Probably the best name for a piece of gear I’ve heard in ages, “SessionCake” from Yamaha is a little personal amp and headphone mixer that can be chained together for a whole band practice, jam session or synthesizer meet.
It (almost) fits in the palm of your hand, runs on a couple of batteries, and lets you connect up with a bunch of other people without having to drag amplifiers and sound equipment about with you. The red one (SC-01) is for guitar and bass, the blue one (SC-02) is for keyboard or microphone. They both have auxillary inputs for your phone or MP3 player and a headphone socket so you can hear yourself. But it gets cooler. SessionCakes can be hooked up to one another up to a maximum of 8 letting you hear the whole band. There’s a nice “Me” knob so you can set the personal level of your instrument without affecting what the others hear. The “Input” knob sets the level in the mix.
But we’re not quite done yet. The last feature is the ability to plug it into an iOS device for either effects or recording. So, for instance, you could be using Amplitude on your iPhone for guitar amp modelling. Or record your whole jam directly to an iPad. It’s an incredibly neat idea.
It occurs to me that these could be awesome boxes for “Synth Meets” where you get to wire all your synths together and have a good jam on headphones without disturbing the rest of the punters in the pub. Or maybe that’s not the point and actually, you want to be heard, in which case stick one of the headphones into a pair of speakers – job done.
Big in Japan
Sadly, as far as I can tell, the SessionCake is only available in Japan. Which is a terrible shame because I really quite like it. It’s a great little concept, a bit like the Jam Hub but I imagine massively cheaper and simpler. It’s like something Bastl Instruments should have done. I like the idea of wiring up a bunch of people, in a pub, using instruments, synths, phones and iPads and getting down with your SessionCake.
Not sure of the price at the moment but you can have some fun with Google Translate over at the Yamaha.jp website.