We electric guitar players can be a conservative lot. At least we tend to know what we like, don’t we? In today’s vastly complicated world, it can be of great comfort to recenter ourselves with the familiar feel of our favorite guitar.
Though the solidbody electric guitar was itself a radical innovation in the mid-twentieth century, when it comes to new concepts we can be reluctant to get onboard. Robot tuners included. Granted, it’s virtually impossible to improve on certain classic designs. But what if your axe was more than just a plank of wood? A lot more. Enter the “Smartguitar.”
In recent years, Lava Music (not to be confused with the American record label) has been causing a stir in the guitar world with some proudly futuristic designs – notably the Lava ME Pro and Lava ME 2 six-string models, and the Lava U ukulele-style instruments.
Now, the Lava ME 3 has landed. And it’s the company's most feature-laden design to date.
In the age of the smartphone Lava Music’s Lava ME 3 merges the all-too-familiar new normal with the age-old Spanish-style guitar. Indeed, with its built-in 3½-inch touchscreen the firm aims to “make guitar tools as intuitive as smartphones.”
Loaded with the HILAVA operating system, this high-tech axe features a wealth of guitar-centric apps including a tuner, metronome, looper, a bunch of different effects and a set of interactive practice functions.
With a large bank of sounds to explore the Lava ME 3’s Effects app does away with external equipment and comprises dozens of algorithms. These immersive sounds include various modulation effects along with atmospheric reverbs, delays and more.
Featuring “sound detection technology” the Lava ME 3’s Practice app guides the player in an interactive, real-time experience that serves to improve technique in five main areas, namely Chord Transition, Strumming, Scale Training, Ear Training and Single Note.
On the more creative side, the Loops app frees the player up from pedals, amps and cables and allows them to overdub multiple tracks with ease. The Lava ME 3 also features a comprehensive beat library to choose accompanying rhythms from. This is constantly being updated to keep things interesting.
With some cool accessories to match the Lava ME 3 is available in a variety of six finishes including Space Gray, White, Pink, Blue, Red and Soft Gold.
Visit the Lava Music website for more information.
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Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World, Guitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.