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Gigbag: December 2003

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Moog PianoBar

Leave it to synth pioneer Bob Moog to blaze a trail no one else would have attempted. Moog Music’s new, weird PianoBar turns any acoustic piano into a MIDI-equipped electronic instrument. It rests just above the piano keys and knows what’s being played via infrared sensors. That info transmits to a box that outputs the signal using one of more than 300 presets, or as MIDI info that can drive another synth or score what’s been played. An additional sensor for the piano’s pedals is included. moogmusic.com

Sibelius 3

In addition to a performance-enhancing facelift for its interface, the latest version of Sibelius music-composition software has Native Instruments’ Kontakt Player Silver built right in, allowing for the use of 20 instrumental samples-brass, woodwind, strings, percussion and voices-that’ll kick the crap out of your computer’s standard MIDI fare. Sibelius has also advanced its note-spacing algorithm so that you can make the music even more complex and, among many other plug-ins, has added one that can crank out any set of scales and arpeggios. sibelius.com

B-Band Pickup Bundle

We know it’s heretical to mod an ancient acoustic ax with electronic gadgetry, but if your guitar playing can’t be heard onstage above a din of drums, horns, etc., you might as well be getting drunk at the bar. B-Band’s A1N-1470 pickup bundle, comprised of an Electret transducer strip that sticks to the soundboard and an endpin preamp outfitted with a notch filter for bucking feedback, presents a discrete, relatively painless and smooth-sounding solution. b-band.com

Studio Projects C4 Microphone

A Swiss Army knife of a small diaphragm condenser microphone, Studio Projects’ new C4 has switches, interchangeable capsules and bunches of applications. Sold in stereo pairs, this is the mike for capturing tight guitar and piano sounds, more expansive washes of cymbals, as well as wide-open ambience. Each C4 is equipped with toggles for a -10db pad and high-pass filtering, and comes with both omni and cardioid capsules, a shockmount and a foam windscreen. studioprojects.com

Har-Bal

Say you don’t have the funds to have your latest CD project finished properly in one of those mysterious mastering labs-or maybe you’re just cheap. Har-Bal, a do-it-yourself digital mastering software program, could be your saving grace. It’s a surprisingly easy-to-use app that lets you boost and/or cut specific frequencies within an audio file without changing the track’s overall loudness. It takes patience to use, but it actually does work. Download the demo and listen for yourself. har-bal.com

Vater Cymbal Bag

“When I was a boy, we never had any fancy Vater cymbal bags,” my Grandpappy used to say. “We carried cymbals in our bare hands, in the wicked cold, by gum-not strapped to our backs, protected in nylon. Nylon didn’t exist! And our cymbals would rub against each other and be all dented come showtime. You whippersnappers get pockets in this bag, one for each dish! And what’s this, a pocket on the outside made for the hi-hats? We were lucky if we even made it to the club without the hi-hats freezing together!” vater.com

Originally Published