Hands-On Review:TASCAM MP-GT1
By Jeff Laity
Marketing Manager, TASCAM
TASCAM’s MP-GT1 is the first MP3 player designed for musicians. Based on our award-winning CD Trainers, this fun, mobile guitar trainer includes enough memory to store up to 240 songs. Guitar parts can be slowed down, looped, and even eliminated to help you to learn new riffs and play along. Play back MP3s using Variable Speed Audition, which slows down the speed without changing the pitch, and sections can be seamlessly looped while practicing tricky passages. Songs can even be pitched up or down to match the tuning of your guitar, so you don’t have to retune for every song.
Plug in and burn
A great musician is always learning new music, but few pieces of gear have come along to help you play better. TASCAM launched our CD-GT1 more than five years ago, and the CD-GT2 is the latest generation of that trainer. When Leland Sklar needed to learn the Toto catalog for their world tour, he used one of our bass trainers before getting onstage. The MP-GT1 is an even more portable version of our award-winning trainers, storing 240 songs in a package smaller than a stompbox. (240 songs may not sound like much, until you start to learn them all. . .)
Once you’ve loaded MP3 files into the MP-GT1—using the high-speed USB connection that also charges the unit —take advantage of the Variable Speed Audition features. During playback, press the I/O button before a lick you want to learn, then press it again after the lick ends. That’s all you need to do to loop and start practicing the section of a song. Accessing the Variable Speed Audition features, you can change the playback tempo to half speed without changing the pitch, so you don’t have to retune your guitar. As you learn the part note-by-note, gradually increase the tempo back to full speed, or even up to +16% speed when you’re ready to burn.
If the recording was made at a different tuning than your guitar, like drop-tuned to D or Db, you can change the tuning of the playback to match your guitar without retuning. There’s a Guitar Eliminate feature that removes the original part from the recording for playing the part with the original backup band. A chromatic tuner and metronome are also included—the metronome is helpful for practicing scales and warming up.
We didn’t forget the tone
The guitar input lets you rock along with thick overdrive, amp simulation, and multi-effects like delay, reverb, flange, and tremolo. Just plug into the 1/4" jack and use the balance buttons to control the mix between your guitar and the MP3. There’s a line out if you want to use the MP-GT1 for recording or as a preamp. With the Guitar Cancel feature, you can record your own solo fronting the best bands in the world.
Also available from TASCAM, the MP-BT1 Bass Trainer includes effects tailored for bass-like compression and chorus. The playback section includes a Bass Enhance effect so you can pick out the bass parts on classic albums, and a Bass Cut function so you can play along. There’s also an MP-VT1 trainer for vocals, keyboards, brass, and wind instruments.
The MP-GT1 uses a high-speed USB connection to load up MP3s and charge the built-in battery. Zip through your MP3 collection using a data wheel, dedicated buttons, and a graphical LCD display. A rechargeable nine-hour lithium ion battery is built into the unit and an optional power supply is also available.
Put 240 songs in your gig bag with the MP-GT1, the first MP3 Trainer designed for musicians.