Barnes and Mullins

Barnes and Mullins

Fender goes digital with Sonic Ladder buyout

Fender has moved to secure its future in the digital world by buying Dublin-based software developer Sonic Ladder. Sonic Ladder’s Riffstation allows user to import audio, learn a basic guitar song for any song, master riffs and create custom tracks for jam sessions in any musical genre.

The purchase follows Fender Digital’s launch of Fender Tune for iOS and Android, which has now
surpassed 600,000 downloads, the company claims, along with a portfolio of additional digital applications and services said to be following this year.

‘We are thrilled to welcome Sonic Ladder to the Fender team as we continue to work toward building digital products for the next generation of musicians,’ said Ethan Kaplan, Chief Product Officer and General Manager, Fender Digital. ‘The expansion of the team allows us to further enhance our capabilities as a digital learning resource for Fender players globally.’

Fender says that with a new, cleaner full screen design, Riffstation web and iPhone users will continue to have access to a curated selection of top songs, popular and easy hits for beginners, simplified interaction, new songbook sorting functionality for easier access to favourite songs, as well as integration to the user’s Fender Connect account. At $34.99, Riffstation Pro, the downloadable Windows and MacOS desktop version geared toward advanced players and students, will continue to allow users to upload any digital audio file from their personal music library. Top features include: tempo adjustment, key or pitch transposing, the ability to isolate guitar or other instrument tracks, as well as looping sections by beat and auto metronome.

‘We are honored to have joined the Fender brand, one that is so rich with heritage, as the company
continues to evolve in the digital space,’ said Dan Barry, Vice President, Research and Development at Fender Digital and CEO/Co-Founder of Riffstation. ‘Alongside our newly integrated team at Fender, we will continue to bring an even more enhanced and positive musical experience for the booming base of Riffstation users.’


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