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Gigbag: December 2002

Edirol PCR-50 USB Keyboard Controller

Sporting too many features to list here, Edirol’s PCR-50 keyboard controller is the answer to MIDI users’ prayers. The programmable/real-time controller for sequencers, synthesizers and hardware sound modules has 34 controls (knobs, sliders, buttons, wheels), 25 of which are assignable. The key action is velocity sensitive. Like a lot of the newer MIDI devices on the market, the PCR-50 is USB-enabled, meaning you don’t have to search in vain for a computer with MIDI inputs. The 49-key PCR-50 has a little brother, the PCR-30, with 32 keys.

Planet Waves Chordmaster

Ebm7sus4/F#. Know that chord? Doubt it. We made it up. You could search for it in Planet Waves’ Chordmaster electronic guitar-chord dictionary, but don’t waste your time. Use the dictionary’s LCD touchscreen to find the chords you need. More than 4,000 voicings fit inside the little wonder, which itself fits easily into your guitar case. And how politically correct are the people at Planet Waves? The Chordmaster can be set to display chords for both lefties and righties.

Hohner EAB65 Acoustic Bass

A new addition to Hohner’s O Series solid-top guitars, the EAB65 acoustic bass features a solid spruce top and a back and sides cut from the increasingly popular alternative luthier wood ovangkol. Sounds sweet. And, of course, it’s electronically equipped, featuring a Shadow pickup and a Shadow P4 active equalizer for tonal control.

Yamaha YSL-697 Jazz Trombone

It took over a year and a half for jazz trombonist Al Kay to get the Yamaha-manufactured YSL-697 trombone sounding and playing exactly how he wanted it to, but the work paid off in the end with a horn possessing sensitive response, excellent projection and a smooth action. Constructed to be airtight, the YSL-697 has a one-piece bell with a lengthwise seam, resulting in pure, uniform resonance and cutting tone-it’s made to play leads. Now, if bandleaders would just give trombonists more bars to blow over…

Sabine MetroTune MT9000

To economize on your accessory-purchasing dollar, not to mention your gig bag pocket space, try Sabine’s new three-in-one electronic whatchamacallit. It’s a chromatic tuner, metronome and tone generator with an LCD display and a built-in microphone. The tuner has a seven-octave range; the tone generator’s is four octaves. The metronome sounds like wood block, goes from 40 to 216 bpm and allows you to accent the downbeat or apply preprogrammed rhythm figures. Sabine calls it a MetroTune MT9000. We’re sticking with Sabine Whatchamacallit.

Vandoren Reed Resurfacer

Reed players have no place at Home Depot-too many power saws, drills, hammers and other finger-threatening devices lying about the joint-but sometimes you need a bit of sandpaper to doctor up a reed. Knowing this, Vandoren, which makes all sorts of goodies for woodwinders, decided to put the tool where you won’t get hurt-in a music store. Their Reed Resurfacer looks like something out of a high-school wood shop and, when used properly, keeps the table of the reed perfectly flat. Just rub a little, and there you go: good as new.

Originally Published