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iRig Pro I/O Invaluable Music Creation Tool

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When I first got a iRig Pro from IK Multimedia, I thought it was the greatest thing in the world.

Finally, something small and powerful that can fit in a gigbag, and yet at a moments notice, turn my iPhone into a mobile recording studio. What could get better than that? Well, I found out about a month ago when the iRig Pro I/O was released.

What’s So Different?

The iRig Pro I/O is the next generation of the iRig Pro, and has a number of upgrades. First, it has a 1/8″ stereo headphone out with preamp and level control which make it compatible with the most recent iOS devices (that’s right, someone thought of including a headphone out!!!). An added feature is when you use the optional DC power supply, the iRig Pro I/O will charge your iDevice while in use. Finally, the iRig Pro I/O features a new MIDI out jack that gives you even more flexibility and control over your MIDI gear.

What’s That Mean In Context?

For me, it means that the moment you’re inspired, it takes no time to grab your phone, plug in the iRig Pro I/O, get a good sound and start recording. Which is exactly what I did last Thursday. I had some time and wanted to get a final version of an arrangement I wrote recorded. Plugging in the iRig Pro I/O to my computer and firing up Garage Band was a breeze, and the 1/4″ / XLR input allowed me to grab the DI off of my amp. I then quickly set the input level (with the help of the gain control and the colored lights on the unit) and then I was off.

The tone of the bass and the amp recorded brilliantly. As quickly as I set up, I was done. Previously using any other recording gear, it would’ve taken a bit more time to dial everything in and get it working. And even then, nothing else I’ve used prior had an XLR input, so that would’ve required either an adaptor or pulling a direct signal from the bass.

In Summation

The iRig Pro I/O from IK Multimedia is a great tool. The added features of this model bring in more usability and expand the capabilities of what you can record with this unit. The quality of the recording is top notch, set up is a breeze and it is still small enough to fit in the accessory pocket of your gigbag. I can’t see using anything else…well, until they improve on this amazing device.

Street price for the iRig Pro I/O is $149.99 and is available now. Visit www.ikmultimedia.com for more information.

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New Gear: Bergantino Introduces New NXT410-C Bass Cab

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New Gear: Bergantino Introduces New NXT410-C Bass Cab

The New NXT410-C was designed with our touring artists in mind — a one-cab solution for every stage and venue, delivering the perfect, adaptable tonal spectrum for bassists in every genre.

We’ve consulted with a handful of artists, including New York-based touring bassist Karina Rykman, to fine-tune the ideal configuration for the NXT410-C. 

“Firstly, I’m beyond touched to be the inspiration behind, well…anything!,”  says Karina.  “But this is truly insane, and such an honor… Not only is it light and extremely good looking, it can handle all my loudest, most abrasive and obnoxious effects.”

Utilizing four 10-inch proprietary Bergantino NXT neodymium woofers and High Intelligibility Reference Tweeter,  the NXT410-C offers 1000w of accurate bass response with the ability to reach “bone shattering” levels with ease. The aforementioned tweeter includes the ability to dial in the perfect balance of highs and lows, and adapt to any room environment or tonal preferences.  It can also be dialed completely off for a true classic and vintage tone.               

Expanding on the breathtaking aesthetics of our NXV series, the Graphite Bronco Tolex and acoustically-transparent Ox-Blood grill cloth or Classic Bronco Black with silver grill cloth is sure to turn heads!  We use a Lightweight Italian poplar and a Baltic birch baffle to deliver premium tones at a much lighter weight, coming in at a mere 61lbs. Couple this with a rugged design,  players can confidently transport this powerhouse from stage-to-stage every night of the week.

Features:

  • Woofer: 4×10” Proprietary Bergantino NXT Neodymium Woofers
  • Tweeter: High intelligibility Reference tweeter w/ Constant Directivity Horn
  • Cabinet Design: Ported
  • Cabinet Material: Lightweight Italian poplar w/ Baltic birch baffle
  • Front Grill: Hard-wearing acoustically-transparent Ox-Blood cloth ( Silver is also an option)
  • Cabinet Covering: Graphite Bronco Tolex (Classic Bronco Black is also an option)
  • Connectivity: Dual Speak-ON Combo Connectors
  • Impedance:4 Ohms
  • Power Handling: 1000 Watts
  • Crossover: Phase-Coherent crossover w/ Tweeter Level Control
  • Frequency Response: 40 Hz – 16 kHz
  • Sensitivity: 104 dB @ 2.83 V / 1 Meter
  • Dimensions: 31?H x 22¾” W x 15? D
  • Weight: 61 Lbs.
  • Castors: 4 Removable 2? castors included
  • PRONET Price: $2195.00

For more information, visit online at bergantino.com/nxt410c/

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New Gear: Elrick Bass Guitars Headless Series

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New Gear: Elrick Bass Guitars Headless Series

New from Elrick Bass Guitars, Headless Series added to Custom Lineup…

Elrick Bass Guitars is excited to announce the addition of a headless option on hand-carved series bass guitars. Initially previewed on the 2023 Gold Series SLC MkII bass of prolific solo bass practitioner and educator Steve Lawson, a headless bass option is now available to all. According the Elrick, “The excitement surrounding Steve’s MkII SLC bass at 2024 NAMM confirmed that the time is right to add a headless option to our extensive range of custom options.” To date, Elrick instruments have only been offered with traditional headstock construction but, in response to market demand, custom features will now include a headless option in 4-, 5- and 6-string models.

Headless bass guitars share these features with the traditional headstock series:

24 frets + zero fret
exotic wood top
hand-rubbed oil finish
2-way adjustable truss rod
custom Bartolini pickups
custom Bartolini 3-band preamp
fully shielded control cavity
Hipshot bridge
Dunlop Straploks
Elrick Fundamental strings

The headless option can now be selected when submitting custom order requests via the form on elrick.com, contacting the Elrick Sales Office directly, or working with your favorite Elrick dealer.

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Bruegel Masterpiece (1565) Inspires BITE Masterpiece (2023)

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Bruegel Masterpiece (1565) Inspires BITE Masterpiece (2023)

Bruegel Masterpiece (1565) Inspires BITE Masterpiece (2023)…

Flemish Master Pieter Bruegel the Elder probably had many things in mind when painting his Hunters in the Snow in oil on oak wood in 1565. This masterpiece tells plenty of little stories about winterly pastimes and precarious livelihoods in the Early Modern Age. What Bruegel presumably did not have in mind was that this painting would, several centuries later, become one of the most popular ones in fine arts globally, displayed in a permanent exhibition at Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts) Vienna. The painting’s popularity was lately taken to a different level as it was replicated by hand to design an exclusive BITE bass.

An international art collector and bass player who regularly visits Vienna to immerse himself in the wonderworld of Kunsthistorisches’ Bruegel Hall asked BITE to replicate the painting on a bass body. BITE Guitars, an Austrian premium manufacturer exporting most of their basses to the US, has become renowned for colorful artwork basses, offering a range of manual and digital techniques. The firm’s art director Peter, a trained scenic painter of Oscar and Palme d’Or rank, specializes in photo-realistic reproductions. He also painted the bass for Robbie Williams’ 2023 world tour by faithfully replicating Robbie’s own stage design onto the tour bass.

Peter copied the Bruegel motif onto the bass body in minute detail, little twigs even by one-hair-brush. Positioning the rectangular image section on the body shape proved to be a special challege that he met by repositioning little elements, a bird here, a horse and cart there.

It all came together in a memorable video shooting in front of the original painting in the Museum’s Bruegel Hall: venerable fine arts, premium handicraft and groovy jazz tunes.

View video at the museum: www.youtube.com/shorts/2evdqfR6gUE

What’s the conclusion of BITE’s client, our Vienna, art and bass lover? “It’s a magical bass! When I touch the strings, I feel warm inside.”

Specs highlights:
Bass model: BITE Evening Star, the proprietary BITE premium model with inward curved horns
Pickups: 2 x BITE 1000 millivolt passive split-coils (PP)
Neck: roasted maple neck and roasted flamed maple fretboard

Price tag incl. insured door-to-door express shipping:
New York: 4726 USD
London: 3645 GBP
Berlin: 4965 EUR

Full specs available at bite.guitars/old-master-bass/

Bruegel Hall at Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna: 
khm.at/en/visit/collections/picture-gallery/the-best-of-bruegel-only-in-vienna/

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Gear Reviews

Gear Review: Origin Effects Cali76 Compact Bass

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Gear Review: Origin Effects Cali76 Compact Bass

Origin Effects Cali76 Compact Bass Review…

Throughout the evolution of music, bass players have sought tools to sculpt and enhance their sonic landscapes, and one indispensable ally in this pursuit has been compression. Origin Effects, a name synonymous with premium audio craftsmanship, introduces the Cali76 Compact Bass Compressor, a pedal that pays homage to the legacy of compression and brings forth a new chapter in bass sonic mastery.

As we delve into the world of the Cali76 Compact Bass Compressor, we’ll explore how Origin Effects seamlessly weaves together the heritage of compression and contemporary bass demands, promising a pedal that not only honors the past but propels your bass playing into the future. Join us on this sonic expedition as we dissect the nuances of the Cali76 Compact and uncover the secrets it holds for bass players seeking the perfect blend of vintage warmth and modern versatility.

For Starters, the Cali76 is a studio-grade FET compressor pedal, based on the classic Urei 1176, but with some features optimized for bass guitar. For those of you who are not familiar with it, a FET (Field Effect Transistor) compressor is essentially a solid-state tube compressor emulation that allows for fast and precise control over the attack and the release parameters; allows for extreme compression ratios; and finally adds the typical 1176 color and character to the sound.

Together with the common controls we see in most compressor pedals – Ratio, Attack/Release, input (just like the original 1176, the threshold in this pedal is fixed), and output (makeup gain). The Cali76 offers two more controls dedicated to us bass players.

A Dry control – This allows us to mix in our dry, uncompressed signal to the pedal output. This is great for when we want to add back some of our playing dynamics to the compressed sound or for when you want some volume back in situations where the compression starts taking away the volume.

A High Pass Filter control – Low frequencies on a bass guitar signal normally overwhelm compressors. This high pass filter allows the compressor to only react to higher frequencies, which helps preserve the natural dynamics of our playing while keeping the low end intact.

Metering on this pedal can be a bit hard to get used to at first. There’s a single LED light on the pedal, that not only serves as an On/Off light, but it’s also our meter. It glows red when no compression is applied and orange for active compression. The brighter the light, the greater the amount of gain reduction. Yellow signifies that the gain reduction reached 27dB and maximum reduction occurs around 38 dB.

In practical terms, it’s all about working with the input and the LED to find the sweet spot (turn the input to zero, start playing and slowly increase the input level until you start seeing the LED glowing orange, which means there’s reduction going on).

With 6 highly interactive knob controls, this pedal implies some degree of compressor knowledge and also some amount of tweaking and experimentation to find the perfect settings. The good news is that it is very hard to make this pedal sound bad…

It can go from very subtle compression settings to very extreme, and it can do everything in between. Also, the team at Origin has been kind enough to add a couple of sample settings in the manual to get players started and to help us understand better how the pedal works.

Origin Effects Cali76 Compact Bass

Dynamic Control is a setting that provides natural compression, balancing dynamics between various playing techniques. It is a subtle compression that will work almost out of the box almost all the time. Having a medium setting for the High Pass Filter ensures an honest translation of the lower string dynamics.

Origin Effects Cali76 Compact Bass

Parallel compression is a popular studio technique, where both compressed and natural signals are blended. We get the sound and feel of hard compression while retaining the natural playing dynamics.

Origin Effects Cali76 Compact Bass

Percussive, lively & Fat is a setting that uses a slower attack time to accentuate the start of any note. Then using a fast release allows the compressor to recover between notes so that the phrases sound more percussive. Ideal for slapping and other percussive techniques.

Finally, I would like to mention the classic 1176 tonal coloration. It’s not a secret that engineers all around would sometimes use the 1176 compressor, without applying any compression, just to get the tonal coloration into the instrument sound.

And the Cali76 compressor is no different, it has such a rich, warm, and full coloration that’s super pleasing to the ear and makes you want to have it ON all the time. So be aware, that if you want a transparent compressor, this pedal is not for you!

All in all, it is easy to understand why this pedal became a favorite of so many bass players around the world. The Cali76 Compact stands as a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship and thoughtful engineering that Origin Effects is renowned for. It seamlessly navigates through the rich history of compression, offering bass players a gateway to the soulful resonance of the past while empowering them to sculpt a contemporary sonic future.

Whether you’re a seasoned bass maestro or a budding virtuoso, the Cali76 Compact invites you to embark on a sonic journey where every note is held in a delicate balance between tradition and innovation. As we bid farewell to our exploration, we do so with the realization that the Cali76 Compact is more than just a pedal; it’s a sonic companion that elevates the artistry of bass playing

For more information, visit online at origineffects.com

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New Gear: Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar

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New Gear: Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar

Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar…

Black Ice Enterprises introduces Black Ice Boost and Black Ice Distort, small, battery-free devices that can be easily installed in a bass or guitar.

Black Ice Boost offers two selectable stages of up to 7 dB of boost, broadly concentrated in the midrange frequencies to add humbucker-like qualities to Strat®, Tele® and other types of single-coil pickups. Black Ice Distort is an overdrive module that can be configured to offer anything from slight overdrive to distortion. Both models are compatible with all passive guitar pickups and electronics (they’re not compatible with battery-powered active pickups).

Black Ice Boost (SRP: $119.95; MAP, $79.95) can be installed using several wiring options, including a simple “stealth” install that utilizes a single push-pull pot, and a dual-switch option that allows users to select between two different levels of boost. For those using the boost along with Black Ice Distort, a second push-pull pot or switch can be used to select a clean or distorted boost.

The Black Ice Boost module is approximately 2/3 the size of a 9-volt battery, and can be easily installed in most instruments with no routing or permanent modifications required. The tone of the instrument remains completely unaffected when the boost is bypassed.

In addition to use with popular single-coil pickups, Black Ice Boost can also be used with other pickup types. Use it to fatten up a P-90 style pickup, or add girth to a low-wind humbucker. Jazz Bass® players can use the additional midrange content provided by Black Ice Boost to produce a sound that’s reminiscent of a P-Bass® or soapbar-type pickup. Black Ice Boost is not recommended for use with high-output humbuckers and other dark-sounding pickups.

Black Ice Distort (SRP: $27.95; MAP, $21.95) is an overdrive module that can be configured for just a touch of grit, or a more aggressive grind, all the way to a 1960’s-flavored fuzz. While its battery-free circuit will never replace the more refined sound of a well-designed pedal, it provides handy, there-when-you-need-it access to a variety of fun old-school flavors, and is a great way to add additional textures to an already overdriven amp or pedal. Bass players will especially dig its raw dirty grind.

Like Black Ice Boost, the sugar-cube-sized Black Ice Distort provides a lifetime of tone with no maintenance or power source required. A variety of wiring options are included that let you activate the Distort via a switch or push-pull pot, or by easily converting your guitar’s tone control into a control for the Black Ice Distort circuit. It can be used in conjunction with the Black Ice Boost for a wide variety of useful tones.

Black Ice Boost and Black Ice Distort are now shipping.

Visit online at www.blackiceoverdrive.com

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