E-Mailing it in – Creative Collaboration In The Digital Age

Computers have transformed the music industry, from downloads to autotune. And they can be used to bring artists together to collaborate in ways that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. Online collaboration is not simply the domain of famous artists sending files to each other via Wi-Fi from the tour bus. As revenue from CD sales contracts, many artists from all corners of the industry are turning to a new kind of session work to supplement their income, and this means that you too might be able to secure a renowned professional for your next recording project – even if your name is not Clapton or Santana. Let’s look at three players who have been involved in such collaborations: Bryan Beller, Razl and Steve Turner.

Read the rest at Gibson.com!

GIVEAWAY WINNERS!!! I Heart Guitar 1st Birthday Giveaway spectacular

I just did the prize draw for the I Heart Guitar 1st Birthday Giveaway Spectacular! I saved all the entry emails and used random.org to pick them out. Bizarrely, 3 of the winners are from the same US state. Freaky.

First, the runner-up prize winners:

Scarlet from Canada
Steve C from California
Joshua from Malaysia

Scarlet, Steve and Joshua win:

From Australasian Music Supplies (Aussie Dunlop/DiMarzio distributors): 1 set of Dunlop strings, Crybaby shirt

From Steve Turner: 1 Not In Kansas Anymore CD

From Grover Allman: 5 I Heart Guitar picks

2nd prize winner is…

Brendan from Ontario, California!

Brendan wins:

From DiMarzio: 1 Urban Decay leather strap in white, 1 hot pink instrument cable,
DiMarzio t-shirt

From Steve Turner: 1 Not In Kansas Anymore CD

From Shire Music: Autographed Joe Satriani concert flyer

From Australasian Music Supplies: Dunlop Kerry King signature strings, Crybaby shirt

From Grover Allman: 10 I Heart Guitar picks

And the 1st prize winner is….

Jason W from Los Angeles, California.

Jason wins…….

From DiMarzio: 1 LiquiFire 7, 1 Crunch Lab 7, 1 2 inch black nylon cliplock strap, 1 Blk Instrument cable, 1 Blk Jumper cable, 1 DiMarzio t-shirt

From Steve Turner: 1 Not In Kansas Anymore CD

From Shire Music: Warwick mouse pad (shaped like a Warwick bass – it’s really cool).

From Australasian Music Supplies: Signed Dunlop Kerry King poster, Dunlop Kerry King shirt

From Grover Allman: 10 I Heart Guitar picks

Huge thanks to DiMarzio, AMS, Grover Allman, Steve Turner and Shire Music. You guys ROCK. And congratulations to the winners! I’ll send your prizes (from way over here in Australia) this week!

NEWS: Review RJM gear, get a free t-shirt

RJM Music Technology, makers of the Amp Gizmo, Effect Gizmo and RG-16, are giving away free RJM ‘Stop the Pedal Tap Dance’ t-shirts to players who upload a video to YouTube of them demoing their RJM gear.

After you upload the YouTube video, send the link and your name, address, phone and email address to info @ rjmmusic.com

RJM endorser and I Heart Guitar interviewee Steve Turner had this to say about his RJM gear in October last year:

At the moment I am using their base model Amp Gizmo. You could think of it as an interface between your midi floor board and your non midi guitar amplifier. RJM make a bunch of different cables to connect the Amp Gizmo to the pedal input of your amp so it can be used with all sorts of guitar amplifiers.

You basically tell the Amp Gizmo what each midi patch will do to your amplifier. When you select a particular patch it triggers your amp mode, solo boost, effects loop or whatever else your amp can do via standard pedal input.

For guys out there struggling with multiple foot controllers this should really be ringing some alarm bells… It also has a ‘midi through’ to connect to whatever other midi gear you are running.

From one midi floor board I can control my effects processor as well as the switchable settings on my Mesa Boogie. I don’t need to run the separate Mesa Boogie amp controller floor board anymore as the Amp Gizmo replaces everything it does. I control my amp features via midi. Amp and effects changes that used to take me three or four foot taps now take only one.

When I am singing I don’t have the luxury of being able to look at my feet and perform an elaborate tap dance. Actually, dancing is not something I can do at the best of times! I would rather grab a beer and watch the ladies go for it.

I struck up a friendship with Ron from RJM and when I expressed an interest in upgrading to the RG-16 and Mastermind floor board he offered me an artist endorsement. The RG-16 does everything the Amp Gizmo does but also has 8 effects loops through which I will be able to run my analog pedals.

Once I integrate the RG-16 to my live rack I will be able to use my analog pedals and have everything – the amplifier, the effects processor and my individual pedals –controlled via the Mastermind midi controller and RG-16. Allan Holdsworth and Dweezil Zappa use RJM so that has to say something about the quality and design!

Since then Steve has started using Bogner amps but he’s still rockin’ the RJM gear.
Read the rest of the interview here. You can also see Steve’s review of the Amp Gizmo on his site here.

REVIEW: HomeBrew Electronics Detox EQ

Review by Steve Turner

Signature gear. Who really needs it? Often the signature tag is merely an advertising tool selling hardware that probably bears no real resemblance to the equipment used by the artist whose name is plastered all over the marketing materials. There are exceptions of course… The perceptive reader will at this point be predicting that I am going to suggest that the Detox EQ is one of those exceptions. This is indeed the case, and for very good reasons.

My personal path to finding the Detox EQ was pretty straightforward. I have been using HBE (HomeBrew Electronics) pedals in my live rig for quite some time and have always been very happy with the sound and build quality. I have run their CPR Compressor, UNO MOS boost, THC Chorus and Germania 44 in various environments and they are all keepers.

I am also a fan of Mr. Paul Gilbert. Really, who isn’t? One day whilst trawling the internet for information on his effects rig I noted that he was using three of the same HBE pedals that are in my own rig. In addition he was using a then unfamiliar unit – the Detox EQ. Given I was already very happy with HBE pedals I was intrigued to know what the new pedal was doing for Paul’s sound.

The origins of the Detox EQ are based on Paul’s use of a single channel amp running with high gain and his need to be able to create a clean tone with minimal effort. Paul had been using a Boss EQ pedal for volume cut and tone shaping but found that it added extra noise and the EQ spread was not quite right for his purposes.

The Detox EQ is a very simple concept which HBE have realized in a very elegant and functional stomp box. There are four dials: level, treble, middle and bass. The pedal is powered by a typical 9vDC source (battery or external power). As with all HBE pedals it also features true bypass. It is a great looking pedal too – and we all know how much that matters – the yellow is quite striking and it just begs to be used.

The Detox EQ volume pot can be used as a signal boost to add saturation or as a cut to clean up the tone of raging, multiple tentacled high gain monster amp. The EQ facility also allows some additional tone shaping and the available frequencies are quite musically placed. The EQ dials do not give massive amounts of extra boost or cut to any of the frequencies but can create quite a consistent curve.

Running the Detox EQ with my highest gain amp, a Bogner Uberschall, the results were positive across the board. As a boost the Detox is nice and subtle – not as aggressive as the HBE Uno Mos or other clean boost pedals but certainly creating a very nice EQ shape when engaged. Due to the fact the pedal is so quiet you might be tempted to turn on, dial up and leave on at unity gain for a bit of extra flavour.

As a cut, the Detox gave me a gritty clean tone reminiscent of early Dixie Dregs with a nice amount of attitude in a much cleaner signal than the Bogner high gain channel would usually provide. Working with the two channel Uberschall the Detox running as a signal cut gives me a virtual third channel in between the angelic clean and high class hooker, dirty tones.

Running with a Bassman clone I was able to dial the amp hard to get some really nice power amp breakup and then rein it in back to a more sparkly clean by engaging the Detox with a small amount of cut. As a quick experiment I plugged the Detox into my Pod X3 and found that it added some very pleasing tonality to the digital signal output to my workstation. I think some people would definitely find that it adds a bit more of a natural tone to the digital modeling of the Line 6 and comparable units.

Cutting amp saturation by reducing guitar signal is not a new idea. People have been doing it for years by dialing back guitar volume pots. The benefit and value that the Detox adds is that you can EQ the signal to account for any frequency shifts that might occur based on dialing back the signal – something that can not be done through a guitar on its own. Plus, it happens instantly and the signal boost or reduction is predictable based on your pre dialed setting.

I am very pleased to say that the Detox EQ pedal is another winner within the Home Brew Electronics line of products. It is very, very quiet when engaged and I am considering buying another so I can run one as a cut and one as a slight boost with EQ curve around the mids. The tone when engaged is very articulated and adds a really nice flavour to picked notes and chords alike.

If you have heard Paul Gilbert’s Silence Followed By a Deafening Roar album then you have definitely heard the tone of this pedal as a cut and as a signal shaper at unity gain. This is one of the few examples of signature gear that really lives up to the name of the player and the hardware designer alike.

No, this pedal will not make you sound like Paul Gilbert nor will it magically make your amp sound just like the tones on the Roar album. What it will do is bring out some really nice characteristics of your own amp that you might not be able to achieve otherwise. I would consider it a good pedal to keep in a guitar case for gigs where you are running through gear that is unfamiliar.

If you are interested in how Paul uses this sweet pedal you can head over to the HBE site and check out his personal guide on how to run the Detox. I can confidently say that this pedal definitely does what it says on the packaging. What more can you ask for? Maybe some private lessons from Paul Gilbert? Good luck with that!

Steve Turner is a guitarist from Melbourne, Australia. Check out his website here, his Myspace here and my interview with him here. 


NEWS: Steve Turner’s CD available for download

A few months ago I interviewed guitarist Steve Turner, a monster player who I supported at the first Shredfest gig way back in 2007. You can read the interview here

Steve has now made his EP, Not In Kansas Anymore, available as a download.

CLICK HERE to download the EP for $7.95 and CLICK HERE to go to Steve’s website.

Steve is working on his next CD with drummer Zoltan Csorsz from the Flower Kings.

NEWS EXCLUSIVE: Zoltan Csorsz records with Steve Turner

I Heart Guitar exclusive! Aussie progressive rock guitarist Steve Turner is recording his new CD with legendary drummer Zoltan Csorsz (Flower Kings, Jonas Hellborg and Mattias IA Eklundh) and bass player Evan Harris (Black Majesty, Taramis, Endel Rivers).

I recently interviewed Turner about his EP, Not in Kansas Anymore (click here to read the interview). If you haven’t heard the EP yet, you can buy it from his website. Don’t forget to check out his Myspace too.

Steve just sent me the following email:

Hi Peter,

I’ve got some great news! Zoltan Csorsz will be recording 9 songs for my upcoming full length CD release. Zoltan is well known for his playing with The Flower Kings, Jonas Hellborg and Mattias Eklundh, Richard Andersson (Space Odyssey) and Tangent.

Zoltan is a master of progressive rock, jazz and fusion styles. He’s bringing a lot to the table and what I have heard so far has been amazing. As an artist it’s really exciting to hear my own music performed by such masterful musicians as Zoltan and bass player Evan Harris (Black Majesty, Taramis, Endel Rivers). The songs and their respective interpretations by Evan and Zoltan are going to be something very different on the scene, and I can’t wait for people to hear the CD.

The full length CD will host 9 songs of original material running at just under an hour. The diversity of the EP will be maintained, but the focus of the full length CD will be on instrumental rock, fusion and progressive music. Any talk of release dates is a bit premature, but it should be out late in 2009.

Steve.

I can’t wait to hear this. Steve’s playing is awesome, Harris is a monster (coincidentally he used to teach bass at the same music store I taught out of – small world, innit?), and as for Zoltan, anyone who can rock with Mattias IA Eklundh is alright by me!

GIVEAWAY: To celebrate this cool news, Steve is giving away a free copy of his EP to the first 10 people to email orders@steveturner.com.au with the words “No place like home” in the subject line.

NEWS: Deluxe Guitars distributes RJM products in Australia

Deluxe Guitars in Melbourne is now distributing RJM Music Technology products in Australia.

Guitarist Steve Turner is an RJM endorser, and he talked about his RJM switching system when I interviewed him a few months ago. You can see the full interview here and visit Steve’s site here, but here’s what he had to say about his rig:

At the moment I am using their base model Amp Gizmo. You could think of it as an interface between your midi floor board and your non midi guitar amplifier. RJM make a bunch of different cables to connect the Amp Gizmo to the pedal input of your amp so it can be used with all sorts of guitar amplifiers.

You basically tell the Amp Gizmo what each midi patch will do to your amplifier. When you select a particular patch it triggers your amp mode, solo boost, effects loop or whatever else your amp can do via standard pedal input.

For guys out there struggling with multiple foot controllers this should really be ringing some alarm bells… It also has a ‘midi through’ to connect to whatever other midi gear you are running. From one midi floor board I can control my effects processor as well as the switchable settings on my Mesa Boogie. I don’t need to run the separate Mesa Boogie amp controller floor board anymore as the Amp Gizmo replaces everything it does. I control my amp features via midi. Amp and effects changes that used to take me three or four foot taps now take only one. When I am singing I don’t have the luxury of being able to look at my feet and perform an elaborate tap dance. Actually, dancing is not something I can do at the best of times! I would rather grab a beer and watch the ladies go for it.

I struck up a friendship with Ron from RJM and when I expressed an interest in upgrading to the RG-16 and Mastermind floor board he offered me an artist endorsement. The RG-16 does everything the Amp Gizmo does but also has 8 effects loops through which I will be able to run my analog pedals.

Once I integrate the RG-16 to my live rack I will be able to use my analog pedals and have everything – the amplifier, the effects processor and my individual pedals –controlled via the Mastermind midi controller and RG-16. Allan Holdsworth and Dweezil Zappa use RJM so that has to say something about the quality and design!