Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley Reunite For Video

Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley

Photo Credit: Jay Gilbert

PRESS RELEASE: 2014 Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame member ACE FREHLEY today has debuted a brand new music video for his cover of Free’s 1970 hit “Fire and Water” featuring none other than KISS frontman PAUL STANLEY. The video is being premiered exclusively through VEVO. “It was great working with Paul again and all the years we’ve spent apart doing other projects seemed to vanish once we hit the stage!,” says Frehley.

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Steve Vai Unveils Passion & Warfare Extravaganza

Passion & Warfare

Steve Vai (probably my biggest influence and my one-time jam-buddy, brag brag brag) has announced a special 25h Anniversary reissue of Passion & Warfare. It features a new disc called Modern Primitive, and Steve will also undertake an extensive tour where he will play the whole record start-to-finish. Yes, even “Ballerina 12/24” and hopefully some freaky arrangements of “Alien Water Kiss” and “Love Secrets.” Read the full press release below, plus info about the third Vai Academy event.

Hey Steve, one request: the jazzy little solo section of “The Animal” pretty much changed the way I play guitar, but you always play improvised stuff instead of the original solo when I hear you play it live. How about returning to that classic finger-pretzelling, life-changing solo for ‘ol Petie, eh? Pleeeeease? (By the way, check out these Fascinating Facts About Steve Vai’s Passion & Warfare).

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A Little Thunder & Marconi Lab EGO Thunder

A Little Thunder Marconi EGO

A Little Thunder and Marconi Lab have collaborated on the EGO Thunder Signature Model “Orange Drop” guitar. It’s a headless, alder-bodied, maple-necked, ebony-fretboarded, tricked-out music machine with an A Little Thunder pickup in the neck position and a Lace Alumitone Deathbucker at the bridge. The A Little Thunder pickup is, of course, the revolutionary ‘create a separate bass signal out of your lowest three guitar strings’ device designed by Andy Alt. The guitar and all hardware are made 100% in Italy, and A Little Thunder is 100 percent made in the USA.

I like the boldness of the design, and the ‘arm,’ chassis’ and ‘head’ labels which give it a real ‘designy’ feel. It looks crazy comfortable to play too. If you haven’t checked out A Little Thunder yet, here’s the deal: it listens to the lowest three strings (originally it was just the bottom two, but a recent firmware update unlocked a secret third coil) and generates a bass signal which it then sends to a separate signal chain (and it can do it independently of your pickup selection, so you can be rocking chewy riffage on your bridge humbucker while A Little Thunder works its magic). It also has a Low Note Priority mode which processes only the lowest note of a chord, so you can blast away on a full six-string barre chord with only the low E string being used for a bass signal.

For a limited time you can get $400 off the EGO Thunder, limited to the first 50 orders. Have a question? Reach out to Marconi Lab or A Little Thunder directly. Buy it direct (and see plenty more pics) here.

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Mooer Devin Townsend Ocean Machine Pedal

Mooer Devin Townsend Ocean Machine

Mooer has just unveiled the Devin Townsend Ocean Machine signature reverb/delay/looper pedal. Below is a little demo posted by Bart from Effects Database, recorded at Musikmesse on the weekend. There are two delays (one has digital delay, echo, galaxy, rotary, tri-mod, liquid, tremolo, reverse and mod-inverse, modes while the other has digital, real, analog, tape, mod, lofi, tube, dyna and filler modes – or does it say ‘filter’? Trying to squint here!). The reverb types include room, hall, plate, phaser-verb, flanger-verb, filter, reverse, spring and mod. There’s also a Shimmer control for octave effects. Can’t wait to hear this thing underneath Devin’s feet!

You can find more info on Effects Database here and on Music Radar here, and I’ll keep you posted as soon as I get full info!


Epiphone Brent Hinds Flying-V Custom

Epiphone Brent Hinds Flying-V

It’s here at last: the Epiphone Brent Hinds Flying-V Custom! Brent has well and truly earned his right to have a bitchen signature guitar, and he’s combined two of the coolest things ever: Silverburst (the most metal of guitar finishes) and the Flying-V. The guitar also includes Brent’s signature Lace Hammer Claws humbucking pickups. Here’s the press release and some video. Read More …

New Beatbuddy Update Includes Sobriety Function

Beatbuddy Sobriety Feature

The team behind Beatbuddy know what we all know deep down inside: some drummers just play better when they’ve had a few beers. The latest firmware update for the revolutionary drum machine pedal includes a new Sobriety function which lets you control how drunk or straight your virtual drummer is, from Sober to Tipsy to Drunk to Wasted. I’ve known a few drummers with this feature hard-wired, and it presents a very entertaining musical experience. There are other bug fixes and new features in the Firmware 1.85 update too.


Sobriety function: Control how drunk your BeatBuddy is!  One of the things BeatBuddy fans always tell us is that they love how their BeatBuddy never gets drunk (or shows up late, or drinks your beer, the list goes on…), but sometimes it’s kinda fun to jam with a drunk drummer!  So we’ve included a Sobriety setting (just press the Drum Set and Tempo knob at the same time to enter Settings – it’s the fourth option down).  When Sober, BeatBuddy plays perfectly as always.  When Tipsy, BeatBuddy’s had a few beers and starts drifting on the tempo a bit.  When Drunk, BeatBuddy has had way too many beers and a few shots and starts drifting on the tempo A LOT as well as throwing in some random fills. When Wasted, BeatBuddy is probably a danger to himself and to others, especially your musical sanity — he’ll be all over the place tempo wise, throwing in random drum fills, transitioning to other song parts when he’s not supposed to and just banging on the cymbals in the most annoying way.  Luckily, unlike your human drummer, BeatBuddy sobers up instantly.  Just change his setting :-)

Sleep Mode:  You may have noticed that like most guitar pedals, the BeatBuddy does not come with a power button.  The only way to turn it off it to unplug it.  So we created a sleep mode that puts the BeatBuddy in a low power state.  Just pressthe Drum Set and Tempo Knobs at the same time to enter Settings and select Sleep Mode.  This will put your BeatBuddy to sleep until you’re ready to jam with him again.  Don’t worry, unlike most heavy sleeping drummers, the BeatBuddy can be woken up with a touch of any button or knob.

Visual Metronome while stopped:  Many players have told us that they begin some songs by playing alone and then bringing in the drums after an intro — but it’s hard to play that intro to the right tempo without the drum going.  So we made the visual metronome active while in stopped mode so you have a visual cue of the tempo of the drums when you bring them in.  And since some intro fills aren’t full bar fills (they may start on the second or third beat of the bar, instead of the first), the beat where the intro fill starts is darker than the rest.  But if you like the way your BeatBuddy was without the visual metronome active while stopped, you can adjust it in Settings > Main Pedal > Visual Metronome.
Hands free folder navigation: You can set your footswitch to go to the next song or to the last song in a folder, but until now there was no way to use the footswitch to enter or exit the folders themselves.  So we added the capability that when a footswitch is set to Song Advance or Song Back, holding the footswitch down enters or exits a folder.  Please note that this will only work with Momentary (unlocked) type footswitches, not latching (locked) ones. We changed Official BeatBuddy Footswitch from latching to momentary around 1 year ago.  To test the type of footswitch you have go to Settings > Footswitch > Footswitch detector.
Complete MIDI Control:  One of the most common requests we have gotten is for full MIDI support so that the BeatBuddy can be integrated with other systems, programs and devices.  We have worked extensively to map (with MIDI CC Controls) practically every function of the BeatBuddy to MIDI so that you guys can have the most powerful possible tool and use it in creative ways.  You can control the Volume or Tempo with an app like MIDI Designer.  Or you can set a MIDI footswitch to trigger an outro fill with a single press or to skip from song part 1 to song part 3 and then back to song part 2 — you can skip to any part at will!  This is especially useful for Keyboard Players who would like the BeatBuddy to sit next to them on the keyboard instead of on the floor so they can see the BeatBuddy’s screen.  For full details on MIDI Mapping, see the User Manual.
Autopilot Mode: Because of the BeatBuddy’s new capability to respond to CC commands, it is possible  have the CC commands programmed into them so fills and transitions are played automatically.  We will be releasing new versions of the Most Popular Cover Songs packages in the BeatBuddy Library which the BeatBuddy will play the way the original song was played — but you will still have the capability to improvise using all of the BeatBuddy’s live control functions. Stay tuned for the announcement regarding this new content.
Instant song selection with Bank Select / Program Change: Now you can use Onsong or other apps to instantly go to a certain beat when selecting a song — this is especially useful for musicians who have hundreds, if not thousands, of songs in their repertoire and don’t want the hassle of search for that one beat on their BeatBuddy when the audience requests a random song.  Just select the song in Onsong, and your BeatBuddy will instantly go to the beat you have set to that song!
Technical Detail:  To select a song, set your app to MSB 0 (make sure this value is always 0), LSB (0-127) selects the BeatBuddy song folder where 0 is the first folder, 1 is the second folder, etc. — we know this is confusing, but that is how the MIDI standard works, beginning at 0, not at 1.  And Program Change selects the song in the folder, where Program Change 0 is the first song, Program Change 1 is the seconds, etc.
MIDI Merge:  The BeatBuddy now has the capability to merge MIDI commands it receives with the MIDI commands the BeatBuddy generates and output the merged commands through the MIDI Out port.  This allows you to use a tablet to control the settings on your BeatBuddy and other devices in your MIDI chain while at the same time using the BeatBuddy as a source of MIDI clock and other MIDI commands.  The MIDI Merge protocol we developed has the lowest possible latency.  To Enable this feature, select:  Settings > Main Pedal > MIDI Messages > MIDI Out > Output Type > MIDI-Merge

Added additional settings  

 –  Settings > Main Pedal > MIDI Messages > MIDI Out > Sync > Always On / While Playing / Disable: You can now set when the MIDI Clock signal is sent out by the BeatBuddy.  This is useful for if you want to play with your MIDI connected device (like your looper or effects), but one of your songs doesn’t include the drums, so you don’t want the BeatBuddy’s tempo affecting your other device.
 –  Settings > Main Pedal > MIDI Messages > MIDI In > Control Change (CC) > Enable / Disable:  You may want to pass CC MIDI commands through the BeatBuddy to your other devices, but not have the BeatBuddy be affected to them.
 –  Settings > Main Pedal > MIDI Messages > MIDI In > Notes Off > Choke Notes / Ignored: BeatBuddy now chokes notes when external notes are received with a velocity of 0.  This allows long notes to be cut short.
 –  Settings > Main Pedal > MIDI Messages > MIDI Out > Notes > Enable / Disable:   Some devices (notably the Pigtronix Infinity) have trouble when receiving MIDI Notes, so we have set this default to off.  If you wish to turn on MIDI Out Note streaming so the BeatBuddy’s MIDI notes are sent to another device (such as your DAW), change this setting.
 –  Settings > Main Pedal > MIDI Messages > MIDI Out > Next Part & Time Signature > Enable / Disable: Some devices (notably, the Eventide Timeline) seem to have problems when receiving certain MIDI Messages, such as the the time signature midi message or the Next Part Midi message (CC102).

Many bug fixes 

 – Critical bug that was causing the BeatBuddy to reset after 2 to 3 hours of playing
 – Bug that caused a reboot of the BeatBuddy when no accent hit was present and footswitch was pressed
 – USB connection bug that prevented correct operation when BeatBuddy is in Folder / Drum Set / Song Selection window
 – Various minor bugs