Every now and then, a pedal comes along that embodies the concept of modern electric guitar. Hologram Electronics’ Microcosm is one such pedal. Here is modern guitarist extraordinaire Mike Baggetta’s “non-demo,” where he shows you how to make music with it. I also include Hologram Electronics’ specs and some other demo videos. Not a cheap pedal but not bad for something that is more like a musical instrument. Pre-order is now open for the second batch of Microcosms, shipping in late June 2020.
At NAMM 2020 back in January, the worst thing you had to worry about was getting NAMMthrax (or NAMMonia), that is, a bad cold from shaking all those hands. We live in different times now; hope you and yours are healthy.
What this year’s winter show lacked in number of interesting product debuts it made up for in decibels. Complaints were constant about being unable to hear the gear, or talk to the vendors. (You can experience this in some of the videos). That said, there were a few cool releases that should appeal to the modern guitarist. If April seems late for the roundup, consider that many of these products are just now shipping.
This apparently wasn’t ready for NAMM, and it still isn’t shipping, but it looks interesting. A highly-flexible pedal board with simple controls, Plethora X5 allows you to create and customize up to 127 custom boards with a up to five Toneprint pedals each. Effects include: Hall Of Fame 2 Reverb, Flashback 2 Delay, Sub n Up Octaver, Brainwaves Pitch Shifter, Corona Chorus, Hypergravity Compressor, Mimiq Doubler, Vortex Flanger, Pipeline Tap Tremolo, Quintessence Harmony, Sentry Noise Gate, Shaker Vibrato. Shnobel does a great job of explaining it, or check out the shorter official rundown below. It will be available later this year for $399.
I recently wrote about Blue Cat Audio’s Axiom amp sim plugin for my column in Electronic Musician. Included in that software is their Late Replies plugin, to be used for delay effects with your amp models. It allows you to modify its delays with a variety of built-in effects (filters, pitch-shifting, etc), as well as any of your AU, VST, or VST3 plugins!. And that is just the beginning; Late Replies is one of those effects that is more like an instrument. Check out these videos or download the demo and prepare to lose a day playing with the almost infinite parameter permutations.
When modern guitarist and 1K Records mogul, Tim Motzer gets together with modern jazz guitar legend Kurt Rosenwinkel and drummer Gintas Janusonis to perform as Bandit65, there is no written music, no songs, no plan. The three musicians jump off a cliff and create music from nothing as they fall. Except that they don’t fall. Working without a safety net, they float gently on currents of magical music, composed in the moment. Tim and Kurt were kind enough to talk to Guitar Moderne about their process and gear.