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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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.
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).
In the morass of analog and digital delays on display at the January 2013 NAMM show, the Ibanez Echo Shifter’s ($150 Street) retro styling made it stand out from the crowd. An old school sliding fader to adjust delay time? —Cool! The Oscillation switch too aroused curiosity. It only remained to get one in and see if it was as interesting sonically as it was visually.
The b3 Water is part of Gene Baker’s new line of guitars featuring five models based on the Chinese elements: Fire, Water, Earth, Wood, and Metal. It offers a modification of the archetypical semi-hollow double cutaway in the Gibson ES-335 mode.
Tremolo is not just an effect for roots musicians. It can be used in a variety of musical applications, with the choppier forms especially suited to modern guitar playing. Like all their pedals, Jam pedals’ new tremolo is handmade in Greece.
This is the first Guitar Moderne review to feature a dedicated video demo, so be kind.
Last year, Sonuus first showed the programable Wahoo Analogue Dual-Filter/Wah pedal at a NAMM show. Having reviewed their brilliant i2M audio/MIDI converter, I was interested in anything else they might have up their sleeve, and this new pedal, offering Moog-style filtering in addition to more typical wah sounds, looked promising. The fact that note tracking could modify the filter changes was particularly intriguing. Well, I finally got my hands on one. Does it live up to the promise? Read on…
I admit to having been seduced by the current Jazzmaster craze. I have always liked the look of the body, with its asymmetric design offering an implication of motion. Too, as a modern guitarist, I liked being able to play behind the bridge.
Often, the cables that connect our instruments to our amplifiers can be an afterthought; we grab whatever ones work from among the thos we haven’t lost or left at the last gig, and throw them in the gig bag. Of course we have heard that higher quality cables can make a difference in tone, but few of us have had the opportunity to test a variety side by side. And even if we have, we usually discover that the ones that are audibly different can cost as much as that new pedal we covet. That kind of money seems steep for something we are likely to lose, and what the hell, we can always turn up the treble on the amp.
The fact is, cables do make a difference. So when Planet Waves announced that their American Stage cable utilized “exclusively designed technology to ensure optimized ‘sweet spot’ capacitance and impenetrable shielding to achieve [their] trademark transparency,” I figured I should check them out.