Happy New Year to all the readers, subscribers and sponsors of Guitar Moderne. I hope to expand the reach of the magazine in 2018 by bringing more guitarists, products and techniques to anyone interested in the future of guitar. Here’s hoping we all have a happy and healthy year in 2018.
This year’s winter NAMM was INSANE! Thursday was as crowded as a typical Saturday and it escalated from there. The noise floor was non-stop jet-engine level. I came home with ears ringing and NAMMthrax. Was it worth it? You bet. Three full days was barely enough to cover all the cool stuff. It opened with a terrific concert band doing a modern composition that incorporated either recorded or live recitations from young people (I couldn’t see from my vantage point) about the difficulties of growing up. This boded well for a forward-thinking show and, in fact, there were ample examples of manufacturers leaving the traditional behind to explore new territory.
Other than the upward trajectory of the business evidenced by the crowd, the only trend I noticed was the invasion of the pedal market by Greece and Brazil. As usual, NAMM often stands for “Not Available, Maybe May,” so stay tuned to the manufactures’ sites and guitarmoderne.com for updates, and, if you would like to hear me talk about this year’s winter NAMM, check out Matt Wakeling’s Guitar Speak podcast featuring yours truly.
In some ways, Daniele Principato is emblematic of the new breed of experimental guitarists. As The Auralab, he a prominent presence on YouTube, where he posts his process, as well as full shows. He has no website but is on Facebook. He is out of the Stian Westerhus school of often playing pedals as much as notes. He is also refreshingly forthright, as well as interesting, in his description of his relationship to music.
Recently it was time to upgrade my main pedalboard. I was getting more and more into the Eventide H9. I realized it could do everything I needed from the Electro-Harmonix Ring thing I currently employed and way more. The problem was, the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power that had served me well so far would no longer power everything. I could have added a Pedal Power Digital, or switched to a Voodoo Lab Mondo (as used on my big board, featured here) but instead the solution arrived in the form of the new Truetone 1 Spot Pro CS 12 ($179.95). It will power the entire board with outputs left over for even more pedals should I choose to get crazy (er). Here is the lowdown on this new bit of kit.
Red Panda unveiled a prototype of this cool digital delay with pitch shifter pedal at NAMM in January, but I didn’t get a chance to hear it there. The Raster ($249USD) delivers a an amazing array of Guitar Moderne-approved sounds including harmonizing delays, phase-shifted repeats, arpeggios, alien textures, chaotic self-oscillation, and continuously evolving soundscapes.