NEWS: Deluxe Guitars distributes RJM products in Australia

Deluxe Guitars in Melbourne is now distributing RJM Music Technology products in Australia.

Guitarist Steve Turner is an RJM endorser, and he talked about his RJM switching system when I interviewed him a few months ago. You can see the full interview here and visit Steve’s site here, but here’s what he had to say about his rig:

At the moment I am using their base model Amp Gizmo. You could think of it as an interface between your midi floor board and your non midi guitar amplifier. RJM make a bunch of different cables to connect the Amp Gizmo to the pedal input of your amp so it can be used with all sorts of guitar amplifiers.

You basically tell the Amp Gizmo what each midi patch will do to your amplifier. When you select a particular patch it triggers your amp mode, solo boost, effects loop or whatever else your amp can do via standard pedal input.

For guys out there struggling with multiple foot controllers this should really be ringing some alarm bells… It also has a ‘midi through’ to connect to whatever other midi gear you are running. From one midi floor board I can control my effects processor as well as the switchable settings on my Mesa Boogie. I don’t need to run the separate Mesa Boogie amp controller floor board anymore as the Amp Gizmo replaces everything it does. I control my amp features via midi. Amp and effects changes that used to take me three or four foot taps now take only one. When I am singing I don’t have the luxury of being able to look at my feet and perform an elaborate tap dance. Actually, dancing is not something I can do at the best of times! I would rather grab a beer and watch the ladies go for it.

I struck up a friendship with Ron from RJM and when I expressed an interest in upgrading to the RG-16 and Mastermind floor board he offered me an artist endorsement. The RG-16 does everything the Amp Gizmo does but also has 8 effects loops through which I will be able to run my analog pedals.

Once I integrate the RG-16 to my live rack I will be able to use my analog pedals and have everything – the amplifier, the effects processor and my individual pedals –controlled via the Mastermind midi controller and RG-16. Allan Holdsworth and Dweezil Zappa use RJM so that has to say something about the quality and design!

NEWS: New releases 24/11/2008

This week is likely to be dominated by Chinese Democracy. At the moment it’s not available to buy on Amazon, but CDJapan.co.jp is selling two versions. I’ve included a Benny Goodman/Charlie Christian album on the list here – I’m trying to include more diverse types of music on the site, so lemmie know if there are any particular jazz artists you’d like to see covered, and I’ll do my best.

Click on any title to buy the CD.

Guns N’ Roses – Chinese Democracy Geffen
Some great songs, killer production and monster guitar playing (including solos by Buckethead, Bumblefoot and Robin Finck). Something here for casual G’n’R fans, diehard Axl fans and massive guitar geeks like myself, but if you’re part of the ‘Man, it’ll never be the same without Slash’ club, just try to ignore the use of the band name and enjoy it for what it is, not what it isn’t. CLICK HERE to buy the limited edition SHM-CD version.

Benny Goodman Sextet (featuring Charlie Christian) – Solo Flight Definitive Spain
This release contains some of the best live recordings by the Benny Goodman Sextet featuring Charlie Christian. Taken from rare radio broadcasts, they present the magic of Christian’s guitar during his short-lived three year music career. This release also includes the complete 1939 jam session by the Jerry Jerome Quartet, showcasing extended solos by Christian.

Metallica – Metallica [Deluxe 4 LP Vinyl] Warner Brothers
Metallica’s classic ‘black album’ reissued on vinyl, in a deluxe 4-LP set. You know the songs, you know the history, you know this is the best way to hear it. The album was originally released back when everything still came out on vinyl, although back then it was a single disc, so this isn’t exactly a reissue. If they really wanted to be faithful to the original release, I’m sure they’d release it on a poorly-dubbed TDK cassette with ‘METTALLICCA – BLACK ALBUM’ written in pen. Also available in a 2-LP version.

Bryan Beller – Thanks in Advance Onion Boy Records
Already available from Beller’s website, this fantastic album gets a wider release this week. Featuring guest appearances by Mike Keneally, Rick Musallem, Marco Minnemann and more, expect complex orchestration and amazing musicianship in addition to Beller’s killer bass playing. Check out my review here and my interview with Bryan here.

Living Colour – The Paris Concert Inakustic Gmbh
Yet another new Living Colour live recording. It’s great to see them back kicking ass, and I hope they release a new studio album soon. In the meantime, this July 2007 set includes classics like ‘Type,’ ‘Ignorance Is Bliss,’ ‘Go Away,’ Jimi’s ‘Crosstown Traffic,’ and more recent songs including ‘Flying’ and ‘Sacred Ground.’ CLICK HERE to see a preview of ‘Go Away.’