NAMM

  • What if you want to activate an effects pedal but you're on the other side of the stage to your pedalboard? Aviate Audio is this week showing off the Airpatch at Summer NAMM in Nashville, which offers wireless stomp control using a single button attached to the guitar.​
  • There are a number of ways to change your guitar's tone on-the-fly, such as using effects pedals, but if you want to change your pickups mid-song, that's not so easy. Wild Customs has introduced a novel system where up to six pickups can be mounted to revolving blocks and switched using levers.
  • Guitars are already pretty portable instruments. But those long necks can suffer more than a ding on long journeys, so various travel guitar designs have emerged. The latest is a premium design from Ciari Guitars that features a fold-over neck and hides a novel locking mechanism inside the body.
  • Pedal Pods are standalone modules that sit under a stomp, with built-in cabling and adjustable power. Pods lock with other Pods to form bigger and bigger pedalboards.
  • ​Back in 2016, Line 6 said that its Relay G10 wireless system was not only the most advanced in the industry, but was as easy to use as an instrument cable. Now there's a new flavor designed to integrate into a pedalboard – the Relay G10S.​
  • ​Merging synthesized sounds with rocking riffs on a guitar might involve installing a MIDI pickup, or plugging into a synth stomp box. Now Lucem Custom Instruments has collaborated with Tracktion Corporation for an interesting concept guitar that has a BioTek 2 synthesizer built in.​
  • Three years ago, Korg announced an affordable polyphonic analog synthesizer called the minilogue. Now, ahead of the NAMM 2019 music industry expo, the company has revealed the next generation model – the minilogue xd. New volca drum and volca modular synths have also been announced.
  • Last year, YouTube guitar wizard Jared Dines began a quest to find a skilled luthier who could make him a one-off 17-string guitar. After being let down by a US builder, Australia's Perry Ormsby stepped in to save the day. The result is the 18-string monster you see here, dubbed the Djent 2018.
  • Many synthesizers are aimed squarely at adults, but hardware for youngsters occasionally comes along that's capable of satisfying grown ups, too. Such is the case with Blipblox, a music-making toy for kids which looks like so much fun that parents might just end up playing it themselves.​
  • For more than 100 years, most of the soundboards of acoustic guitars have used X-shaped bracing to not only reinforce the top but to help give the instruments their voice. Now Taylor Guitars has announced the V-Class bracing system, which is said to both boost volume and increase sustain.
  • ​We've seen some incredible instruments from Fender Custom Shop's Yuriy Shishkov in the last couple of years. And now the Master Builder has teamed up with Jim Dolmage to create a guitar and amp which pay a not-so-subtle homage to The Who's iconic 1975 rock opera, Tommy.​
  • Zivix has announced the third generation of its pleasantly portable Jamstik smart guitar MIDI controller. The company is now offering different models to serve learners and more experienced players – with more frets, more power and (hopefully) more picking fun.