NEWS: Awesome metal grandad gives hope to us all

Check out this cool 82-year-old metalhead, Owen Brown, cranking Megadeth’s ‘So Far, So Good …So What’ on vinyl. I’m not sure if he’s the world’s oldest headbanger – I think Dio’s got a good 30 or 40 years on him – but it’s still quite an achievement. 

And CLICK HERE to see metal albums on vinyl on eBay so you can be as cool as Owen.

NAMM 2009: New RJM switchers

RJM Music Technology has some very interesting products at NAMM this year. I’m especially interested in the Mini Amp Gizmo, a smaller, less expensive version of the regular Amp Gizmo. I’ve often toyed with the idea of having my Marshall DSL50 modded so I can switch between Clean and Crunch modes, and if I combine this with the Amp Gizmo and a MIDI switch I’ll be totally set.

If I was to combine that with the Effect Gizmo, I’d probably never leave the house again. I’d just be standing in front of my amp and pedal board, tweaking and riffing until I’m old and grey.

Here are the press releases:

RJM Music Technology Announces The Mini Amp Gizmo MIDI Amplifier Controller

RJM Music Technology, Inc., makers of the RG-16, Amp Gizmo and Mastermind, has announced the Mini Amp Gizmo, a size and cost reduced version of their popular Amp Gizmo product.

“In talking to many of our users, we found that the majority of them used their Amp Gizmos to control one multi-channel amp. By producing a MIDI amp controller specifically for that purpose, we were able to reduce both the size and cost of the product.” says Ron Menelli, RJM Music President and Product Designer.

Like the original Amp Gizmo, the Mini Amp Gizmo will interface any compatible amplifier to a MIDI foot controller, allowing musicians to simultaneously switch effects and amplifier channels with a single tap of a MIDI controller button. The Mini Amp Gizmo will work with any standard MIDI foot controller, and can phantom power many controllers.

RJM Music produces a wide range of amplifier interface cables that allows the Mini Amp Gizmo to control most amplifiers on the market – more than any other switcher available.

The Mini Amp Gizmo will be available in March 2009 and will have an MSRP of $259.99 and a US street price of $199.99.

RJM Music Technology Announces The Effect Gizmo MIDI-Based Audio Loop Switcher

RJM Music Technology, Inc., makers of the RG-16, Amp Gizmo and Mastermind, has announced the Effect Gizmo, the newest switcher in the RJM Music lineup. With this switcher, guitar players can connect up to twelve pedals or effects processors and can control them from any MIDI controller.

“This is the perfect solution for the player that prefers using a simple amp, but uses a lot of pedals to get a wide array of tones,” says Ron Menelli, RJM Music President. “We’ve put as many loops as we could in a single rack space, added stereo capability on the last four loops, and added our Click Stopper technology to drastically reduce switching noise.”

The Effect Gizmo also contains the features that made the RG-16 a favorite of musicians worldwide, including the acclaimed high-quality audio buffer circuit and the simplest user interface found in an audio loop switcher.

The Effect Gizmo will be available in March 2009 and will have an MSRP of $639.99 and a US street price of $549.99.

For more information, visit their web site at

NAMM 2009: EVH Wolfgangs available now from Musician’s Friend

Musician’s Friend has opened up preordering for the new EVH Wolfgang guitars.

CLICK HERE to buy EVH Wolfgang Guitars at

The guitars are made by Fender but released under the EVH brand name, as with Eddie’s new 5150 III amps.

The blurb on the Musician’s Friend site states: 

Since 1978, every hard rock guitarist has tried to be like Eddie Van Halen. Whether it’s emulating his two-hand tapping; stripped-down, single-pickup, single-knob axe; the renowned “brown sound;” wild whammy bar action; squealing artificial harmonics, or his just-go-for-it attitude.

Not merely artist-approved, the EVH Wolfgang is the result of Eddie’s total involvement and commitment. The Wolfgang is the outcome of two years of exhaustive research, testing and refining, revising, and tweaking by Eddie and his EVH crew. Wolfgang prototypes were given a grueling on-tour workout every night for over a year. As an example of EVH’s relentless pursuit of perfection, more than 80 pickups were tried and rejected before the company developed in-house the pickups that produced the “hitting me in the gut” sound that Eddie demanded.

EVH Wolfgang Guitars at Musician's Friend

Reflecting on the work that went into the new Wolfgang, Eddie observed, “Every aspect and component of this guitar has been examined and upgraded to the highest standards possible. We redid everything on this guitar. The only similarity to the previous Wolfgang is the body shape, and even that’s changed. You name it—stainless steel frets, double-potted custom-wound pickups, five-piece binding on the matching body and headstock, custom-made signature tuning machines and Floyd Rose bridge, new low-friction pots, and the list keeps going… we left no stone unturned.”

In addition to black and vintage white, the EVH Wolfgang comes in an opaque tobacco sunburst finish over a gorgeous quilted maple top. The EVH Wolfgang starts at $2,999.99.

Eddie has climbed the guitar summit and now shares his achievement with you. He’s done all the refining, road testing, and tweaking for you. Now it’s up to you.

NAMM 2009: IK Multimedia StealthPedal

Here’s a neat little idea from IK Multimedia. They’ve combined an audio interface with an expression pedal for control of wah, volume and pitch effects, or any other MIDI-controllable parameter. I use IK’s Amplitube program quite a lot and I’ve often wished I had the ability to control various effects with an expression pedal – like making a phaser speed up, or blending between two amp models.

Here’s the press release.

IK Multimedia Announces StealthPedal

IK Multimedia presents the StealthPedal, the first guitar audio interface/software controller in a compact wah-style pedal, allowing users to record, play and control the included “Powered By AmpliTube” software, or any other MIDI controllable software, with the same feel and ease of use as a traditional guitar pedal.

StealthPedal is an affordable USB-powered audio interface that also works as a software floor controller, allowing anyone to record guitar or bass with Mac/PC at the highest possible quality, with 24-bit A/D and D/A conversion and 44.1/48 kHz operation. Two separate inputs are provided for Hi-Z or line level instruments as well as two separate outputs, plus a convenient headphone output.

The built-in expression pedal and switch can be associated with any parameter of “Powered By AmpliTube” software, or any other amp and FX modeling software with MIDI control capabilities. The StealthPedal controls can also be expanded with an additional expression pedal and two extra switches for building a mini-pedalboard rig with preset and single effects control capabilities for full live/recording usage.
Users are not limited to controlling amp-simulator software with StealthPedal, as it can control any effects plug-in, virtual instrument or DAW with MIDI control capabilities.

StealthPedal sports a rugged, classic-wah style, compact enclosure with a volume
knob and three LED indicators that operate as a status display, tuner or level indicator when used with any “Powered by AmpliTube” software. StealthPedal’s circuit design has been derived from IK’s StompIO high-end stage controller, ensuring the highest fidelity in the recording of for your guitar and bass with software configurable input gain level, 109dBA low noise input stage and optimal audio quality throughout.

StealthPedal also comes with a must-have assortment of software including AmpliTube 2 Live guitar and bass amp and fx modeling software, standalone and plug-in, AmpliTube X-GEAR for further expandability with all “Powered by AmpliTube” software and Sonoma Riffworks™ T4 for immediate recording/composing/online sharing with your Mac or PC. The StealthPedal and the included plug-in is also compatible with all popular DAW software supporting ASIO and Core Audio drivers on PC and Mac.

Additionally when used with the “Powered by AmpliTube” software the system can be expanded to nearly 200 gear models including the all-time classic, exclusive sounds of Ampeg®, Jimi Hendrix™ and the just announced Fender® edition.
All of this makes the StealthPedal the most convenient, complete and expandable solution on the market, for playing/recording guitar and bass with the computer.

USB powered audio interface and pedal controller
2 balanced / unbalanced audio inputs (hi-Z or line level)
24 bit A/D and D/A conversion
44.1/48 kHz operation
2 balanced audio outputs
Headphones output
Volume control
Built-in expression pedal and MIDI foot-switch
Multiple LEDs can operate as Tuner or Level indicators with AmpliTube
External double switch and expression pedal inputs
Classic, rugged metal Wah-style construction
High-quality, low-noise input stage (109dBA /104dB RMS S/N ratio)
Control all “Powered by AmpliTube” software/plug-ins
Control any MIDI controllable software/plug-ins
Includes AmpliTube 2 Live standalone and plug-in, AmpliTube X-GEAR and Sonoma Riffworks™ T4
Compatible with all the most popular DAW software supporting ASIO and Core Audio drivers on PC and Mac.
Endless software expandability with AmpliTube modules

Price & Availability
StealthPedal will have an MSRP of €199.99 / $269.99 (excluding taxes) and will be available for shipping by the end of April 2009.

For more information, visit their web site at

CLICK HERE to see IK Multimedia products on eBay.