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Pet Pods Solve Lost or Damaged Earbuds Problem (Review)

August 10, 2015 Comments off

Pet Pods
Education OutdoorsPetPods
$15.99 – Amazon $5.98

So everyone loses earbuds, right? I’ve lost them. You’ve lost them. Your kids probably have lost more than one pair. It’s frustrating and it gets expensive too. Most often, my earbuds get misplaced to replace ones that have been lost. That’s even more frustrating. Well, Education Outdoors has a pretty good solution for your earbud problem that it calls Pet Pods. They’re cute little animal plush toys with earbuds inside.

The Pet Pods come in six different animal styles: Beaver, Buck, Bear, Fawn, Eagle, and Moose. Your child will love the stuffed animal and you’ll love that he or she will have a place to stash those earbuds. My daughter never knew where her earbuds were from one hour to the next, but now, she stores hers in the animal when they’re not in use.

BeaverEarplugsSmall children (not recommended for children under three years of age due to choking hazard) will love the plush animal as an extra “friend” to play with. Teenagers can carry the plush animal ironically to show how cool they are by carrying a stuffed animal with earbuds inside.

“My wife and I have teenage daughters and between the four of us on any given day, we always used to be at least one pair of earbuds short,” said Education Outdoors CEO Tim Paczesny. “Tired of constantly searching for earbuds, I decided to create a solution and came up with the Pet Pod. America already loves stuffed animals so I figured why not make a mini version that serves dual purposes by storing a pair of headphones inside.”

You can scan the QR code to learn more about your animal.

My daughter, who actually uses the Pet Pod and earbuds told me that the Amazon price is a real value at $5.98, “Because you’ll pay that much or more just for the earbuds alone. Plus, you get the animal that you can put your earbuds into.”

She told me that her earbuds had a “bend” in them that doesn’t affect their sound or functionality now, but might in the future. She also wishes that there was something to wind up the earbuds on instead of just having them loose.

Why it’s Frugal: Earbuds generally cost from $3.00 to $50.00 or more and even at $3.00 per pair, lost ones add up over time. The Pet Pod is a cute storage compartment for your earbuds and anything that prevents lost money is frugal.

The earbuds are quality made. The plush toy is a nice little toy with the added bonus of being storage for the earbuds. In all, Pet Pods make a great gift for birthdays, stocking stuffers, or just because you don’t want to keep replacing earbuds once a month.

About Education Outdoors

EagleEarplugAn avid outdoorsman, Tim Paczesny grew up at his family’s log cabin resort in Northern Michigan. As an adult with children of his own, Tim wanted to create a way to share his knowledge of the outdoors with his children and his “city” friends. He came up with the idea of creating games that would be able to teach families about the outdoors through trivia questions and fun facts. For more information, please visit www.educationoutdoors.net.

Rating: 8/10

Recommendation: Buy it, but not for children under three.

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Singtrix: Karaoke for Dads, Grads, and Music Enthusiasts (Review)

June 19, 2015 Comments off

Singtrix Party BundleSingtrix
Singtrix.com
$349.00 Amazon, Sams, Target

The Singtrix karaoke machine is a microphone, a microphone stand, a “studio”, cables, and a 40-Watt speaker that uses your mobile phone or tablet’s music playlist for background music and helping vocals. It’s billed as “the next-generation karaoke machine that makes bad singers sound good and good singers sound amazing!”

It takes a few minutes to setup the Singtrix unit, because you have to assemble the microphone stand, plug in the cables, connect your phone or tablet, and tune the device. Tuning the device can take a while, as in perhaps an hour to tweak it so that it’s just right for the room you’re in. Tuning involves adjusting your phone or tablet’s volume control, the effects, and the volume, bass, and treble on the speaker. It’s not a trivial task to get it just right, but once you do, the fun begins.

You can adjust the singing voice in your song to very low so that it’s just barely audible as a helping voice. It’s fun to use one of the more than 300 voice effects that are interestingly named for songs that you’ll recognize, but careful not to infringe on copyrights.

The components are well made, clearly marked, and are of decent quality for creating some cool sounds. It’s easy enough to use for just about anyone. The controls are very intuitive and you can choose from no voice enhancement to extreme voice modulation, so there’s almost no limits to the range of possibilities.

The video below is on the Singtrix website, although I wouldn’t have included it there, it does show how versatile the Singtrix is and how impressively you can sound on it. The video shows the Singtrix inventors being a bit stubborn about getting an investment for the product launch, although I’m not completely convinced that the appearance on Shark Tank was for an investment. I think it was probably more along the lines of free advertisement for the product. I would have done the same thing.

This demo video shown in the link below is very good. And it’s 100 percent realistic. You really can get all of these sounds and effects out of the Singtrix.

For myself, I think the Singtrix is a cool, portable PA system. I’m not a singer and not even the Singtrix can make me sound good, but I do like it for its PA capabilities. I think it’s interesting in that respect and would use it for that extensively. My primary problem with the unit, besides how long it takes to get the sound right, is that it doesn’t provide the words to songs. Using an external device for lyrics is difficult because you can’t easily synchronize the song on your Singtrix-connected device to the lyrics.

The StudioMy daughter and her friends who came over and played with it for an entire weekend, much to the chagrin of my wife and myself, loved it for how it made them sound when singing. My daughter explained to me that not having the words display for you is a sacrifice to be able to choose your own songs instead of ones that the company chooses for you.
She went on to say that you can look up karaoke version of your songs on your iPad, while your phone plays the song. She didn’t think there was a problem getting the two synchronized, so she loved it.

  • From the same guys who created Guitar Hero.
  • Features the Singtrix “Studio” vocal effects unit with more than 300 unique, studio-quality vocal effects, including pitch correction and harmonies.
  • Plug in your phone, tablet, or mp3 player to play any song of your choosing while Singtrix lowers the vocals to create your own karaoke track from any song in your library.
  • Bad singers become good singers, good singers become great singers and great singers turn into rockstars!

It must be an age-related complex. I’m used to “old school” karaoke machines and she’s willing to make something work. Your mileage may vary.

40-Watt SpeakerMy best advice is that if you want to use the Singtrix as a karaoke machine, have some teenagers or preteens around to make that work for you, otherwise you’d better know all the lyrics to the songs.

Why it’s Frugal: The Singtrix isn’t frugal. It’s a luxury item that might not be for everyone at the $349 price. That’s not to say it isn’t worth the price; it is, but you should be someone who likes to sing to justify it or have a lot of parties.

I suggest that once you get the settings like you want them, leave them there. Tweaking even a little bit can cost you a lot of time and kids have short attention spans.

I don’t want you to think that this is a negative review because it isn’t. It’s a realistic one. I don’t want you to buy a Singtrix and not be satisfied because it’s a little less than falling-off-a-log simple to setup and use. I really like the Singtrix. It’s fun and you can have hours and hours of fun messing with the different voice effects, speaking like a robot, singing like a girl (if you’re a guy), singing or talking like Barry White, and more.

One final thing to note is that with the speaker pointed out toward your audience, you won’t be able to clearly hear the voice modulation. To you, you’ll sound pretty much the same as you always do, but to people in front of the speaker, your voice has changed. My daughter and friends had a lot of fun with the Singtrix. I had a lot more fun with it pretending that I was announcing plays at a baseball game or singing the National Anthem (poorly) with a lot of enhancement and Broadway stylings like many performers use. Why can’t they just sing it like Francis Scott Key wrote it? Some things shouldn’t be messed with and the National Anthem is one of them.

The Singtrix comes with everything that you need in the box to start singing and having fun. If you’re a good singer, you’ll sound like you’re in a studio. If you’re a bad singer, like me, you’ll need some help and the Singtrix has it with more than 300 voice modulations and controls. If you need to pump up the jam at your next family gathering, party, or kid sleepover; get a Singtrix and get ready to laugh and sing until you lose your voice.

Rating: 8/10

Recommendation: Try it, buy it, but be ready to tweak.

IK Multimedia announces iRig Mic Studio, the ultra-portable large-diaphragm digital microphone for every platform

January 22, 2015 Comments off

The latest addition to IK’s iRig digital microphone range provides professional-quality sound, an extremely compact size and compatibility with all popular mobile and desktop platformsiRig Mic Studio

January 22, 2015 – IK Multimedia, the leader in mobile music creation technology, is pleased to announce iRig® Mic Studio, its ultra-portable large-diaphragm digital condenser microphone for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC and Android. Offering superior sound and an extremely portable size, it packs a 1” diameter condenser capsule into an ultra-compact enclosure that can be used to make professional recordings anywhere. With iRig Mic Studio, musicians, vocalists, home producers, podcasters, broadcasters, voice-over artists and more have a studio-quality large-diaphragm microphone that fits in the palm of their hand.

Superior portable performance
iRig Mic Studio has been designed to provide the best possible recording quality. It features a large 1” diameter back electret condenser capsule, a 24-bit audiophile-grade A/D converter (with 44.1/48 kHz sample rate) and a built-in low-noise high-definition preamp. These, combined with its 133dB SPL rating, allow for optimal audio capture at any sound pressure level — it can capture everything from the subtle and nuanced dynamics of the human voice to the full-on bombast of an amplified electric guitar, and everything in between.And while these features are excellent on their own, what’s truly remarkable about iRig Mic Studio is that it fits its components into a compact enclosure that’s smaller than an iPhone.

Comprehensive control
To assist its high-end components, iRig Mic Studio also sports a comprehensive set of monitoring and level control features. To ensure the best sound for every situation, it comes with a gain control knob and a multicolor LED level indicator. It also includes a headphone output with its own level control for monitoring directly from iRig Mic Studio itself. And, for better positioning while recording, iRig Mic Studio comes with a sturdy and portable tabletop tripod stand.

It’s all about the connections
iRig Mic Studio is compatible with nearly every popular mobile and desktop platform. It comes with a female micro-USB port and an assortment of cables: Micro-USB to Lightning for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch; micro-USB to micro-USB OTG for Android (requires either an Android 5 or Samsung Professional Audio device); and micro-USB to USB for Mac and PC.

Record with the power of apps
For immediate recording, iRig Mic Studio comes equipped with a powerful suite of vocal apps. VocaLive™ is a powerful effects processor and multi-track recording app that features a selection of 12 professional real-time vocal effects. EZ Voice™ for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and EZ Voice™ for Android are streamlined and easy-to-use sing-along apps that make it easy for vocalists to practice with any song in their music library. iRig® Recorder for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and iRig® Recorder for Android are straightforward apps for field recording, podcasting, note taking and more.

The VocaLive App is available from the App Store at www.appstore.com/vocalive

The EZ Voice App is available from the App Store at www.appstore.com/ezvoice

The iRig Recorder App is available from the App Store at www.appstore.com/irigrecorder

EZ Voice is available for Android via Google Play and the Samsung GALAXY Apps store. iRig Recorder is available for Android on Google Play.

iRig Mic Studio is also fully compatible with a wide variety of third party apps and software, like Cubasis, ProStudio Vocal FX, MultiTrack DAW and more. It’s also compatible with Apple’s GarageBand and Logic Pro X apps, and iOS Voice Memo.

Pricing and availability
iRig Mic Studio comes in silver or black and will be available Q1, 2015 from music and electronics retailers worldwide, and from the IK online store, for only $179.99/€144.99 (excluding taxes).

For more information, please visit: www.irigmicstudio.com

To see the official video of iRig Mic Studio in action, go to: www.irigmicstudio.com/video

IK Multimedia’s GrooveMaker® 2 is now available for Android devices

January 19, 2015 Comments off

The revolutionary remixing app that allows anyone to make non-stop mixes in real-time and sound like a professional DJ is now available for Android devices
GrooveMaker 2 for Android

January 19, 2015 – IK Multimedia, the leader in mobile music creation technology, is pleased to announce that GrooveMaker® 2, its revolutionary remixing app, is now available for Android devices. With a full spread of features and an intuitive interface, GrooveMaker 2 lets Android smartphone and tablet users make non-stop electronic dance mixes in real-time and sound like a professional DJ.

Remixing reinvented on Android
IK Multimedia’s history as pioneers of the computer music industry dates back for 19 years when it released its first music software, GrooveMaker. History was made again when GrooveMaker made its debut on the App StoreSM as one of the first real-time audio apps for iPhone and iPad. Now with nearly 3 million downloads on iOS, GrooveMaker will help music fans make music with their Android devices anywhere in the world, regardless of skill level.Now available for smartphones and tablets running Android 4.1 and above, GrooveMaker 2 lets users manipulate pre-arranged sets of loops in real time – just like a DJ or live electronic music performer – thanks to its patented “groove generator” technology. These loops have been created to always sound good together, and they encompass virtually every style and sound imaginable.

A sound for every dance floor
GrooveMaker 2 gives users packs of loops organized as song packs. These song packs comprise a huge amount of musical styles: House, Dubstep, Hip-Hop, Techno, Trance, Electro, Drum and Bass, Reggae, Reggaeton, Rock and more – there are even signature song packs from artists like Ace from Skunk Anansie, Chris Domingo and Cool & Dre. Each song contains over 60 loops that cover essential categories like kick drums, basslines, pads, effects, percussion and more. GrooveMaker 2 also lets users import their own sounds and loops directly from their music library; its editing and auto-sync features allow for endless and effortless creative exploration.

Professional DJ results made easy
With GrooveMaker 2, getting great sounding results is easy as touching a button. Users can draw in grooves on its grid interface or use its Randomix feature to have the app automatically mix and match on its own. GrooveMaker 2’s intuitive controls make it easy to lock, solo and mute loops, change volume and panning and save favorite sequences for future use. Its groove length control and advanced time-stretch features allow for even further creative applications, allows GrooveMaker 2 to sync up with and be used as a performance tool in even the most sophisticated of DJ setups. When used with IK Multimedia’s mobile mixer, iRig MIX, GrooveMaker 2’s X-Sync feature detects the BPM from an external audio source and automatically syncs to the groove.

Killer special FX
In addition to its streamlined sequencing, GrooveMaker 2 also sports a suite of powerful effects that can be used for live performance. These include classics like Filter, Delay, Stutter, Flanger, Crush and Noise as well as more creative effects like Twist, Brake, Spin and Tail.

Pricing and availability
GrooveMaker 2 is available now for Android on the Google Play Store for $9.99/€8.99. A free version is also available.

For more information, please visit: www.groovemaker.com

To see the official video of GrooveMaker 2 for Android in action, go to: www.groovemaker.com/video

iRig Mic Field from IK Multimedia

January 5, 2015 Comments off

iRig Mic Field from IK Multimedia shipping:
Make professional audio/video recordings everywhere

Capture audio or video with high-quality stereo sound on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

January 5, 2015 – IK Multimedia, the leader in mobile music creation, today announced it’s shipping iRig® Mic Field, the first ultra-compact, stereo digital microphone for audio and video field recording on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch – including the new iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. Slim, light and fully rotatable, iRig Mic Field lets anyone make great audio and video recordings with high-quality stereo sound everywhere.
iRig Mic Field

High-quality stereo field recording
iRig Mic Field is the only mobile digital microphone designed to be used for both video and audio projects. It delivers superb stereo sound by connecting digitally to iPhone, iPad or iPod touch via Lightning connector. Its two high-quality cardioid electret condenser capsules, 24-bit audiophile-grade A/D converter (with 44.1/48kHz sample rate), 115 dB maximum SPL rating and built in low-noise, high-definition preamp allow for pristine sound capture quality at rehearsals, concerts, lectures, speeches, music practice and more, as well as field recording and on-the-move videography projects. iRig Mic Field can create accurate and faithful field recordings in nearly every imaginable context.

90 degrees of flexibility
To better preserve the stereo image while recording audio for video, iRig Mic Field features a conveniently rotatable patent-pending design. With the touch of a finger it can be easily rotated 90 degrees and locked in one of two positions for an accurate stereo image in both landscape and portrait modes. This means that iRig Mic Field can record the proper left and right channel position in any situation – surpassing other mobile microphones that only produce a true stereo sound when held in portrait mode.

Unmatched portability
iRig Mic Field is lightweight and portable. It has a slim form-factor and slips easily into a user’s pocket when finished. iRig Mic Field has been designed with elegance and durability in mind, and it can withstand the rigors of travel thanks to its durable industrial design and protective carrying pouch.

iRig Mic Field

Pocket-sized video production
iRig Mic Field has also been designed with mobile video in mind. It can be used to record video on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch with crystal-clear, professional sounding audio. It’s never been easier to shoot a great sounding video and share it with friends, followers and fans. Now musicians, videographers, journalists, podcasters, casual users and more can get high-quality sound while on-the-go without sacrificing mobility or audio fidelity.

Superior level control
Capturing good sound requires more than just high-quality components; it also requires comprehensive control. iRig Mic Field has everything needed to ensure that sound is recorded at the perfect setting. It features a thumbwheel gain control, an audio-out jack for quality real-time headphone monitoring and a multi-color LED input level indicator for quick visual monitoring.

Record with the power of apps
For immediate stereo recording, an update to IK’s iRig® Recorder app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch will soon be available to fully support iRig Mic Field. iRig Recorder lets users quickly record, edit, process and share their audio, thanks to its intuitive GUI, 8 intelligent effects processors and sharing capabilities. iRig Mic Field also works seamlessly with a wide variety of apps including Apple’s GarageBand and iMovie apps, and iOS Voice Memo and Camera.

Pricing and availability
iRig Mic Field is now available from music and electronics retailers worldwide, and from the IK online store, for only $99.99/€79.99 (excluding taxes).

For more information, please visit www.irigmicfield.com

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