“Andy Timmons suggested to Carl to create a Compressor/Limiter with two presets, so that he had a preset for more subtle rhythm parts, and a preset with more hard compression and sustain for other parts as solos without having to take up real-estate on the board for two Compressor/Limiters. The result is a two-preset option for Compression Rate and Level. In order to save knobs and to be as user-friendly as possible, the Threshold and Response settings are fixed for both presets, leaving the pedal with only six knobs, the Threshold and Response being 6mm miniature knobs. As a useful extra feature we incorporated a ¼” jack for remote switching the presets (Latching).”
“As something new, the Carl Martin Andy Timmons Signature Compressor/Limiter incorporates the newly developed DC/DC converter circuitry. This enables us to run the pedal with +-12V internally, which is necessary in order to maintain the same sonic quality and headroom as on the “old” Compressor/Limiter using a regular 9V DC 200mA power supply.”
August 23, 2015 at 10:38 am | Posted by Jon in Guitar Apps
Tabd is a new mobile app coming to the iPhone next month that provides guitarists with an easy way to TAB riffs and ideas, include a short audio recording (which you can crop) and then share with other musicians. This is a great tool if you want to collaborate on a track for instance with another guitar player or bass player where you can add comments and discuss the TAB idea.
Tabd’s core feature set includes an intuitive tablature editor to create simple and effective tabs. “We took a no-frills approach because we wanted an interface that all players would feel comfortable with,” says startup founder Adam Braverman. “We wanted writing tablature to be as easy as composing a text message.”
With Tabd you don’t need to worry about “real” music notation, just create a simple tablature example and the audio example that you attach will enable the person you share it with to quickly know how it should sound.
August 22, 2015 at 6:01 pm | Posted by Jon in News
PRS have yet again extended their affordable SE series of guitars with the new SE Custom 22 and SE Custom 22 Semi-Hollow which looks very tantalising. I’ve always been a fan of the kind of tones and feel you get from semi-hollow guitars and I have to say this guitar has looks far beyond the price tag, I’ve seen PRS SE Custom 24’s listed new on ebay in the US for $450, the 30th anniversary model was about $200 more so I would expect the semi-hollow somewhere toward the higher of the two prices.
“The PRS SE Custom 22 adds a more vintage tone and feel to the traditional SE Custom platform. This guitar has a pronounced mid-range and clarity that provides a sweet, full tonal bass and shimmering treble, allowing it to easily sit in a live band mix or recording. Like its 24-fret brother, the SE Custom 22 sports a maple top with mahogany back and 25” scale length. Additional appointments include dual humbuckers with a volume, tone, and 3-way toggle switch and a PRS-designed stoptail bridge. The SE Custom 22 is available in Vintage Sunburst and Whale Blue finishes.”
PRS SE Custom 22 demo from PRS:
“The PRS SE Custom 22 Semi-Hollow has musical midrange and outstanding resonance. The semi-hollow body provides an airy, sweet tone but with a twist of the tone knob, the dual humbuckers can get plenty of bright spank. Additional appointments include a maple top with a single F-Hole and flame maple veneer, chambered mahogany back, mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard, and dual humbuckers with a volume, tone, and 3-way toggle electronics configuration. The SE Custom 22 Semi-Hollow is both versatile and comfortable, making it a reliable tool for professionals, a solid choice for beginners, and a welcome addition to any arsenal.”
Joe Bonamassa uses this pedal to thicken up his lead tone with musical, amp-like distortion and sustain. “This pedal glued the loose ends of my rig together,” Joe says. “It’s very focused and very fat, and it cuts through without being too bright. That’s a hard sound to achieve.”
Each purchase of the MXR Custom Shop Signature Joe Bonamassa Pelham Blue FET Driver ($169.99) comes with a free T-shirt.
August 20, 2015 at 8:45 pm | Posted by Jon in News
I was recently asked if I wanted to contribute toward a post on Gumtree’s site to help people who are considering buying a guitar on Gumtree. The article is called The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Guitar and includes advice from myself, Aussie Custom Guitar Pick specialists Grover Allman and Guitardownunder.com. As you can probably guess this article appears on the Australian Gumtree site but it is relevant to anyone looking to purchase a new or used instrument.
The idea of making guitars from old Skateboards is not a new one, in fact I posted about Someone making skateboard Teles back in 2012 but this is the first time I’ve seen a guitar company based entirely on this method.
Prisma Guitars Is a company founded entirely on creating guitars from old skateboard decks. Each guitar is hand made by 23 year old industrial designer Nick Pourfard. Offering a variety of hardware options, bodies can be made entirely with skateboards, semi-hollow, or with skate tops and alder or mahogany backs. All bodies are finished with nitrocellulose instrument lacquer and necks can be built with skateboards or hard rock maple.
Prisma Guitars are available in six body shapes while basses come in two. Pourfard says about the Duke model, “This is a mahogany guitar with skateboard top. Many people do not know that skateboards are made of hard rock maple, so this glue up is similar to many Les Paul guitars. This guitar is loaded with two of our own hand wound humbuckers and Tone Pro bridge.”
While Prisma offers a standard line of guitars, each guitar is, in effect, a one-off version. Their Custom Shop offers customers an opportunity to commission an instrument especially for them by choosing from a wide variety of options.
“Positive Grid, creator of the best selling BIAS Amp guitar amp modeler, is proud to announce the release of BIAS FX Desktop: the world’s first and only cross platform guitar amp-and-effects processor for Mac and Windows. For the first time ever, users will be able to record and re-amp integrating BIAS Amp Match models capturing the tone from any real amp in dual amp mode, add ultra-high definition effects configurations in dual signal chains, and share and download thousands of rigs right on ToneCloud, Positive Grid’s tone sharing platform.”
I was so happy when I heard that Positive Grid were porting their awesome iOS app BIAS FX to a desktop plugin and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. In the demo above I am running BIAS FX as a plugin in Cockos Reaper, I plugged my Cilia CGA7 directly into a Focusrite Scarlet 2i4 interface connected via USB to my Mac. The tones you are hearing are all BIAS, no post processing, EQ or extra plugins.
“With its groundbreaking cross platform design, BIAS FX overall operation and presets can be synced all across Mac, Windows and iOS devices for instant access anywhere, any time. For the first time, musicians are able to achieve high quality amp and effects tones in the studio with BIAS FX Desktop, and bring the same exact sound for live performances with BIAS FX Mobile.”
When I first picked up the guitar many years ago Joe Satriani had just released a live EP Dreaming #11 that featured tracks from his debut album ‘Not Of This Earth’ and the amazing follow up ‘Surfing With The Alien’. I remember being absolutely amazed by ‘Hordes Of Locusts’ and ‘Ice Nine’, I’d never heard anything like this before but at the same time it was exactly what I had been waiting for. The following year ‘Flying In A Blue Dream’ was released, could it get any better than this? Well I’m not sure anyone can follow 3 albums of such epic intensity and groundbreaking guitar playing, except Joe of course who has just released his 15th studio solo album ‘Shockwave Supernova’. Clearly Satch is an incredibly prolific composer.
The interesting thing about Satriani is that listening to a track I can pick the rough era by the style of track, guitar tone and of course by the production. When Joe announced ‘Shockwave Supernova’ he talked about how he had created a complete back story theme and persona. Now Satch’s albums always have a theme but I think this album is the first time he has approached songs with this kind of strong story since Surfing and Flying and it does in fact have more in common with these early albums than the last few releases in my opinion. Joe also mentioned in a recent video that some of these tracks were originally written many years ago which maybe contributes to the “old school” Satriani vibe on some of the tracks.
Many of you will already have heard the track ‘On Peregrine Wings’ which was released on YouTube, this kind of sums up what I was talking about. The guitar tone, exotic scales, harmonised guitars and amazing feedback control all remind me of ‘Not of this earth’ and ‘Flying in a blue dream’ but the live band vibe (Marco Minneman, Bryan Beller & Mike Kenneally) is more reminiscent of the last few Skywalker Sound studio albums. The track ‘Cataclysmic’ is another older sounding track that would have been just at home on ‘The Extremist’ as it is on this album, amazing fat distorted bass riff, keyboards filling the background and Satch at his very best with memorable melodies and outstanding solos.
Joe Satriani has his enigmatic and cinematic style of composition and then he has his groove based bluesy side and there is plenty of both on ‘Shockwave Supernova’. ‘Crazy Joey’ has an incredibly catchy open string & hammer-ons riff (that I have to do a lesson on at some point) over a slow groove with plenty of bluesy riffing and has echoes of ‘Super Colossal’ followed by a track called ‘In My Pocket’ that sees the return of Satch’s harmonica playing that reminded me of ‘Big Bad Moon’ and some awesome funky playing, definitely one of my favourite tracks of the album. There is even a hint of Chickenfoot on the track ‘Scarborough Stomp’ with Joe’s searing solos as a replacement for Hagar’s vocals.
As a huge Satriani fan I can say that the last few albums haven’t been listened to as much as his earlier work but this album seems to resonated more with me and it made me feel excited about guitar playing again just like I did when I heard Surfing, Flying and The Extremist. Sure there are a few of the 15 tracks that I’ll probably skip over but other tracks such as “Cataclysmic” are absolutely classic Satch tracks that I will never tire of listening to. Can’t wait to catch Joe on tour to see some of these tracks played live!
Dave Murray was one of my first guitar heroes along with his bandmate Adrian Smith, Iron Maiden were one of my biggest musical influences when I picked up guitar at the tender age of 12. What I really love about Dave Murray is that he has always stuck with the Fender Stratocaster for decades as his go to guitar rather than opting for a super-strat option. To make the guitar suit his needs Dave uses Seymour Duncan sized humbuckers for high gain tones without the hum or noise of traditional Strat single coils.
To make life easier for those wishing to have the same kind of setup Seymour Duncan have created a preloaded Pickguard which is available in Pearloid, Black and White versions, each pickguard comes pre-loaded with the Hot Rails bridge and neck pickups plus a JB Jr. in the middle position, as well as high-quality Bourns volume and tone pots and a 5-way pickup selector switch, and it uses the 11-hole style which fits most post-1964 Stratocasters®. Each set comes personalized with special stickers as well as pickguard installation instructions.
“My Seymour Duncan pickups give me everything I need to get the maximum gain and versatility out of my guitar, but still with that classic Strat look,” Murray says. “The SD Hot Rails give a huge output on the neck and bridge, but without losing the clarity, and having the option of the lower output JB Jr. in the center gives a perfect option for clean tones”
Responding to the needs of pedalboard users and players whose high gain effects create difficult to control hum and noise, EHX has developed The Silencer, a sophisticated noise gate that can tame a single pedal or an entire effects loop.
The Silencer’s three-control layout provides precise fine-tuning to fit your system, instrument and playing style. Threshold adjusts how much level is required to open the noise gate and allow a signal to pass thru. Reduction regulates the degree to which the gated signal is reduced and is variable between -70db and +4db. Release controls how long the gate remains open after the signal drops below the Threshold. Release time is variable between 8ms and 4 seconds.
I/O includes ¼ inch Input, Output, Send and Return jacks. The footswitch selects whether the Silencer is engaged or in bypass mode; buffered bypass allows the effects loop to remain in your signal path when the gate is bypassed. A built-in AC jack accepts an EHX9.6DC power supply (optional) and the pedal ships with a 9V battery.
The Silencer has a $76.80 MSRP and will be available this August.