Guitar Moderne would like to welcome Earthquaker Devices to the Guitar Moderne family of advertiser/sponsors. They make great sounding, reasonably priced pedals from classic overdrives and fuzz to unique sounding modifiers perfect for the modern guitarist looking for new sounds. Check out the company profile I did for Premier Guitar and be sure to click through the ads to check out their full line of awesome effects. They look really cool too.
Check out Dennis Kayzer’s demo for some atypical pitch shifting with the Earthquaker Pitchbay.
Sarah Lipstate A/K/A Noveller is sharing her experiences touring as the opening act for St Vincent. She was kind enough to expand a little on her setup to Guitar Moderne.
“On my newest album No Dreams, I incorporated synth textures for the first time in my work as Noveller,” she explains. “I’d been working a lot with synth and other midi sound libraries for my film score work and felt inspired to try supplementing my guitar sound with tasteful synth tracks. When I started figuring out live versions of the new songs, I discovered that my iPad (coupled with the Alesis iPad dock/interface) would allow me to trigger the synth sounds using a footswitch. I use an app called BeatMaker 2 which is footswitch compatible and allows you to import high quality audio samples for playback. It’s worked great until the first show of this tour with St. Vincent. I freed up some of the memory on my iPad and that has seemed to fix the problem. Fingers crossed that it continues to work!”
The world is full of overdrive pedals. Ibanez Tube Screamer clones abound. All claim to offer amp-like distortion; some claim to offer amp-like feel; some even come close to both. The H.A.L.O. in the name of the Alairex H.A.L.O. pedal ($399 street) stands for Harmonic Amp-Like Overdrive, and this one actually delivers both sound and feel to the maximum.
The first profile I ever did for Guitar Player magazine was about Raoul Björkenheim. I had discovered his band, Krakatau, on ECM and was stunned by his Hendrix meets late era Coltrane approach. I had to talk the editors into letting me do it, but to their credit they let me interview this unknown (in America, anyway) Finnish guitarist. Since then Björkenheim has appeared on dozens of recordings under his own name and with projects like Scorch Trio and Umo Jazz Orchestra. Like Bill Frisell, he has a distinctive, recognizable style that nevertheless fits in a variety of contexts. It is a sound synthesized from a wide range of influences that he describes in detail here. It is worth noting that though these sources of inspiration are common to hundreds of players, here they disappear into a singular voice that is pure Björkenheim.
Guitar Moderne’s NAMM 2013 report spotlighted Moldover’s Robo guitar, an instrument festooned with MIDI controller buttons and sliders. Designed with the builders at Visionary Instruments, the guitar is available for custom order to those that can afford it. For those that can’t, or would prefer to add its controller capabilities to their own instrument, its offshoot Guitar Wing, designed in conjunction Livid Instruments, seems just the thing. For a mere $199 you can attach a unit that will offer on/off and continuous wireless MIDI control of software and hardware, including by motion sensor.
For more info, to purchase, and/or to check out demos go here
I inadvertently left KOMA Elektronik out of my NAMM review. They looked promising and I took a card, but didn’t get to spend as much time as I would have liked at the booth. Like Freaqbox (and MOOG long before them), the KOMA units are part of a trend towards creating effects pedals out of analog synthesizer modules.
Ville Aho was kind enough to contribute a way to make bass pedals, ala a Moog Taurus, by recycling that old MIDI keyboard you no longer use. You can get the instructions on blog site Electronic Melodist. If you have any questions email him at email@example.com.
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