It’s Here: The Red Panda Tensor

Rumors of this pedal have been flying around since 2015; it has appeared at the last two winter NAMM shows in various forms; but is only now available as Curt Malouin will release no pedal before its time. A while back we touted the Hologram Infinite Jets Resynthesizer as the ultimate modern guitar pedal, and for sheer variety of  non-traditional sounds available in a single pedal it may still reign. But coming up fast is the Red Panda Tensor, with its more board-friendly size, MIDI capability, ease of use, and ease on the pocketbook.

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Spotlight: Sandy Ewen

I have come to realize that Sandy Ewen is something of a rare bird: the Avant performer who began by playing experimentallly, without any background of performing mainstream music with more typical technique. I was lucky to see her on tour in Nashville, in a small enough space to fully experience her unique use of a pan pedal that moves her prepared guitar sounds across the stereo spectrum. Since moving from Houston to New York she has become a fixture on the improv scene there in a surprisingly short time.

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Plasma Pedal Pre-orders and Online Testing Platform

Guitar Moderne featured the Gamechanger Audio Plasma Pedal in the 2018 NAMM report. The Plasma is a unique dirt pedal that transforms your instrument’s signal into a series of continuous high-voltage discharges within a xenon-filled tube. Pre-orders are now available through an Indiegogo campaign. Along with other perks, the $299 pedal is available for a limited time for as low as $159 through the Indiegogo push. At post time they have raised $73,752, so this pedal will see the light of day.

In another innovative move, they are launching an online testing platform that will actually let anyone in the world take the PLASMA Pedal for a test-drive via a YouTube live-stream. There, you can upload your sound sample, dial in your desired knob settings via remote controlled motors and watch your track being played back through High-Voltage Plasma distortion. Try it–it’s fun!

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Modern Guitar Supergroup: Nels Cline and Julian Lage

I was lucky enough to see the first time Cline and Lage performed together. It was in NYC at Le Poisson Rouge for a celebration of Downtown Music Gallery’s 21rst Anniversary

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Since then they have toured and recorded together as a duo. Now, for his second record on Blue Note, Cline is featuring a quartet with Lage as the other guitarist. It will be released April 13th. Here is a teaser:

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NAMM 2018

NAMM 2018 was even bigger than last year, yet much more manageable. The brand new ACC (Anaheim Convention Center) North building  housed most of the high tech and pro audio stuff, allowing guitars and related products to be centralized in one area on the main floor of the original building. NAMM further reduced the spread by offering the new boutique manufacturers—previously relegated to downstairs Hall E—smaller, more affordable booths in the main guitar product ghetto. Thus, I was able to cover the show in two relaxed, rather than three grueling, days.

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The new AAC North building

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