Playing an instrument doesn’t just mean getting one sound out, and the latest gadget for guitarists is all about that, as the sounds of an era are pushed into one small device.
Convergence is one of those words we throw around, but it typically means to push a bunch of technology into the one thing.
Your phone is a perfect example of what convergence is. It’s not just a phone, but a whole bunch of other things. Wallet, music player, camera, torch, computer and more, it’s the perfect example of one gadget doing the job of many, and it’s not alone.
Even in the world of music, things are changing to allow one gadget to sound like many.
If you’re a guitarist, Fender may well have something on the way that delivers a level of convergence that’s different to a phone, but still useful to the sort of playing you might be doing. It’s called the “Tone Master Pro”, and if you’re a guitarist who loves crafting your own sound, it could well be an idea that makes your music process more fun overall, converging a bunch of features into the one.
Similar yet different from the electronically controlled instruments we’ve seen from Fender in the past, the idea is an effects pedal that brings together over 100 of the world’s most popular guitar amps and effects. That includes all of Fender’s Tone Master models not made by Fender, such as the EVH 5150 III Stealth amp, the first officially licensed usage of that model recreated using a modelling process including to make that possible.
The amplifier sounds inside are apparently close to a tube amp thanks to that modelling, and will be receiving updates after launch much like a phone, delivering more features, such as other amp sounds and effects over time, as well as bug fixes when they pop up.
That alone makes the concept a little bit different from a singular effects pedal because it’s more like a phone or tablet, and the hardware more or less gives that away, as well.
Fender has loaded an eight-core processor under the hood to let you link and chain effects on the Tone Master Pro, and there’s a 7 inch colour touchscreen with knobs, controls, and a a foot switch to let you control the device both with touch for setup and with your feet while you’re playing, because your hands will likely be busy with the guitar.
You’ll be able to use this by itself or plug it into a computer, where the Tone Master Pro can be controlled by an app on PC and Mac, allowing you to store and edit your effect and amp creations, and even share them with other people doing the same thing as you.
Artists might even get in on the action, and share their results, allowing you to play the sounds they’re delivering on. Sure, it won’t automatically grant you their talent or record label, but it could be one step closer to getting their sound, so to speak.
Right now, the Tone Master Pro is specifically made for guitarists, with Fender in Australia confirming that no bass amps are in there right now, “but they will come”.
For folks interested, Fender’s Tone Master Pro sees release at music stores online and offline, priced at $2749 in Australia.