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Rainger FX Introduces the Reverb-X

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London, UK (January 19, 2018) — Rainger FX guitar pedals will be releasing the Reverb-X mini-pedal (based on the FV-1 reverb chip), the digital reverb companion to their Echo-X mini delay pedal.

With up to 6 seconds of reverb on tap, the Reverb-X features a post-reverb overdrive circuit giving a whole new dimension of sound possibilities to the user. From clean to gritty, or full-on overload, the Reverb-X gives a huge variety of reverb possibilities, while keeping the input signal unchanged. The Reverb-X includes a noise gate to keep noise to a minimum – or to create dramatic gated effects.

A modern take on ’80s gated reverb, the UK-built Reverb-X is both flexible and expressive without taking up that precious space on a pedalboard. The Reverb-X Features:

  • Crystalline or dark sounding reverb, with versatility to go between “live bootleg” reverb, mellotron textures, fully burnt-out spacerock atmospherics, and smouldering ambiences
  • Dramatic “edited guitar sample” effects
  • A “Distn” control dials in desired amounts of distorted reverb
  • Rainger FX’s unique styling and mini-pedal enclosure with top mounted sockets!
  • ‘Input’ knob and ‘Overload’ LED for optimum performance
  • Igor dual sensitivity pressure pad (included) controlling the Rainger FX ‘send’ expression facility on-the-fly
  • Graphics by NYC based designer Rich DiMaio

Street price $193, Available from select dealers or from www.raingerfx.com directly.

For more information:
Rainger FX

Milkman Sound Debuts The Amp

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San Francisco, CA (January 18, 2018) — Milkman Sound is excited to announce The Amp at the 2018 NAMM Show in Anaheim California.

What is The Amp? First and foremost, it’s a 50-watt guitar amplifier. The preamp is based around a single 12AX7 running at high voltage in a discrete Class A circuit. The tube preamp reacts with a guitar the same way any tube amplifier does: it generates harmonics and the sweet sounding high fidelity tone that tubes are known for. Along with tube EQ, there is on-board reverb and tremolo effects so that The Amp can be used as a grab-and-go amplifier. Foot switches for bypassing the effects are built in. A Class D power section delivers 50 watts into 8ohms, or 100 watts into 4ohms. The Speakon combination jack for speaker output takes either a standard 1/4͟ connection or a locking Speakon connector for extra security.

The Amp has an integrated headphone amplifier which sounds identical to the output from a speaker. This is perfect for practice, auditioning pedals, or for those times when noise is not appropriate. The Amp can operate with no speaker attached so it can live on a pedalboard and go wherever the pedals go. Speaking of travel, The Amp has a universal IEC power input. It can run from 100 to 260 VAC. No matter where it is on Earth, it can be plugged into a wall socket and used with no need for additional power accessories.

How about a compact studio quality tube preamp? The internal XLR output delivers a balanced line-level output. There is no modeling or simulation involved, no menus or presets to give option anxiety. It is very straightforward and simple to get great tone from the tube preamp of The Amp and use it as the front end for a modeling system, recording setup, or for playing direct on stage.

The Amp also has ͞pedal level͟ output where it can be used as the front end of a pedal board or as an amp-like effect on the back end of a pedal board. There is no substitute for the marriage between a magnetic guitar pickup and the first stage of a tube amplifier, and this is something that is missing with modern pedal board setups.

Using The Amp in front of a pedal chain will add harmonics and tube musicality to the entire signal chain starting right where it matters most: between a guitar pickup and the grid of a tube. Using The Amp further down the signal chain creates unique tonal possibilities. It plays well with pedals, and it can add extra EQ or reverb to an existing amplifier. THE AMP can drive the input of an amplifier as an extra tube gain stage. It can be a backup for a vintage amp needing service, or in place of anemic backline gear on your travel gig. At 2.5lbs, and with so many different uses, THE AMP maybe your new best friend.

The Amp – MSRP $799, Street Price TBA

Watch the company’s video demo:

For more information:
Milkman Sound

ES-335 Satin 2018

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The 2018 Gibson ES-335 Satin Limited Release is a guitar that has the look and build quality of our ES-335 Traditional, but provides players with the feel of our popular satin finishes. The Burstbucker 1 and Burstbucker 2 pickups are paired with a hand-wired MTC control assembly for optiomal capabilites, while the humbucker covers have been removed to expose the business of your tone. This guitar features classic Gibson quality materials like a quarter sawn mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, spruce bracing, maple centerblock, single ply cream binding, and a bone nut. The quality continues with reliable satin hardware like an ABR-1 bridge with titanium saddles, a die cast zinc stopbar, and Grover 102 Rotomatic tuners. Available in Walnut Satin finish, or Wine Red Satin finish.

PRS Guitars Announces the DW CE 24 “Floyd” and S2 Studio

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Stevensville, MD (January 17, 2018) — PRS Guitars has announced two exciting and versatile new limited edition models in advance of the 2018 NAMM show: the DW CE 24 “Floyd” and S2 Studio. The DW CE 24 “Floyd” is a new signature model with Between the Buried and Me guitarist Dustie Waring, and the S2 Studio brings the versatility of a single/single/hum platform to PRS’s S2 Series.

The progressive metal band Between the Buried and Me has a sound that is both heavy and melodic, lush and menacing. It is this demand for versatility without sacrifice that led to the development of guitarist Dustie Waring’s latest PRS signature model: the DW CE 24 “Floyd.” This model starts with the PRS CE bolt-on platform and includes a satin-finished maple neck, maple fretboard, a slightly modified Pattern Thin neck carve (Waring’s carve is slightly thinner front to back), and Floyd Rose tremolo system. The DW CE 24 “Floyd” comes with satin black hardware and is available in either Gray Black or Waring Burst.

The pickups and electronics are also unique to Waring’s signature axe. The pickups are Waring’s signature Mojotone “DW Tomahawk” pickups. Made with a blend of Ceramic and Alnico magnets and a special winding technique, DW Tomahawks have plenty of output and big bottom end while remaining articulate and clear – a unique quality for high gain pickups. Paired with a volume and tone control and 5-way blade pickup selector that have been shifted slightly to allow plenty of room to work the tremolo, the DW CE 24 “Floyd” is comfortable, fun, and inspiring to play.

“I’ve always thought CE’s were really great guitars, and I couldn’t be happier with this signature model. It can get pretty much any sound you want it to, it’s super comfortable to play, and it’s just cool to see a CE with a maple board and a Floyd. I hope everyone loves it as much as I do,” said Dustie Waring, Between the Buried and Me.

The second limited edition offering, the S2 Studio, takes the Standard 22 platform into new sonic territory with a single/single/hum pickup configuration and updated switching system. This versatile setup allows for a whole new scope of sounds that are only possible with a three pickup guitar, whether you’re looking for punchy singlecoils, vintage scooped tones, or the chunky kick of a bridge humbucker (that can still be split to singlecoils via the push/pull tone knob for a three single coil set up). With seven combinations in all, the S2 Studio covers classic tones but maintains a unique voice making it a perfect “desert island” guitar.

The S2 Studio comes in five striking colors: Antique White, Black, and McCarty Tobacco with Tortoise Shell pickguards and Frost Blue and Frost Green Metallics with Mint pickguards.

There is no cap to the number of DW CE 24 “Floyd” signature or S2 Studio guitars that will be made, but the order window for these models is limited to January 16 – March 31, 2018.

For more information:
PRS Guitars

Fender Releases the American Original Series

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Scottsdale, AZ (January 16, 2018) — Here are the details on Fender’s American Original series that will debut at Winter NAMM 2018.

American Original ’50s Stratocaster – $1,949.99 (White Blonde); – $1,899.99 (Aztec Gold, 2-Color Sunburst)

When we released the Stratocaster in 1954, we didn’t set out to create a classic-but we did. The Stratocaster’s sleek style, articulate sound and plethora of innovations redefined electric guitar and opened up a brave new world of musical possibilities. The American Original ‘50s Stratocaster maintains Fender’s legendary original-era style and ground-breaking tone, while adding modern feel and pickup switching. The wax-potted Pure Vintage ‘59 single-coil Stratocaster pickups are as period-correct as possible, from the Formvar-coated coil wire to the cloth-covered output wires, fiber bobbins and alnico 5 magnets. The thick “Soft V” neck profile is perfect for chording, while the 9.5”-radius fingerboard enhances playability. Other authentic touches include vintage-tall frets, original-era body radii, vintage-style hardware-including a six-point synchronized tremolo bridge-vintage-style hardshell case and a lacquer finish that not only lets the wood “breathe” naturally, it also ages in a distinctively appealing way. The American Original ‘50s Stratocaster is the best way to experience the performance, style and tone that made Fender a household name among guitarists. This model is offered in White Blonde, 2-Color Sunburst and Aztec Gold.

American Original ’60s Stratocaster – $1,949.99

A period of change, both for Fender and for pop culture as a whole, the 1960s saw the Strat mellow slightly as it grew up. The white pickguard was updated to mint green, and the fingerboard was switched from the original maple to rosewood, adding a smoother note to the Strat’s clear, articulate voice. The American Original ‘60s Stratocaster keeps these refinements intact while adding modern feel and pickup switching to the iconic instrument that helped birth guitar rock as we know it. The wax-potted Pure Vintage ‘65 single-coil Stratocaster pickups are as period-correct as possible, from the enamel-coated coil wire to the cloth-covered output wires, fiber bobbins and alnico 5 magnets. The thick “’60s C” neck profile and the 9.5”-radius fingerboard enhances playability. Other authentic touches include vintage-tall frets, original-era body radii, vintage-style hardware-including a six-point synchronized tremolo bridge- vintage-style hardshell case and a lacquer finish that not only lets the wood “breathe” naturally with resonant tone, it also ages in a distinctively appealing way. The American Original ‘60s Stratocaster is the best way to experience the performance, style and tone that made Fender the choice of legends. This model is offered in 3-Color Sunburst, Olympic White and Candy Apple Red.

American Original ’50s Telecaster – $1,799.99

The ultimate blue-collar guitar, the Telecaster launched a musical revolution when we released it. Quickly adopted by working guitarists who were enamored with its trend-setting sound, feel and unique style, the Telecaster laid the foundation for modern country, blues and even heavy metal (in Jimmy Page’s hands). The American Original ‘50s Telecaster has all of the authentic Fender touches that made the Telecaster a star of the studio and stage, adding modern feel and pickup switching to this classic guitar. The Pure Vintage ’52 single-coil Telecaster pickups are as period-correct as possible, from the enamel-coated coil wire to the cloth-covered output wires, fiber bobbins and alnico 3 magnets. We even made sure the steel base plates are copper-plated, while the pickups’ pole pieces are flush-mounted like the originals. The thick “U”-shaped neck profile gracefully fills the fret hand, while the 9.5”-radius fingerboard will feel familiar to any player. Other authentic touches include vintage-tall frets, original-era body radii, vintage-style hardware—including three brass barrel saddles—vintage-style hardshell case and a lacquer finish that not only lets the wood “breathe” naturally with resonant tone, it also wears in a distinctively appealing way. The American Original ‘50s Telecaster is the best way to experience the performance, style and tone that made Fender the foundation of modern music. This model is offered in Butterscotch Blonde.

American Original ’60s Telecaster – $1,999.99

One of the most versatile guitars ever created, the Telecaster is easily at home in any genre, thanks to its flexible sound, alluring style and smooth playing feel. In 1960, we offered rosewood as the standard fingerboard wood and launched the Telecaster Custom, an elegant model with a double-bound body and 3-ply pickguard. The American Original ‘60s Telecaster combines period-accurate sound and style from this electrifying decade with modern, fast-playing feel and pickup switching. The Pure Vintage ’64 single-coil Telecaster pickups are as period-correct as possible, from the enamel-coated coil wire to the cloth-covered output wires, fiber bobbins and alnico 5 magnets. The bridge pickup’s copper shielding plate adds some zing to your tone, while the pole pieces are staggered for balanced volume between the strings. The mid-‘60s “C”-shaped neck profile gracefully fills the fret hand, while the 9.5”-radius round-lam rosewood fingerboard will feel familiar to any player. Other authentic touches include vintage-tall frets, original-era body radii, vintage-style hardware—including three steel saddles—vintage-style hardshell case and a lacquer finish that not only lets the wood “breathe” naturally with resonant tone, it also wears in a distinctively appealing way. A legendary instrument, the American Original ‘60s Telecaster is the best way to experience the performance, style and tone that made Fender the foundation of modern music. This model is offered in 3-Color Sunburst, Lake Placid Blue and Fiesta Red.

American Original ’60s Jazzmaster – $1,999.99

Originally designed to appeal to jazz guitarists with elegant appointments and sophisticated controls, the Jazzmaster found its way into the hands of musical rebels. From surf to punk and indie rock, its flexible sound heralded the call of change and shaped the voice of rebellion. The American Original ‘60s Jazzmaster faithfully recreates the voice and style of this classic guitar, supplementing them with smooth, modern playability. The wax-potted Pure Vintage ’65 Jazzmaster single-coil pickups are as period-correct as possible, from the enamel-coated coil wire to the cloth-covered output wires, fiber bobbins and alnico 5 magnets. The pickups’ pole pieces are flush-mounted just like the original. Other authentic touches include the distinctive Jazzmaster tone circuitry, vintage-tall frets, original-era body radii, vintage-style hardware—including floating tremolo with lock button and push-in arm—vintage-style hardshell case and a lacquer finish that not only lets the wood “breathe” naturally with resonant tone, it also wears in a distinctively appealing way. For Fender fans who want the authentic sound of the ‘60s, the American Original ‘60s Jazzmaster is the best way to experience the performance, style and sound from that era of innovation. This model is offered in 3-Color Sunburst, Olympic White and Ocean Turquoise.

American Original ’60s Jaguar – $2,099.99

Never resting in our mission to make life better for musicians, we created the short-scale Jaguar guitar in 1962. Originally released as our feature-rich, top-of-the-line electric guitar, it inspired the heroes of the musical underground and hit its stride with surf, punk and alternative guitarists. The American Original ‘60s Jaguar brings that supple sound and slinky playability to life again, slightly tweaked for a modern feel. The wax-potted Pure Vintage ’65 Jaguar single-coil pickups are as period-correct as possible, from the enamel-coated coil wire to the cloth-covered output wires, fiber bobbins and alnico 5 magnets. We kept the Jaguar’s unique circuitry intact for this incarnation; the familiar lead/rhythm circuits are there, along with the bass-cut “strangle” switch. Other authentic touches include vintage-tall frets, original-era body radii, vintage-style hardware——including floating tremolo with lock button and push-in arm——vintage-style hardshell case and a lacquer finish that not only lets the wood “breathe” naturally with resonant tone, it also wears in a distinctively appealing way. An inspiring instrument, the American Original ‘60s Jaguar is a great way to experience the performance, style and tone that made Fender the choice of axemen with attitude. This model is offered in Candy Apple Red, Surf Green and 3-Color Sunburst.

American Original ‘50s Precision Bass – $1,949.99(White Blonde), $1,899.99 (2-Color Sunburst)

Few companies can honestly claim to have changed the world like we did when we created the Precision Bass in 1951. By making playing bass easily accessible, it helped musicians find their creative voice and create new forms of music. The American Original ‘50s Precision Bass updates the playability of this groundbreaking instrument while retaining the original sound and style that changed the world. The Pure Vintage ’58 P Bass split-coil pickup is as period-correct as possible, from the enamel-coated coil wire to the cloth-covered output wires, fiber bobbins and alnico 5 magnets. There’s no mistaking the powerful punch of this pickup that helped shape the sound of modern music. Other authentic touches include vintage-tall frets, original-era body radii, vintage-style hardware—including a four-saddle vintage-style bridge—vintage-style hardshell case and a lacquer finish that not only lets the wood “breathe” naturally with resonant tone, it also wears in a distinctively appealing way. Representing a fundamental shift in musical possibilities, the American Original ‘50s Precision Bass is the best way to experience the performance, style and tone that made Fender the foundation of modern music. This bass is offered in White Blonde and 2-Color Sunburst.

American Original ‘60s Precision Bass – $1,949.99

By the 1960s, the Precision Bass was the workhorse electric bass; from the clubs of Detroit to the beaches of Southern California, its tone laid the foundation for modern music. The American Original ‘60s Precision Bass has all of the features with which the P Bass conquered the world of music—elegantly simple, its sound, style and comfort are joined by modern playability. The Pure Vintage ’63 P Bass split-coil pickup is as period-correct as possible, from the enamel-coated coil wire to the cloth-covered output wires, fiber bobbins and alnico 5 magnets. There’s no mistaking the powerful punch of this pickup that helped shape the sound of modern music. The thick “1963 C”-shaped neck profile gracefully fills the fret hand, while the 9.5”-radius fingerboard will feel familiar to any player. Other authentic touches include vintage-tall frets, original-era body radii, vintage-style hardware—including a four-saddle vintage-style bridge—vintage-style hardshell case and a lacquer finish that not only lets the wood “breathe” naturally with resonant tone, it also wears in a distinctively appealing way. An updated take on the instrument that created the pop culture soundtrack of the 20th century, the American Original ‘60s Precision Bass is the best way to get original-era sound and style with today’s feel. The bass is offered in 3-Color Sunburst, Olympic White and Lake Placid Blue.

American Original ‘60s Jazz Bass – $1,999.99

Released in 1960, the upscale Jazz Bass quickly found favor among working bassists thanks to its premium appointments and versatile sound. The narrower neck seemed tailor-made for fast, dexterous playing, while the pair of single-coil pickups added a bold new dimension to Fender bass tone. The American Original ‘60s Jazz Bass has all the tone and style of its earliest incarnation, with modern playability. The Pure Vintage ’64 Jazz Bass single-coil pickups are as period-correct as possible, from the enamel-coated coil wire to the cloth-covered output wires, fiber bobbins and alnico 5 magnets. There’s no mistaking the sound of these pickups—from a deep growl to articulate punch, they are the voice of this legendary bass. The slim “’60s C”-shaped neck profile and 9.5”-radius round-lam rosewood fingerboard combine for an agile playing feel. Other authentic touches include vintage-tall frets, original-era body radii, vintage-style hardware—including a four-saddle vintage-style bridge—vintage-style hardshell case and a lacquer finish that not only lets the wood “breathe” naturally with resonant tone, it also wears in a distinctively appealing way. An inspiring instrument, the American Original ’60s Jazz Bass is the best way to add original-era Fender tone and style to your sound. The bass is offered in 3-Color Sunburst, Olympic White and Candy Apple Red.

American Original ‘70s Jazz Bass – $2,099.99

Over the course of the ‘70s, the Jazz Bass entered its “teenage years,” changing its visual style and inspiring new playing techniques—such as slapping—which led directly to new, creative forms of expression. Its smooth feel and growly midrange, tempered with a bit of treble bite, made it a hero in recording sessions around the globe. The American Original ‘70s Jazz Bass updates the smooth playing feel with a modern-radius fingerboard, while retaining the classic Fender tone and style that made the Jazz Bass the tool of choice for creative bassists. The Pure Vintage ’74 Jazz Bass single-coil pickups are as period-correct as possible, from the enamel-coated coil wire to the cloth-covered output wires, fiber bobbins and alnico 5 magnets. The sleek “’70s U”-shaped neck profile and 9.5”-radius fingerboard combine for a comfortably agile playing feel. Other authentic touches include vintage-tall frets, original-era body radii, vintage-style hardware—including a four-saddle vintage-style bridge—vintage-style hardshell case. An authentic recreation of the instrument that created funk and disco, the American Original ‘70s Jazz Bass is the best way to get inspired and groove. The bass is offered in 3-Color Sunburst and Natural.

American Original ‘50s Stratocaster Left-Hand – $1,949.99

When we released the Stratocaster in 1954, we didn’t set out to create a classic-but we did. The Stratocaster’s sleek style, articulate sound and plethora of innovations redefined electric guitar and opened up a brave new world of musical possibilities. The American Original ‘50s Stratocaster LH maintains Fender’s legendary original-era style and ground-breaking tone, while adding modern feel and pickup switching. The wax-potted Pure Vintage ‘59 single-coil Stratocaster pickups are as period-correct as possible, from the Formvar-coated coil wire to the cloth-covered output wires, fiber bobbins and alnico 5 magnets. The pickups’ pole pieces are staggered properly for left-handed orientation, ensuring you get the articulate Strat™ (random r-ball) tone you expect. The thick “Soft V” neck profile is perfect for chording, while the 9.5”-radius fingerboard enhances playability. Other authentic touches include vintage-tall frets, original-era body radii, vintage-style hardware-including a six-point synchronized tremolo bridge- vintage-style hardshell case and a lacquer finish that not only lets the wood “breathe” naturally with resonant tone, it also ages in a distinctively appealing way. The American Original ‘50s Stratocaster LH is the best way for left-handed guitarists to experience the performance, style and tone and made Fender a household name among guitarists. This model is offered in White Blonde.

American Original ‘60s Stratocaster Left-Hand – $1,949.99

A period of change, both for Fender and for American culture as a whole, the 1960s saw the Strat mellow as it grew up. The white pickguard was updated to mint green, and the fingerboard was switched from the original maple to rosewood, adding a smoother note to the Strat’s clear, articulate voice. The American Original ‘60s Stratocaster keeps these refinements intact while adding modern feel and pickup switching to the iconic instrument that helped birth guitar rock as we know it. The wax-potted vintage-style ‘65 single-coil Stratocaster pickups are as period-correct as possible, from the enamel-coated coil wire to the cloth-covered output wires, fiber bobbins and alnico 5 magnets. The pickups’ pole pieces are staggered properly for left-handed orientation, ensuring you get the articulate tone you expect. The thick “’60s C” neck profile is perfect for chording, while the 9.5”-radius fingerboard enhances playability. Other authentic touches include vintage-tall frets, original-era body radii, vintage-style hardware-including a six-point synchronized tremolo bridge- vintage-style hardshell case and a lacquer finish that not only lets the wood “breathe” naturally with resonant tone, it also ages in a distinctively appealing way. The American Original ‘60s Stratocaster LH is the best way to experience the performance, style and tone that made Fender the choice of legends. This model is offered in Olympic White.

American Original ‘50s Telecaster Left-Hand – $1,799.99

The ultimate blue-collar guitar, the Telecaster launched a musical revolution when we released it. Quickly adopted by working guitarists who were enamored with its trend-setting sound, feel and unique style, the Telecaster laid the foundation for modern country, blues, and even heavy metal (in Jimmy Page’s hands). The American Original ‘50s Telecaster LH has all of the authentic Fender touches that made the Telecaster a star of the studio and stage, while adding modern feel and pickup switching to this classic guitar.The Pure Vintage ’52 single-coil Telecaster pickups are as period-correct as possible, from the enamel-coated coil wire to the cloth-covered output wires, fiber bobbins and alnico 3 magnets. We even made sure the steel base plates are copper-plated, while the pickups’ pole pieces are flush-mounted like the originals. The thick “U”-shaped neck profile gracefully fills the fret hand, while the 9.5”-radius fingerboard will feel familiar to any player. Other authentic touches include vintage-tall frets, original-era body radii, vintage-style hardware—including three brass barrel saddles—vintage-style hardshell case and a lacquer finish that not only lets the wood “breathe” naturally with resonant tone, it also wears in a distinctively appealing way. A legendary instrument, the American Original ‘50s Telecaster LH is the best way to experience the performance, style and tone that made Fender the foundation of modern music. This model is offered in Butterscotch Blonde.

Watch the company’s demo:

For more information:
Fender Guitars

How to Listen to Your Guitar Playing

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Adam Rafferty - How to Listen to Your Own Guitar PLayingWhen a painter works on detail, she is super close up to the canvas. Each brushstroke, texture and shading is accounted for.

That requires serious microscope up close focus!

However, there’s another mode of viewing the canvas which is stepping way back
and looking at the “whole.”

That puts all the tiny details in a different context.

Playing music can be like this too. We can be very close up, and hear minute
details, or we can step back and hear the entire, overall sound.

Listening to detail is good, and stepping back and hearing the whole “mix”
is good also.

To find the “middle way” we have to change listening positions a few times. Go up close and look / listen, and also step back and take in the big picture.

Let’s Imagine 3 scenarios.

Listening Up Close

  • The drums on a Steely Dan record. Perfect up close miking on all drums, perfectly separated in the studio so all the separate sounds can be manipulated in the mix. Each sound is isolated.
  • An intimate jazz club where the singer smoothly sings into the mic, each syllable is heard super clear over the PA as if she’s whispering in your ear. (Think SADE)
  • You fingerpicking in a quiet room.

Stepping Back and Listening (Bigger Picture)

  • 2 overhead mics capturing the entire drum set for a more “live” sound – like jazz & motown records.
  • A gospel singer in church belting it out with no mic, using the acoustics
    of the room.
  • You strumming your guitar with people singing along.

Neither one is “better” – they are just different view points.

Going for It

In my experience, the situations with more “distance” – ( drums with overhead mics and the gospel singer) allows for a more reckless way to play.

It’s not just volume. There is a sound of the “air” that the sound must travel through as well as the actual sound. The unpleasant sounds which are usually high frequencies, die off with distance and become less audible.

The closer mics (or pickup, or stage monitor) – where every detail is extra clear can make you feel more self concious, as every squeak is clearer than you want it to be.

The Challenge

My biggest dilema (I’m getting real personal now) is that I love a smooth intimate up-close sound as if your ears are right up on the guitar, especially the bass notes.

The problem?

It can lack overall “timbre” of the more “going for it” energy and approach and not sound as good from a distance.

  • From 2 feet away, soft playing sounds jazzy and intimate.
  • From 10 feet away the same thing sounds weak and unclear.

On the flip side…

  • Heavy strumming with a mic 6 inches away would be pretty unpleasant.
  • Heavy strumming with a mic 2-3 feet back would capture the sound nicely.

Can you see how the concept of “distance” from the sound changes our perception, much like the painter being up close OR stepping back?

Try This

If you are a fingerstyle player, use your phone and record yourself 2 different ways.

  • from across the room
  • from close up – 2 feet away or so

On playback, what do you hear?

  • Is the bass clear?
  • Melody clear?
  • Is the balance of your melody, bass and accompaniment pleasing?
  • Are any percussion / squeaks / sounds in the proper balance?

The Big Picture

I was recently surprised to record myself practicing and went more into “strum hard, use a flat pick, blast off” mode – and it felt less intimate and warm than I’d like in the moment.

However, on playback (think ovehead mics on drums) there was a “sheen,” a clearer overall timbre and a strength to the sound I did not expect.

It sounded pretty ok!

Next,Try This at Home…

  • Experiment and record yourself from various distances.
  • Set your phone & record from 2 feet away, and then from across the room.
  • What do you hear?
  • What energy sounds best?
  • What does it sound like to a non-guitar player?

There’s no one solution. Each tune or room may need a slightly different approach.

By raising your listening, you raise your concept – and this may push new fresh changes in your playing you never expected!

Any thoughts on this? Please comment below!

adamrafferty

I’m Adam Rafferty – a guitar player born and raised in New York City, and currently spending most of my time on the road playing concerts and doing workshops.

I am a lover of all things groovy and love spreading musical knowledge!

adamrafferty

adamrafferty

adamrafferty

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GFI System Releases the Specular Reverb V3 and Clockwork Delay V3

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Jakarta, Indonesia (January 15, 2018) — Adding to the company’s line of innovative pedals, GFI System has unveiled Specular Reverb V3 and Clockwork Delay V3 pedals. The Specular Reverb was awarded Guitar Player Editors’ Pick in June 2017 and Tone Report Top Tone Award in February 2016. Compared to their V2 predecessors, the Specular Reverb and Clockwork Delay V3 pedals offer the following new features: kill dry function, expression pedal/tap-tempo input, and a more user-friendly interface.

Each pedal offers the following features:

  • Compact size
  • 7 hand-crafted algorithms with 8 presets
  • Powerful expression control and Tap-Tempo Input
  • Stereo input and output
  • Kill Dry capability
  • Analog Dry-Thru

The key advantages of the pedals are compact size, versatile sounds and the ability to store presets. The pedals are designed for players who seek a variety of programmable stereo delay/reverb sounds in a compact footprint. The Specular Reverb V3 and Clockwork Delay V3 pedals carry suggested retail prices of $259.00 each and are available at our dealers worldwide.

For more information:
GFI System

Fano Guitars Announces Launch of Standard Series JM4-FB Bass

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Scottsdale, AZ (January 12, 2018) — Continuing in Fano Guitars’ tradition of innovative designs that are inspired by the classics and redefined by creativity, we announce the Fano Standard Series JM4-FB Bass!!

Using the ever-popular JM6 as a springboard, we designed the JM4 Bass to look and feel as though it’s been part of the Fano line from its inception.  The JM4’s classic styling incorporates a 34” scale length, 10” radius fretboard and an early 60s “C” shape neck that feels comfortable and familiar in your hands.  We have also raised the bar in playability and tone with the addition of our proprietary “FanoBird” bass pickups and “HiMax” bridge that offers both top-load and string-through body options.

We will continue to offer the option of Medium Distress and NOS finishes in eight different colors.  The JM4 will also be available with the choice of a Rosewood or Maple fretboard!  Like all Fano guitars – Alt de Facto and Standard instruments – each JM4 is hand-built, one at a time from start to finish by one builder in Scottsdale, AZ.

Availability

The new Fano Standard Series JM4-TB Bass will be launched in January 2018 at The Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA and shipping to Authorized Fano Dealers worldwide in February/March 2018.

For more information:
Fano Guitars

Ibanez Launches the Nu Tube Screamer

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Bensalem, PA (January 12, 2018) — New for 2018, Ibanez is pleased to announce the release of the Nu Tube Screamer. This pairing of Ibanez’s Tube Screamer with Korg’s Nutube technology, has produced an overdrive with exceptional dynamics, improved sensitivity, and natural tube-like compression. For those familiar with the conventional TS808, the added warmth and amp-like quality of the Nu Tube Screamer will be immediately apparent.

The Ibanez Nu Tube Screamer is the very first compact guitar effects pedals to incorporate a Nutube directly into its circuitry. The Nutube is a revolutionary new take on the preamp tube that will allow for next level possibilities in the world of electronics. A Nutube draws far less power than a traditional vacuum tube and has a much longer lifespan of 30,000 hours. It accomplishes all of this while providing the same warmth and dynamics of conventional tubes.

Beyond the incorporation of the Nutube, the Nu Tube Screamer includes several new features designed to vastly widen the pedal’s tonal potential. A “mix” control was included to allow for balancing the clean and overdriven signal. With the “Mix” control rolled totally counter-clockwise, only the dry signal will be present making the Nu Tube Screamer ideal for double duty as a clean boost. The unit can also be run with either 9 or 18V power; 18V allows for increased headroom and gain.

The development of the Nu Tube Screamer involved a year of close collaboration with Korg, as well as our Artists, in order to ensure we created something with new tonal dimensions that also stays true to Tube Screamer’s legacy

Features:

  • Incorporates Korg Nutube Technology
  • Drive, Tone, and Level Controls
  • Mix Knob
  • True Bypass
  • Power Supply: One 9 Volt Battery or External DC 9 or 18 Volt AC Adaptor
  • Made In Japan

LIST: $357.13

For more information:
Ibanez

Martin Guitar Releases the D-45 John Mayer Custom Signature Edition and Updates Standard Series

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Nazareth, PA (January 12, 2018) — C.F. Martin & Co. (Martin Guitar) will introduce their reimagined Standard Series guitars at Winter NAMM in Anaheim, California. Collectively, this will be the most significant update to the company’s flagship line of guitars in its 185-year history.

The guitars in Martin’s reimagined Standard Series, from styles 28 to 45, have been the guitars of choice for famous players such as Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, Hank Williams, Joni Mitchell, Kurt Cobain, Beck, Eric Clapton, and countless others. They’ve been woven into the very fabric of our history for generations and across all genres of pop culture, and continue to inspire musicians worldwide.

“I challenged my coworkers to help me with the significant task of modernizing guitars whose origins go back to the 1930s (and earlier),” said Chris Martin. “As you might imagine, the discussions were quite animated. Fortunately, we all knew we were working toward a common goal: How can we modernize traditional Martin Guitar models while continuing to honor our rich history and heritage? Well, together we met that challenge head-on, and the results far exceeded my expectations.”

“Changing this many models that are so iconic to the company and music industry all at once was a real challenge,” says Fred Greene, Martin’s Senior Director of Product Management. “But our team did an incredible job in choosing appointments and improvements that make these instruments even better.”

The most notable updates to the line include the addition of a modern high performance neck that is thinner and more comfortable for the player, and vintage appointments, including aging toner and open-gear tuners. There have been changes to internal features as well that include scalloped and forward-shifted top bracing, depending on the style. The bottom line? When you put all of the changes together, the result is a Martin Standard Series line that looks, plays, and sounds better than ever before.

C.F. Martin & Co. (Martin Guitar) will unveil the D-45 John Mayer Custom Signature Edition at Winter NAMM in Anaheim, California on January 25, 2018. The model honors both the artist and one of Martin’s most prestigious models, the D-45. The model will be limited to just 45 guitars.

Mayer’s collaborative relationship with Martin Guitar goes all the way back to 2003 with the release of his first signature edition, the OM-28 John Mayer, followed by the OMJM John Mayer (a staple in Martin’s guitar line), the 00-45SC John Mayer, and the 00-42SC John Mayer.

The D-45 John Mayer is crafted with Guatemalan rosewood back and sides and an Engelmann spruce top with aging toner and forward shifted Adirondack X braces. This tonal masterpiece was designed by John Mayer and created by the master craftspeople in the Martin Custom Shop. Boasting a full thickness neck with hexagon inlays, bone nut and saddle, and gold open gear tuners, the D-45 John Mayer also features an interior label personally signed by the seven-time Grammy Award-winning artist.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be John’s acoustic guitar of choice for nearly 20 years,” said Chris Thomas, Martin’s Director of Marketing. “As in the past, John remained very involved with the design and creation of this guitar, his fifth collaboration with Martin. The D-45 John Mayer is the largest in John’s collection of Custom Signature guitars, and is sure to be a hit. Considering the robust sound and level of appointments on this instrument, along with the limited run signed by John, I expect them to be completely spoken for before the close of the NAMM Show in January. The D-45 John Mayer model is exquisite, a very special guitar indeed. John is a song-writing, guitar-playing icon around the globe. It warms our hearts to know that we have been, in any way, a means by which his inspiration becomes a song.”

For more information:
Martin Guitar