the road, in the practice room, or in the studio, your
gear needs to arrive intact, and to sound top-notch when you
get there. That means having quality travel products, especially when travel includes baggage
handlers who get their rocks off using your luggage to punt, pass and kick. Lets take a look at some new gear from a couple of
cool companies and see how it stands up to the test.
1976, TC Electronic
(www.tcelectronic.com) has been manufacturing first-class products designed for
audio professionals and musicians. From TC Helicon comes Voice Life 2, a
user-friendly, powerful floor processor that offers an array of effects. NaturalPlayTM
gives you up to eight harmony voices controlled from a guitar, MIDI keyboard or
MP3 playerideal for vocalists who dont play an instrument. Via stompbox or
preset foot switch, you can layer reverb, tap tempo delay, natural doubling,
T-Pain-like pitch shifting, distortion and megaphone effects and select from
over 250 presets. One-touch Tone controls compression, EQ and de-essing, and
the digitally controlled mic preamp allows singers to set mic gain while
standing. The bright, widescreen LCD makes it possible to view the screen from
that standing position. Its also easily portable. VoiceLive 2 ships in May for
bass players, TC Electronic presents the RebelHead amp rig: RebelHead450 bass
head ($1395), RebelStack cabinets (210 - $695 and 212 - $845) and RebelControl
($195). TC calls this a bass rig designed without compromise, made for
rehearsals, studio and road.
450, with on-board tuner, has traditional tone controls, emulates all of the
characteristics of a traditional tube circuit, and offers the highest-quality
compression. The 450 features three on-board user memories, auto-sensing PSU
for safe plug-and-play in any country, an input socket for audio source
plug-in, and an output digital connection.
RebelHead450 is available as a standalone unit or combined with the RebelStack
cabinets. The RebelStack system was designed to optimize live performance
without compromising pitch or low end. The vertical four-driver stacking system
gives you both, along with easy portability.
another option, add the RebelControl remote control system, a floor controller
for RebelHead450, with a tuner indicator, three preset foot buttons to change
the three user memories, and a mute button. RebelControl is conveniently
powered from the amp and is a great addition to the system.
G-Major 2 is TC Electronics multi-effects processor for guitar ($695). G-Major
2 houses effects such as delays, reverbs and modulation, with all-new takes on
Tri-chorus, through-zero-flanger, modulated delays and Univibe. Controls
include Noise Gate, EQ and Compression blocks, as well as the all-new
filter/wah block, intelligent pitch shifting and reverse delay.
2 allows users to change patches and presets through MIDI, or to use its stomp
box mode, enabling on/off switching of individual effects. The relay switching
option lets you switch amp channels directly, and in Serial Routing all blocks
are lined as a straight line of pedals. In Semi-Parallel, delay and reverb are placed in parallel, and in Parallel all
blocks except Compression and filter MOD blocks are placed in serial. G-Major 2
offers users easy and convenient editing and storing of patches and pre-sets
through a PC/Mac editor available at www.tcelectronic.com/G-major2.
If youre going to haul all that gear around, you need a name you
can trust. Ultimate Support (www.ultimatesupport.com) has been in business for over 30
years. They bill themselves as the Strength of Innovation, and when youre up
close and hands on with their products, its easy to see why. Ultimate Support
manufactures a very impressive selection of benches, stands, bags and cases so
rugged that they can probably even withstand baggage handlers. Perhaps its
time I start checking my essentials in an Ultimate Support case. These durable products look good and feel good, and best of all,
theyre surprisingly affordable. The X-Style JS-500 keyboard stand is $59.99,
the new double-braced X-Style JS-502D is $79.99, the JS-AS100 amp stand is
$89.99, the Z-Style JS-ZS100 keyboard stand is $119.99, and the new
multi-purpose JS-MPS1 mixer/keyboard stand is $129.99.
Me? Im thinking that one of their kick-ass Hybrid Series cases
might be my next investment. Suitcases and duffels be damned; lets see you
pummel this piece of checked luggage, Delta Airlines!