January 24, 2007

Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water...

by Chris Randall

So Elle and I are on a brief vacation (because I'm not out of the office enough already) to celebrate our 12th anniversary of marriage, and I'm on the hotel wi-fi cruising through Zicos, and this little blurb catches my eye:

METALIEN iAXE629-MA USB GUITAR plugs straight into your PC or Mac computer without the need for any other hardware. The package includes "Guitar Combos BEHRINGER Edition" modeling software from Native Instruments, which turns your computer into a guitar amp.

Now, I can certainly understand the need to make a dollar or two. That makes perfect sense to me. Especially if you're broke. But there's this little thing called "pride," and quite frankly, I'm wondering how bad Native Instruments needs to make money at this point. I mean, really, now. Come on, guys.



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Jan.26.2007 @ 2:14 PM
Rex - while I can't disagree that the W&C formula is rather simple (guitar+bass+3 delay units+occasional unintelligble vocals = drone for 70 minutes), I would argue that the whole is greater than the sum of its musical parts. In other words, yeah, anyone can emulate them, but it does actually take some talent to make it interesting for more than a few minutes. Then again, much of my taste in music runs from W&C to Main to Keith Fullerton Whitman, so there you go.

Speaking of KFW, the USB guitar would be perfect for doing something like his "Playthroughs" system of laptop processed guitar (shamann - I think he still uses his POD for that). My vision of the USB axe's usefulness is more along the lines of an alternative audio controller; i.e., a guitar instead of a keyboard. When I play guitar, I usually use alternate tunings (EADGBE bores the shit out of me in 3 seconds); between that and the audio mangling I'd do, I'd use this thing to produce very non-guitar sounds. If I want to have a guitar sound and standard guitar effects processing, I'll use my actual guitars and my actual guitar effects, thank you very much.

Modern instruments tend to be a lot more fun when you use them for things that they weren't designed for. :-)


Jan.27.2007 @ 2:19 AM
I don't know anything about electric guitars or signature models, but 2 or 3k is not a lot to pay for a really good instrument.

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