Eventide’s audio effects have been long been considered objects of desire by musicians, engineers, and producers. Going back to their first harmonizer, these units have been employed on dozens of classic recordings, as well as live—by the lucky few who could afford them. Their stompbox series, though still not cheap, made these effects accessible to a much wider range of sonic explorers. Avant-guitarists like Noveller, Eivind Aarset, and Stian Westerhus soon began exploring the tonal possibilities of the self-explanatory Pitch-, Mod-, and TimeFactor pedals, as well as the reverb-centric Space stomp. For me, the problem remained that, while each pedal has numerous incredible sounds, there are way more than I would be likely to use. To assemble the particular effects I want would require purchasing the entire set, an outlay of $2000—the same price that puts even their budget rack unit, the Eclipse, out of my range. Enter the H9…. There are plenty of great demos on YouTube, but here is one that concentrates on using the iOS control for experimental sounds. Continue reading
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I am old enough to remember Gittler’s first time around, about thirty-five years ago. It heralded the first truly radical shift in guitar design since the lute morphed into the instrument we know today. The world wasn’t ready at the time, though the Museum of Modern Art in New York recognized it as a gorgeous piece.
Here’s hoping the guitar world has come far enough to support this amazing instrument this time around. If you want to get in on the ground floor, join their kickstarter campaign.
It may seem like I am devoting a lot of blog space to the new Jam Origin MIDI Guitar but, trust me, it is a game changer. Here is my full review in Electronic Musician. And below is another video, by David Wallimann, that goes through some of the features. He seems as excited as I am. If you have been put off in the past by the expense, hassle, and tracking issues of MIDI guitar, those days are over.
If you didn’t get enough of an idea of how cool the new Jam Origin MIDI guitar software is from my Source Audio Hot Hand USB review, or were wondering if it can track fast playing, check out British fusion whiz Tom Qualye’s demo. If you can play that clean, it will track that fast.
Also be sure to check out my full review in the November issue of Electronic Musician magazine. Remember—absolutely no hardware or hex pickup required!
I was tasked with reporting on the 2013 Nashville Amp & Gear Expo for Guitar Player Magazine. Check it out here.
Source Audio epitomizes the kind of forward thinking encouraged at Guitar Moderne. From the company’s inception it has eschewed the kind of “vintage is better” thinking pervading much (but thankfully not all) of the effect pedal industry. Vintage is great, but Source Audio has taken the challenge to push the world of guitar performance into the future. Their centerpiece product—Hot Hand—is a ring that remotely controls their line of guitar and bass effects, as well as any other effect with a continuous control input. Now, through Hot Hand USB it can also control plug-in and DAW parameters on your computer.
Earthquaker Devices is one of most successful pedal manufacturers to emerge from the boutique effect world. By offering solidly constructed, great looking and sounding pedals at an affordable price point, they have shaken up the market like a 5.0 trembler. Though they offer standard effects like overdrive, fuzz, distortion, and compression, Earthquaker also occasionally pushes the pedal envelope with something like the Arpanoid ($225 list).
Anyone familiar with the Moog Guitar will be acquainted with Paul Vo’s work. Vo pioneered string energy synthesis, where the sounds are a product not of processing the au but of affecting the way the strings vibrate. This method creates a variety of unearthly overtones and harmonics for some completely new guitar sounds. Vo created his own company—VoInventions—and has turned his inventor’s eye toward acoustic guitars. The result is the Vo-96 Acoustic Synthesizer. Try to check this out without your jaw dropping.
More comprehensive intro
The NAMM show offered a multitude of effects in a showroom-style vacuum. My compadres at Premier Guitar go out in the field to show you how they are actually employed. In this Premier Guitar Rig Rundown Vernon Reid and Doug Wimbish demo the gear they are currently using in Living Color, providing a compendium of effects available to the modern guitarist and bassist. Reid is running parallel signals through VG-99, Guitar Rig, iPad and Ableton Live effects, as well as a host of other processors, while Wimbish combines distortion, filtering, and looping in creative ways. These guys are on the gear cutting edge—check it out!