M-Audio FireWire 1814
The latest audio interface from M-Audio, the 1814, connects to a computer via high-bandwidth FireWire and also offers ADAT Lightpipe connectivity. The 1814 gets its name from having 18 inputs and 14 outputs. The two main analog inputs feature XLR/phono hybrid jacks and mike/instrument preamps with gain controls, phantom power and pads. Two headphone amplifiers are also onboard and their output mixes can be individually assigned via software.
JodyJazz’s new hard rubber mouthpieces for alto and tenor sax go for the sound, look and feel of vintage jazz mouthpieces. Available in a variety of facings and opening sizes, the mouthpieces are faced on a special facing machine and then hand finished. HR* alto models are based on the Meyer mouthpiece but have a bit more projection and brightness. The tenor HR* is modeled after the Otto Link but has a more free-blowing feel. jodyjazz.com
For bass players searching for strings that sound bright as a shining star but don’t bite like a rabid dog, D’Addario offers ProSteels. These stainless-steel strings have a brilliant, yet sweet, high end and a deep, focused bottom, and put out a round, sustaining tone. The secret is a specialized alloy that D’Addario spent years sourcing, testing and validating. ProSteels are available in four-string sets in a variety of gauges. daddariostrings.com
This little timekeeper can kick out a click track in a number of musical styles. Along with the standard functions of a metronome, Roland’s DB-60 provides a menu of rhythmic patterns and a note-mixing feature to create rhythms that match the feel and style of your music. And it can handle time signatures of up to 17 beats per measure. The DB-60 also comes with a memory function for storing different tempos, a loop function and tuner. rolandus.com
Zoom’s newest portable desktop 8-track carries an array of onboard instrument, vocal and mastering effects, with extensive digital-editing capabilities. It’s bigger than it seems, as each track features 10 virtual tracks for storing multiple takes, and it also includes built-in programmable drum and bass sounds. Smaller than a laptop computer, the MRS-80 operates on either four AA batteries or AC power. zoomfx.com
Hal Leonard Jazz Play-Along Series
With books focusing on the works of masters like Basie, Bird, Coltrane, Ellington and Davis, Hal Leonard’s Jazz Play- Along Series feature lead sheets plus a CD containing melody cues and splittrack choices for a variety of practice methods. The backing tracks are nicely played by professional musicians-no MIDI programming here-and each song contains additional chorus for practicing solos. The series also includes non-artistspecific books on bebop, blues and even holiday tunes. musicdispatch.com