One of MXR’s early successes was the Dyna Comp compressor. This legendary little red box was particularly integral to the tone of David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, and it also found favour with country players who dug the way its rounded tone smoothed over some of the sharp edges of their Telecaster tones (which could be especially emphasised by slapback delay). And it has a permanent place on my pedalboard.
Whoa! Okay, two of my favourite effects are my octave pedal and an MXR Jimi Hendrix System Octave Fuzz. Looks like MXR and Slash have gone and combined their essences into one imposing chimera of tonal goodness in the form of the MXR Slash Octave Fuzz. This little box features fuzz tone with a separate Sub Octave voice and an Octave Up Fuzz, and in true Dunlop/MXR style it features even more tweakability than it initially appears: in addition to Volume, Tone, Fuzz, Sub Octave and Octave Up controls, there are also two internal trimpots to adjust the gain and tone of the Octave Up effect. Want! And there’s also a new Slash Cry Baby with a deeper voicing, which you know has gotta be cool – after all, Slash knows his way around a wah!
Dunlop Proudly Presents The MXR Slash Octave Fuzz & Slash Cry Baby Classic
Dunlop and Slash have teamed up to create a triad of products due out just ahead of the guitar legend’s latest album release, Apocalyptic Love.
With Slash’s own experimentation and input, we created two pedals to complement his raw, expressive sound: the MXR Slash Octave Fuzz and the Slash Cry Baby Classic. The Slash Octave Fuzz features a searing fuzz tone that can be combined with a separate sub octave voice and an octave up fuzz to thicken up your tone with a sinister growl. The Slash Cry Baby Classic is tuned to a lower frequency and features a custom-wound resonance inductor, giving this wah-wah a huge dynamic range and a wide sweep.
Blues legend. That’s all there is to it. Buddy Guy is one of the pioneers of the Chicago blues sound, a continually amazing guitarist, highly energetic performer, and a prime influence on one Mr Jimi Hendrix. At 75 years young, Guy is nowhere near slowing down, playing Australian dates in Sydney and Melbourne with Jonny Lang, as well as a standout set at Bluesfest. I spoke to Guy prior to Bluesfest and just after he finished up a string of dates on the Experience Hendrix tour in the USA.
“I’ve can’t count the times I’ve been to Australia,” Guy says. “I started coming down there in 1972. That was my first time coming down and I had never met [Delta Blues legend] Arthur Crudup before. I think it was the guy who created the Newport Jazz Festival, George Wein – he was taking it around the world, and that was my first visit to Australia. And what a country, man. I just fell in love with it.”
Aah, the Fuzz Face. They look great, they sound great, they’re entertainingly unpredictable, the transistors used in the originals seemed to be different depending on the day of the week they were made on, and they sometimes just flat out stopped working if they got too hot. Eric Johnson swears by them, and with the help of Dunlop’s Jeorge Tripps he’s created his ultimate Fuzz Face.
Dunlop Proudly Presents The Eric Johnson Signature Fuzz Face
Dunlop® is proud to announce the release of the Eric Johnson Signature Fuzz Face®.
No one cares more about tone than Eric Johnson, and his choice for getting sweet, singing lead tones is the Eric Johnson Signature Fuzz Face.
EJ worked closely with Fuzz Face guru Jeorge Tripps to create his signature pedal. It is inspired by EJ’s prized personal Fuzz Faces and is built to his incredibly strict specifications, featuring hand-selected BC183 silicon transistors (for higher gain), custom repro ’68-’69 knobs, and a vintage-style hammertone finish. The result: a beautifully dynamic, expressive, and powerful pedal.
The Jim Dunlop Jazz III has been my pick of choice for longer than I care to think about. I’ve always loved its control, its precision and its tone. And also, even though they’re tiny, they’re easy to spot if you drop one. Eric Johnson is also a longtime Jazz III fan, and the Jim Dunlop Eric Johnson Classic Jazz III is based on a favourite pick from his collection. Dunlop actually laser-scanned it to mimic the unique wear pattern of the pick. They’ve also replaced the traditional “JD” logo with a raised “JIM DUNLOP U.S.A.” which spreads the grip patten out further around the surface of the pick. On the other side it reads “ERIC JOHNSON TX” and this too provides a different feel to the surface.
Hold up any two regular Jazz IIIs. You’ll notice a small amount of variation from one to the next. The Johnson picks are made to very closely follow the profile of the original ‘master pick’ Johnson provided, so there’s more consistency from one to the next.
Compared to a regular Jazz III, the grip of this pick is indeed more positive. Because the raised sections are more spread out and evenly spaced, it feels like the gripping area of the pick is wider, and I find that this in turn provides more control because it gives you a better grasp on the pick. The smoother surface is great for super-fast playing techniques such as alternate, economy and circular picking. Circular picking in particular really benefits from the smoother taper of the pick point. The attack may feel a bit bolder with a regular Jazz III, but the sound is smoother and more dynamically even with the Eric Johnson version. The treble attack seems slightly less snappy, which might take a little getting used to depending on what kind of sound you prefer, but I quite like it and I’m thinking of switching over permanently because the Johnson version of the Jazz III seems to get out of your way that little bit more, opening up the lines of communication between player and string just that little bit more.
Zakk Wylde has been a great ambassador for the Rotovibe for many, many years now – it steals the show at several points on the one and only Pride & Glory album – and he has now been honoured with his own signature Rotovibe courtesy of Jim Dunlop. The ZW357 is a limited run which features the same intensity and speed controls and rotating speaker sound as the classic Rotovibe but in Zakk-approved livery. And frankly it looks freaking cool. “I’ve had a Dunlop Rotovibe on my pedalboard since 1988,” Zakk says. “Whether it’s to spice up a solo, add an overdubbed colour, or just as a sound to inspire songwriting.” And I’ve gotta agree – it’s one of those effects where once you turn it on it’s hard to force yourself to turn it off again.
Oh yeah. This is happening, people. I’m excited! I’m seeing Eric Johnson live tomorrow night – I hope he’ll have one of these on his pedalboard.
Check it out! Jim Dunlop is going to release a Joe Bonamassa Crybaby. It’s designed to fit in with Joe’s rig both sonically and visually, and it has vintage-style ‘thru-hole’ components, a Halo inductor, a true bypass switch and an extended vocal sweep range. You can preorder it from Joe’s website, which I suggest you do promptly to cheer him up after that unfortunate Grammy snub.
YES! One of my favourite pedals this year – earning itself an instant place in my live rig as the heart of my lead sound – is the MXR Custom Badass ’78 Distortion. You can see my review here. Well that little red monster now has a slightly tamer but no less rockworthy brother in the form of the Modified Overdrive. Check it out!
Last year, we unveiled the MXR Custom Badass line of classic circuits fine-tuned to deliver a wider tonal spectrum, more versatility and increased dynamic range. The ’78 Distortion debuted as the first Custom Badass offering and was an instant hit. Guitar World Magazine said it was “as wild and raunchy as music was back in hard rock’s glory days,” offering “the versatility and low-noise performance that today’s players demand.”
This year, the Custom Badass team brings you the MXR Custom Badass line is the Modified Overdrive—a classic overdrive circuit with modern modifications for improved performance and versatility.
Now this is cool. Universal Audio and Jim Dunlop have collaborated on an MXR Flanger/Doubler plug-in – the very same model of flanger/doubler that Dimebag Darrell used so awesomely on Far Beyond Driven.
UNIVERSAL AUDIO RELEASES MXR® FLANGER/DOUBLER AND LITTLE LABS® VOG FOR UAD-2 PLATFORM
—New Plug-Ins Accompany Enhancements to Pro Tools Workflow and ATR-102 Tape Recorder Plug-In in UAD Software v6.1—
SCOTTS VALLEY, CA • November 1, 2011 — Universal Audio (UA), a leading manufacturer of high-quality audio recording hardware and software, is proud to release UAD Software v6.1, featuring the new MXR® Flanger/Doubler Plug-In, the Little Labs® Voice of God (VOG) Bass Resonance Tool, plus enhancements to Pro Tools workflow and the Ampex® ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder Plug-In.
Developed in close collaboration with Dunlop Manufacturing, the MXR Flanger/Doubler plug-in for the UAD-2 platform replicates the legendary sound of this classic bucket-brigade flanging effect with unparalleled accuracy. Through its signature flanging, doubling, and delay effects, the MXR Flanger/Doubler imprints a unique stamp on guitars, bass, keys, drums, or just about any source. The MXR Flanger/Doubler Plug-In also includes additional “UAD Exclusive” features and artist presets from legendary engineers Vance Powell (The Dead Weather, Buddy Guy), Neil Dorfsman (Paul McCartney, Sting), and Chuck Zwicky (Prince, Jeff Beck).
“We knew there was only one company we could turn to when it came time to create a plug-in version of the classic MXR Flanger/Doubler,” says Jeorge Tripps, Dunlop’s Director of Product Development. “The UA emulation is spot-on, and we are looking forward to seeing the reaction from musicians and engineers.”
The Little Labs-authenticated Voice of God (VOG) plug-in for the UAD-2 platform accurately models the sonic characteristics of this unique 500-series hardware audio processor in every detail. The VOG is used to accurately target and accentuate low frequency material, from vocals to bass guitar and drums — adding both heft and precision far beyond a simple EQ.
“The VOG has been very well-received for its ability to quickly and easily manipulate low end like nothing before it,” says Jonathan Little of Little Labs Professional Audio. “Our hardware version was first available in the API 500-Series format, then as the i-VOG and a standalone unit. Now, UA has put the VOG live in the digital world as well, covering all the bases.”
“I’m excited about the MXR Flanger/Doubler plug-in, as I used to have a hardware unit in my rack and I still miss it. Our collaboration with Dunlop has resulted in an extremely faithful plug-in emulation,” says Matt Ward, President of Universal Audio. “Add in the Little Labs Voice of God, which is really a must-have tool, and UAD v6.1 offers a solid enhancement to the UAD-2 platform.”
Available for purchase via UA’s Online Store, the MXR Flanger/Doubler Plug-In sells for $199. The Little Labs VOG Bass Resonance Tool sells for $149.
These new plug-ins are available as part of the new UAD Software v6.1 release. In addition to the MXR Flanger/Doubler and Little Labs VOG plug-ins, v6.1 includes additional enhancements to Pro Tools workflow and the Ampex ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder plug-in.
More information on the MXR Flanger/Doubler Plug-In:
More information on the Little Labs VOG Bass Resonance Tool:
UAD Software v6.1 is available as a FREE download for Mac and PC users worldwide:
Learn more about the award-winning UAD-2 Powered Plug-Ins platform here: http://www.uaudio.com/uad-plug-ins.html
About Universal Audio Inc.
Founded in 1999 by Bill Putnam Jr. and based in Scotts Valley, California, Universal Audio is best known for its vintage analog reproductions and advanced Digital Signal Processing technology, including the award-winning UAD Powered Plug-Ins Platform. The company is focused on merging the best of classic analog and modern digital technology. UA is devoted to this endeavor, following its rich recording heritage and motto, “Analog Ears. Digital Minds.” www.uaudio.com.
The Universal Audio name, the UA “Diamond” logo, “UAD”, “UAD-2″, and “Powered Plug-Ins” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Universal Audio Inc.