Reviewed: Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Headphones

Audio-Technica Australia | audio-technica.com.au | Expect to Pay: $379

In modern monitoring, the Audio-Technica M50 series has become as synonymous in the professional world as the famous Yamaha NS10 speaker. Similar to the iconic white speaker cone and black box, the sleek, black looks of the M50 have become a staple of professional audio for mixing, monitoring playback and enjoying balanced high-definition sound. Their value for money has brought the range into a special league of headphone that is enjoyed by professionals and audiophiles alike. This is where the ATH-M50xBT, the Bluetooth version of the famed M50, really shines: the same great sound, same stylish looks, but without the inconvenience of a cable.

To be brutally honest, my first question about the Bluetooth addition to an already brilliant headphone was “Why?” Most monitor controllers or audio interfaces don’t include a Bluetooth option without an adaptor and additional dongle or receiver. After using them for a little while, I changed my question – “Why not have a Bluetooth option for headphones?” In a market with an increasing amount of educational material for making, playing, recording, mixing and mastering music, these make sense.

Hits and Misses

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Same great sound and design of the M50s

Easy to use controls

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N/A

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Twenty years of Taking Back Sunday

Despite yielding a stage aesthetic with more swagger than you could pelt a can of hairspray at, Adam Lazzara is cripplingly humble. He won’t budge when grilled for a catalyst in Taking Back Sunday’s sustained longevity. “I just think we’re some of the luckiest guys you’ll ever meet,” he says.

But his modesty is uncalled for. It’s the Long Island quartet’s visceral energy, enigmatic personalities and furiously potent songwriting – plus, you know, a few choice scene beefs throughout the years – that have led Taking Back Sunday to their throne atop the aughts’ alt-rock hierarchy.

 

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Mixdown's 2018 Christmas Gift Guide: Headphones

Festive Bargains

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The nights are getting warmer, Michael Buble is hitting the charts, and musicians are bracing themselves for a month of ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ covers. With Christmas almost upon us, it’s time to start searching stores for the ultimate present to give, which isn’t always an easy task. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with our Christmas Gift Guide to help you find the perfect gift for the musicians in your life.

Mackie CR-Buds

 

Distributed by: Amber Technology

Expect to Pay: $89

 

RECOMMENDED FOR:

These wouldn’t go astray as a gift to any music lover or traveller.

 

SOUND/VERSATILITY:

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Reviewed: Line 6 HX Stomp

Yamaha Music Australia | au.yamaha.com | Expect to Pay: $999

It’s time to admit something to ourselves: amplifier modeling is the new reality. This new wave began in 1998 with Line 6’s kidney-shaped POD. While, realistically, the tones weren’t especially close to what they claimed to imitate, the convenience of being able to switch between ‘amps’ and patches, either effected or not, was groundbreaking. This was superseded by the Fractal Audio Axe-Fx in the mid-2000s, who then released the Axe-Fx II in 2011, which became the industry standard. In the same year, Kemper released their profiling amplifier, which allowed users to model their own amplifiers with startling accuracy. Fractal and Kemper have been neck and neck ever since, while Line 6 has slowly released updates of the POD, such as the POD HD and HD X series. Unfortunately, Line 6 has remained associated with the tones and sounds and effects on the original POD, despite consistently releasing top-quality products. This all changed in 2015 when they released the Helix and re-entered the big league. Enter stage left (or left and right; there’s a stereo output): the HX Stomp.

The HX Stomp is a professional grade guitar effect and amp processor crammed into a glossy, sparkled housing about the size of a small HSP (depending where you go). Packed inside is the same DSP and HX modeling technology as found in the larger, pricier Helix itself. There are three pedal switching pots for toggling between effects, and five little pots for scrolling through presets and tweaking parameters. There are mono/stereo inputs and outputs, an expression pedal input, MIDI in/out and a stereo send with a mono/stereo return.

Hits and Misses

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Professional grade effects and amps

Great routing options

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Line 6 drivers and software difficult to locate

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Watch: Wu-Tang Clan visit NPR for Tiny Desk Concert

Perform a Selection of Classics

As they prepare to take over the Sydney Opera House for four monumental anniversary shows, Wu-Tang Clan has added to the anticipation by taking part in NPR’s latest ‘Tiny Desk Concert’.

The legendary hip-hop group stopped by NPR’s office for a 20-minute performance of some of their greatest hits in celebration of the 25th anniversary of their landmark debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers.

 

Listen out for ‘Triumph’, ‘C.R.E.A.M.’, ‘Protect Ya Neck’ and more Wu-Tang classics.

 

 

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Gibson to appear at NAMM 2019 following last year’s absence

The Full NAMM Directory Has Been Released

With just a little over a month until NAMM arrives once again, it seems Gibson are joining the festivities at the 2019 showcase following a notable absence in 2018.

NAMM has released its official directory, listing Gibson as an exhibitor. The company will presumably showcase its all-new 2019 range, plus instruments under the Epiphone, Kramer and Steinberger names.

 

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Fender introduces new signature model for Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bassist Flea

Introducing the Flea Active Jazz Bass

Fender has unveiled its second collaboration with Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bassist Flea: the Flea Active Jazz Bass.

Co-designed with Flea himself, the new bass strives to “match his boundless enthusiasm when performing in front of stadium-sized crowds.” It features a custom-crafted body with a satin urethane finish, a quartersawn neck, and a HiMass bridge.

 

 

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Mixdown's top 4 jobs in the music industry (this week)

December 5-11

Whether you're fresh out of uni, looking for a major career break or simply wanting extra money in between gigs, the music industry is a competitive place. To make things a little easier, here's our list of some of the best jobs going around the country.

ANNOUNCER/ASSISTANT MUSIC DIRECTOR - STAR 104.5, NOVA ENTERTAINMENT PTY (Central Coast)

Nova Entertainment's Star 104.5 is on the hunt for an Announcer/Assistant Music Director to join their team on a key weekday shift.

 

Skills Required:

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Epiphone reveals Joe Bonamassa ES-355 signature guitar

Bonamassa's Sixth Signature Guitar

Epiphone has announced a limited edition Joe Bonamassa ES-355, marking the company's sixth signature instrument with the blues guitarist.

The new guitar sports the iconic ES-355 semi-hollow body archtop profile and is fitted with a three-ply maple/poplar/maple top and body in an ebony finish with gilded hardware, complete with multi-layer white and black binding. The mahogany neck has a slim taper, D-profile and is crafted with perloid block inlays, with an option available for Bonamassa's signature to be engraved.

 

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