Product Review: Yamaha SessionCake SC-01

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Yamaha has produced this great little mixer pedal, the Yamaha SC-01 SessionCake. It enables a guitarist or bass player to practice silently and is ideal for people who want to rehearse late at night without disturbing anyone they live with or nearby neighbors if you live in an apartment or somewhere else where you have to be quiet. It also can allow seven additional units (utilizing the SessionCake SC-02) to link to it for vocals, keys, and electronic drum kits allowing for jam sessions or rehearsals. Just imagine — a full band rehearsal with no more banging on the walls from neighbors telling you to turn it down!

As I only had one SC-01 to test out, I couldn’t see how well things worked when linking up with other players. However, it worked great as a personal practice device. It is as a mini mixer for solo gigs with the auxiliary output. It has a 3.5-mm headphone jack and auxiliary mini stereo input through which you could connect your guitar and phone or other music players. You can also add some effects to your guitar using an app or could play along to any tunes from your collection or online.

I have often practiced using headphones through various practice amps, but what makes this different is the ability to jam with other players and create your own personal mix. It’s also great to be able to practice quietly along with other songs and get the mix just right and for testing out different effects apps on your phone. The quality of the sounds you get through the mixer is impressive — it definitely doesn’t take away any of the sound quality.

As a guitar teacher, I have found that some of my students tend to be a bit self-conscious when practicing and this is an excellent way for them to crank it up and test out sounds privately. With four control knobs and almost a plug-and-play set-up, it’s very user-friendly. It’s so lightweight, portable, versatile, and reasonably priced, it’s almost a no-brainer as to why a guitarist wouldn’t add the SessionCake to their arsenal. It runs on two AA batteries, weighs under a pound, and the dimensions are 4.5 x 2.5 x 5.5 inches square so that you can grab and go.

I am looking forward to exploring more with the SC-01, linking up with other players through the SessionCake SC-02, and rehearsing. All in all, SessionCake is a convenient and fun little gadget.  Stay tuned for more on the SessionCake SC-02 after I’ve had a chance to check that out!

 

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Sasha Vallely has been performing across the globe for over a decade with bands such as Sash The Bash, Midnight Larks, Spindrift and The Warlocks, she has guested with The Brian Jonestown Massacre, members of QOTSA, The Hives, Portishead, Massive Attack, Cat Power, Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, The Seeds, The Blacks Angels and Jello Biafra along with many others. She has composed independent film scores and feature films such as El Gringo starring Christian Slater, directed music videos and produced and starred in the documentary Spindrift, Ghost of The West. www.sashthebash.com

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