-Super Custom IEM Cables and Snakes!
A few weeks ago, we received a call from a customer, Allan Maxwell, asking for more detailed measurements on the Rockon Cable and whether we could create a custom 4-channel snake. Of course, we were happy to provide the standard spec measurements, but we were even more stoked to help create a 4-channel snake that would streamline setup and clean up the stage!
Currently, Allan is using 4 separate XLR cables to get the setup he needs. The signals that would ultimately end up in the snake include:
1. In ear monitor mix left
2. In ear monitor mix right
3. Bass guitar (from DI box)
4. Vocal Mic (boom stand near effects pedal board)
::The In-Ear Monitor Signals
The first two XLR cables carry his in-ear monitor mix (both left and right, each it's own balanced line level signal that requires it's own XLR cable). The signals come from the output of his mixer (in the back of the stage setup), and then runs around the side of the stage and ends at his guitar effect pedal board. On his effects pedal board, Allan has a headphone amp with XLR inputs for left and right.
::The instrument signal (bass guitar)
Allan uses a DI box that lives on his effects pedal board. His signal flow starts at the bass itself, goes through his effect pedals, and then finally hits his DI box. The output of his DI box is mic level XLR. This is where the 3rd XLR cable comes into play. From the output of his DI box, his bass signal goes along the XLR back up to an input on his monitor mixer - which lives in the back of the stage. This third XLR actually runs along the same path on the stage as his IEM mix left and right cables.
::The Vocal mic signal
In addition to playing bass, Allan also sings in the band, and so has a vocal mic setup on a boom-stand just to the side of his effects pedal board. The fourth XLR in his setup is simply used to carry the mic signal from his vocal mic back to the input on his monitor mixer in the back of the stage. Again, this fourth XLR goes along the same path along the stage as the previously mentioned 3 XLRS.
Because all of these 4 signals were running basically from the same area of the stage (Allan's pedal board and vocal mic) to the mixer in the back, it made a ton of sense to think about making a snake.
::Needed to be custom
Sure, why not grab a 4 channel snake and call it done? Well, the problem is, most snakes that are readily available are designed to carry audio in one direction. Or, at least, the gender of the XLRs, is the same for all signals. Once you get into the 6 to 8 channel snakes, sometimes there are a couple channels that "send" audio, while the majority are for returns.
::Taking it one step further
We decided to make this thing super custom for Allan's needs. This is where we got out the measuring tape. Allan new that the snake would always run from one direction on the stage to his pedal board, and so the signal that hits his DI box (for his bass instrument signal) is actually slightly before the end of the snake. We ended up having this channel on the snake split out a bit early from the sleeving. This way, the remaining three cables could stay in the sleeving and make for an even cleaner setup.
Looking forward to seeing how the setup goes. Allan has offered to send in some photos of the final setup, and we will be sure to post them with a follow up blog post soon.
As always, please don't hesitate to hit us up with any questions at our contact page. We would be happy to work with you on your custom IEM setup!
Thanks for reading and rock on,
-The new model of the Tasty Blender is available!
We are very excited to announce that the Tasty Blender V2 is finished! The new model includes many new features. Please check out the product page and user manual to read up about all the new specs, but we will give a quick overview here.
"V2" is very much like the original model, in terms of usability, but the menu options have expanded quite a bit (on a per-channel basis, as well as global parameters). Here are some highlights:
1) The Blender V2 functions more like a true 3 channel digital mixer. Each channel has input trim gain, input 20dB boost, volume (0-99), pan, bass boost eq, limiter threshold.
Check out the following parameter navigation map. It shows all of the available settings for each channel and main output.
2) More control of your limiters. Each channel has a dedicated peak limiter with adjustable threshold. Note, there are still 3 stereo limiters in series on the stereo output with adjustable limiters.
3) Channel 3 is much more versitile. It now has adjustable volume control from 0-99. (The Tasty Blender V1 only had adjustable volume from 0-7). It can also accept a mono (TS) or a stereo signal (TRS). With this new stereo capability, you can plug in a TRS cable that has the left and right signals on the tip and ring of the connector. This is typically what you get from a laptop, cell phone, ipad, guitar amp simulator, metronome, or headphone signal (i.e. the output of another small mixer or Aviom setup).
4) Larger headroom on all inputs. The Blender V2 can now accept professional level full swing line level signals (+4dBu). On the original model, some users had experienced a minimal amount of clipping with larger signals.
5) Protective diode clamping on all inputs. This ensures that any large sound signals, un-intentional spikes, or ESD shocks can no longer damage the inputs.
6) Stereo output boost for use with larger "can" headphones (aka over-the-ear). This ensures that you get plenty of volume when using larger headphones. Note, with most IEMs, it is not necessary to use the output boost.
7) More robust power conditioning to reduce noise floor and overheating. The Blender V2 can only accept 9V power (pin + or pin -). Exceeding this voltage can damage the unit. Note, the Blender V1 was rated to higher input voltages, however it was pushing the limits of some of the components, and this lead to the occasional overheating and failure.
8) The power input jack is now a thru-hole part. The Blender V1 had a surface-mount part, meaning that it was more prone to ripping off the circuit board. Although it was not a common problem for users, we still wanted to improve the part. The new design is much stronger and will withstand much more lateral pressure. It is virtually impossible to rip it off the circuit board.
Thanks again for stopping by and we look forward to helping you with your order!
-Winter NAMM 2015
It's that time of year again. We're heading to the winter NAMM show!
We will be at Booth # 1183 (HALL E). If you're at the show, please come hang out and try out the gear.
This year we are trying something a little different; We have teamed up with Delicious Audio and are going to be providing Tasty Blenders and Rockon Cables for each of their effects pedal demo stations. The plan is to have 8 stations set up with a variety of effects pedals to try out.
Each station will have a variety of guitar effects and amp simulators. These will then be plugged into a Tasty Blender providing headphone or IEM amplification and limiting. If you have a set of IEMs, you are welcome to bring those along and try them out. There will also be a handful of axes ready for riffing.
While we are away at the show, please understand that we will not be able to answer your emails or calls as quickly. We will be at the show from Wednesday (Jan 21st) until the following Monday (Jan 26th). We will do our best to get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience as we catch up from the big NAMM wave.
Also, we are currently out of stock of the Tasty Blender and the Rockbox Limiter. Sorry, but we should have more in the following weeks after NAMM.
Thanks again for stopping by and we look forward to seeing you at the booth this weekend!
-Stompbox Exhibit 2014 in NYC
We are excited to sponsor this years Stompbox Exhibit in Broklyn NY! If you are in the area, definitely stop by to check it out. And if you'd like to try out hundreds of effects pedals, don't forget your axe!
This year it will be held at Main Drag Music (330 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211). The exhibit will be ready for rocking both Saturday and Sunday (Oct 25-26).
At this past summer NAMM we met Paolo, the editor of Deli Magazine. Paolo and his staff put on this really fun event, The Stombox Exhibit, where guitarists can try out hundreds of effects pedals. They have dozens of pedal designers and manufactures each setup various demo stations, where anyone can plug in and try them out. At each station they have a variety of effects that are fed into an amp simulator and finally a headphone amp.
In the past, they have always had each player plug in their guitar and headphones separately into the stations, but this year they are going to use a 3-foot version of our Rockon Cable to help streamline each setup:
We have been working hard the past couple weeks to complete the custom cable order, and during the process we took some pictures.
Above, we have a picture of the many TRS connectors in a pile. My, how they shine! If you like, you can check out the rest of the pictures on our flickr album page.
Again, thanks for all your support and we hope you can make it out to the Stombox Exhibit in NYC!
-Highlights from Nashville Summer NAMM 2014
First of all, we are back from Summer NAMM and that means that we are getting back into the swing of normal operations around here! Most importantly, all orders will ship within our usual time frame of 48 hours. Thank you for your patience over the past few weeks as we have caught up, and we look forward to helping you with your setup. Please use our contact page if you have any questions.
Also, our custom cable page has been temporarily disabled due to a recent surge in SPAM submissions. We are currently working on a solution and hope to have it up and running again soon. For now, please use our contact page to submit any custom cable orders.
Now, on to the fun stuff. We had another amazing year in Nashville! We met a ton of great people, including a lot of musicians, store owners, promoters and other fellow designers and manufacturers. It is always inspiring to meet and talk with everyone in the music business. This year, we wanted to highlight some of the great people we meet and some of the fun business opportunities Rock On Audio will be pursuing in the next year.
While setting up our booths on the day before the show, we met Tom Shaper, the creator of a fun new instrument, the Jasper Bridge Guitar. It is an interesting new take on how to play guitar that involves hammering the strings with a drumstick (from the back side of the strings). Along with many others at the show, we were able to give it a whirl at his booth. It was a blast, and we definitely recommend checking out his website.
Meet Tom Brislin. He stopped by our booth, and mentioned that he has been looking into an IEM solution for some time. After discussing how he usually wires up his keyboards and vocals, we decided that Tom would be a great guy to have on our beta testing team for the Sixer Mixer. He often runs his keyboards in stereo, and would really love to mix in a set of stereo room mics, and so having a few more channels is a must. We look forward to working with him more, and getting his feedback on the initial prototypes.
One of the funnest parts of going to a NAMM show, is that you never know what you are going to see! Here, we have the first acoustic guitar to have a whammy bar! Preduce Hendricks is the inventor of this beauty. He let us have a go, and it was really fun to play!
It is a little strange at first to hear an acoustic guitar strummed and then hear the pitches bend, but also awesome at the same time! You can follow his story at his facebook page. Looks like he just got another patent filed in early August. Congrats Predice and best of luck with the new business!
Since our return from Summer NAMM, we have continued to work on the Sixer Mixer prototype design. We received some very positive feedback from everyone that stopped by the booth, and look forward to working together with our beta testing team to further fine tune the design. We are currently finishing up the DSP core and user interface code, and hope to have some working prototypes built up and ready for beta testing in October, with a release of the final product sometime this winter. Please check out the The Sixer Mixer Forum Thread to learn more and join the conversation.
Again, thanks for your patience as we have caught up from the Summer NAMM rush, and we look forward to helping you with your orders asap!
-The Rock On Audio team
-Summer NAMM 2014
We are excited to be exhibiting at Summer NAMM this week! We will not be shipping any orders until we return next Wednesday, so please be patient. If you place an order while we are away, we will do our best to get it shipped off first thing Wednesday morning (7/23).
Also, we will not be 100% available during the next week, so please understand that we will do our best to respond to your emails or phone calls asap.
If you're in Nashville this weekend and are planning to attend the trade show, please stop by our booth (#260). We will be showing off our new six channel IEM personal mixer, called the "Sixer Mixer".
It is still in prototyping phase, but we hope to release the product live sometime this fall.
Again, thanks for your patience and we look forward to helping you with your orders asap!
-The Rock On Audio team
-Hand Soldering Blenders
During our last soldering session of Tasty Blenders, we thought it would be fun to take some pictures and share some of the assembly steps involved in making a Tasty Blender.
Before we begin any hand soldering, the assembly starts with surface mount parts.
Pictured above is a panel of 6 Tasty Blenders right before they go into the oven to re-flow. All these parts live on top surface of the circuit board, and that's why they're called "surface mount" parts.
We used a pick and place machine to get most of this work done very quickly.
In the picture above, Bob is setting up some reels to begin running the machine. If you'd like to see more pictures from that awesome day of electronics, click here.
After we're done populating the surface mount parts (and cleaning the boards), it's time to fire up the irons!
In this shot, Tyler is soldering on the first thru-hole part. It's called a "thru-hole" part because the part is pushed through a hole in the circuit board. We use solder to form the electrical connection and hold the part in place. Here, Tyler is soldering a pair of headers that hold the display in place. These headers elevate the display so it's flush with the face-plate. Without these, the display would sit too low, and you wouldn't be able to see your settings!
At this stage, we also add a little extra solder to the connection for the power jack input.
A few months ago, we had a couple customers contact us because their Blenders were no longer powering up. We immediately sent them replacements, and they were up and rocking again shortly. They returned their units to us, and it turns out the connectors had been slightly ripped off the circuit board. Although these failures seem to be isolated, we have now implemented this extra step to ensure a very strong connection on the power input. After assembly is complete, we now also put a healthy dab of gorilla glue under the connector to hold that sucker on there!
The final step is soldering into place the control knobs and the audio connectors.
Tyler is so fast at those display headers that he came over to help Mike with some of the audio jacks. What a great team player!
To see all the pictures from this epic day of soldering, please check out the complete photo set on our Flickr page. I hope you enjoyed seeing what it takes to assemble the Tasty Blender!
Thanks again for all your business and support!
-Summer NAMM 2013
We're exhibiting at Summer NAMM this weekend (booth # 622). Sorry, but we will be unable to ship any orders until this Monday (7/15).
We are very excited to be in Summer NAMM's new venue, The Music City Center. It is quite an impressive and beautiful building.
Along with our limiter products, we are showing some of our new Rockon Cable options. If you're at the show, come check out our booth along the SW wall (booth 622).
Thanks for your patience with recent orders. Any orders placed throughout the week and weekend will be shipped asap on Monday morning.
-Building Tasty Blenders!
Electronics assembly is fun - we love it! Pictured above is the first panel of Tasty Blender coming out of the re-flow oven. It's always an exciting moment to see the fresh new PCBs coming down the conveyor belt!
We want to share our excitement, so during the last build, we broke out the camera and took some pictures. To see all of the pictures from the day (and maybe geek out a bit about how electronics are made), check out our flickr page here:
-New drop down options for the Rockon Cable
We have seen a large increase in custom cable orders, and we thank you all for your business. To streamline this process, we have added new drop down menu options on the Rockon Cable product page.
You can now select your length (15', 20', 25' and 30') and instrument connector types (STR or RA) before checkout. If you have any other special requests (custom colors or gold plated connectors), please contact us via our contact page. We look forward to making your custom cable!
Thanks again for all your support and rock on,
A New Review of the Tasty Blender
As you can see in the video above, Cameron Johnson has been spreading the word about a few of our products. Thanks dude!!
In addition to this video focusing on the Blender, Cameron has an awesome gear review YouTube page. He goes by the name Serverin Steelsmith. With over 50 videos about gear, he also has a few featuring him on guitar playing some very tasty riffs. We highly recommend checking out his stuff.
Please feel free to visit the video on YouTube and post any comments or questions.
Cameron has also started some threads on various gear websites, so feel free to check them out as well:
Hope you enjoy the videos and threads. We look forward to reading your comments!
Thanks again Cameron and rock on,
Rock On Audio will be CLOSED this week (4/2 - 4/9)
Sorry folks, we will not be open during this next week (Tuesday through Tuesday). If you place your order, request a custom cable quote, or attempt to contact us, please note that we will be unable to respond until Wednesday morning, 4/10. Thank you for your patience with this, and we look forward to helping you!
Firmware upgrades are still available
In February, we found a bug in the firmware for the Tasty Blender. We would like to remind you all that if you want to upgrade the firmware on your unit, we are still offering this service free of charge. If you purchased a Tasty Blender prior to Feb 7th 2013, then your unit is effected by this bug. All orders placed after this date have the most recent firmware. Please click HERE to read more about it.
Pictures from Winter NAMM on our new Flickr account!
As promised, we have posted pictures from our recent trip to Winter NAMM 2013. Along with pictures of our booth setup, we also took some of our favorite other exhibitors.
You can view them all on our new Flickr account. CLICK HERE to check them out.
Hope you enjoy all the pictures! Thanks for all your support and rock on,
-Two important announcements!
(1) IPC EXPO
We will be in San Diego all of this week checking out the IPC EXPO. All orders placed during this week will be slightly delayed. We will be back in Colorado and shipping orders asap on Monday morning, February 25th. Sorry for any inconvenience, and thanks for understanding.
(2) TASTY BLENDER FIRMWARE UPGRADE
We have recently found a bug in the firmware for the Tasty Blender. If you purchased a Tasty Blender prior to Feb 7th 2013, then your unit is effected by this bug. All orders placed after this date have the most recent firmware. Please click HERE to read more about it.
-We're back from Winter NAMM!
In January we exhibited at the Winter NAMM trade show. This was our forth year at NAMM, and it proved to be yet another successful show. We enjoyed meeting lots of new store owners, distributors and future customers. It was also fun to have many of our past customers come visit the booth. We find it most rewarding to hear the success stories and how our products have enabled so many musicians to rock on. Thanks for stopping by!
Being musicians ourselves, we also enjoy wandering the show and seeing all the impressive displays of the latest products. On the last day of the show, we showed up an hour early, and had a chance to cruise the halls before the show opened up. We will be posting pictures soon!
We are looking forward to experiencing the IPC EXPO in San Diego this week. This is a trade show dedicated to the assembly of electronics. There are some very impressive machines on display, and we will be sure to take some pictures to share. Although most of our through-hole soldering is still done by hand here at Rock On Audio, it is fun to see how "the big boys" do it with massive conveyor belt systems connecting tons of automated machines! Maybe some day we will need this type of massive assembly line!
So thanks for understanding while we spend this week geekin' out on electronics assembly. We will be back in Colorado and shipping orders asap on Monday morning.
Thanks for all your support and rock on,
-We are exhibiting at Winter NAMM this week!!
As a quick reminder, this means that all orders placed during this week will ship mid-next week. We are back in Colorado on Tuesday (1/29), so we will do our best to ship your order right away.
We are currently setup in HALL E at BOOTH 1567. Please stop on by to check out the new products!
Over the past 5 years, most of our customers have been professional gigging musicians that are already educated about In-Ear Monitoring.
They find us online through YouTube, gear Forums and word of mouth. This has been awesome, and we truly appreciate your business!!
This year at NAMM, we want to expand our reach to the musicians that do not already know about IEMs.
In order to reach this goal we have created two new product packages:
In-Ear Monitoring Starter Kit I
In-Ear Monitoring Starter Kit II
We hope that offering these Starter Kits will help break the initial barrier into using In-Ear Monitors.
Over the past six months, we have been very busy buying inventory and building our products.
I want to send a big thank you to Bob Hunke and SparkFun Electronics for helping us get a big build of these done on their equipment.
It was a fun day of building electronics and we are excited to see our many hours of design work come to fruition.
Thanks again for all your support and we hope to see you at the booth, 1567-down in HALL E.
-The Tasty Blender is now available!
It has been almost two years of development to create the Tasty Blender, and we are very excited to finally release it into the wild!
We would like to send a HUGE THANK YOU to all of the collaborators on our online forum. It is with your help and support that we were able to complete this project.
Over the past couple months, the prototypes have performed very well for us - both in the rehearsal room and on a live stage. As with any new product release, we look forward to your feedback. Pleast don't hesitate to let us know how your initial experience with the product goes.
Over the past few weeks, we have been working hard to complete a detailed User Manual. In addition to viewing the product page, please take a minute to read the manual and learn about the many features of The Tasty Blender!
Also, if you'd like to see it in action, please check out this video taken at Summer NAMM 2012:
Thanks again for all your support!
-We're back from Summer NAMM 2012!
Summer NAMM was a blast! It's always fun to hang out at the booth and show off the new stuff! We received lots of positive feedback from everyone who stopped by, and we're very excited to release our new product: The Tasty Blender. Check out this video taken live at the booth. We explain some of the features and show how they are adjusted.
As the latest addition to Rock On Audio's product line, The Tasty Blender continues the tradition of innovation and provides yet another unique personal monitor system.
Following in the footsteps of it's analog predecessor (The Rockbox Limiter) The Tasty Blender adds many more features including: 3-channel input, stereo functionality and very sophisticated 3-stage stereo DSP limiting. Most importantly, the limiter includes "look ahead" technology that limits transient sounds before they ever hit your ears.
* 3-Channel mixer with heaphone output
* 24-bit/96Khz digital audio
* Advanced 3-stage protective limiting
* Ideal for IEMs
* Mono/Stereo modes
* Bass Frequency Control
* Wide power input range (5-16V)
* User friendly interface
* Channel 1: Line level (bal/un-bal)
* Channel 2: Line level (bal/un-bal)
* Channel 3: Line or Speaker level (un-bal)
* All 3 have adjustable thresholds
* Limiter 1: RMS with fast attack
* Limiter 2: RMS with slow attack
* Limiter 3: PEAK with fast attack
(also features unique look ahead protection)
Unfortunately, we are going to have to push back our launch date a few weeks. We have decided to take on 100% of the manufacturing. Transferring inventory and setting up our equipment will take a little extra time. Ultimately, this will lower the cost of the product to the customer and allow us to work with more dealers and distributors. Thank you for your patience with our change of plans.
Please contact us if you would like to be notified via email when the Tasty Blender is available for sale.
Thanks again for all your support!
-Summer NAMM 2012 is only two weeks away!
We are excited to be heading to Summer NAMM again this year - and it's only two weeks away! This year is going to be expecially awesome because we are releasing our newest product: The Tasty Blender. It's very similar to the Rockbox Limiter, but it has 3 channels in, stereo/mono mode, EQ and two adjustable stereo limiters.
Since the beginning of the Rockbox Limiter, customers have been seeing more and more stereo monitor mixes. When we initially designed the Rockbox Limiter, a stereo mix was un-heard of! It is great to see the cost of mixers coming down. Also, mixers seem to have more and more aux mixes. We hope that the new Tasty Blender will compliment all of these various setups and ultimately help musicians get better mixes and better limiting.
We will be at booth 210 (on the left hand side in the main hall). Please stop by and say hi. A great way to find us (and plan your NAMM visit) is using the interactive floor plan. We look forward to seeing you all at the booth!
-We received our Patent!
It's official: The US Patent and Trademark Office has deemed our method of in-ear monitoring unique. Our Patent Number is US 8,194,893 B1. It was issued on June 5th, 2012. We have spent almost 5 years working on this, and it feels pretty darn good to finaly have the "original red-ribbon copy" in our hands.
If you are interested in reading about it, you can view the entire document online here. Be sure to check out the stick figure drawings :)
It's exciting to be a part of this data base now. In the beginning, we did a ton of work searching through this data base - sifting through the many 100s of patents related to sound monitoring. Who knows if this will lead to any financial gains in the future, but it does provide a nice peace of mind.
If you have any questions about the Patent, or the process, please feel free to shoot us an email. We would be happy to share our story and lessons learned.
-A new musical project: Songs about Robots!
In addition to preparing for Summer NAMM, we have been working on a new musical project. It's called, Songs About Robots. It revolves around writing songs for robotics teams that compete in SparkFun's anual AVC.
Being our 4th year to play the event, we decided we'd like to hit the studio to lay down these fun songs. We have created this Kickstarter Project. Check out the video below, and if you would like to support us by pre-ordering your copy of the CD, that would be most appreciated!
As always, if you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact us.
Thanks again for all your support!
-Rockbox Limiters are back in stock!
The Rockbox Limiter is currently in-stock. Please place your orders as usual from our online store, and you can expect all orders to ship within 2 days. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.
-We are exhibiting at Summer NAMM 2012 in Nashville TN!
Yes, it's that time of year again - where all the designers, manufacturers, store owners and musicians gather at one place to rock out! We are very excited to announce that we will be exhibiting this summer in Nashville. Last time we attended we received Best in Show, and we are hoping to do it again! If you live in the area, or would like to make a trip to attend, please don't hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to hook you up with a pass. Please let us know asap, so we can reserve your badge.
-Custom Cable Orders slightly delayed.
We apologize if you have not yet received a quote for any custom cable requests. We are currently going through all of them, and we promise that your request will not be forgotten. Please hang tight, and you will receive a quote asap. Also, the turn around time for custom cables is slightly longer these days, but we are working to speed up our process so that we can once again turn a custom order in 3-5 days. Thanks for your patience with this matter, and please continue to submit any custom cable order you would like.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact us.
Thanks again for all your support!
-More Rockboxes coming soon.
The Rockbox Limiter is currently out of stock, but we plan to have more available by March 23rd. We are taking back orders, so if you would like to reserve a Rockbox please make a purchase from our online store as usual. You will receive an email within 24 hours about your backorder. If you have any other questions about how our back orders work, please don't hesitate to contact us.
-More Online Store features coming soon!
We are also working on getting our current in-stock quantity added to the product page. This new feature should be going live to the website sometime in March. Also, when our quantity in-stock hits zero, there will be a separate button for back-orders. We hope this can keep you more informed about the availability of our products and help avoid any confusion.
We have also received a lot of emails about the fact that many of our distributors are out of stock, or have posted that the Rockbox is "No Longer Available". We would like to assure you that we are continuing to manufacture the Rockbox, and we also plan to support the product for many years to come.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Thanks again for all your support!
- Performer Magazine Reviews the Rockbox!
Just a few months ago, we were very pleased to receive an email from a writer at Performer Magazine, Garret Frierson. He was interested in the Rockbox and wanted to schedule an interview to learn more about Rock On Audio. We eagerly replied and were talking with Garret within a few days. His finished article was published in the September issue as part of the magazine's gear review section. It is now actually on their homepage, and we are extremely thankful for the great amount of exposure. Thank you Garret for your awesome review! And thank you Performer Magazine for supporting us in this way!!
You can download the September issue here. I encourage all of you to check out the entire issue for all the other innovative gear they review, but if you are most interested in reading the Rockbox review, you can click on the image below:
Thanks again for all your support!
- The Customer Reviews Page is back!
We are very happy to announce the return of the customer reviews page. It was lost in the recent website upgrade, but now it is here to stay! We have also added a few of our favorite customer reviews to the right side bar of the site. Check 'em out!
- The long road to a patent...
The above picture is a drawing that was submitted with our original provisional patent for the Rockon Personal Monitor System in September of 2008. We never thought our stick figure drawing skills would come in so handy! If you like, click on the thumbnail above to see a larger image.
About a month ago, we received a letter from the US patent office claiming that our system is not truly original. Initially it was a bit of a bummer, but after thoroughly reviewing the documents, we still beleive that our system is worthy of a patent. The reviewer claims that it is similar to one patent in particular that was filed in 2004. The patent involves using a single cable monitoring system, but the most important part is that both the instrument signal and the monitor signal are digital audio signals. With this major difference (our system being analog), we still beleive that our system is unique enough and plan to continue with the patent process. We are currently working with our patent attorney to file our first rebuttal. It has been quite a long road toward getting a patent and we still have a lot of work ahead of us, but were not ready to give up yet!
Thanks again for all your support!
- The Rockbox is IN STOCK!
We are very happy to announce the return of stock! Please feel free to place your orders. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.
- The new website is up and running!
Here's a screenshot of the old look...
Wow, the new layout looks soooo much better. It's been a long couple months of coding HTML and PHP, but it's all been worth it. We have done some extensive in-house testing to make sure the site is running smoothly, but we know there's always a chance for a bug or two. Please don't hesitate to let us know if you notice any strange behavior. With all that being said, the new site is up and running, and seems to be working quite well. We are very excited about it, and hope you are too!
- We are now offering 3 types of Westone In-ear Monitors!
Last winter NAMM we meet the owners of Westone In-ear Monitors. We started talking about gear and they were really turned on by our Rockon Cable. They had a live band setup at their booth, and they were all monitoring with in-ears. They tried out our Rockon Cables, and loved them! After a few phone calls, we have made arrangements for Rock On Audio to start selling their in-ear monitors. We are very excited about this business relationship and can't wait to continue to work with Westone! Make sure to check out the new in-ears and packages available.
- New Section of the webiste: Live sound
We have been offering live sound for weddings and parties for a few years now, but we were only known about through word of mouth. We figured we should put up a section of the website to provide some info about our live sound reinforcement options. Looking forward to some more rocking summer shows!
Thanks again for all your support!
- The Australian Government has cleared us out again!
We are sorry to say that the RockBox Limiter is once again out of stock. The good news is: if parts arrive on time and production goes as planned, we hope to be re-stocked by June 15th.
You are welcome to backorder from our online store here. Please place your order as usual, and you will receive an additional email about your backorder within 24 hours. Your order will ship as soon as stock is replenished, (estimated June 15th). If you just can't wait, then we would encourage you to buy from one of our online distributors here: How do we so suddenly become out of stock? It's a funny story actually... Last summer we received an email from Brisbane, Australia. The gentleman was a audio products researcher for a company called Advanced Video Integration. He was inquiring about the Rockbox Limiter and asked about how it might work for their court recorders. While listening back to court room recordings, they needed some sort of protection against heavy microphone tapping and unwanted audio popping. After a few email exchanges, we agreed that, if set with a lower threshold of limiting, the Rockbox could do the job. We ironed out the details and a few months later every court room across Queensland had a Rockbox!
And so here we are again, almost a year later, and AVI has cleared out our inventory for a second time!
Thank you for patience, and if you have any questions about backorders please don't hesitate to contact us.
Also, please know that the Rockon Cable and Custom Orders are still avaiable, so please don't hesitate to order those if you like. We are doing everything we can to get Rockboxes back in stock ASAP.
Thanks again for all your support!
- The Forum is coming alive!
We are delighted to see so much involvement on the forum already. If you haven't already, please check it out here.
A discussion on the necessary features of a future product, "The Tasty Blender" has begun here.
We also really appreciate those who have shared their setup at the "Share Your Setup" thread here.
- The New Custom Order Page!
That's right! Check out that sweet new link on the menu to your left! You can now submit your custom orders via the Custom Orders Page. Would you like different connectors on your Rockon Cable? How about a different length? All these options and more are available on the new custom order form. Please submit the options you'd like to have, and we will get back to you with a quote within 3 business days. The average turn time on custom orders is now down to just one week - sometimes even less!
- A new product review.
It has been so busy since winter NAMM that unfortunately this product review slipped between the cracks. Although it is part of 2010's Top 10, it has not yet been part of our homepage posts - and so we'd like to highlight it now! We'd like to send a big thank you to Analog Warcry for doing an awesome product review. And an especially big thank you to the author of the article, Alfie Cruz. We are glad to hear you enjoy the Rockbox and Rockon Cable so much! Read the full review here.
Again, thanks for all your support on the Forum!
We look forward to hearing all your ideas!
2/17/2010 - The New Rock On Audio Forum is live!
-That's right, we've launched our own forum!
Due to the increasing amount of emails coming in, we thought a forum could help organize these questions and serve as a great resourse for new customers. Best of all, you'll be able to use the search engine and find posts relating to your question! You can check it out here. Please feel free to setup a user account and post your comments! We invite both new and old customers to join in. We would love to hear your feedback and any questions you have about the products. They will be answered ASAP.
-We had an exciting winter NAMM! We talked with a ton of dealers and distributors, and we met a ton of great musicians! We actually sold a setup to the singer from Coast to Coast. "Who's this?" you ask. I did too... After he had purchased the setup, I asked him, "Hey, what's the name of your group?" He responded with, "Well... I had a little ditty called, 'Do the Hucklebuck'" and then quickly raced off. A Google search will show that this song climbed the charts in 1981. It was #3 on the UK Singles Chart! The most fun part of NAMM is the fact that you never know who you are going to meet!
Another surprising encounter: On the walk back to the hotel one night, we met the music director for the Blue Man Group in Vegas. They are currently trying out the Rockbox for their wired band setup. It will be very exciting to see what happens with that lead!
We also met Franki from her band, Franki Doll and the Broken Toys. We exchanged CDs and checked it out on the long drive back to Colorado. It rocks, and we recommend that you check them out too!
Our new demo stations were a hit; people enjoyed listening to some music through our Rockboxs and Westone's UM-1 in ear monitors. We have been talking about carrying a few of their in-ears for a while now, and it looks like it will happen sometime this summer. It will be very exciting for us to offer a complete personal monitor setup - including our headphone amps and Westone's in ear monitors.
Looking forward to an exciting year ahead!
12/2/2010 - Gearing up for NAMM 2011!
-We can't believe it's already been a year since last winter NAMM! January 13th is going to be here soon, and we can't wait to setup our new booth! After having a seriously rocking Summer NAMM and being selected as 2010's Best in Show, we are very excited to see what happens in January! Over the past couple months we have been designing a demo station that we will setup this year at the booth. Including huge vintage volume knobs and arcade buttons, it will show off the many features of the new version of the Rockbox Limiter. Below are a couple pictures from the planning stages. Many more to come in the post-NAMM wrap-up!
Our booth number has changed from last year! We are going to be at Booth 1671. We're in roughly the same area as last year (the NW corner of Hall E). There is a very cool interactive floor plan at NAMM's website. Here's a screen shot of our location. Sadly, we won't be neighbors with the Spectraflex guys again, but I'm sure it will still be an awesome show! To find us, type "Rock On Audio" into the search bar and it will show you where to go.
Looking forward to a great show! See you there!
11/14/2010 - The new version of the Rockbox is finished and in-stock!
-That's right! The new version of the Rockbox is in-stock! So feel free to visit our online store to place your orders. It was in June of '09 when the very first version was posted live at the website. It has been quite a journey to get to the current design - many ups and downs throughout all the prototyping, but we wouldn't change a thing! Over the past 6 months my friend and mentor, Geoff Terrol, and I have spent many late nights discussing design choices. All of this work has accumulated into one thing: a better product. The four major improvements are:
1. The addition of what we like to call, "The Power Pop Protection". This feature protects your ears against loud pops caused by loss of power or power up. This involved adding a sequence chip that monitors the power input to the Rockbox and disconnects your in-ear monitors instantly if it detects a power loss. It also protects your ears against the initial "power-up pop" that you may experience with some sound gear. The sequence chip holds your in-ears at a "disconnected state" and upon power up, it waits about half a seconed to re-connect them. This allows enough time for the analog circuit to stableize - before your in-ears are even connected to the system. The end result... no more unwanted pops!
2. The Rockbox can now accept either polarity power plugs without having to open up the faceplate and change a switch. Simply plug in your 9V power supply (either Pin-Positive or Pin-Negative) and the Rockbox will function normally. This eliminates the need to open the faceplate to change your power polarity.
3. A new rock-solid driver section with improved stability on the feedback loop and better heat sink capabilities. The new design utilizes better feedback circuitry to eliminate any chances of ocillation in the driver section. We have also switched to a different package of the driver IC which includes a large heatsink pad underneath the chip to increase the heat dissapation. Both of these improvements lead to a more stable design and ensure that your Rockbox will not malfunction due to oscilation or overheating.
4. A protection circuit on the ring output of the Rockbox now allows you to patch out of the Rockbox with a mono cable (i.e. a standard guitar cable) into another device. This allows you to integrate the Rockbox into your current setup in many different ways. Some current users (mostly drummers) were interested in limiting only the mix they receive from the sound guy, but wish to mix the rest of their mix themselves. In this case, the Rockbox can now be used as an in-line limiter.
-The Contact page of the website now features an input form to submit questions! So please check it out and feel free to submit any questions you may have. Of course, you can always shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, but we figured this new option might be a bit easier.
-Winter NAMM is coming soon - just a couple months away and we can't wait! We are moving to a new booth location this year, but still down in Hall E. We will be in booth #1671. This year we are really stepping up our game... we have a new awesome rug, new features on the product and a new 2-person demo station (with actual arcade buttons to control the demo station). Please come on by the booth - we look forward to meeting you!
Thanks again for all your support and Rock on!
10/2/2010 - 2 new reviews, flat-rate internation shipping, and redesigning the Rockbox.-A lot has happened in the past two and a half months! It's been pretty crazy, but also very exciting! First up, there are two new reviews posted on the product review page here. Thank you for your feedback, Greg and Harker! The Rock On Audio google map is filling up quickly. Click on the image below to check it out: online store where you can add this extra shipping charge to your cart and include payment with one single payment. All orders within the US will continue to ship free via USPS priority mail (3-5 days). -And Third, there is a rather lengthy story to tell. It's about a band in Wisconsin that bought 3 Rockboxes, and two of them malfunctioned. After much extensive testing on the returned units, the cause of the problem has been pinpointed and the current design has been fixed. It was quite a stressful couple of months finding the cause and redesigning the product, but ultimately it was a good thing because all future Rockboxes will be a better product.
In late July, a band in WI had some problems with their Rockboxes. Their guitarist wrote us an email explaining what had happened, and we were immediately concerned to find the cause of the problem. After many email exchanges we got a pretty clear picture as to what happened. The first thing we did was send them two new units and request that they ship us the broken units asap. Then we bought some equipment to try and emulate their exact setup: a pair of Westone's UM1-s and a 20' headphone extension cable made by Radio Shack. It's a bit of a long story, but basically they bought 3 Rockboxes, and 2 of them malfunctioned due to oscillations on the driver op amp. While the malfunctioning Rockboxes were in the mail, we decided to do some testing on some known good Rockboxes. We wanted to verify if it was the combination of cables and ear buds that were causing the problem, or if those two Rockboxes were the problem. We also shot an email to our audio electronics mentor and friend, Geoff Terrel, to see if he had any thoughts about the problem. He recommended that we look for any high frequency oscillation on the output. He thought that (due to the current design on the output driver op amp) the various ear-buds could be causing the Rockbox to heat up.
7/12/2010 - Rock On Audio was selected for Best In Show at Summer NAMM!here. -Craig Anderton, from Harmony Central, stopped by the booth and did a quick video of me explaining the product. Thanks Craig! If you'd like to see lots of other products from Summer NAMM, you can see all of Harmony Centrals coverage at their Youtube Channel here. -There are a ton of exhibitors at the NAMM shows, and sometimes it's a little overwhelming to take it all in. Now that the enormous wave of Summer NAMM has settled, we can take our time surfing the internet coverage! I wanted to highlight some of the cool people I meet at the trade show, so here are some links to things worth checking out... Right next door, in booth 201, Mike and Jason from PZtronics were showing their kick ass array-style speakers. They are powered and have onboard DSP which creates insanely good flat response! Around the corner from me, with her own ear-molding setup, Cathy Peck from H.E.A.R. was educating about hearing loss and the benefit of in-ear monitors and musician ear plugs. She has a great organization going and her website is a huge resource if you have any questions about getting custom molds. And last but not least... I met Vinny and Connie from Indie Connect. They are focusing on indiependent music artists and have created an awesome community and resource. We share a common goal, to enable the rockers of the world to do what they do better! So there is just a few of the great things and people I found at Summer NAMM this year. As the emails keep flying in, I'm sure I will have even more links I will want to share! There will be lots more post NAMM action soon. A few magazines and website are working on some product reviews of the RockBox Limiter and Rockon Cable, so I will be sure to post links as soon as there up. Thanks again and Rock on! -Pete
6/9/2010 - New Testimonials, Summer NAMM and Australia!-This Testimonial is from Matt Mckeown, a pastor leader at his church in Daytona Beach Florida. They recently purchased 4 Rockbox Limiters and Cables, and they love 'em! Watch Matt's video to hear what he has to say. Thanks Matt!! -There are a few threads on PearlDrummersForum.com about in-ear monitor systems worth checking out. It seems that not only guitarists are getting excited about the Rockbox Limiter! When I first designed this product (for myself - a guitarist) I didn't realize that so many other types of musicians could benefit from it. Right on dudes! -Three new testimonials posted on the Those Who Rock testimonials page. Thank you Matt, Miles and Rob for your awesome reviews of the products. I'm psyched they are working so well for you, and I really appreciate your testimonials! -Summer NAMM is in Nashville next weekend, June 18th-20th. We'll be setup at table 202, so come check it out!
-In addition to drummers, keyboardists, violinists, and even singers, I have a new kind of user on the horizon: The Australian Department of Justice. A few months ago I received an email from a guy who installs sounds systems in court rooms down in Australia. He needed a way to protect the court room staffs' ears while they listen in to court room recordings. Apparently... feedback, dropped microphones, accidental loud "pops" don't only happen in rock n' roll :) Their staff uses in-ear monitors (for the isolation factor mostly), and they want to protect their ears against these harmful noises. After just a couple emails, he decided to buy one and test it out in the court room. I preset the threshold lower than usual ('cause I figured they wouldn't need the same volume as a loud stage enviorment), and I also removed the "speaker/line" switch to simplify setup. It worked great, and they are excited to begin using them all across the country! I never in my wildest dreams thought that I'd design an audio product that would be used in a court room, but alas, hear I am, about to spend then next couple months setting up Rockboxes all over Australia! It's been a crazy adventure starting this company. I am greatful to everyone who has beleived in the products, and I'm stoked to see them help people protect their ears, where ever that may be - on the stage, in the studio and beyond!! Thank you and Rock on! - Pete
5/26/2010-Rock On Audio was just featured in the Colorado Music Buzz! I would like to thank Guy Errickson for interviewing me and writing the article. I have known Guy for many years, and he has never failed to show an extreme passion for music. All of us, performers and listeners, truly appreciate your efforts, Guy - thanks! Most of the sales have been outside Colorado, so I am very excited to get this exposure in my home state and see some more local sales. You can read the article online here. -Summer NAMM is coming soon! Just two weeks away, and I can't wait to head to Nashville! The Show floor is open from June 18th-20th, 10am to 6pm. Please stop by and say hi! Again, if you would like to check it out, or have any friends in the area, please let me know and I'd be happy to hook you up with some passes! Registration is going on right now, so please drop me an email at email@example.com. Thanks and Rock on! -Pete
4/24/2010-Last Tuesday morning I was on Denver's Channel 9 News! I would like to send a big thank you to Randy Barber for the opportunity and for doing such a great job. Click below to watch, but you can also read the article on the 9news website here. -Things are really starting to pick up speed! Rockboxes and Rockon Cables are now being sold on three other websites. It's great exposure and awesome to think of all the new users, but I do miss knowing who is buying them - or at least what city they're from. That aside, it's really exciting to see the products up on websites that I, myself, have shopped for years: I believe there exists a certain "gentlemen's agreement" between distributors and manufacturers that I would like to abide by. Since we are both trying to sell the same great products, please hear me out: distributors and store owners provide exposure for the product and therefore deserve those sales generated by that exposure. If you found out about Rock On Audio via these websites, then please make your purchase through them. But, if you found out by other means (i.e. Youtube or a recommendation) please buy directly from us here. That being said, the new websites are offering free shipping... and so shall we! From here on out, all orders will ship free via USPS Priority Mail. -I also wanted to share a review that someone wrote on SameDayMusic.com. You can read it here. Thank you "Aaron's Beard From New York"... who ever you are. I'm glad it's working out so well for ya! -On June 18th, we're heading to Summer NAMM in Nashville, so please come check us out. For winter NAMM, they gave us 10 extra passes, so if you or anyone you know in Nashville would like to check out the show, I'd be happy to hook them up with a pass. Just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks again to all you rockers out there! May all your rocking be extremely tasty! Ooo, that reminds me... The Tasty Blender (aka a 3-channel Rockbox) is coming along and will be released this fall! Rock on! -Pete
3/7/2010-March 4th was an exciting day in the history of Rock On Audio. From this day forward Rockboxes will be made at Sparkfun Electronics! Usually I'm game for a good ol' fashioned Man Vs. Machine race, but in this case, I already know that I don't stand a chance! It took the Pick n' Place just under 90 seconds to populate the PCB! Check out this video: -Since winter NAMM, sales have been popping up all around the world. As of March 7th, There are now 41 happy customers out there! Check out this google map with all the current rockers' towns: those who rock would be happy to talk about gear!
-A print of the User Manual will no longer be included in the box. For your viewing pleasure, simply click here.-Check out this 3-fold brochure we had made for winter NAMM here. If you'd like a few to pass onto friends, please shoot me an email. -We're signed up for Summer NAMM in Nashville! So if you're in town, please stop on by the booth. It runs from June 18th-20th, and we'll be setup 10am-6pm each day. More details to come! -Check out the new FAQ page of the website. I've been getting swamped with emails since winter NAMM and I've noticed a few questions keep coming up. Please check these out, but feel free to shoot me an email with any other questions you may have (email@example.com). Thanks again for all your support everyone! Rock On! -Pete
We're back from NAMM and it was a total success! We met tons of store owners, distributors, rockers and innovators. The networking was amazing, and big things are in the works. After explaining the product about a thousands times, we realized that we needed a 30-second video on the website. The nice guys at Spectraflex (across the isle from us) were willing to film me giving a really quick rundown of how it works. Thanks Dave!Among the non-stop flow of people stopping by the booth, we managed to get quite a few on the demo setup to actually try out the system. I snapped a couple quick photos. It was pretty cool to meet Randell Kirsch, the bass player for the Beach Boys. Here he is - playing a little guitar on the demo setup: Westone's Webiste They had a demo setup at their booth with a full band using in-ears. They were all wired and actually using two cables each - one for instrument and a second headphone extension cable for their in-ear mix. Once I saw this, I had to show them the Rockon Cable! They gladly tried it out, and ended up using it for the entire weekend. Glad you guys dug it, thanks again for the ear buds! Overall, it was an amazing weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing our products used across the US, Guatemala, Portugal, Germany, Japan and beyond! Thanks to everyone who stopped by. It was great to meet all of you. Rock on!
Check out this new commercial! It is now featured on the the NAMM Music Trades Video Stage.We had a lot of fun making this, and I would like to send out a big thank you to everyone that helped make it happen. This includes Chris Rojas for the camera/lighting/editing, Gordon and Patrick for the rocking, and of course...Grandma Taylor for the comic relief! You can always watch more videos at the Rock On Audio YouTube Channel. Thanks for all your support and we'll see ya at the NAMM trade show this January at our booth, #1690 (HALL E). Rock on!
Rock On Audio is going to NAMM!
We are very excited to be attending the NAMM show this January. Our booth number is 1690, and we'll be located on the lower level near the NW corner. Please feel free to stop by and try out the demo setup. We will be unveiling the newest addition to the Rock On Audio product line: The Tasty Blender. It is a two channel verison of the Rockbox Limiter. Having the second channel is useful because it allows you to share a generic mix to all band mates, but then each member can add one more signal (i.e. themselves) to their personal mix. It allows everyone to have a tasty blend! Here's a picture I took from last year - ahh... sunny California awaits!
We just had 3 feet of snow in Colorado!
TWO NEW VIDEOS!!!
Stu plays the Star Spangled Banner at Red Rocks Amphitheater!! Check it out here:
Since May of '09, Steven Sperry and his band mate, Jason, have been using the Rockon Audio Personal Monitor System. This was their first time using In-Ear monitors, and Steven says it's been going well. He sent me a few photos, and we did a quick phone interview. In this video/slideshow, you get to hear some of their band, Texas114, along with some sound clips from the interview. Thanks again Steven! Rock on!
Stu and Glen (two guitarists from their band, Savage Henry) came over to shred some guitar and talk about their experience with the Rock On Audio Monitor System. For the past 4 years of performing in their band, they have used a high-end wireless in-ear monitor system. Recently, they switched over to the hard-wired system from Rock On Audio. In this video they talk about the benefits of this system and how much more they prefer rocking with this one!
After months of design work and solder fumes, the new Rock Box Limiter is done!
No matter what you send into the system (i.e. squeeling feedback), the output is limited to a safe level for your ears. It includes all of the great features of the original model, but also has some improvements:
1. A built-in limiter! Using in-ear monitors in a live performance can be dangerous. Without limiting the audio that hits your ears, unintended loud sounds (most importantly, feedback) can blast your ears. The Rock Box Limiter is designed to protect your ears. It has a set maximum output level and will never exceed this. So turn it up, don't worry and rock on!
2. Larger input range. It can accept signals of up to 7.5V peak to peak! This results in less distortion when you get a really loud signal from the sound guy!
3. Larger multi-color LED that changes colors when you switch between speaker and line level inputs. You can see from across the stage if you're on Speaker (green) or Line (blue).
4. Smaller size - giving you even more space on your pedal board.
5. New 1/4" TRS output jack. The output jack has changed: it is now a standard 1/4-inch TRS jack. This means you can plug standard headphones (or in-ears) directly into the Rock Box Limiter - making it more convinient for drummers and studio sessions!
6. Adjustable Power Polarity. You can now select the polarity on your power source. It still ships with the original 9V Power supply (center pin +), and it is setup to use this. But if your running a pedal rig with the oposite polarity (center pin NEG), you can switch it to match your setup. This allows for even easier daisy chaining and less cable adaptors!
Check out the online store for more pictures and to read more about these new features!
Check out this video explaining how the new system works:
The next generation of the Rock Box is curently being designed to include a built-in limiter! It will use the THAT 4320 analog engine and sounds awesome.
Rock On Audio teamed up with SparkFun Electronics for an advertizement! It was published in four different magazines (Servo, Circuit Seller, Nuts and Volts and Make) The picture was taken during a live performance at the Fox Theater in February '08. Check out that nice rock box sitting on the stage!
A new blog has been posted about the Beginnings of Rock on Audio. Check it out HERE.
"It works perfect for my in ears in an easy all-in-one package. No more wasting batteries!!"
-Mad Dog Boys, BC Canada
"The ability to take signal from practically anywhere on stage is invaluable!"
-Steve Sperry, guitarist/vocalist, Lubbock TX
"It's totally unobtrusive -no belt pack, which scores big points."
-Peter Healy, guitarist, Leipzig, Germany
|Copyright 2011 Rockonaudio LLC, Boulder CO USA|