Gearhead: The Latest Instruments and Accessories

New from Korg, Selmer and more

Korg Cliphit Drum Kit
Mackie mixers
Los Cabos drumsticks

Korg Cliphit Drum Kit

Oh, if only we’d had this gadget back in high school, detention would’ve been so much more fun. Korg, the trusted electronics company probably best known for its keyboards, tuners and metronomes, allows drummers to turn everyday surfaces into a drum kit with its backpack-portable Cliphit.

It breaks down like this: From a small, round controller unit loaded with a 2-watt, 3-inch speaker, three wired clips extend. Those clips can be attached to furniture, boxes, magazines, drum pads-any surface that will securely accommodate them-where sensory technology essentially turns them into electronic drums. Each clip/surface is assigned a sampled drum sound-snare, tom, cymbal, hi-hat-and there are 11 kits to choose from, including those featuring sound effects and hand percussion. Two pedal inputs can be used for a bass-drum sound or to simulate open/close hi-hat action; double bass is also possible, though it’s worth noting that the package ships with only one pedal. If you remove CLIP2 from its input, you can hit the controller unit itself with your hand to get a sound.

All the usual conveniences are here, including an AUX input for jamming along to your tablet or MP3 player, a headphone jack, an AC adapter input and an option for battery power-only four AAs. (MRSP: $185)

Jazz Drumsticks by Los Cabos

New from the Canada-based Los Cabos brand are two maple stick models specifically crafted for jazz drummers: the Jive and Swing. The Jive has a ball tip for better response and focus and a brighter tone; the Swing features an olive tip, shooting for fuller, heartier tones. (MSRP for each model is $13.50.)

Mixers From Mackie


The Mackie brand understands how most projects their customers take on don’t involve mixing down the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Thus they recently launched the Mix Series Compact Mixers, inaugurating the line with three units: the Mix5 5-Channel, the Mix8 8-Channel and the Mix12FX 12-Channel With Effects (12 effects, to be precise). The specs are sturdy-each model has an all-metal chassis-but the price tags are worth writing home about: MSRPs run $69.99 for the Mix5, $109.99 for the Mix8 and $159.99 for the Mix12FX.

Selmer Student Horns

Online shoppers, you’re out of luck on this one: Selmer’s new 400 Series tenor (TS400) and alto (AS400) saxophones are available only through local Conn-Selmer dealers. These are student horns that strive for pro-level quality-a sort of stepping-stone between a beginner’s horn and a full-on professional instrument.

As for the features, an angled key-stack facilitates an easier reach for the left hand’s little finger, double-bracing keeps the lower keys from bending, a rose-brass neck improves tone and a full rib design aims to assist with embouchure and breath support training by giving developing players something to blow against. (MSRP for the AS400 is $2,150 and $2,950 for the TS400.)