Check out the latest programmable pedalboard from Digitech. Nice display, huh? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a multi effects unit with a display that big. Wait a minute, is that… nah, it couldn’t be… wait, it is! Well I’ll be! The iPB-10 actually holds an iPad, clutching the groundbreaking Apple tablet device to its metallic bosom like, well, like I did when I got my iPad a few weeks ago. DigiTech knows that multi effect units – even their own – have always suffered from cramped screens, but a full-colour, oversized display would be prohibitively expensive to add to such a device. With the iPB-10, DigiTech lets Apple take care of that aspect so they can focus on what they do best: making kickass effects and amp simulations.
Hey! I just interviewed Del Marquis – guitarist from Scissor Sisters – for Beat magazine. You can check it out here. There are some really cool insights into what it takes to play for a band like Scissor Sisters – including the enviable indulgence of getting to use a different guitar for every song live. Jealous! We also talked about his forthcoming solo album recorded with members of Prince’s original New Power Generation, which will no doubt be super funky and awesome. So go show Beat some love!
This triumvirate of AMT Electronics preamps share a lot of common features, providing slight but essential differences for the discerning player. ie: obsessive tone geeks like you and I.
SS-11A & SS-11B PREAMPS
First let’s check out the SS-11A and SS-11B preamps. These fully valve-based 4-stage overdrive pedals each feature twin 12AX7 preamp tubes with three separate channels – Clean, Overdrive and Lead, the latter two appearing under a shared ‘Drive’ category. You can select between Clean and Drive with the chunky footswitch on the left, and toggle between Crunch and Lead with the right switch. There’s no bypass, but this unit is not designed to be used like an on/off distortion pedal. Each pedal has an effects loop which is always engaged. The pedals are designed to be used as a true preamp – that is, either feeding an amp’s power amp via a preamp input/effects loop return jack, or feeding an actual rackmounted power amp. There’s also a switch to select between amp and mixer outputs, so you can crank these babies through your desk either live or in the studio. The mixer output features a transistor-based guitar cabinet impulse response emulator to provide a natural-feeling response. I tested the pedals both ways – through a Marshall DSL50 and various AVID Mboxes – and the results were great either way. Recordists will appreciate the ‘plug in and simply sound great’ nature of the emulated out, while live players will dig the ability to completely revoice their amp by effectively excising their existing preamp and replacing it with one of these bad boys.
Hey! Head over to Musicosphere to read Sem’s review of the Line 6 James Tyler Variax and POD HD Pro. There are a bunch of sound clips too which really show off what this setup can do.
The legendary Roger Mayer is gearing up to release a new line of pedals called the Voodoo TC line. Designed to meet a demand for smaller pedals (and with a very cool atomic-era design style that I just love), Roger’s added a very handy feature: the Drive control be controlled by foot. Over at the Roger Mayer Effectpedals Facebook page, you can have your say on which of the existing pedals should be relaesed in this new Voodoo TC enclosure.
Now this is cool. I’m about to start compiling a post about holiday gift ideas, but I’m going to start early with this awesome Taylor Guitars Player’s Bundle. Check it out: Player’s Bundle All the guitar essentials in one specially priced package ($24 savings). Includes an ultra-portable travel guitar stand, brown suede/web guitar strap, polish cloth, digital tuner, and a pack of medium Taylor picks (10). Includes gift bag and tissue paper. $99.00 (retail value: $123.00 – that’s a saving of $24!).
By the way, if you haven’t checked it out yet, go have a look at my custom Taylor Solidbody, which I should be getting my mitts on soon. I’ll be sure to shoot plenty of video of the guitar when it arrives so you too can experience its mighty glory!
A press release just landed in my inbox from J21, a musician of impeccable taste in collaborators. Just look who he’s surrounded himself with on his album Beyond The Holographic Veil: Don Preston, Scott Thunes, Ed Mann and Robert Martin from Frank Zappa’s ensembles, Mike Garson and Reeves Gabrels of David Bowie’s band, Marco Minnemann, Geoff Tyson… and the music itself is very cool – proggy stuff that I just know my mate Steve Turner would dig. Order the album here.
J21: ‘BEYOND THE HOLOGRAPHIC VEIL’
“UNLIKE NORMAL PHOTOGRAPHS, EVERY PORTION OF A PIECE OF HOLOGRAPHIC FILM CONTAINS ALL OF THE INFORMATION OF THE WHOLE. IF A HOLOGRAPHIC PLATE IS BROKEN INTO FRAGMENTS, EACH PIECE CAN STILL BE USED TO RE-CONSTRUCT THE ENTIRE IMAGE. JUST LIKE IN A HOLOGRAM, WE CAN SEARCH FOR THE ANSWERS OF THE QUESTIONS THAT THE WHOLE UNIVERSE PRESENTS US IN EACH ONE OF OUR ATOMS. WE ARE THE CENTRE AND THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE AT THE SAME TIME”
Floating World Records are inordinately proud to present Beyond The Holographic Veil, a dazzling and diverse new album from the fertile imagination of Spanish-born guitarist J21. A thoughtful and inventive, beautifully-packaged set that also features guest performances by the likes of ex original Mother of Invention, keyboard ace Don Preston, David Bowie alumni Mike Garson (the guy who provided the incredible, atonal and innovative piano solo on Aladdin Sane) and guitarist Reeves Gabrels, as well as the likes of Scott Thunes (formerly of Frank Zappa’s 1980s bands, as well as lining up with Wayne Kramer of The MC5), Beyond The Holographic Veil is an incredibly absorbing listen that creates a kind of alternate universe of the imagination.
Check out this new gizmo from Line 6, for plugging your guitar into your iPhone or iPad. It plugs into the digital audio input on the dock connector on the bottom of the iPhone or iPad, rather than the lo-fi analog input, and it works with any app that uses CoreAudio. I’m really excited by this, because I’ve been pretty dissatisfied with the interfaces I’ve tried that use the lo-fi input.
Here’s the press release:
LINE 6 SHIPS THE NEW MOBILE IN™ PREMIUM DIGITAL GUITAR INTERFACE AND MOBILE POD® APP, WHICH CONNECT GUITARS TO APPLE® iPhone® AND iPad® DEVICES
—Guitarists can turn their iOS devices into portable Line 6 POD® multi-effect processors—
CALABASAS, Calif.—November 15, 2011—Line 6, Inc. (line6.com), the industry leader in digital modeling technology for musicians, announced today the shipment of Mobile In™ premium digital guitar interface and Mobile POD® guitar tone app. The new hardware and app allow guitarists to connect an electric guitar to their iPhone or iPad, which gives them the same high-quality sounds they’d get if they were playing from a wide variety of famous guitar amplifiers, speakers and effects including distortion, chorus and reverb.
The Eternal Descent graphic novel series created by writer/musician Lexi Leon is kickass anyway you look at it, but especially from a guitarist’s point of view. A supernatural tale of epic proportions, it features among its list of characters the members of Static X, Atreyu, Firewind and Shadows Fall and Lord Shred himself, Joe Satriani. There is music to accompany the graphic novels too, composed and performed by the very talented Leon with legendary producer/engineer Eddie Kramer (you know him – he’s worked with Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, KISS and about a billion more). The DigiTech Lyra is designed to take several of the tones used on the Eternal Descent recordings and present them in easily accessible stomp box form, either for fans of the series or just for those looking for some interesting and unique tones sculpted by some very talented folks.
Just saw this article from the Toronto Sun wherein the magnificently talented Mr. Jeff Martin of The Tea Party says of the band’s recent reunion shows: “This is not a victory lap, that’s for sure. This is permanent.”
The band got back together recently for a few shows, with the usual caveat of “We’ll just see how it goes.” Well I guess it goes good, cos Martin said this:
“I want to take it back to where I feel the band left off at its height of creative powers. I guess that would be somewhere between (1995’s) The Edges of Twilight and (1997’s) Transmission. That was the period where we weren’t succumbing to outside pressure. It was just us, for better or worse. The thing that The Tea Party was known for, the thing fans looked to us for, was that mix of the exotic Middle Eastern influences against the hard rock. That’s what we love to do and we want to explore that again. In January, once this tour is done, I plan on going to Morocco for a couple of weeks and starting to write again.”
YES! Just fucking YES!