Following up on my quick look at Vox's JamVOX III software, I recently learned about Riffstation a new guitar software package for Windows. Riffstation is another take on the idea of building backing tracks from your existing MP3 library. As with JamVOX you can isolate or cancel guitar parts in songs to make it easy to learn or jam along. While Riffstation does not include amp or effects modeling like JamVOX, it goes a lot further in enabling you to recombine and mess with existing MP3 files. For example, you can independently change the speed or key of songs, which is handy when you're learning a new song.
Riffstation includes 3 major modules:
- Jam Master -- Guitar isolation and speed / pitch editor
- Riff Builder -- Ability to combine arbitrary bars (or beats) of a song
- Chord Viewer -- Analyze a song to show its chords
Where Riffstation really goes over the top, is with the Riffbuilder module which lets you combine different bars (or beats) of a song into a brand new sequence, effectively creating a new backing track that is sonically similar but musically completely different from where you started. This is so strange and powerful that it blows my mind. You could, for example, take segments of some mother of all Led Zep songs, change the key, change the pitch, recombine two bars of the chorus with 4 bars of the verse and totally create your own mashup song. The user interface detects where bars begin and end so that it's easy to do this accurately. This is frigging crazy! Take a look at the video below for an example of some of the features.
Riffstation is a new product and it's initially available just for Windows for €39.99 which is roughly $52 USD. There's also a trial version for Windows, though it looks to have a weird nag timeout every 5 minutes. (Really? In 2012?) I'm looking forward to testing out the Mac version once it becomes available, but hopefully without the 5 minute interruption. This is crazy innovative stuff and well worth checking out.