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MOD Duo multi-effects pedal


I have to admit when I first saw the MOD Duo I thought it was a cool idea but that it would be better in a larger pedal board format for easier selection of effects, but it appears that not many people share my view as the company have already reached over $57,000 of their $65,000 goal with 10 days to go which is an amazing achievement and shows just how much interest there is for this pedal. Here is an explanation about what makes this pedal so clever.

“We built a pedalboard that is a computer at your feet optimised to work with audio processing. The MOD uses the LV2 open standard technology, which is established and has numerous highquality available effects. The LV2 also has a vast community of audio plugin developers. When accessing the MOD from any device (computer, tablet or mobile phone – regardless of brand), you have access to a simple and intuitive interface so that you can arrange your effects as you want to, in any order and with as many connections as desired.”

MOD Duo GUI

“We also have invested in “MOD Social”. You can share and find other musicians’ pedalboards on the same screen as the one you use to arrange your effects, in literally just one click.”

Now aside from this pedal which has two footswitches, two control knobs and two LCD displays giving you control of dozens of parameters the knobs are also clickable too adding more control to a simple layout. However as I stated before I was worried guitarists would want more control, more footswitchable effect gratification, well fear not! Those clever boffins have already thought of that with their range of peripherals.

First up is the MOD Expression pedal which can adjust the pan, change the sound volume, the delay time, the intensity of distortion or anything you want:
mod-expression

And then there is the Footswitch Extensor with 4 extra footswitches, yay!
Footswitch-Extensor-prototype

Expect to hear a lot more from this company they are definitely using some very cool cutting edge technology to bring affordable yet extensible effects to guitarists around the world, check out their Kickstarter page using the link below.

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Truefire Andy Timmons Monster Gear Giveaway

Andy Timmons Monster Gear Giveaway
To celebrant the launch of Andy Timmons’ new instructional course for Truefire.com they have organised the Andy Timmons Monster Gear Giveaway featuring some awesome prizes, here’s the complete list:

Ibanez Andy Timmons Guitar AT100CL ($2699.99 Retail)
Mesa Boogie Lone Star Combo ($1949.99 Retail)
DiMarzio AT1 Andy Timmons Humbucker Pickup ($79.99 Retail)
DiMarzio The Cruiser Bridge Pickup – 2 ($159.99 Retail Total)
Xotic Effects EP Booster ($145.00 Retail)
Xotic Effects BB Preamp ($245.00 Retail)
Xotic Effects SL Drive ($155.00 Retail)
Carl Martin Compressor Limiter ($269.50 Retail)
Jim Dunlop M101 Phase 90 ($115.00 Retail)
Jim Dunlop M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay ($215.00 Retail)
Jim Dunlop 800 Custom Tortex Picks ($337.44 Retail)
D’Addario NYXL1046 Guitar Stings – 2 Sets of 5 Packs ($119.90 Retail Total)
D’Addario EXP16 Acoustic Strings – 2 Sets of 5 Packs ($129.90 Retail Total)
D’Addario Planet Waves NS Micro Headstock Tuner ($22.99 Retail)
D’Addario Planet Waves American Stage Instrument Cables – 2 ($59.99 Retail Total)
D’Addario Planet Waves Pro-Winder ($10.99 Retail)

To enter all you have to do is head over to the competition page at Truefire.com and follow the simple instructions. Good luck!

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Auction for Andy (of ZVEX Effects)

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Auction for Andy October 6-12 on Reverb.com: A benefit auction for the family of Andrew Richardson of ZVEX Effects https://reverb.com/shop/auctionsforandy.

Auction for Andy will be live on Reverb.com October 6th – 12th featuring over 150 items, including limited, rare and collectible items from 70+ manufacturers and artists.

“Andrew Richardson, sales/operations manager at ZVEX Effects passed away suddenly on September 1, 2014. Artists and gear manufacturers alike have rallied to raise money for Andy’s wife, Moe (Marisa) and 3 year old son Bronson, who must now carry on without him. His passing is felt deeply by the many who loved him. From stores, artists, distributors, manufacturers alike, Andy was loved and is sorely missed. In addition to his key role at ZVEX, Andy was an amazing musician and member of Minneapolis-based bands such as The Crush, Book of Dead Names, Start: Destruct and the Dirty Hits. Andy was sarcastic, hilarious, organized, whip-smart and kicky cool. He will be remembered always for his talent, generosity, lanky gait and devilish smile.”

“Andy suffered from depression and anxiety. Although he had friends on all corners of the earth, he was somehow not able to ask for help. His life and his loss will not be forgotten. If you or someone you love is suffering from anxiety, depression, feelings of hopelessness and thoughts of suicide, please do not suffer alone. Reach out to your friends, your family, your employer, anyone who you think can help you get through the dark moments. If you know someone who may be struggling with the weight of life, remember that asking for help can be very hard – don’t be afraid to reach out. Life can be very difficult, but remember that there really is nothing you cannot get through, and there are good times on the other side.”

There are some incredible free resources to help you on your journey:

Half of Us (sponsored by mtvU) – Are you dealing with Loss, Drug Abuse, Stress, Anxiety, Depression? Are you experiencing abuse, LGBTQ issues, trauma, body image issues, money problems, discrimination, self-injury, or veteran issues? If so, remember that half of us do too. Get the facts and learn how to take action. Practical, real and relevant info and resources for any one in need of help. Visit http://www.halfofus.com/.

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Carl Martin Dual Injection Pedal

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Carl Martin has announced a new dual channel boost pedal called the Dual Injection which is due for release in October 2014.

“Carl Martin took the high quality, transparent boost from the Hot Drive’n Boost, and put two of them into one pedal. Each has it’s own level control and ‘True Bypass’ switch, plus there is another toggle which switches the Dual Injection between Serial and Parallel modes. In Serial mode, you use the Input/Output 1 on the back of the pedal and place the boost wherever you want in the signal chain. In Parallel mode, connect the Output 1 before your Drive or Preamp, and then use the Input/Output 2 on the side of the pedal to connect to your effects loop on the amp.”

For updates keep an eye on carlmartin.com.

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Review: Stephan Forte ‘Enigma Black Opera’

stephan forte enigma opera black
I first heard French guitar virtuoso Stephan Forte’s music back in 2011 when I was sent his last album ‘The Shadows Compendium‘ to review , since then Stephan has played at Jason Becker’s “Not Dead Yet” guitar festival and has become an Ibanez Artist favouring the 7 string RG Premium initially as his new weapon of choice and more recently I’ve noticed he is using a Prestige version. Stephan is obviously influenced by the likes of Jason Becker, Marty Friedman and Yngwie Malmsteen, some would call it Neo-Classical shred, I don’t particularly like that label however. I would definitely say it has the infleunce of classical composers, demonstrated in the aptly named opening track ‘Short Virtuosity Étude’ which features some incredibly arpeggio sequences, but this is an instrumental Metal album and even heavier than the last album.

Enigma Opera Black is an intense album, heavy and moody with harmony lead guitars, exotic sounding melodies and virtuosic guitar solos which combine his influences. “I like my music to be dark. That’s the main idea behind the concept. I’m on the good side of things, but I’m just seeing it through a darker veil.” On this album Stephan explores the use of extended range guitars using 7 & 8 string models for extra heavy riffs, tracks such as ‘Sector A UNDEAD’ for instance in which Stephan uses an 8 string for the main riff which is juxtaposed with a higher range arpeggiated synth riff. As with all of Stephan’s compositions you don’t have an all out assault for 7 minutes, he likes to use dynamics to build to a crescendo and then break down to quiet sections for added drama. Again this is a nod back to his Classical influences and something he utilizes throughout the album which helps keep your attention.

Half way through the album there is a slow track called Pure which is very reminiscent of Jason Becker, maybe an homage to someone who Stephan has admired for years. It is a very emotive piece uses a combination of clean and distorted lead tones over a mixture of synth and 8 string guitar backing. Another track that immediately caught my attention the first time I heard it is ‘Praying Lord Bhairava At The Foot Of Mount Kailash’, this is probably a track that I would say is a definitive Stephan Forte track, it tells a story in an incredibly dramatic way and has eastern sounding exotic melodies reminiscent of Satriani’s early explorations mixed with chugging metal riffs and cinematic orchestral accompaniment.

Listen to ‘Zeta Nemesis’ featuring Marty Friedman from Stephan Fortes new album, ‘Enigma Black Opera’ below:

http://www.stephanforte.org/

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Jake Bowen of Periphery talks about his signature Ibanez JBM100


I really like the look of Jake Bowen’s signature Ibanez JBM100. I think it helps that I’m a fan of gold hardware on a black guitar, I’m not a huge fan of reverse headstocks however but it does at least give it an extra level of customisation from a standard model. I recently had the chance to see Periphery live and saw Jake in action with this guitar, it definitely looks and sounds perfect for metal. What do you think? Is this something that you would buy?

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DOD Compressor 280 (2014)

DOD 280 Compressor
I love simple compressor pedals, it’s hard enough for guitarists to understand compression without a myriad of controls to twiddle. The updated DOD Compressor 280 has just two controls, Comp and Output. Even I can figure that one out! Turn the Comp knob to add the amount of compression you want and adjust the output level to taste.

Like its predecessor, the DOD Compressor 280 (2014) offers independent Compression and Output controls. True bypass allows your guitar tone to remain pristine even when the DOD 280 (2014) is off. This is a big difference from the original, which would color your bypassed tone. The modern 9V DC power supply input makes the pedal more pedalboard friendly.

“The Compressor 280 employs an electro-optical circuit that varies the amount of the pedal’s dynamic compression using a light-dependent resistor and internal LED. At lower settings the “Comp” knob adds a subtle volume-leveling effect that adds a touch of evenness to the guitar’s signal, bringing up the level of low-volume playing and limiting the maximum volume of harder-hit single-note passages and chords. At higher settings the Comp knob “squashes” the initial attack and raises the level of notes and chords as they decay. The Level knob controls the overall volume of the effected signal and can act as a volume boost if desired.”

Check out the DOD Compressor 280 over at the DigiTech website – http://digitech.com/en-US/products/compressor-280-2014

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Strymon Deco Tape Saturation Pedal


Strymon don’t do things by halves, except when they do! One of my favourite pedals is the Strymon Flint which is half Tremolo, half Reverb (check out my demo here). Well their latest offering the Strymon Deco is half Tape Saturation, half double tracker which includes slapback echo and tape flanging.

As always the pedal looks fantastic too, the logo has similar styling to the Flint, very retro (well duh!), I think it would be a nice addition to my pedalboard which is already 50% Strymon!

“Deco’s Tape Saturation smooths out your sound with familiar and delicious tape compression and saturation, while fattening it with subtle tape-driven transparent overdrive. The Doubletracker provides the power to shift your sound in many ways, easily allowing you to achieve syrupy slapback tape echoes, psychedelic tape flanging, and gorgeous tape chorusing sounds.”

Check out the teaser video above to hear the Deco in action.

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TWA Little Dipper MkII – Envelope Controlled Vocal Formant Filter

TWA little dipper 2.0
I have never personally heard the original TWA Little Dipper but I have a couple of pedals that have vocal formant filters and I think they are great fun and although aimed at a very specific sound can actually be used in many different situations. This type of effect can also lead to inspiring you to explore new ideas so it is great as a riff or solo brainstorming tool.

The TWA Little Dipper® MkII is “an envelope-controlled vocal formant filter based on the uber-rare Colorsound Dipthonizer circuit” which, for this new version has “improved tracking, fuller frequency response, lower noise floor, and a pedalboard-friendly chassis”, over it’s predecessor.

The Little Dipper’s® dual filters will bend and morph your guitar tone into a blabbering, gurgling fury, creating frequency peaks and notches that simulate the vowels and diphthongs of human speech!

You can get a lot of different types of sounds from The Little Dipper as Andy from Pro Guitar Shop demonstrates in the video below. You can emulate talkboxes, filters, phasers, or flangers or even an AutoWah.

The following changes/upgrades have been added to the Little Dipper® Mk II that were not present on the LD-01 –

  • Low Boost switch added to improve performance when used with Bass Guitar
  • Output Level trim (internal) to control overall output volume of effect
  • EXP Jack for external, expression pedal control of Ascension knob
  • S3TM “Shortest Send Switching™” – a relay-based true bypass switching that defaults to bypass if power is lost
  • 5th “diphthong” setting on Inclination switch for additional vocal effects
  • Occultation rotary switch – 7-position switch that offers different timing & EQ configurations for the 2 filters, including shutoff settings for filters 1 & 2
  • Smaller, pedalboard-friendly chassis (Hammond 1590 size)
    Same price as DIP Mk 1

You can read about what each of the controls do in detail on the Godlyke TWA Little Dipper MkII product page, I couldn’t find a website for TWA (Totally Wycked Audio) it seems they are only available through the Godlyke website and costs $299.

As Always Andy from ProGuitarShop.com does a fantastic job of demonstrating this pedal with a suitably funky track:

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‘That Guitar Show’ Kickstarter Campaign

That Guitar Show. A show for guitar players by guitar players. The guitars. The people. The stories. You can help make it happen!

Although the trailer has no content so to speak I like the idea of a guitar show that travels coast to coast meeting guitar players, builders, collectors etc. The goal is to raise $50,000 so that they can produce 5-10 broadcast quality webisodes, with a long term goal of airing on a network, on cable or online (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc.). Money raised will fund camera rentals, travel, editing, post-production, lighting, direction, art direction and other production-related expenses.

“That Guitar Show and its producers have a background in the guitar world that allows for unprecedented access to the characters that inhabit the guitar universe.”

As with all Kickstarter campaigns there are plenty of rewards for donations, everything from guitar picks to a 50th Anniversary 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard – #149 of only 500 made, although that particular guitar comes at the price of a $10,000 donation!

I think I speak for all guitarists when I say the world needs more quality guitar TV shows so if everyone donates anything from $5 we can help get this show on the road! Use the widget below to click through to the Kickstarter campaign or visit http://thatguitarshowtv.com/.

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