If there'd never been any innovation in the world of musical instruments, we'd still be jamming on bone flutes and making beats by hitting rocks with a stick. Forward-thinking minds are worth celebrating, then, and that's what we're doing with the inaugural MusicRadar Innovation Award.
Brought to you in association with the MIA, this award is designed to recognise the most groundbreaking guitar, tech and drum products from the past 12 months. The winner will be announced at the MIA Awards on 18 November.
Browse through our gallery to see (in alphabetical order) the products that have made the shortlist. These were nominated by MusicRadar and the MIA's members. First up, it's the BluGuitar Amp1.
"We’ve seen several floor-standing pedalboard-type amps in the last couple of years, but Bluguitar’s Amp1 is in a completely different league, combining great tone and useful features with the simplicity of a classic vintage head."
Full review coming soon
Line 6 AMPLIFi 150
“Putting a music playback system and a versatile guitar amp in a single box is a mad/genius idea that actually works, and works well”
FULL REVIEW: Line 6 AMPLIFi 150
Ludwig Signet 105 TeraBeat kit
"A brilliant new self-assembly concept that's cleverly, elegantly and successfully engineered. It brings USA-built American rock maple Ludwig drums into the middle budget arena."
FULL REVIEW: Ludwig Signet 105 kit
Native Instruments Rise & Hit
"It's an absolutely stunning soundbank, taking in everything from orchestral swells to sci-fi rumbles, explosions and more. An amazing resource for sound designers and musicians alike."
FULL REVIEW: Native Instruments Rise & Hit
Ohm Force Ohm Studio
"While its operation as a DAW is basic, we're hugely enthusiastic about this ground- breaking online collaboration platform. It's got a long way to go but, for now, there's no other DAW that can do what Ohm Studio does."
FULL REVIEW: Ohm Force Ohm Studio
Roland System-1: Plug-Out Synthesizer
"It may be small but it sounds huge and the Plug-Out architecture makes it a great investment. Killer!"
FULL REVIEW: Roland System-1: Plug-Out Synthesizer
"The TM-2 is an affordable addition to your kit, and could well divert the sample-hungry hybrid drummer's attention from shelling out on an SPD-SX."
FULL REVIEW: Roland TM-2
Rotosound foil packaging
"The new innovative, air-tight packaging is made from foil. It provides an unparalleled moisture barrier ensuring strings will not tarnish or fade while in the packs, keeping them factory fresh until ready for use. The stable environment provided by these new packets ensures that the strings factory freshness is maintained until opened. The packaging has also been reduced by 90%, making the new packets incredibly eco-friendly.
Steinberg VST Connect Pro
"Steinberg's solid, practical remote recording system truly feels like the future - as long as your broadband's up to it."
FULL REVIEW: Steinberg VST Connect Pro
“There exists a vast tonal and price chasm between an average digital multi-effects device and a custom-built professional rig control system. G2 - with the right pedals - helps you sound more like the latter, but costs closer to the former, making it the pro-playing effects junkie's no-brainer of the year”.
FULL REVIEW: The GigRig G2