Posted on Leave a comment

Vox Launches All Analog AV Series of Modeling Amps

Vox

VOX has been building analog amplifier circuits for decades, and they have now put that vast knowledge into a new category of analog modeling amplifiers, offering players a full palette of authentic amplifier sounds via eight, all-analog preamp circuits with the release of the AV (Analog Valve) series. The AV series ushers in a new concept in tube amps, delivering versatile tube sound while still being affordable. Featuring 12AX7 driven preamp and power amp sections, the AV15/30/60 can create eight types of tube sounds ranging from transparently clean to crunchy chime and modern high-gain.

This is accomplished by an innovative Valve Stage section which modifies the circuit to add or reduce brightness and bass response, and allow players to adjust the bias and response of the power section by the twist of a knob. Special attention has been paid to the amp’s analog design. The preamp circuit that shapes the character of the sound is completely analog, and is constructed with a huge number of carefully selected resistors and capacitors. Additional features like a unique, sealed cabinet design, Chorus, Delay & Reverb effects, and a retro aesthetic make the AV Series one the most exciting, and unique, offerings in the VOX lineup.

“The AV Series is perhaps the most revolutionary tube amps in all of VOX’s long history,” shared Brian Piccolo, Brand Manager for VOX. “The signing tone of a tube amp, the stunning presence … there’s a certain sound that can only be attained by analog circuitry, and by a tube amp in particular. While multi-voice tube amps do exist, they are few and far between, and hardly ever affordable.”

“With eight different analog preamp circuits, the AV series is able to accurately reproduce the sound of eight classic tube amps. In addition to the coveted AC30 top boost sound, it also covers a wide range of tones from clean to high-gain, including a sound that is reminiscent of the rare AC15 with EF86 tubes,” added Piccolo.

The cabinet structure of the AV range plays a major role in the sound quality. The baffle and cabinet utilize a one-piece construction, which allows vibration of the speaker to be supported by the entire cabinet, minimizing unwanted vibration and more efficiently reproducing the sound. Front mounting the speaker also achieves a louder and clearer sound that’s less directional and more spacious. In addition, the bass reflex design maintains the low range while delivering a more natural sound balance.

The AV series achieves functionality and expandability, both with a high degree of precision. The headphone amp features a version of the cabinet simulator used in products such as the amPlug series, and additional refinements allow it to convey an even more detailed sense of airiness. The AUX input lets players connect an external audio source, and is equipped with a circuit that compensates for the response of the speaker and cabinet, allowing players to hear sound that’s faithful to the original source. The AV30 and AV60 provide additional expansion potential with send/return jacks for convenient connection of effect units, as well as an external speaker output.

The entire AV Series line is available, AV15: $229.99, AV30: $329.99 and the AV60: $429.99.

Posted on 1 Comment

Livid Instruments Guitar Wing

Livid Instruments Guitar Wing

Livid Instruments Guitar Wing – Wireless MIDI Control and Unlimited effects, right at your fingertips!

Livid Instruments has come up with one of the coolest guitar effects controllers ever! It’s called the Guitar Wing, and it gives guitar and bass players wireless control over the functions of their favorite software plug-ins, DAWs, iOS apps, MIDI effects units, and even lighting and visual platforms. AND….it’s WIRELESS!

Here’s the scoop directly from the Livid Instruments website :

The Guitar Wing provides an expressive, MIDI control surface designed for guitar and bass players. It easily attaches to any electric guitar or bass and communicates wirelessly to your computer or USB-MIDI host. You can use the Guitar Wing with the bundled effects plug-in, WingFX™, or dive into the vast world of software, controlling programs like Logic, Garage Band, Ableton Live, Guitar Rig, Reason, and many others.

The Guitar Wing simply works with any software that supports MIDI. Templates are available for popular software platforms such as Ableton Live, Guitar Rig, Logic, and more. The Guitar Wing can also be used to control MIDI hardware like Axe-FX or Eventide pedals, using your computer and MIDI interface or a USB-MIDI host. Use the Guitar Wing Integration Guide for project templates, setup instructions, and other resources to use Guitar Wing with your favorite music production or DJ software.

And here’s a demo video for your entertainment pleasure…

The Guitar Wing retails for $189. Go check one out near you!

Posted on Leave a comment

NAMM 2015: DigiTech Trio Band Creator Pedal, a Band in a Box

Digitech Trio

DigiTech Trio Band Creator Pedal, a Band in a Box

This thing looks extremely cool. Would be interesting to try this out in the studio!! Sweetwater has these listed for preorder for $180. That actually sounds like a pretty good price for what you’re getting to me!

The following is a post from Guitar World on the impressive Digitech Trio

Here’s one of the coolest things we saw at the 2015 Winter NAMM Show.

It’s the DigiTech Trio Band Creator pedal.

As you’ll see in the two videos below (which features Jason Zerbin), the Trio listens to the way you play and automatically generates bass and drum parts that match your song. Just plug your guitar into Trio, press the footswitch to teach Trio your chords and rhythm, then press the footswitch again to start playing with your own personal band.

Find out more about the DigiTech Trio right here.

Official DigiTech demo video:

Guitar World video from NAMM 2015:

Repost of Guitar World article

Posted on 2 Comments

Eddie Van Halen on How He Created His Signature Sound Using MXR Pedals

Eddie Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen on How He Created His Signature Sound Using MXR’s Phase 90 and Flanger Pedals

Earlier this year, in preparation for the 40th anniversary of MXR, its parent company, Dunlop Manufacturing, took a survey to learn how guitarists perceive the pedal maker.

One of the questions asked was, “Which player do you associate the most with the MXR brand?” The respondents chose Eddie Van Halen more than 60 percent of the time. Notably, the runner-up received fewer than half as many mentions.

That result is, in part, due to MXR’s EVH Signature Series pedals, the EVH90 Phase 90 and the EVH117 Flanger, which became perennial best-selling MXR products upon their introductions in 2004 and 2007, respectively. But MXR pedals have remained an essential element of Van Halen’s sound since his band’s debut album was released in 1978.

The swirling textures of a Phase 90 are heard on classic tunes like “Eruption,” “Atomic Punk,” “Ain’t Talkin’ ’Bout Love,” “Everybody Wants Some!!” and “Drop Dead Legs” as well as new songs like “Outta Space” and “Stay Frosty,” and Van Halen’s distinctive and innovative use of the Flanger made an indelible impression on guitarists through songs like “Unchained,” “And the Cradle Will Rock…” and “Hear About It Later.” In addition to those two tone-enhancing mainstays, Ed has also relied upon pro-quality MXR tools like the Six-Band Graphic Equalizer and Smart Gate to keep his onstage tone full, aggressive and noise-free. His current onstage pedal board even includes an MXR Analog Chorus, which he uses for songs like “Pretty Woman” and “Little Guitars.”

In celebration of MXR’s 40th anniversary milestone, it made perfect sense for Guitar World to talk with the company’s most influential player about how his MXR pedals have influenced him throughout the last four decades.

GUITAR WORLD: Did you use any pedals when you were a kid and learning to play?

A wah-wah was probably the first pedal that I ever tried. I probably borrowed it from a buddy. But I was from the school of plugging the guitar straight into the amp, so I didn’t use any pedals at first.

How did you discover MXR pedals?

A really good friend of mine named Terry Kilgore and I were the so-called gunslingers in Pasadena back in the mid Seventies. We jammed together and would trade licks and have a lot of fun. We weren’t competitive at all. I went to one of his band rehearsals once, and that was when I first saw a Phase 90.

He used to play a lot of Robin Trower stuff. He used the Phase 90 with the speed control set around the 2 o’clock setting to get more of that fast, swirling sound. I decided to pick one up for myself. I was into Robin Trower too, but we didn’t play any of his songs, so I used it with the control set between 9 and 10 o’clock. I still use it the same way today. I just locked into that one setting, and I’ve used it ever since.

Why do you prefer the slower speed setting?

I thought it sounded unique. I never heard that before. It didn’t sound like the phase shifters made by other companies, where the phase sweep is more heavy and pronounced, almost more like a flanger. The Phase 90 produces a very light change of the sound. It’s not an over-the-top effect. It’s very subtle.

You tended to kick on the Phase 90 during your solos.

I did that in the early days because it would make the solo pop. Suddenly it became a different sound, which helped me stand out in the mix, because back then, in the club days, we usually had lousy P.A. systems and lousy sound guys. It didn’t boost the signal, but it made it pop out so the solo was more audible. It enhanced the tone.

What led you to the MXR Flanger?

Obviously, I liked the Phase 90, so when MXR came out with the Flanger, I said, What the hell? I loved their stuff. Their pedals are built like a brick shit house, and they make great sounds, so I started putzing around with the Flanger too. I always use the same setting for everything, from the intro to “And the Cradle Will Rock…” to “Unchained,” with the exception of the setting I used on the intro to “Outta Love Again” and “Bullethead.”

I set the three knobs on the left between 11 o’clock or 11:30, and the last knob on the right [regeneration] is all the way up. I might fine-tune the speed a little to match it to the tempo of the song, like on “Unchained” where the sweep goes perfectly with the riff. I was just goofing off and experimenting. It wouldn’t have sounded good to use the flanger all the way through. The riff just needed a little bit here and there. It’s a cool, tasty little tidbit that I threw in there to draw attention to the riff.

How did you decide to place the Flanger in front of the Phase 90 in your signal chain?

I have no idea! I think I just liked having the Phase 90 in the middle between the Flanger and the microphone on the stage.

How did these pedals influence your songwriting?

One good example is “And the Cradle Will Rock…” I had written that intro riff on the electric piano, and the guys thought that it needed something. I just hooked up the Flanger and pounded on the low keys. It was a great sound, and it worked. There wasn’t any rocket science to it. Even the Flanger on “Unchained” was totally by accident.

For some reason I just thought that the Flanger sounded good there. The way it goes from the sweep up to the sweep down wasn’t planned. My normal setting just happened to fit the tempo of the song. I kicked it in and out, and when I heard the way the Flanger swept up and then down, I thought it sounded cool. Nothing I’ve ever done is really all that thought out. I’d just wing stuff, and if it sounded cool I would do it again.

Do you remember how you came up with the intro to “Atomic Punk”?

That basic idea for that sound originally came from “Light Up the Sky,” which I had written before “Atomic Punk,” even though “Light Up the Sky” appeared on our second record. After the guitar solo there is a drum break, and you can hear me rubbing my palm on the low E string. One day I decided to try that with the Phase 90. It was an interesting sound, and it turned into a cool song. I’ve never really ever heard that sound from anyone else, neither before nor after I did that. After the solo, I actually also used the Flanger for a quick bit.

How did those pedals become an essential part of your sound?

They enhance the sound of what I’m playing. In certain spots I would use them if I needed them. It wasn’t a set thing; I’d just wing it, and nine times out of 10 it would work. I have to have an idea for a song first, then I’ll putz around and add or take away things. It’s like making a steak: you have to have the steak first, then you can make it better by adding a little seasoning, but not too much because you want to taste the steak, not the seasoning.

This is an excerpt from the all-new November 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of this story, plus our cover feature on Jeff Beck and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, not to mention features on Weezer, George Thorogood, the guitar pick revolution, Nita Strauss and Black Veil Brides, plus gear reviews (Epiphone, Zoom, Gretsch, TC-Helicon, Mesa and more) and lessons by Marty Friedman and Steel Panther’s Satchel, check out the November 2014 issue of Guitar World!

Repost of Guitar World article.

Posted on Leave a comment

Mass Effect: The Top 50 Stomp Boxes, Devices and Processors of All Time

Effects
Has any piece of musical equipment proliferated more, or more rapidly, than the humble electric guitar effect unit?

Though there is no official tally, suffice it to say that thousands of stomp boxes, effect devices and processors have been created for the electric guitar over the past 60 years (and that’s not including rackmount effects). Conceivably, more than half of those devices are distortion, fuzz and overdrive effects.

So how did we come up with a list of the top 50 electric guitar effects of all time? Actually, it was easy, as most of these stomp boxes and devices turn up in the pages of this magazine on a regular basis every time we ask artists what they use in the studio and onstage.

Other effects got the nod for being the first of their kind (like the DeArmond Tremolo Control, which dates back to the Forties and was the first optional effect device) while a few passed muster for being undeniably cool or influential — even if they’re so rare that it will cost you a few thousand bucks to score one on eBay.

Popularity also was a critical factor in our choices, although we generally passed over a few best-selling reissues or boutique clones in favor of the real deal. So even though the Bubba Bob Buttcrack Tube Overdrive may sound more soulful than an original Tube Screamer, if it’s little more than a copy with slightly upgraded components, it didn’t make the cut.

If you love effects like we do, we hope you’ll find this top-50 list a useful guide to discovering the classic effect boxes that have shaped the guitar sounds of rock, metal, blues, punk and many other styles. And if you’re like us, it will undoubtedly compel you to plunk down a chunk of cash for a collectible pedal or two on eBay. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Head over to Guitar World to see the top 50!