Reviewed by John Verity: VIDEO

100 watts stereo guitar amp with preamp voicing for 6 initial presets and the ability to edit and save to your personal taste.

12 presets can be saved via amp controls and 128 via the supplied footswitch.

6 preamp voices and 6 power amp voices to choose from.

ISF control sweeps from American to British tone.



Current UK street price £499.99

John Verity checks out this excellent wireless system from Xvive. VIDEO

Turn your favourite dynamic microphone into a wireless one, and lots more!


Typical UK street price £175.00



(Reviewed by John Verity)

Ozone 8 Standard Education: £216.58

Ozone 8 Advanced Education: £433.98


Well developed mastering skills are essential for learners focusing on music technology at all levels, and Ozone software has been at the forefront of technology in this area for some considerable time.

Operationally, Ozone version 8 is very similar to its predecessor Ozone 7 and for this reason I have simply focussed on the newest elements available, and included my earlier Ozone 7 review below this update for reference...

BAND IN A BOX - Intelligent Music Accompaniment Software.

(reviewed by John Verity)

Most educators reading this will be familiar with the name, but this reviewer doubts that many will be aware of the advances made to the package in recent years. The program is vast, however the developers have managed to keep it relatively easy to use despite its size.

Simply type in the chords for a song using standard chord symbols, choose tempo and time signature together with a song style from a huge range of choices and BIAB will do the rest.

John Verity with First Impressions of the latest release of this popular range:

3 Combos in the range:

10watts £115.00

20watts £155.00

40watts £185.00

The first of our video reviews 'First Impressions' - follow the link: LINK

'A Second Look' getting into the details - follow this link: LINK





JBL EON 600 Series powered loudspeakers (reviewed by John Verity).

The JBL EON 600 Series range includes the three models shown above - 10" (25cm) Two-Way, 12" (30cm) Two-Way & 15" (38cm) Two-Way, plus an 18" (45cm} Sub-woofer. All models are self-powered with 1000 watt class D amplifiers and feature wireless remote control.

Street prices start at £349.00 for the EON 612 (12" version)

(Reviewed by John Verity)

Conceived by Harpist Gary Garritan when developing an electronic MIDI harp and finding the need for samples with a high standard of quality and expression. Gary went on to develop the very first independent sample libraries across a whole range of instruments.

The purchaser is provided with a serial number. Register the serial and a personalized key-card (a graphic that looks like a credit card) is generated.

There is no need to purchase a separate sample player, as the ARIA Player is included with the GPO 5 sample library - GPO 5 is authorized by simply dragging the key-card into the ARIA Player. Hey Presto!

(Reviewed by John Verity)

Downloaded, installed and registered painlessly via the Toontrack website, EZdrummer 2 was soon up and running in my DAW. For the purposes of this review I also auditioned the programme standalone, triggered by keyboard and a MIDI drum set.

Both approaches worked seamlessly, with both Cubase, and Harrison Mixbus recognizing the plug-in instantly.

Band Creator + Looper

(Reviewed by John Verity)

The TRIO+ is a simple-to-use guitar pedal that listens to the way you play and automatically generates bass and drum parts that match your song. Just plug your guitar into the TRIO+, press the Band foot-switch to teach the TRIO+ your chords and rhythm, then press the Band foot-switch again to start playing with your own personal band!

TASCAM DM BB-1000CD – typical price £499.00
(Reviewed by John Verity)

The BB-1000CD is built to record virtually anything anywhere with CD-quality and is able to play music or speech with many options. Thus, it is the ideal tool for any musician, music teacher, composer, choirmaster, school, or conference room. Portable recorders seem to get smaller these days, with pages of menu to go through and very few physical controls to get your hands on – until now, that is!   A welcome return to a familiar format for the classroom / rehearsal room, the BB-1000CD from Tascam brings things up-to-date with a welcome addition to its portable recording units.

Toontrack Superior Drummer 2.0 - The New York Legacy Series Vol. 1  (Reviewed by John Verity)

What is it?

Superior Drummer 2.0 is a collection of multi-microphone drum samples designed for realism when sequencing drum tracks. Superior drummer works either as a stand-alone system, or as a virtual instrument/ plug-in inside your DAW of choice. For the purposes of this piece I used it inside Steinberg’s Cubase, and Harrison Mixbus with successful results in both packages.

HOFA SYSTEM Plug-in modules. (reviewed by John Verity)

20 modules which can be combined or used separately.

Reverb, delay, EQ, compression, distortion, pitch, expander, gate, gain, pan, metering, pink noise, modulation, and more....

HOFA System provides most of what we have come to consider our essential plug-ins for day-to-day studio work, all at a current introductory price of €59.90.

TOONTRACK EZ KEYS GRAND PIANO £99.99 (typical street price)
(Reviewed by John Verity)

A digitally sampled Steinway Model D piano and MIDI sequencer plug-in together in a package designed to aid song-writing - equally at home in the teaching environment or recording studio.

Installation was quick and easy - completely trouble-free, which is not the case with too many software packages these days..! Install from the supplied disk or download from the Toontracks website, then on first launching the programme enter the required information into the authorisation screen. If your computer is connected to the internet simply follow the instructions, if not then copy the information into the host computer. This reviewer used the latter with no problems at all...

(reviewed by John Verity)


Street price in the UK at time of review £370.00


Sturdily built into a compact (514mm wide/ 340mm front to back) package powered by a small wall-wart type power supply the unit is impressive straight out of the box.

The ability to record 24 tracks at a useful range of bitrates to an SD card makes the unit's potential in the education sector obvious.

Soundcraft Signature 12MTK.      Street price around £375.00.

(Reviewed by John Verity)

Soundcraft, a well-established UK company known for their range of fully professional digital consoles has drawn from its past to create an old-school analogue mixer, but with up-to-date features.

Analogue mixers continue to be a useful – perhaps essential tool in the armoury of the music educator. Sessions covering signal flow, auxiliaries, equalization and routing can be much simplified by using a console of this type which clearly and effectively allows the tutor to demonstrate the facilities, skills and effect.

HK AUDIO L.U.C.A.S SMART active speaker system - approx. £800
(Reviewed by John Verity)
HK Audio from Germany manufacture a range of high quality systems using the latest technology to provide solutions across all areas of sound reinforcement, but I felt that their L.U.C.A.S systems could easily fit into music education for a variety of reasons.

All systems in this range use a compact sub-woofer with a pair of satellites - the sub-woofer also houses the power amplifiers so the heavy stuff remains on the floor