We were previously blown away by the Roadie 3 automatic guitar tuner – a device the size of a bar of soap that will wind your strings to the correct pitch. However, not content with innovating in the tuning world, the firm is now setting its sites on helping musicians to improve their technique with its nifty new box, the Roadie Coach.
The multifaceted Coach is a device that you mount on your guitar while practicing. It has a number of useful functions, including audio recording and the ability to act as a MIDI controller, but it's primarily designed as learning aid, offering feedback to players and helping them improve their tone and technique.
Guitarists can choose to learn songs from Roadie’s large catalogue of tunes – the Coach will then listen to the performance using its built-in contact mic and microphone combination, receiving live feedback from the device as they play (and, incredibly, sing).
It does this by comparing your playing to the original performance of the piece, and delivering notes and feedback via an accompanying app. All the songs also come with backing tracks.
In addition, Coach can act as a guitar-mounted multi-track audio recorder, making it easy to capture quick recordings. Obviously, the usefulness of this feature will be determined by the recording quality, but Roadie allows you to record in 16-bit wav or compressed audio – and maintains it makes a mockery of the typical echo-y phone demo – all of which sounds promising.
There's also a surprising amount of connectivity on offer, with a 1/8” audio-in and out, plus Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The latter means it can even function as a MIDI controller interface for your DAW using the two touch surfaces.
Roadie has certainly packed a lot of interesting and useful features into this small black box. Accordingly, it has smashed its $10,000 Kickstarter target, with current pledges already exceeding 10 times that amount.
The Roadie Coach is available to order from Kickstarter for $149, while the full retail price will clock in at $199.