Talking tech since 2003

This holiday season will be full of opportunities for people to give and receive gifts of all kinds. And as we all know some gifts are more appropriate for some than for others. For instance, what if you know a musician who’s just tired of being held back by the frailties of his human flesh? What if your musician friend would rather be a cyborg, or at least enhanced by the latest technologies? Then this is the gift guide for you. Behold: three gifts help create a band of cyborgs.

For Your Guitarists: Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner


When playing a live show, it’s important that guitar players make sure they’re in tune from one song to the next. That’s a no-brainer, but the process of tuning on the fly can be time consuming, and might slow a gig’s momentum. That’s why it’s never a bad idea to have this pedal, the Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner.

My good buddy Walter says this about the pedal he swears by:

“The most under-rated pedal because its not fancy, but its a beast. Guitar players shouldn’t leave home without it. A standard for guitar pedal boards.”

Stomp it, tune your guitar, get back to playing. It’s a great bit of tech that lets the machine do the tedious work of helping you get in tune, so you can get back to playing.

For Your Sight-Readers: Air Turn

An important part of playing music? Using your hands. Very few instruments let you get by with just one hand, but when using sheet music, it’s always been super annoying to turn the page to see what’s next. To do so, you just have to take your hands away from playing, and onto the music.

But the beautiful thing about the digital revolution is that with a tablet, an app, and a foot pedal, that problem’s gone. My friend Evan, who plays Tuba, piano, bass, and just about every other instrument in between, turned me onto this one: AirTurn. Instead of having plain sheet music on your stand, you can just hit the foot pedal and turn the page of your digital sheet music on your iPad or Android tablet. It’s an ingenious solution, and the musician who you get this for will thank you.

For your Drummer: Pearl’s e-Pro Live Electronic Drum Set

For the longest time, drummers have had to decide between going acoustic—or analogue—or digital, and sacrifice the natural feel that comes with using a traditional drum set. But Pearl, one of the top brands in percussion, looks to meld the digital and analogue worlds with its e-Pro Live Electronic Drumset.

It may be pricey, but the result is a powerful synthesis between acoustic and electronic. The e-Pro set is outfitted with electronic triggers for each drum head, along with an electronic module that’s outfitted with over 1,000 sounds and 100 different kit configurations. But since they’re mounted on actual wooden shells, you can simply swap out the triggers for actual drum heads and you’ve got a full acoustic kit.

This gives a drummer the ability to play a real gig and play acoustically, while being enhanced with digital possibilities. Moreover, the electronic components can be used to capture and digitize the drummer’s playing to be used and broken up in the recording and mixing process.

Please buy me one.

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