News from Zivix (Makers of the JamStik+ and PUC+)

If you don’t know Zivix, it is a Minnesota company that has made two digital music products: a MIDI guitar called the JamStik and a MIDI interface called the PUC.  Both items are now in their second generation, delineated by a “+”, which add Apple’s Bluetooth MIDI interface to the devices (the original versions each acted like a wi-fi hotspot).

As I have blogged about in the recent months, Bluetooth MIDI is a game changer as connection is a breeze, and you don’t need wires between your digital instrument and your primary device (so far, only recent Macs and iOS devices), all with very low latency.  Currently, there are only a handful of Bluetooth MIDI devices, but I expect to see many more in the months to come–it will eventually be a standard feature in every digital instrument.  But for right now, old MIDI devices need a interface to become Bluetooth MIDI, and that is where the PUC+ comes in.  The PUC+ can be attached to any kind of existing MIDI device by the 30+ year old 5 pin plug, or wit Bluetooth.  The PUC+ was just announced by Zivix this past week (see video at the bottom of this post).

Yesterday as part of Summer NAMM, Zivix announced a new partnership with Hal Leonard.  From the press release:

“We are pleased to be partnering with Hal Leonard, a company that has been a pioneer in the music education industry and one that has helped shaped its foundation with it leadership over the years,” said Ed Cannon, chief executive officer, Zivix LLC. “This relationship allows us to better engage with the music industry by introducing our award-winning products, and associated software applications for music education. Through Hal Leonard, and their strong dealer network, we gain a fresh perspective and potential integration opportunities, as we continue to innovate and offer easy to use tools and technology to allow more people to engage in learning and playing music.”

“This partnership is a result of continued emphasis and focus on providing solutions to our customers that enhance opportunities to bring in new players and provide creative tools for existing musician. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have the jamstik+ SmartGuitar and the PUC+ Wireless MIDI Interface in our product portfolio.” said Brad Smith, Senior Sales & Marketing Manager of Hal Leonard Corporation. “With us working together, we see a long term vision providing a gateway between their technology and our content to have more people get involved in guitar and new engaging options for existing players”.

Put in simple terms, Hal Leonard will be distributing the JamStik+ and PUC+, and Zivix will be able to access some of Hal Leonard’s outstanding guitar method content.  As music as the music publishing industry bothers me in regards to digital sheet music (or the lack and/or restriction thereof), Hal Leonard’s reach is much greater than “just” sheet music, and they already have existing agreements with other software and hardware providers such as Noteflight and AirTurn.

Currenty JamTutor, Zivix’s “linked” iPad App, teaches guitar via tablature (people don’t even know they are learning tablature).  In the “guitar” world, this is a valuable skill.  The Hal Leonard methods (whether the Hal Leonard Guitar Method or Essential Elements–both are basically the same) focus on teaching traditional notation first.  As music educators, we want guitarists who can read both notation and tablature.  So as you can surmise, I am excited about the opportunity for Zivix to bring Hal Leonard’s notation-first content to Jam Tutor.

This is great news for Hal Leonard, Zivix, consumers, and music educators.

(The PUC+ Announcement appears below)


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