PRESS RELEASE: NEW YORK—June 16th, 2020 In a deal that aligns several New York-based brands, D’Angelico Guitars has acquired Supro USA and Pigtronix.
With a shared heritage as reignited legacy brands, D’Angelico Guitars and Supro have collaborated as a guitar and amp pairing in their marketing efforts for years. “We have always had a deep appreciation for Supro’s products and brand,” says D’Angelico Chairman John Ferolito Jr. “When the opportunity to acquire the brand arose, we didn’t think twice.”
“This is going to make all three brands even stronger,” says CEO Brenden Cohen. “I can’t wait for our customers to see what we have in store for them.”
Along with Supro, D’Angelico Guitars has also acquired Pigtronix. Both Supro and Pigtronix were previously owned by Absara Audio, located in Long Island, NY. “All three companies having a home base in New York just amplifies the harmony these brands already share,” says D’Angelico COO Jimmy Lovinggood. “The last few months have been an extremely challenging time for businesses across the country and around the world—New York City especially. We began this acquisition many months before COVID-19, and although this is a challenging time for every industry, we truly believe in these brands and decided to move forward in full confidence.”
Supro was originally founded in Chicago in the 1930s, producing amplifiers that were featured on some of the greatest rock records of all time. It was relaunched in 2013 and has gone on to achieve popular status in the music industry. Pigtronix is a fast-growing industry leader amongst boutique pedal companies, featuring forward-thinking design and concepts.
“The acquisition of Supro and Pigtronix by D’Angelico creates a trifecta,” says Dave Koltai, former co-owner of Supro and Pigtronix. “It’s a perfect fit, and I am thrilled to be able to continue making new gear for musicians around the world.” Koltai will be onboard as Chief Technology Officer, continuing to design and develop both Supro Amps and Pigtronix Pedals, alongside D’Angelico’s Executive Vice President of Product Development, Ryan Kershaw. “This is going to allow us to take everything we do to the next level,” says Kershaw.
Though the acquisition is now complete, the brands will enter a transitional phase, developing a new company structure and revised product plan for 2021. “We could not be more excited for what’s to come,” says Cohen. “This is the company I have been envisioning.”
Shout-out to José Manuel Martínez García-Casarrubios, who just emailed me about the Thermion Zero dyamic hybrid amplifier, currently funding on Kickstarter. This thing looks like it can do everything: stereo amplifier with inbuilt reverb, headphone amp, direct recording device with speaker modeller, power amp for your digital processor… you could use it to turn your pedalboard into an amp, or take a line out from your amp head and use it to drive a couple of extra speaker cabinets with stereo effects. There’s a preamp loop so you can use whatever preamp you like (in addition to the inbuilt, pedal-friendly one) too.
Here’s some info from the Kickstarter page:
As guitarists, we have always dreamed of a portable amplifier that would allow us to play live, rehearse or practice at home just with our pedals.
During two years of development, we’ve created a dynamic hybrid amplifier that retains the analog tone of a big tube amp, in a portable size, that you can carry anywhere. With our Class D hybrid power technology, with two real 40 watt outputs, we have reproduced the behavior of a tube amp’s transformers and all of their harmonics.
Zero has a clean analog preamp, stereo effects loop, stereo reverb and a preamp loop, so you can switch between its internal preamp and your own. Its emulated outputs equip our ‘Analog Speaker Modeling’ technology, which recreates the behavior of a real speaker cabinet using only analog circuits, to retain all the dynamics of your tone.
Thermion Zero is the hybrid revolution of simplicity and portability. Open up a whole new world of possibilities for your pedalboard with Zero.
Let’s take a look at syncopation, shall we? In a nutshell, syncopation is when you play a note on a beat where you probably wouldn’t expect a note. Now, when I’m playing I tend to approach rhythm differently at different times. When I’m soloing I’m led by whatever melody pops into my head. But when I’m playing metal rhythm, I’m all about the 16th note pulse. Even when I’m playing a chugging 8th note riff I’m kinda listening to the notes in between as well, and every now and then I might fill those spaces with little accents and stuff like that.
Try it some time: picture the musical bar as a version of that board game Mastermind, except instead of four rows to put the pegs in, there are 16. Each peg represents a note or chord, and there’s ya rhythm.
As an example of syncopation I present to you a couple of riffs from my song ‘Just One Thing,’ which you can hear in demo form here:
The first riff has a note on every one of those 16 spaces, but some of them are accented chord stabs and others are palm-muted. The end result is a steady pulse punctuated by jarring but kinda cool chords in places where you don’t really expect them, and this track has burned the brain of many a drummer for the first few listens. Initially it seems like an odd time signature, and it’s fun to watch them take out the slide ruler and metronome to try to figure out where the ‘one’ is.
Another way to approach this riff, if you’re not into the whole ‘thinking in 16th notes’ thing, is to run the riff through a few times then only think about the fretted notes, letting the open-string notes in between take care of themselves by going on semi-autopilot with your alternate picking. That’s a method I find especially handy playing some Muse riffs where I’d rather enjoy the riff than think about the maths behind it.
The autopilot alternate picking method ain’t gonna help you in Riff 2 though. This one is purely chord-stab, with no chuggy muted notes in between. You need to pay close attention to the rhythm to get this one to work. Once again, imagine 16 slots. Okay? Okay. Now, in the first bar of this section, the chords fall on sub-beats 1, 2, 5, 10 and 15/16 (the last two actually being a three-note chug). Let’s try this with capitals and lower-case letters: BA-BA-ba-ba-BA-ba-ba-ba-ba-BA-ba-ba-ba-ba-BADDABA. Does that make sense to everyone else or am I just weird? Or both?
Obviously this kinda stuff is best used as a springboard for your own riffs and ideas. You could probably even use a 16-sided dice (you have one in your junk drawer, right?) to help you come up with random note locations. Above all, just have fun with it and don’t hurt yourself.
A few select Australian dealers have recently taken delivery of some gorgeous new Fender Made In Japan models.
The Modern Series includes a Telecaster, Telecaster HH, Stratocaster, Stratocaster HSS, Jazzmaster HH and a Jazz Bass, all of which feature a carved and bound top, compound neck shape (Modern C to D), compound radius fretboard (9.5″ to 14″), either humbucking or Fender Noiseless single coil pickups, locking tuners and luminous side dot inlays. You can see pics of the whole range here.
The Made In Japan Troublemaker Tele is gonna turn a lot of heads. Available in Black, Crimson Red and Arctic White, it has a definite 70s feel with its amp-style control knobs, oversized headstock and twin humbucker layout. Mahogany body, locking tuners… I can imagine a lot of players digging this.
Finally there’s the Aerodyne II, featuring a round-top design for improved playability, a 2-point tremolo bridge, standard-style tuners, and a 9.5-inch radius neck mounted on high quality alder body. Its available in Stratocaster, Stratocaster HSS and Jazz Bass.
You can get all of these beauties from these dealers:
MCSTINE & MINNEMANN “PROGRAM” – THE FIRST SINGLE FROM THEIR DEBUT ALBUM – VIDEO NOW ONLINE PRE-ORDERS AVAILABLE NOW – OFFICIAL ALBUM RELEASE ON JULY 3RD 2020
McStine & Minnemann is a new band consisting of Randy McStine (Lo-Fi Resistance) and Marco Minnemann (The Aristocrats). Pre-orders for their debut album began on Friday May 1st, along with the release of their first single “Program” and its brand new music video.
The duo initially met in 2018 while working with other artists, but as they discovered their shared passion for an assortment of Rock, Pop, and Punk artists, they decided to embark on a collaborative project together. Although McStine and Minnemann initially set out to record an EP, they quickly shifted to making an album as their musical ideas and chemistry flourished. The result of their self-titled debut, McStine & Minnemann, is a high-energy collection of ten compact, yet expansive Rock songs that sit well next to the likes of XTC, Mr. Bungle, The Knack, Queen, and Frank Zappa. As both men are prolific multi-instrumentalists and writers, they have created a space for each other to showcase their incomparable instrumental talents, while infusing them with an incredible mix of melodic and lyrical depth.
The first single from the album “Program” explores the impact of technology in the modern world, and the duo worked closely with videographer Christian Rios (who has also directed videos for Flying Colors and Sons of Apollo) to create an unique music video to represent the concept. Randy remembers: “I sent the song to Christian to gauge his interest in doing a music video for it, and he came back with a concept to have the whole thing feel as if our phones are communicating and directing us. The lyrics are somewhat abstract, but he picked up on a theme of tech addiction, which is something I think about often.”
“I first recorded ‘Program’ in 2013 but only started playing it again with my trio about a year ago” continues Randy. “And I thought this would be really great to do [with Marco] if we kick up the energy a bit and take it to a Devo-esque sound. I’m super excited about how it came out! The way Marco approached the instrumental section completely took it to a new level, making it very tight and rhythmic.”
Marco adds: “The whole track has a real driving energy to it and I think, as an album opener, it sets the stage for most of the musical elements that are to follow.”
McStine & Minnemann was produced by the duo, and mixed by Forrester Savell (Karnivool, SikTh).
McStine & Minnemann Tracklist:
Falling From Grace
Top Of The Bucket
Tear The Walls Down (No Memories)
Pre-Orders for McStine & Minnemann are now available on Bandcamp with several packages to choose from – PRE-ORDER HERE NOW
$8 Digital Download
$13 CD + digital download (shipping exc.)
$25 ‘Deluxe Version’ CD + digital download (shipping exc.) with exclusive bonus content –
Private stream release of 1 new song per week (every Friday) from May 1st to July 3rd (in order of album sequence), as well as a Randy/Marco commentary track and Marco drum playthrough video per song
Guitars are more than just musical instruments. To many musicians, their guitars are an extension of their soul. A means, not only to express what their soul cannot, but also as a means to evoke emotion in other people. The value of a guitar to a musician goes beyond something that’s pecuniary. Whether you own a cheap guitar or an expensive guitar, you have to know how to take good care of it.
What are some guitar care tips that we should all know?
Replace The Strings Regularly
Strings lose their sound quality over time. The more you play your guitar, the faster the sound quality deteriorates. The intervals at which you change your strings vary depending on how much you play. Generally, you’re going to want to replace your strings once a month.
Wipe Your Strings After Every Session
Oil, dirt, and grime from your fingers can build up quickly and corrode your strings if left alone too long. While you don’t necessarily have to wipe down your fretboard after each use, you definitely have to wipe down your strings in order to keep them from corroding. This also ensures that your guitar sounds the way that it should, and it’ll make cleaning the fretboard easier when you decide to do so. This is especially important for players who have excessively sweaty hands.
Dust and Polish Your Guitar Regularly
Besides maintaining the aesthetics of your guitar, cleaning an acoustic guitar or even an electric guitar, on a regular basis will help increase your guitar’s resale value in case you decide to sell your guitar later on if you play for an hour every day.
Store Your Guitar In Its Case
This is the safest possible place for your guitar, especially when you get a hard case that also protects from minor drops. This is especially important if you have kids and pets at home that are likely to topple your guitar over. Your guitar case will also help protect it from extreme temperatures.
Avoid Playing In Sudden Temperature Changes
Avoid taking your guitar from a cold air-conditioned room into a hot, humid environment as rapid temperature and humidity changes tend to take their toll on a guitar’s internals. If you really must play outside, leave your guitar in its case and allow it to acclimate before playing.
Final Word: Play Your Guitar
Even though this entire article is all about keeping your guitar clean and crisp, we strongly encourage you to play your guitar. A guitar is meant to be played, just as a challenge is meant to be overcome. Don’t forget that the reason you bought your guitar is to play with it. So, enjoy your guitar. Nobody said you can’t enjoy something without taking good care of it.
So it turns out IK Multimedia isn’t just the maker of my favourite amp sim platform (AmpliTube) and software synth (Syntronik) and mixing/mastering suite (T-Racks): they’ve also just announced a new wearable social distance monitor to make sure we don’t all make each other sick. Here’s the press release.
Helping the musical instrument industry reopen and operate safely: IK Multimedia announces Safe Spacer™ wearable social distance monitor
Easy-to-use device offers distance alarm monitoring for workplaces and public spaces
May 14, 2020 – Safe Spacer™ is a new, lightweight wearable device that helps workers and visitors maintain safe social distancing, enabling MI and other industries to safely re-open and operate with peace of mind.
Using Ultra-wideband technology, Safe Spacer runs wirelessly on a rechargeable battery and precisely senses when other devices come within 2m/6ft, alerting wearers with a choice of visual, vibrating or audio alarm.
Simple to use, Safe Spacer features a patent-pending algorithm that works immediately out of the box, with no set-up or special infrastructure needed and can be comfortably worn on a wristband, with a lanyard, or carried in a pocket. It offers ultra-precise measurement down to 10cm/4″ – ten times more accurate than Bluetooth applications.
Ideal for factories, warehouses and offices, Safe Spacer can also be used by visitors of public spaces such as music schools, large retailers, auditoriums, workshops spaces and more. Engineered for fast, easy disinfection, it’s also waterproof. For minimal handling, Safe Spacer works wirelessly via NFC contactless technology or Bluetooth.
Each Safe Spacer also features a unique ID tag and built-in memory that can be optionally associated to workers’ names for tracing any unintentional contact, to keep organizations and their employees secure. To maintain the highest standard of privacy, no data other than the Safe Spacer ID and proximity is stored.
For advanced use, set-up and monitoring in workspaces, an iOS/Android app is also available to allow human resources or safety departments to associate IDs to specific workers, log daily tracing without collecting sensitive data, configure the alarms, set custom distance and alert thresholds, export log data and more.
Safe Spacer is Made in Italy and has been developed by IK Multimedia using its extensive experience creating wireless enabled products, apps and other audio-based solutions. CEO Enrico Iori shares:
“We created Safe Spacer to help our Italian factory workers maintain safe distance during re-opening. It’s easy to use, fast to deploy, private and secure, so it can be used comfortably in any situation. We hope this solution helps other companies feel secure as they re-open, too.”
Safe Spacer will be available in early Q3 directly from IK Multimedia for $/€99.99 (excluding taxes), with volume discounts available.
Renowned shredder Rusty Cooley overcomes hand injury to record brutal masterpiece
Spread Your Disease, the new EP by modern metal outfit Day of Reckoning, is out now. The EP finds the band, Rusty Cooley, Matt Hough and vocalist Brad Lambert, building upon the stylistic elements that made 2015’s Into The Fire so compelling. But Cooley and Co. have pushed things even further on Spread Your Disease refining and expanding Day of Reckonining’s blend of thrash, metalcore, death metal and prog.
The EP was not born easily. It came amid a period of personal upheaval for the band as a whole and both Cooley and Hough had to overcome hand injuries that threatened to impact their guitar playing. “It was a very tough process just due to personal lives and everything that goes along with recording an album,” Cooley says. “And in the end when everything started to straighten out I started having problems with my hand. It wasn’t guitar related. It was caused by heavy lifting and stuff like that, and it caused deep trauma and tissue damage which caused the circulation of blood to not flow properly to my hand.” The injury began to affect Cooley’s ring and pinkie fingers. “The best way to describe it is my fingers just weren’t firing correctly.”
After consulting with a doctor who worked with the Houston Symphony Orchestra and a leading sports doctor he met through bodybuilder Lee Labrada, Cooley was able to isolate the problem and address it with therapy and exercise. “The first two or three days of therapy were really painful but by the end of the final session it felt like those two fingers were paralyzed; because he’d got all the toxins and set everything up to heal. I couldn’t move those fingers for two weeks but then slowly but surely everything started to come around.”
Co-guitarist Matt Hough also had a hand injury caused by excessive neck and shoulder tension. “This has resulted in me not being able to use my fourth finger at all,” Hough says. “I had to relearn most of our material with only three fingers and have even had to tap, with my right hand, a few passages that are not possible to play with three fingers. I have since been engaged in something called ‘Alexander Technique’ which is a mind body awareness practice. This has allowed me to slowly let go of the tension in my neck and shoulders, allowing me to regain the moderate use of my fourth finger. That was three years ago. It’s been a journey! Not out of it yet but I’m closer to something that resembles my old hand every day.”
Rather than surrender to their demons the band took these tensions and ran them through their brutal metal machine; emerging with an EP which is both cathartic and empowering for the listener as well as the band. Lyrically Lambert’s lyrics explore a variety of themes from the universal to the personal. Media manipulation, social upheaval, personal betrayal, perseverance, apocalyptic views of society, as well as introverted themes of overcoming personal struggles, betrayal, self-doubt, and loss.
The EP kicks off with the pummeling riffage of ‘To The Slaughter.’ “This song encompasses much about the current state of affairs around the world,” Lambert says. “In general the theme of the song is based around the use of media platforms by those in positions of power to manipulate the population as sheep. It is also a critique on humanity in general and our tendency to move towards panic and drama without properly vetting the sources of where we get our information. With that said, the song ends on somewhat of a positive note as people can only be manipulated for so long before it all backfires on those trying to control them.”
‘Betrayer’ features some savage sweep picking licks courtesy of Cooley and Hough, while lyrically dealing with betrayal. Anger at the person who betrayed you as well as anger at yourself for putting yourself in the position to be manipulated.
‘Dig’ is about lifting yourself up out of a bad situation instead of waiting for the powers that be to do it for you. “Musically this is one of, in my opinion, Rusty’s greatest melodic solo sections that he’s ever written,” Lambert says. “The tempo changes and chord progression during the solo, as well as the rest of the song, create a very progressive sense of tension and release.”
The title track, ‘Spread Your Disease,’ is about the collateral damage left by those suffering from chronic illness or addiction. “Despite our best efforts to be there for someone sometimes it seems like folks just start slipping away from us while leaving a significant amount of damage along the way,” Lambert says. “Regardless, we find ourselves still trying to be there for them. Musically this is probably one of my favorite hooks to sing. There are a lot of vocal challenges in this song. It goes from max gutturals to some intense cleans without any rest in between. To me this song has some of the coolest slamming chugs as well as a really cool post chorus riff.”
‘Open Your Mind’ features a crushing performance from drummer Jared Sandhy, while Lambert’s lyrics deal with the band members’ struggles with painful life circumstances over the last few years. “This song deals with that as well as the realization that regardless of our external circumstances its ultimately on us to come together. Leave the past in the past and move forward.”
‘Entertained by Pain’ wraps up the EP with rapid tempo changes, lots of sonic experimentation and a guest appearance by Nile’s Karl Sanders. “Whats funny is that all we really asked him to do was to mirror some of the chord progressions in the bridge with some of his unique instruments,” Lambert says. “However, what he sent us back was way more than we asked for. He added percussion parts as well as some interesting rhythm string parts and that brought the bridge, as well as, the intro to the song to life. As a result Rusty basically completely rewrote the first half of the guitar solo section because he was inspired by what Karl did.”
Spread Your Disease was produced, recorded and mixed by Lambert at Psychonaut Studios in Houston, Texas, with drum performances by Jared Sandhy in Bangalore, India, and bass by Texan Sherman Clark.