november 2016

This tiny stompbox recorder enables real-time riff capture and fast file sharing via Bluetooth.

TC Electronic’s Wiretap Riff Recorder might seem like an answer to a problem few have considered. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great idea. It enables the capture of ideas right in the middle of a jam—without ever breaking stride or sacrificing a magical mood or moment. And with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, and a clever file management app, it facilitates fast sharing of musical ideas.

If you guessed at the intent of the Wiretap, you might think it works something like a cross between your smartphone’s audio recorder and a looper. You wouldn’t be too far off. Like a looper, you just hit the bypass switch while you’re playing and it begins recording. You can play back the recording through your amp. But the real upside comes via the downloadable app, which enables file naming, organization, and fast sharing.

There’s no limit to file length, save for the eight-hour ceiling on the unit’s memory. You can also play back recorded sections and scan through them using the simple, tape-recorder-like 3-switch array. Wiretap may seem like a solution to a problem you thought you had sorted. But few methods for capturing ideas are as easy or immediate.

Ratings

Read More Show less
John 5 on How He Gets Old-School Tones from His Metal-Friendly Tele | The Big 5

Plus, find out which guitar hero the Rob Zombie sideman “begs and pleads” with you to listen to.

Read More Show less

For at least a decade, the classic Ampeg SVT was the dominant bass amp for power and tone.

Photo courtesy of ampeg.com

From the giant, hefty beasts of yore to their modern, ultra-portable equivalents, bass amps have come a long way. So, what's next?

Bassists are often quite well-informed about the details of their instruments, down to the finest technical specs. Many of us have had our share of intense discussions about the most minute differences between one instrument and another. (And sometimes those are interrupted by someone saying, "It's all in the fingers.") But right behind our backs, at the end of our output cables, there is a world of tone-shaping that we either simply ignore or just don't want to dive into too deeply. Turning a gear discussion from bass to amp is a perfect way to bring it to an abrupt end.

Read More Show less
x