Thingamagig is an Alexa-enabled multi-effects processor and revolutionary new backing track system for electric guitar.
Like other multi-effects processors on the market (Line 6 Helix, Boss and Headrush floor units, etc), it creates blindfold-accurate digital representations of amplifiers, cabs, and effects and is meant to be played through headphones, speakers or monitors.
But, really, it's a different animal entirely:
100% voice-controllable (w/touchscreen backup)
No knobs, pedals or switches
Internet-connected, always receiving updates and enhancements
180 FREE backing tracks in various styles, tempos and keys
17 amplifier sims, thousands of tonal combinations
300+ custom tones from the AutoRoadie™ library (FREE and always growing)
Magnetic- and piezo-to-acoustic simulation
What is AutoRoadie™?
AutoRoadie™ ($5.99/mo or $4.80 with Amazon Prime) is an entirely new type of streaming backing track service that
Controls your tone, effects and loopers automatically during playback
Features 100+ (and growing) iconic songs from rock history (Pumpkins, Clapton, Doobies, Palmer, Muse, Paramore, Green Day, Deftones, Radiohead...)
Lets you change key on-the-fly to fit your vocal range or guitar's tuning
Lets you change tempo on-the-fly to fit your skill level
Lets you mute/unmute bass or melody (to play with a bassist or sing along)
Lets you adjust the instrument mix on-the-fly
NOTE: All Auto-Roadie *tones* are available without subscription. Subscription is required for playback only.
The difference (vs jamming along to YouTube or Spotify) is that AutoRoadie™ understands the underlying musical compositionand is in control of your guitar tone -- this allows it to operate your "pedals" for you. You don't have to do anything except play!
Thingamagig is NOT a professional studio or stage product. It's designed for ease-of-use, flexibility and jamming at home. Effects are toggle on/off to facilitate voice control so if you are seeking to dial precise tones, you should get a floor unit like those mentioned above.
Thingamagig isNOT mass-manufactured. Each unit is hand-painted (don't expect robotic perfection!) and assembled in the USA in small quantities.
Thingamagig isNOT a privacy-invader. It contains no microphones or cameras and transmits only one bit of outbound data from your network: "I'm on/off". AutoRoadie™ does keep track of which songs you request in order to suggest music you might want to play next (like Netflix, YouTube, etc). Thingamagig also makes note of requests like "increase the volume of the bass track" so that if we see many similar requests for the same song, we can adjust the mix of that song for everyone.
Thingamagig is suitable for guitarists of all skill levels. The AutoRoadie™ library features songs of all difficulty levels but even the harder songs can be slowed down to facilitate learning.
An Alexa device with a screen (Echo Show 5 or 8 recommended)
Fire TV also works, but requires button-pressing
Solid Wi-Fi - DO NOT BUY THINGAMAGIG IF YOUR WIFI IS SPOTTY
Headphones or speakers (mileage will vary). DON'T USE A GUITAR AMP. You're going to want some bass response.
Specs + parts
Stereo (many famous tones simply aren't reproducible in mono)
5V - 3A power supply included
10ft 1/4" stereo male to 3.5mm stereo male cable included
3.5mm female to dual RCA (R/L) male adapter included
3.5mm female to dual 1/4" mono (R/L) male adapter included
1/4" stereo to 3.5" female adapter included
Small-capacity USB thumb drive included (used for configuring WiFi)
Speakers/headphones NOT included
Alexa device NOT included
Dimensions: 3" x 3" x 6.25"
16ms digital conversion latency (equiv. to speaker distance of 19.2ft)
Speakers (tested by Thingamagig staff)
Generally, speakers are a balance of bass output, loudness, accuracy and cost and there are more options on the market than we could possibly cover here. But for guidance, here are some speakers we've tested.
$99 budget speakers - These feature 2 mixed inputs (for Alexa + Thingamagig) but lack strong bass output
Better speakers and better speakers 2 - These produce a better sound, but support only 1 audio input at a time (so you'll need a separate mixer or let your Alexa device use its built-in speaker)
Floor monitor - Not as accurate as studio monitors and has only 2 mono inputs (L/R) and a single mixed mono output , but LOUD(!). If you can afford 2 of these (for true stereo), this is your face-melter option.