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Stocking Fillers 2013: Books and Gadgets

Books to improve your audio editing chops and some wearable vintage Abbey Road equipment are among PSNEurope’s gift recommendations for the upcoming holiday season.

Heading our first of this year’s list of stocking stuffers is Hal Leonard Books’ Ableton Grooves, which empowers you to create realistic-sounding drum grooves using Ableton Live and the Ableton Grooves Drum Racks – specifically created for this book by certified Ableton Live trainer Josh Bess. Each groove is written using MIDI Maps, a powerful programming concept introduced for the first time in this book. With MIDI Maps and the MIDI Note Editor, the user learns not only how to read the exercises, but also how to use them to develop their own creative and musical grooves. Bess presents musical notation alongside the MIDI Maps so that the reader can understand both the technological and musical sides of what he is learning and creating.

For the more technical work of audio editing, we’ve had our eye on the aptly-named Digital Audio Editing, written by Simon Langford for Focal Press. Focusing on modern uses of audio editing for a project, Digital Audio Editing gives you the techniques, from corrective editing like cutting, copying, and pasting to more complex creative editing, such as beat mapping and time-stretching – all of which are applicable to any DAW. Readers will learn to avoid unnatural-sounding pitch correction and understand the potential pitfalls faced when restoring classic tracks. The companion websites includes tutorials in Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Cubase, and Studio One to help you immediately apply the broad skills from the book. On to gadgets then, of which you can never have too many. As Staff Writer Erica Basnicki recently (and painfully) found out, water and iPhones don’t mix. Enter the iShower Speaker by iDevices, the Bluetooth enabled, water-resistant speaker for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android and other Bluetooth enabled smartphones and tablets. Water resistant, you can listen to the iShower speaker in the shower, pool, beach, or spa, while keeping your iPod, iPhone, or other device safe and dry up to 200-feet away from the water. iShower is perfect for those who want to listen to their music in wet environments without risking water damage. Something Erica wish she had a month ago… So now that you’re freshly showered, what better to slip on than a T-shirt from Abbey RoadStudios. Printed onto high-quality American Apparel T-shirts, the collection features three distinct ranges: 1931 – featuring imagery from the studios’ legendary recording equipment, both vintage and modern, which has been used to create classic songs and chart hits by world-famous artists since Abbey Road opened on 12 November 1931. ID – this range includes plain logo tees in a variety of colours and features designs inspired by the world-famous Grade II listed crossing, as seen on The Beatles’ classic album Abbey Road. Kids – a small range aimed at mini engineers, producers and musicians of the future! The new collection is available now at for £20.

Last but certainly not least on our list is IK Multimedia’s iLoud: the first portable stereo speaker designed for studio monitor quality on the go. IK multimedia reports that the iLoud is two to three times louder than comparable size speakers – blasting 40W RMS of power. Clarity is preserved via the onboard DSP processor and a bi-amped 4-driver array of high efficient neodymium loudspeakers, that provide accurate, even response across the entire frequency spectrum. For deep bass response iLoud’s bass-reflex allows frequencies to go down to 50hz. About the size of an iPad and only 6cm (2.3″) thick, iLoud fits easily into a laptop bag or backpack. iLoud is powered by a Li-ion rechargeable battery with smart power-management features that reduce its power consumption so that it can be used for up to 10 hours without