Powered PA speakers
There are numerous powered full-range speakers available these days, mostly aimed at the portable PA market, offering optimised performance and operator convenience, and often representing very good value for money. Do Behringer's latest models, now with higher power output and onboard 24-bit digital signal processing, have what it takes to stand out in this competitive sector?
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Boutique overdrive pedal
The term 'boutique' often also means 'expensive', and that's certainly true of this premium overdrive pedal, but does its performance match the price tag?
Fohhn systems lean towards the upper end of the PA price range, as the designers are somewhat obsessive about both build and sound quality. As this top and sub combination from their Xperience series shows, you won't find them compromising anything to keep the cost down.
Rather than taking the 'safe' option of reworking classic designs, Gear4Music have commissioned their own Black Knight range, including this modern-looking active bass at an affordable price.
Indie are renowned for their high-quality derivative designs, but are making waves in the guitar world with their ever-evolving, original Indie Shape range, aimed squarely at the gigging player.
Istanbul Agop have launched a brand-new range of distinctively focussed-sounding cymbals that are designed to offer an alternative to their more traditional models.
Guitar amp modelling pioneers Line 6 continue to deliver the goods for working musicians with further refinements of their ground-breaking POD technology. The twin-channel X3 version now comes in floorboard format, optimised for the stage.
Digital stage piano
The new 88-note digital piano from M-Audio is designed for the stage and the home studio, but can it really cope with both?
For those players who aspire to a big name US instrument, but can't justify the cost, there are now more alternatives than ever — Fender have their Squier range, Gibson have Epiphone and PRS have their SE range.
Hybrid guitar combo
This significantly revised Randall combo aims to offer a far more valve-like sound than its predecessor, but are the alterations actually an improvement?
Condenser vocal microphone
Rode have a great reputation for building high-performance studio microphones at an attractive price, but can they break into the live-sound market with their new M2 vocal mic?
The Timberline team claim to bring close attention to modern techniques and production processes, whilst paying respectful homage to great guitar designs of the past. We take a look at this Dreadnought Cutaway from their 50 Series.
This French-made six-string incorporates innovative attention to detail that makes it much more than merely an up-market Strat clone.
Portable PA system
This compact, self-contained, mono PA system combines good sound quality with portability and versatility, but what are the applications for a single-speaker system and can it be expanded when more coverage is needed?
Last month I described the simplest kind of loudspeaker cabinet, the sealed or infinite-baffle type. This month we'll take a look at the reflex cabinet, which is the most common cabinet design by far and used by probably 95 percent of all hi-fi, studio monitor and stage PA speaker systems.
People + Opinion
PM speaks to top bass guitar tech Calvin Roffey, who's spent virtually the whole of 2008 on a mammoth world tour with rising high Welsh metal rockers Bullet For My Valentine.
Probably the best column in the world... Transcribed by Gary Cooper
Unsigned + Signed
Another diary entry (aka 'blog') from our anonymous Signed and Unsigned musicians.
Producer and Bass player
Performing Musician talks to co-founder of Was (Not Was) about recording a new album, touring at 52 and why it pays to change your bass strings once in a while.
Strait From The Art
Former Dire Straits bass player John Illsley walked away from music altogether after the band finished in 1995, but in the end his love of rock & roll lured him back again. Here, he talks to PM about life before and after the split, and how he rediscovered his passion for music.
Gibson's coolest ever guitar?
Michael Landau may not be a familiar name to the public at large, but amongst musicians, and especially within the ranks of guitar aficionados, he is universally recognised for his supreme musicianship and versatility.
A look at the stage gear used recently by this rock trio from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Probably the best column in the world... Transcribed by Gary Cooper.
Lighting design — an overview
So far in this series, we have looked at the technology of lighting, but scarcely considered the artistry involved. And although stage and theatre lighting can be done to a certain standard without a great appreciation of the art, to do it really well requires enormous talent and dedication.
Making the most of your backstage area
The state and size of dressing rooms can vary immensely, from the luxurious suite with all-modern amenities to the square metre of space in the WC out back, so here's a few tips to help you avoid pre-show panic.
Playing 'in the pit' for musicals
A career spent in the orchestra pits of Broadway and the West End can be highly rewarding... for those who can find their way there.