upcoming Guitar Apprentice isn't a game. Instead, it's a musical teaching tool.

The device is a full-sized guitar shell that the iPad docks into. The onscreen frets light up to show players where they need to place their fingers and whether or not they are strumming the right chords. From there, players can learn and record songs with compatible apps like GarageBand and Ion Audio's own upcoming Guitar Apprentice app.

The Guitar Apprentice accessory will soon hit retail for $99 in America before arriving in the rest of the world. If this works, imagine what other instruments Ion Audio could plug an iPad into. The second image shows that a drum accessory is in the works. What else could be coming? Saxophone Apprentice anyone?

WildChords Hits Just The Right Notes To Teach Guitar

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on December 19th, 2011
iPad App - Designed for iPad

WildChords, an iPad-only educational app aimed at kids ages 6 to 11, is the brainchild of Finnish devloper, Ovelin. We had the chance to speak with Christoph Thür, CEO of Ovelin, about this new promising guitar teaching game.

WildChords uses special algorithms to listen to and analyze the sound coming from a guitar. The game, then, urges young guitar learners to learn and play guitar chords at first and then single notes later to advance their cool strutting avatar through the levels, collecting animals to return them to the zoo. Each animal represents a chord - a monkey is an A minor chord, a Crocodile is a C chord, and so on. The game includes a easy to use visual tuner, and tracks learner's progress across the lessons and different skills to be learned. It can also brag on Facebook.

According to Thür, studies show that somewhere around 85% of new instrument learners quit before reaching a level of mastery that would satisfy them enough to keep learning. In other words, most kids don't get good enough fast enough or with enough support to keep them playing an instrument. Not everyone can afford private lessons, either, and - in the US, at least - music education programs have to make do with less and less.

Thür and his company, Ovelin Ltd., want to change that, by providing solid music learning app that targets the beginning guitar player. The technology behind the app is fairly amazing, able to distinguish between single and multiple (chord) notes with ease on both the iPad 1 and iPad 2. The lessons are created with solid pedagogy in place, starting learners where they are, and supporting them as they learn new skills in a fun way.

Thür said that the company would like to bring the app to iPhone & Android in the near future, in addition to expanding to teaching other instruments, like the piano and bass. I made a special pitch for Ukulele, but he was non-committal.

Wildchords is available for free on the App Store, requireing an iPad and a real guitar, acoustic or electric.


Find, Copy and Store Guitar Music with the Perfect Guitar Song Book

Posted by Rob Rich on December 6th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

I won't pretend to be a legitimate guitarist, because I'm most certainly not, but Perfect Guitar Song Book seems like a very useful app for those that are. It's got all of the usefulness of an entire library of tablature, but none of the mess or back-breaking physical requirements that come with lugging it around. Of course, that's what roadies are for, right?

It's not all about portability, though. Perfect Guitar Song Book can also be used to grab and format notes and lyrics from any number of websites directly through the app. The text and fonts can also be tweaked to allow for easier reading, then saved for later use. Favorites can be exported into various formats (.PDF, Chord Pro, etc...), which I can see being a big deal for potential song writers.

The app also offers the useful hands-free option of scrolling via shaking. So if someone's presumably in the middle of playing they don't have to stop in order to "turn the page" as it were. The app also supports TV-Out, so with the proper cables a user could easily put the song up on a big screen for the rest of their band-mates/friends to use as a guide.

If Perfect Guitar Song Book sounds like a great idea, then feel free to go and grab it off of the App Store. It's available right now for $3.99 for all major iOS devices.

Guitar Lessons from Howcast Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Kevin Stout on May 24th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: FACE-MELTING MADNESS
Guitar Lessons from Howcast is a great option for beginner guitarists that are looking for an affordable lessons solution.
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