Ibanez AZES designed in conjunction with Tomo Fujita

Ibanez AZESThe new Ibanez AZES or AZ Essentials line as they are calling it offers both a hard-tail and trem version of their already AZ models, but at a price that is hard to beat. Designed in conjunction with Tomo Fujita, these new models could be a winner for Ibanez.

Ibanez AZES

I already own one of the Ibanez AZ series models and so I know they are great guitars, so when the news broke that Ibanez was now about to offer a new wallet-friendly version, well it certainly caught my attention. Their AZ Premium and AZ Prestige series are already very popular guitars worldwide and so this new AZES range could be a big seller.

Ibanez AZES31  in Ivory

Ibanez AZES31  in Ivory and check out that new all-in-one jack socket, a very nice touch!

Specifications

Based around a poplar body with a slightly shorter maple 25″ scale length neck that has a Jatoba fretboard with nice clean white dot inlays. The fretboard itself is loaded with 22 medium jumbo frets and has a 250mm radius (roughly 9.5″). I think that the neck join will also please a lot of players, as it follows a nice ergonomic design, just like the AZ Premium and Prestige models.

The colours on launch include Purist Blue, Black, and Mint Green, for the AZES40 along with Vermilion and Ivory for the AZES31. 

Ibanez AZES31

The Ibanez AZES31 neck and heel join is great

Hardtail or Trem

There is a hardtail version called the AZES31 with three single-coil pickups or you can go for the AZES40 with the T106 tremolo bridge instead and an HSS pickup layout. Other nice hardware on offer includes the one-piece maintenance-free jack, so no more loose jack sockets. They also chose tuning pegs with a split shaft, to aid in getting them strung up easily.

Ibanez AZES40 in Purist Blue

Ibanez AZES40 in Purist Blue

Essentials

Each guitar is fitted with Ibanez Essentials pickups which are single-coils with ceramic magnets for the AZES31 in SSS format, and an Ibanez Accord humbucker which is also ceramic, for the HSS layout AZES40 model.

dyna-MIX9 switching

dyna-MIX9 switching

dyna-MIX tones

You also get the dyna-MIX8 for the AZES31 and dyna-MIX9 wiring for the AZES40, both of which offer you extra pickups voices, so apart from your five-way selector switch. I’ve found this dyna-MIX system quite useful on my AZ model and so it is great to see it offered as standard on these new budget models as well.

This could be a great guitar for anyone looking for a well-made instrument and I love that Tomo Fujita was involved in the design as he is a phenomenal player. Check out the official demo video below to hear these new AZES models in action.

RRP – AZES40 EUR 329 and AZES31 €299

 

More Ibanez AZES Information

Ibanez AZES Video

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Windows 11 set for official release this coming October 5th

Welcome to Windows 11Update: After a leaky buildup, Microsoft Windows 11 release day is almost here. The new OS will be available as a free update for Windows 10 PC users, from 5 October. The roll out, according to Microsoft, is scheduled to last through into mid-2022. If you already own a device running Windows 10, you’ll have to a wait a bit longer to get it, as new computers are to receive the update first. Here’s what we know so far about Windows 11.

Windows brings a new multi-platform approach to the user interface. The new features intuitively adapt to your choice of device, depending on if you’re using a tablet, laptop, or multi-display setup. This is made simple with the new window management system and the ability to save screen sets and workflows. Some important developments also include a completely new app store and the capability to now run Android apps natively.

Snaps in Windows 11
Widgets in Windows 11

Windows 11 feels like home

As Microsoft CPO, Panos Panay emotively explained at yesterday’s Windows event, the user interface has been redesigned to make you feel at home. With a familiar feel, the cleaner more simplified environment relies on functions generally more associated with Mac OS X. The Snap Layouts feature is an intuitive workflow optimization tool that allows you to create customized layout profiles for each situation. Although the smart and seamless integration between devices is impressive, Mac users have enjoyed similar functionality with Expose and Spaces on OS X for many years so this is hardly groundbreaking.

Windows 11's central Start menuA move toward productivity

What is far more promising is the move toward a more performance-focused system. Windows 11 claims to be more energy-efficient than ever, with improved security and cloud integration. Even the notorious Windows updates have been reduced in size considerably. Windows has always been favored by the gaming world as a superior graphics environment, so the revamped App store expands on this market. Integrating 3rd party and Android apps and allowing developers of games and software to run their own commerce engines are inclusive moves for Microsoft, but what are the benefits of Windows for pro audio users? If anything a cleaner, faster user interface with less bloat-ware is a definite improvement, so stay updated on DAW and Plugin compatibility. This could be a new era for Windows users.

More about Windows 11

Videos

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Mixcloud Live Studio: A new streaming platform for musicians

Mixcloud introduces Mixcloud Live StudioThe post-pandemic musical landscape presents a few challenges for independent artists and creators. Thankfully, a growing number of platforms and service providers have been hard at work, with aims to diversify and accommodate the ever-changing needs of musicians. After rebranding, the previously DJ-centric platform, Mixcloud has emerged with plans to take on audio culture. Mixcloud Live Studio now gives Mixcloud Pro account holders direct live streaming capability from your browser. This WebRTC-based system – also native to Google Meet and Clubhouse – means you’ll no longer need to go to third-party streaming apps like Streamlabs or OBS Studio. That makes for a straightforward interface without stream key sharing, providing a single-click solution for connecting with your audience.

Mixcloud Live Studio: Go live and direct from your browser

Still currently in its beta phase, Mixcloud suggests using Google Chrome as your browser for the moment, as all Mixcloud Live Studio features are currently optimized for it. If you are new to the world of live streaming this new service seems like a great introduction. Without technical settings menus, you’re able to easily select the mic and audio you wish to use. There’s also a useful offline mode with the ability to audition your stream before taking it live. The chat window is also active, so you can advertise your stream and interact with users pre-stream as the channel starts to fill up.

WebRTC, Google Meets and Clubhouse

The major difference between the WebRTC technology used in video chat apps and what was previously available is simple. Rather than simply streaming video across a platform in one direction, you have the power of two-way streaming. This allows a far more direct method, with more collaborative possibilities for your streaming content. You have the ability to migrate individual users from your chat to take part in the live video stream. Mixcloud Live Studio is available as a feature as a Mixcloud Pro subscriber, for 11 Euros a month. The free “Creator” subscription does not allow live streaming; however, you can upload prerecorded content. Mixcloud Live is still in its early phases, but according to Mixcloud, you can expect development and innovation further down the line.

More about Mixcloud Live Studio and live streaming:

Videos:

 

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