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New gear: Roland Cube Lite

Roland Cube Lite

I got some new gear for my guitars! I bought the Roland Cube Lite to have a portable amp to play on when in the living room. Some cool features of it are that you can hook up your iPod Touch and play along with your favorite songs all through the same speaker. And if you use toe iOS app you can even record yourself playing along a song. Another nice feature of the app is that you can mark a section of a song to loop over.

There are three amp models included: JC Clean, Crunch and Extreme. For effects there is the choice of Chorus or Reverb. There’s also a knob for Drive, Volume, Bass and Treble. For your input audio device there’s also a volume knob.

Ordered a Nexus 7 tablet

Nexus-7-2013I just ordered a Nexus 7 (2013) tablet for a really nice price. I plan on using it for Android development and website testing. Together with my iPad 3 and Android phone this should cover a wide range of test cases. Now to decide if I should go with Xamarin C# or stick with Java…

Since I’m note a big fan of Java I’m leaning towards Xamarin but the yearly subscription costs are a bit steep if you’re not actually generating money out of mobile stuff. Still, with Xamarin it’s easier and maybe cheaper in the sense of time to develop for both Android and iOS since you can write the core of your application in C# and use that on both target platforms.

Monkey re-branded to Monkey X and comes with Desktop target

Monkey by Blitz Research Ltd has been re-branded to Monkey X. Monkey X focuses on multi-platform and multi-device game development. Monkey code translates to the language used by the platform. Javascript for HTML5 games for example and C#/XNA when targeting Xbox 360. Supported platforms are Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, Flash, HTML5, iOS, Android, WP7/8, Xbox 360 and more. Ouya as well!

With the re-branding also comes a new free version. Before, the free version only supported the HTML5 target but now also includes the desktop target. Other targets can be acquired by purchasing a Monkey X Pro license.

Now that the desktop target is freely available as well I think I’ll go give Monkey a try soon. I haven’t used BlitzMax in ages (and I consider it a dead end as well) and since Monkey is very similar to BlitzMax I don’t expect too much trouble to get adapted to it.

Hook up your guitar to GarageBand on iPad with your Rocksmith Real Tone Cable

Do you own an iPad? Have you got GarageBand installed on it? And do you per change own the game Rocksmith (for PC, Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3) with the included Real Tone Cable? Yes? Good!

Now go get yourself a (cheap) USB adapter for your iPad so you can hook up your Real Tone Cable to it. These adapters can be bought cheap online from DealExtreme. Yes, you can use the official adapter by Apple which is of better quality but also a lot more expensive.

With your guitar connected to your iPad you can start recording with GarageBand. GarageBand also comes with a lot of guitar amplifiers and stomp boxes for added effects. Don’t quite like the result of your recording? Simply modify the amp settings or change the amp all together.

Using GarageBand with your guitar is a lot of fun as it opens up a lot of possibilities to try things out and just have fun. For one you can record a solo, duplicate the track and change some amp settings and et voilà you’ve got a double guitar solo going on!

I’ve been having a lot of fun with this for the past two weeks. I could also connect my acoustic guitar and even with the non-clean amp stacks it still sounded really nice. And with the Smart Guitar, Smart Bass and Drumkit you can quickly create a backing track to which you can jam on.

The Real Tone Cable has been in my possession since the Dutch/European release of Rocksmith and I only wished I had gotten this USB adapter for my iPad sooner.