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Positive Grid Announces BIAS Distortion Beta Program

BIAS Distortion
Positive Grid recently released BIAS FX which is the perfect compliment to BIAS Amp as it contains a plethora of perfectly modelled stomp and rack effects to use for recording or performing. In true Positive Grid style they have taken this idea a step further by creating a new product called BIAS Distortion which allows you to create your own distortion pedal by designing the circuit and down to a transistors level!

BIAS Distortion also includes the ability to tone match any real life analog distortion pedal which is an awesome idea as hopefully you will be able to download tones from other users which means you get access to the sounds of a huge range of expensive stomp boxes, woo! Of course you will also be able to integrate BIAS Distortion with BIAS FX dual signal chains, and seamlessly transfer distortion pedal creations between iPad and Mac/Win devices.

To sign up for the beta testing program head over to

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Fractal Audio AX8 Amp Modelling Floor Unit Imminent

The L.A. Amp Show last weekend saw the debut of the much anticipated Fractal Audio AX8 which is the floor unit version of their flagship Axe-Fx product and follows in the footsteps of the multi effect Fractal floor unit FX8. The AX8 is not exactly the same as it’s rack mounted big brother however, it apparently has the same amp and cab modeling but it features a stripped down effects section and smaller grid (4×8 vs 4×12). The two 450 MHz DSPs are for amp modeling and the other for effects/housekeeping. The same silent switch technology as the MFC-101 Mark III and FX-8 are used and the switches are assignable per patch via a new “Switch Assign Matrix” feature.


Here are some more details from the Fractal forum: “…the switches are multi-function. They operate as preset, scene, looper or bypass switches. There are four expression pedal inputs. There is a stereo effects loop. The dedicated knobs control only those parameters for which they are indicated. There are five soft knobs under the display that are used for adjusting other parameters.”


Apparently the AX8 will cost just $1399 which is just over half the price of an Axe-FX II XL rack unit (without a floor controller).

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EVH 5150 III LBX vs Peavey 6505 Mini Head

The EVH 5150 III has been immensely popular among Eddie Van Halen fans as well as Metal fans who have been using the 5150 since the Peavey days. Not too long ago EVH Gear (Fender) released smaller 50 Watt 5150 head and combo for those looking for something a little tamer than the 100 watt Behemoth. In what seems to be a reaction to Peavey’s latest minification efforts EVH Gear are also releasing a lunch box version of the 5150 III called the LBX. The 5150 III LBX is currently available to pre-order at various online outlets but I just stumbled across this video in which Phillip McKnight compares the EVH 5150 III LBX with the Peavey 6505 MH (Mini Head).

As you may be aware the Peavey 6505 is the re-badged Peavey 5150 (after Eddie split to join forces with Fender) so it is very interesting to hear a direct comparison of tones. However as Phillip points out in the video if you are looking for real bang for your buck the Peavey has way more features including a Tube Status Indicator, Mic Simulated Direct Interface with a speaker defeat switch to turn off your cabinet for lower stage volume (or for silent practice with headphones). And finally footswitchable channels, crunch, reverb, and effects loop. The 5150 LBX in comparison has an effects loop, Crunch and Full Burn channels from it’s bigger brothers, a power switch taking the amp down to 4-watts but no reverb and the price is about $200 US more.



From a visual perspective if you like the old 5150 you’ll probably quite like the miniaturized version but personally I think the LBX looks much nicer. Also Phillip mentioned that one amp is made in Mexico and one in China, personally I don’t really think that the quality of these amps should be significantly different, let’s face it both are under $700 US so you can’t expect too much. From Phillip’s demos the LBX has a bit more meat to the tone but they are very similar so if you wanted to save those $200 you could at least rest assured you aren’t losing anything really in terms of tone. Both amps are powered by a pair of EL84 power tubes and both amps’ preamps are powered by 12AX7 tubes but the difference between the two is that the 6505 has three while the LBX has five!

I think it is a tough choice between the two without playing them myself but being a simple person I do like the front panel of the LBX over the somewhat busy 6505MH, however the individual channel pre & post gain controls are a huge bonus on the 6505MH.

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Orange Amplification Creates The Orange Micro Dark By Popular Demand

Orange Micro Dark
Orange Amplification have responded to thousands of requests and created the Orange Micro Dark Amplifier. The miniature valve/solid-state hybrid head joins the high gain Dark Terror and Dual Dark amps with their distinctive black appearance and sports a single 12AX7 to produce 20 watts of output. The Micro Dark also features a full buffered effects loop and Orange’s CabSim loaded headphone output which is also perfect for recording.

Check out more info at the Orange Amps website –

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3D Printing Solutions Australia – 3D Printed Guitar

3D Printing Solutions Australia, the official distributor for Polymaker filaments in Australia, have created a fully functioning 3D Guitar using Polymaker’s PolyMax filament. Check out some audio samples in the video above and I have included a couple of photos below that show how the 2 parts of the guitar come together.

Printed Guitar 2

Printed Guitar 4

The design incorporates the four suits in a standard deck of playing cards in which each is individually embossed into the body. Tyson used an UP Box 3D printer to create the body of the guitar in four pieces, which were then fused together using an epoxy resin, and finally cleaned up in post-production for a seamless finish. The completed product is a brilliant blue “hybrid” wood and PolyMax guitar featuring a maple neck and mahogany block fitted in the body to provide a deep tone and consistent sustain, assuring that the instrument sounds as good as it looks.

According to Tyson, 3D Printing offered considerable advantages over conventional woodworking techniques particularly when it came to the intricacies of the four-suit playing card motif found in the body. By adjusting the parameters in the computer program connected to the printer, a designer can easily create different 3D printed bodies, which can be interchanged to the guitar in under 45 minutes. This provides one instrument that can take on a different look and style with little time and effort.

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Analog Alien Announce The ‘Bucket Seat’

analog alien butcket seat
Press Release
We are proud to announce the release of our first single effect guitar pedal in the Fall of 2015. The Bucket Seat is the junior version of the already released and supremely popular Rumble Seat. The official release of the Bucket Seat will be on October 15, 2015. MSRP will be at a super affordable $199 USD.

The Bucket Seat is the same Rumble Drive circuit that is found in our 5-star pedal the “Rumble Seat” – which is herald by artists like James Burton (Elvis Presley), Stevie Wonder, and Joe Walsh (James Gang, The Eagles, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band). Everything from mild overdrive to a full on high gain assault is possible with the Bucket Seat.

Check the Analog Alien site for more info.

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TC Electronic Hypergravity Compressor

TC Electronic have announced the latest addition to their line of TonePrint pedals, the HyperGravity Compressor.

Press Release
Based on the MD3 multiband compression algorithm found in System6000, their studio production masterpiece, HyperGravity Compressor is able to produce a plethora of compression tones right out of the box. From super transparent and ultra-musical compression tones normally only found in high-end studio racks, to the classic squash and squeeze of yesteryears compressor stompboxes, it’s all there and then some!

TC Electronic hypergravity

Studio-Quality Multiband Compressor
Vintage mode for classic stompbox compression
TonePrint enabled – for a world of signature and customizable effects
Compact design
True Bypass

With HyperGravity Compressor’s TonePrint functionality, you can beam custom-made compression tones to the pedal or dive deep into the wealth of parameters available via the free TonePrint Editor and create your very own compression tone from scratch.

Dialing in shimmery, sustaining tones with perfectly even dynamics couldn’t be easier and with its compact enclosure and true bypass design for an unaltered reproduction of your original guitar tone, HyperGravity Compressor is ready to take the throne as the new king of compression.

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Video: Blackbird El Capitan Ekoa Guitar

I find Carbon Fiber Acoustic Guitars very interesting, not just because they look cool and aren’t affected by humidity but they also sound amazing too and allow for innovations in design without the limitations of Wood for construction. The El Capitan is the next step in Blackbird Guitars evolution of the Acoustic Guitar, the company has partnered with a company called Lingrove who have developed Ekoa linen composites which are not only as strong as Carbon Fiber but also look like wood.

“We use carbon fiber bracing, plates and different thicknesses and fabric types to achieve a desired mechanical objective, be it purely stiffness-to-weight as in the top or simply stiffness for the sides. Having more options is intrinsically good, so adding to the mix now offers a new mechanical dimension lower density. Ekoa brings that warmer, ‘woodie’ sound through out the construction.”

Check out more details here –

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Jennifer Batten Selected as 2016 She Rocks Award Honoree by The Women’s International Music Network

Jennifer Batten
This is great, Jennifer Batten definitely deserves this award she is a brilliant guitar player who has played to millions of people and inspired so many people to play guitar.

The Women’s International Music Network (the WiMN) is extremely pleased to announce acclaimed guitarist Jennifer Batten as a 2016 She Rocks Award recipient. Recognizing women who stand out as role models in the music industry, the live awards event takes place on January 22, 2016, at 6:30 p.m. in the Anaheim Hilton Hotel during the NAMM Show.

Best known for having played guitar for Michael Jackson’s three solo world tours as well as the Superbowl XXVII, Batten has also toured and recorded with British guitar icon Jeff Beck for several years, recorded three solo CD’s, written two music books, and released three instructional DVD’s with Batten continues to tour the globe with performances and music seminars. For more information, visit

“Jennifer Batten is one of the most deserving and hard-working women in our industry. She blazed the path for today’s female guitarists, inspiring a legion of players. For that, and many other reasons, we are so excited to honor her with an award,” said the WiMN Founder, Laura B. Whitmore.

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Professional Guitar Strumming Graphics For Your Teaching Material

Guitar teacher Andy Collins has been teaching for 17 years and his frustration in having to create strumming patterns for his YouTube teaching videos and lesson material led to him creating a new product, Guitar Strumming Patterns. Necessity is the mother of invention as they say. If you have watched the video above or visited the link to the Guitar Strumming Graphics site you will also see that Andy has kindly created a series of video tutorials for those that are not very familiar with Photoshop or Gimp and need a little help to edit the templates for their needs. However Andy has also included the most common patterns for each set (8ths, 16ths, Triplets, Sextuplets) as ready to use transparent PNG format so that you can drop them into your videos, add them to your transcriptions etc.

If this is something that you might find useful you should check out the launch sale as you can currently get this package for $17 but in a few days time that price will go up to $37, which if you are a full time teacher is a very small investment for your business. Please make sure you watch the video above for a full explanation of Guitar Strumming Graphics and also make sure you check out Andy’s YouTube channel, Nail Guitar.

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