I will never be Jimmy Page

Lately I have been taking the piss out of technology.  I have been doing this for the sole purpose of shining a light on what I believe is technology’s insidious penetration into areas better off left untouched.  I may sound bitter and angry and that I might set off a giant electromagnetic pulse around the world bringing the digital world back to zero, however nothing can be further from the truth.  I don’t hate technology I love it.

It is a hard statement to prove from within a blog, however let me try.  The following is a list of modern day tech that I own and use on a daily basis: a tablet computer, a smartphone, a laptop computer, a desktop computer, a streaming video device, and a flat panel TV.  I’d like to say they aren’t essential to my life and for the most part that is true, however I am an information junkie.  I would go off the deep end if I didn’t have access to the Internet in one form or another.   Whenever I’ve had questions over the past 20 years, the Internet has been there to nurture and direct my little boy nature to always ask the question “Why?” but I digress.

Last week I talked about how technology is ruining popular music, and I stand by that belief, however I should qualify that by saying there have been changes in music tech that have benefitted my personal musical development.  I had mentioned Apple Garageband, but another item in my musical arsenal that I absolutely love for it’s technological integration is my Squier® iOS Stratocaster.

It’s a simple, entry-level, solid body electric guitar built by Fender®.  It has a clean sound, is easy to play, and stays in tune for a long time.  It comes in a standard sunburst finish and shaped in the classic Fender Strat profile.  It has a ¼ inch output that allows me to plug into any amp or effects rack.  Standard tone and volume knobs that control the neck, mid, and humbucker bridge pickups.  These can also be mixed with the 5-way selector switch.  To me, these are important qualities in an electric guitar.

The really cool thing about this guitar is that the pickups are wired to a digital output.  The built in mini-USB port it allows me to plug the guitar directly into my computer, smartphone, or tablet all without any special pre-amps or other interface devices.  This is great for recording spur of the moment riffs, or playing around with different digital effects racks without ever having to leave my chair.  I can sound like Jimmy Page one moment, or Joe Strummer the next all with the click of a mouse.

One of the really fun things this guitar has allowed me do is play along with songs that I love.  I have been able to find multi-track recording stems online that can be imported into an application like Garageband.  I can then plug my guitar into the computer, create my own guitar track, and play along and record my own version of the song.  It’s a lot of fun and great practice as well.

Overall, the Squier iOS Strat is a fun, inexpensive, and well-built guitar that uses the right combination of old and new world technology.  It allows the amateur and professional alike to play around with their musical inspiration in any situation, as long as there is room for you, the guitar, and a smartphone.

You can find the specs for the guitar here, http://www.fender.com/features/usb-strat/

Until next week,
A Clockwork Techie


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