CEntrance MixerFace R4R Interface/RecorderLike its predecessor the MixerFace R4, the R4R is a mobile recording interface with three inputs (two doing double duty as ¼” and XLR, with mic preamps and 48V phantom power) that’s compatible with most smartphones, tablets, and laptops; powered by a rechargeable battery; and not much bigger than a passport. But it one-ups the R4 by also having a stereo micro-SD card recorder built in. Getting high-quality recordings of gigs, rehearsals, or song sketches couldn’t be much easier.
Sound Percussion Labs Scarlet Fade Limited Edition Snare
Versatile enough to be used both by beginners and more experienced players, this 14×4 snare has a tonal response that can range from low and wet to high and crisp. And with its mini-tube lugs, chrome hardware, hand-sanded snare bed, and a glossy finish that gradually blends from scarlet red to black, the Scarlet Fade is bound to get some attention whenever it shows up on an appropriately lit stage.
ZT Custom Shop Jazz Club Amplifier
This 12″ combo amp provides guitarists with 220 watts of power, abundant headroom, and a natural, uncolored tone. Its weight—just over 20 pounds—should be especially appreciated by gigging players, and its midnight-blue finish ought to be appreciated by everyone else. (If you’re not partial to that color, custom shades are also available.) As always with ZT, every Jazz Club amp is hand-built in California, and every major part is made in the U.S.A.
Theo Wanne Mantra 2 Soprano Saxophone
The folks at Theo Wanne have revamped their entire saxophone line this year, and the Mantra 2 soprano is a particular standout. Its interior has a reticulated finish to create a so-called “boundary-layer effect” when air passes through it, making for a more efficient flow, and its tone is unusually full, even when playing altissimo. Available in straight, tipped-neck, and curved styles with a “vintified” finish (the straight version also comes in platinum).
Steinberg Dorico 2.2 Notation Software
A powerful notation program just added more features, and some of them are specifically aimed at jazz composers and players. Along with real-time MIDI recording, an improved MIDI transcription engine, and the like, Dorico 2.2 now offers support for jazz articulations like scoops, falls, plops, and doits, as well as complex repeat structures involving D.C., D.S., Coda, and Fine. Discounts available for students and teachers.