Category Archives: Reviews

RockSmith 2014 Review: An intuitive tutor!!


Rocksmith 2014 is a music video game produced by Ubisoft. It is a replacement to the 2011 rhythm video game Rocksmith rather than a sequel. The game’s main focus is the feature that allows players to plug in virtually any electric guitar or bass and play. It was announced at Ubisoft’s 2013 E3 presentation. Rocksmith 2014 requires the use of the “Hercules” adapter, a USB cable that connects to the standard 1⁄4 in (6.35 mm) output jack of most electric guitars and basses. Other guitars, such as acoustic guitars, may require additional hardware, such as a pickup. Its available for all 3 major platforms Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC/Mac. While the original Rocksmith was one of the first in the genre to allow players to use real guitars to play the game, it was also hampered by issues. Long load times, a cumbersome interface, and latency issues brought down what was otherwise a strong game that was based on a great technical achievement. Rocksmith 2014 is the sequel, and even its name is geared around the mindset that it’s not merely the same game with a few new toys. Instead, Rocksmith 2014 feels like a reboot of the franchise. It took a lot of the criticism of the previous game to heart, so this title comes across as much stronger.

Rocksmith 2014 features 55 genre-spanning songs for you to learn and practice. Learn a Song has a pretty wide variety of artists that work with all three instrument types – bass, rhythm, and lead guitar. The previous game required an expansion pack to play bass, whereas Rocksmith 2014 includes it as part of the experience. The interface is extremely clean and easy to navigate and load times across the game are nearly non-existent, which are massive improvements over what proved to be a huge barrier in the original Rocksmith. Selecting a song to play will throw you into the track within seconds, without a load screen in between. In addition, nearly all of Rocksmith 2014′s features are unlocked and available to use from the start, and all are within a few button presses of each other. This simplicity made it much easier to get right into the real thing: learning to play the guitar.

RS2014_seassionMode_800x416Rocksmith 2014 will not make you a Guitar God overnight or without any effort. It is hard work and as with learning anything new, you will need to endeavor in order to get anything out of it. If you are truly committed to learning and improving on the guitar, stick with it! You can take Rocksmith 2014‘s 60-day challenge to see what kind of improvement you see in your playing with consistent practice.Rocksmith 2014 offers three different development paths for lead and rhythm guitar as well as bass. It now includes the ability to set song difficulty, rather than having to play the song starting at the lowest difficulty, as in Rocksmith. The game has a Session Mode, which enables players to perform in jam sessions with the in-game musicians. Other new modes include an enhanced Master Mode to help with memory-playing and new Guitarcade minigames.New missions have been added as a way to challenge and direct players towards areas they need improvements.

Conclusion: Mastering an instrument’s never going to be easy, but Rocksmith at least makes the whole process approachable while still providing experienced guitarists plenty of fun tools to experiment with. We highly recommend Rocksmith 2014 on the strength of Session Mode alone. It’s the best approximation we’ve ever seen for playing with a real band, and you don’t have to find a band and schedule time together when you just want to jam for an hour or so.

Line 6 POD HD500X Review


Line6 releases POD HD500X, a limitless multi-effects processor to unleash all of your creativity with 100+ effects and more amp/cab models. POD HD500x is born when Line6 kept their ears open to customer feedback about the things guitar players enjoyed, and the things they thought could be better on POD HD500, one of the best-selling multi-effects floorboard. POD HD500x is the ultimate tone palette, whether you want to re-create classics or go somewhere new. And thanks to HD technology, POD HD500X provides the depth, character and touch nuance to inspire your creativity in the studio or on stage. New features on the POD HD500X include an expanded offering of HD amp models, more processing power, the ability to add more effects to signal chains and higher contrast display screen for better visibility on stage and in sunlight.  After spending some time with the POD HD500x, we found it to be far more superior in terms of tonality and control than previous models of Line 6 multi-effects processors and amplifier modelling. The POD HD500X provides an unparalleled collection of HD amps, more than 100 studio and stomp effects, dual simultaneous signal paths, seamless Variax and DT-series amplifier integration, and much, much more, making it the ideal centerpiece for a guitarist seeking maximum processing flexibility and the highest-quality guitar tones.

FEATURES

  • Extensive collection of award-winning HD amps for authentic tone and feel
  • 100+ studio and stomp effects—use up to eight simultaneously
  • Selectable speaker cabinets and mics
  • Unparalleled flexibility to craft your tones:
    • Dual signal paths
    • Multiple routing options
    • Dynamic DSP with more power for amps and effects
    • Stereo FX loop can be inserted anywhere in the signal chain
  • Professional-grade footswitches with bright LED rings for at-a-glance operation
  • Comprehensive I/O includes USB 2.0, MIDI, S/PDIF, balanced XLR outputs, integrated mic preamp and more
  • Variable input impedance
  • L6 LINK connection for integration and control of DT-series amplifiers and StageSource series loudspeakers
  • VDI connection for integration and control of James Tyler Variax guitars
  • 512 user-writable preset locations
  • Eight set list banks
  • Assignable expression pedal controls amp and effect parameters
  • Integrated 48-second looper with dedicated footswitch
  • Built-in chromatic tuner Tap tempo
  • Professional-grade construction with bent metal chassis, chrome roll bar and die-cast expression pedal
  • Downloadable POD HD500X software editor/patch librarian

line6_hd500xIt’s interesting to look at the improvements that have been made since the POD HD500. One thing that we’ll notice immediately is that the foot switches have been redesigned substantially from the previous design. The new foot switches have the look and feel of a professional effects pedal. We can really feel the click from underneath your foot when selecting different amplifier models or engaging different effects within the chain. Another impressive touch is the addition of LED lights surrounding the foot switches to highlight the engagement of a particular amp or effect. Another impressive feature is the improved LCD screen. The old screen was a bit dim and lacking in a functional contrast. This sometimes made it difficult to be viewed  under direct sunlight or even in a club when the stage lights hit it too hard. The new screen helps to eliminate those contrast issues and brings in a better visual experience. Last but not the least is the inclusion of additional DSP power within the POD HD500X. This means the users have more freedom to add more effects within a signal chain as well as the ability to mix and match the amplifiers, cabinets, and microphone simulations in a variety of combinations. So compared to its predecessor, POD HD500X has even more effects to the signal chain which can be used in virtually endless combinations.