Tech Reviews: New products (July 2022)

Jonathan Savage
Friday, July 1, 2022

Dr Jonathan Savage reveals what's new this month

Roland AIRA Compact

Price: £177 each

Roland has launched three new products under their new ‘AIRA Compact’ category: the T-8 Beat Machine, J-6 Chord Synth and E-4 Voice Tweaker. These three instruments can be used individually or can be easily synced together to create a meta-instrument that you can jam with anywhere (given that each one has a battery that can be charged for up to four hours of play). Each instrument features sounds drawn from Roland's legendary products such as the TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines, TR-303 bass-line sequencer and Juno 60 synthesizer. These instruments are great value for money and their ease of use in terms of portability and connectability are key benefits for the music classroom.

Gamelan Mechanique


Price: Free

Produced by the Philharmonie de Paris, the Gamelan Mechanique is a wonderful visual representation of the Gamelan orchestra. It contains several pieces that can be played in various ways through the web browser. This includes an interactive photograph of the gamelan orchestra itself, a colourful, visual and cyclical representation of the gamelan pieces with which the user can interact. There is a note edit window where you can change and add notes to create your own gamelan compositions too. The interface is based on a Flash plugin, but I've tried it in a range of browsers and it works effectively across the board.

Boss KTN-110B Bass Guitar Amplifier

Price: £339

The Boss Katana electric guitar amps took the world by storm a few years ago. Now, it is time for the bass guitarists to get their chance to play with Boss’ premium sound and advanced features. The KTN-110B features three unique amp characters and onboard Boss effects that provide a wide range of tones, backed by a stage-ready, 60-watt class AB power amp, custom 10-inch woofer, and tweeter with on/off switch. With a comprehensive EQ, flexible connectivity and more, the Katana-110 Bass is ready to take on any playing situation, from stage to studio or everyday practice at home. If you are looking for a larger bass amp for use in a school hall or even outdoors, the Boss KTN-210B has also been released alongside the smaller KTN-110B.


iZotope Pro Audio Essentials

Price: Free

Do your students need some help with the development of their audio production skills? iZotope's Pro Audio Essentials is a game-based course for music producers to practise and improve their audio skills. This unique learning experience uses audio games, ear training, and videos to build the production skills that music makers use every day when recording, mixing, and mastering. The video content is well constructed and succinct; there are practice sessions and challenges too to help keep the learning fun and engaging. I highly recommend it!