Portable guitar interface puts tone-tweaking tools in your pocket
Guitar effects titan Boss has unveiled a personal amp/effects modeling interface for guitar that works with a mobile app to offer powerful tone shaping while learning or jamming with YouTube videos.
Though learning to play guitar is hard, watching accomplished noodlers rock the house can help you get a feel for finger placement, timing, technique and more. But you don't have to nudge your way to the front of the stage at live shows to see your heroes in person, there are dedicated learning channels on video portals like YouTube that can help you nail your favorite songs in no time.
Setting up a session can be a bit of a trial though, often involving finding a spot in shared accommodation where you can power up your practice amp without disturbing others, positioning a smartphone or tablet within reach but not so close that it interferes with your playing, having to constantly pause, reset and play difficult sections and maybe even having to switch between apps during a lesson, and more.
The Pocket GT and Tone Studio app for iOS/Android from Boss are designed to help. Built around the same sound engine as the company's GT-1 floor processor, the hardware crams more than 100 amp and effects models into a pocket-friendly package.
It comes with 99 user memory slots that are already filled up with read-to-play sounds, and which are available for tweaking or replacing with custom tones created from scratch. There are knobs and buttons up top for scrolling through memory slots, dialing in effects and amp sounds, activating a built-in tuner and controlling playback of YouTube videos running via the app.
The mobile app has its own YouTube browser cooked in and streams sounds to the Pocket GT. Students can create playlists within the app for easy recall and sections can be looped to allow for a step-by-step approach to learning.
And if you just want to jam along with a favorite song, the app allows players to set markers within a video so that memory slots can be automatically called upon during playback, meaning you can dial in overdrive and wah for solos and ease off the gain for the melodies, while perhaps adding some chorus or delay – all without reaching for the touchscreen during play. There's even a switch to turn down the volume of vocals or guitar solos in songs to allow you to take the lead.
Though geared towards YouTube videos, if you want to just play along to tunes from favorite artists, the Pocket GT can stream from smartphone music apps over Bluetooth 4.2, and there's an aux input jack for cabling up a non-Bluetooth music source, drum machine or other devices. It can serve as a Mac/Windows USB audio interface too, allowing guitarists to feed their chops straight into music production software.
On the sides of the 2.79 x 5 x 2.79 x 1.08-in (129 x 71 x 27.6-mm), 6-oz (160-g) device you'll find an instrument input jack for plugging in your guitar cable and a headphone output so you can hear everything without disturbing others in the house. The Li-ion battery should be good for around 4 hours of continuous use, and is charged over USB.
The Pocket GT goes on sale around the end of this month for US$249.99. The video below has more.
Product page: Pocket GT