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MIXDOWNMAG.COM.AU ISSUE 223 NOVEMBER 2012
THENEWNO2 VIOLENT SOHO 12 FOOT NINJA MELBOURNE MUSIC WEEK LAKEWOOD GUITARS
H’S T N
IBANEZ MAHOGANY AC240 OPN ROAD TESTED:
VIEW FULL CATALOGUE AND PARTICIPATING .AU AU DEALERS AT YAMAHABACKSTAGE.COM.AU EI F DE O NSID TA R E ILS
UE CATALOGW OUT NO !
GARY CLARK JR
TC FLASHBACK X4 PEDAL VOX LIL LOOPER PEDAL PROTOOLS HD NATIVE THUNDERBOLT DUNLOP GUITAR ACCESSORIES ASHDOWN 550 SPYDER HEAD VOYAGER AIR GUITAR VAD-1
E U G O L A CAT ! W O N T OU
GL1 Ha Hal H Half aalf guitar, half ukelele, 1100 10 000 fun! The GL1 100% sou ou sounds and plays great, has hha as nylon strings, as Sp S p Spruce top and includes a ccarry bag.
EASY TO PLAY LIKE A UKELELE, BUT IT’S ACTUALLY A ACT C GUITAR! GUIT
YOUR PATH TO ROCK! GIGMAKER10 This pack has a great Yamaha Paciﬁca guitar and a hot new Vox amp to get you started in guitar playing. The pack also includes a Vox cable, Korg tuner, learn-to-play DVD, strings, picks, strap and string winder. Colours: Black, Dark Blue Metallic, Metal tal alllicc. Red Me Metallic.
THE NEXT LEVEL IN SOUND AND QUALITY GIGMAKER15R With this super quality solid-body Paciﬁca 112J electric guitar and 15 watt Vox Pathﬁnder 15R amp featuring vintage tremolo and spring reverb, you’ll get all the classic sounds you desire. Also included are a Vox cable, Korg tuner, learn-to-play DVD, strings, picks, strap and string winder. Colours: Black, Lake Placid Blue, Old Violin Sunburst, Red Metallic, Yellow Natural Satin. Left handed version also available in Black.
ROCK HARD WITH THIS AWESOME PACK GIGMAKERFX This guitar and amp pack will have you shredding in no time with all the sounds and effects you need. Includes a Yamaha RGX121Z, Vox MINI3 digital modelling amp, Vox cable, Korg tuner, learn-to-play DVD, strings, picks, strap and string winder. Colours: Black, Flat Silver, Red Metallic. Left handed version also available in Black.
EFFORTLESS LOOPING WITH AWESOME EFFECTS
GET STARTED WITH THIS QUALITY BASS AND POWERFUL AMP RBX170 + BELCAT25B This bass guitar will suit any type of playing style and is perfect for beginners. The pack includes an RBX170 with bolt-on neck, vintage style bridge, dual pick-up system and includes a powerful 25 watt bass amp. Colours: Black, Dark Blue Metallic, Old Violin Sunburst, Red Metallic, Silver.
Ideal for both guitar and vocal/mic performances, it has two independent loops, inﬁnite layers, loop quantize, 12 effects, rhythm guide, headphone output, and can be battery or AC powered.
$199 RECOMMENDED BY TEACHERS ALL OVER THE WORLD
THE BEST WAY TO START PLAYING TODAY
Yamaha’s number one beginner’s classical guitar with beautiful tone and legendary Yamaha quality. It has a natural gloss ﬁnish and a Spruce top.
This acoustic guitar pack includes an F310 guitar (Spruce top, natural ﬁnish), gig bag, Korg digital tuner, string set, strap, string winder, capo, picks and learn-to-play DVD.
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A REVOLUTION FOR GUITAR PRACTICE THR10 THR is designed to ﬁt where, when and how you play when you’re not onstage. With big amp response, incredible effects, and hi-ﬁ stereo sound in a package that’s built to meet all of your offstage needs, you’re about to begin a new chapter in your playing. Features USB connection, aux-in jack, Cubase AI, user preset banks, 3-band EQ and can be battery or AC powered.
LIVE SOUND SO ND HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER STAGEPAS300 Ideal system for parties, busking and rehearsing. This extraordinarily portable PA system features an 8 channel mixer and delivers 300 watts of high-quality power to a pair of lightweight, compact speakers.
DTX450K D TThis deluxe model comes w with an upgraded 3-zone ssnare, a Yamaha bass drum ppedal, and a premium hi-hat ccontroller to take you to the nnext level.
DTX400K DTX4 Ann ea A easy to use, great so sou o ndd electronic sounding drum ddru dr ruum kit with built-in tra traini raain inin functions to get ini training yyou ouur ddrumming journey your sstarted. sta ttarrte rtttee
RECOMMENDED BY PRO’S AND TEACHERS ALL OVER THE WORLD
Quality drum shells, ball-clamp tom holders and sturdy double braced hardware. Now available in Black or a choice of 5 new glitter sparkle ﬁnishes.
INCLUDES: Paiste 101 Cymbal Pack Valued at
with Gigmaker Drum Kit
COMPLETE CYMBAL PACK TO GET YOU STARTED
QUALITY PAISTE PACK
Genuine bronze alloy 14” hi-hats, 16” crash and 20” ride to suit a wide range of musical styles.
Great sounding 14” hi-hats, 16” crash and 20” ride.
$199 THE PERFECT BEGINNING FOR ANYONE LEARNING MUSIC
61 keys and 100 different accompaniment styles. Remarkable sound and amazing value. Includes Power Adaptor.
61 touch sensitive keys giving piano playability and added expression. USB port allows easy connection to your computer. Learning music is fun and easy with Yamaha Education Suite lessons and 102 preset songs. Includes Power Adaptor.
000180USET Premium level 14” hi-hats, 16” crash and 20” ride.
THE IDEAL WAY TO START EXPLORING THE WORLD OF MUSIC
EXCELLENT SOUND AND TOUCH AT AN AMAZING PRICE
HAND HAMMERED FROM LEGENDARY 2002 BRONZE
A POWERFUL PORTABLE KEYBOARD PACKED WITH FEATURES
PSRE433 DJ Patterns to create your own grooves and real-time control knobs that give synth-like expression on the ﬂy! 61 touch sensitive keys, USB ports for easy computer connectivity and song storage and an amazing 731 voices at the touch of a button. Includes Power Adaptor.
$339 SLIM, LIGHT AND COMPACT NP31
The portable P35B helps beginners become music virtuosos in no time at all. Thanks to its stunningly realistic sounds and natural touch, it inspires practice by making it fun. No keyboard in its class offers such a powerful combination of features, including the 88-key weighted action, built-in metronome and 10 great voices. Includes footswitch for sustain. Optional stand and piano bench available.
76-key Graded Soft Touch keyboard that’s ready to go when you are. You’ll be impressed by its sensational sound quality. Includes Power Adaptor.
VIEW THE FULL CATALOGUE AND PARTICIPATING DEALERS AT
YAMAHABACKSTAGE.COM.AU THE IDEAL PORTABLE SOLUTION P105B
Dynamic sound and natural piano touch packed in a slim, exceptionally affordable digital piano that’s perfect for home, school or the rehearsal room. Special Pianist Styles and a variety of rhythms add enjoyment to your practice, and when you want more powerful sound for parties or on stage, use the AUX outputs to connect to a PA system. Includes music rest, sustain pedal and power supply. Optional stand, 3-pedal unit and piano bench available. (Also available is P105WH in white)
Discover your creativity
TERMS AND CONDITIONS This advertisement is part of a national sales program conducted by the distributor, Yamaha Music Australia Pty Ltd. These offers are valid only between 1st November 2012 and 31st December 2012 at participating dealers. The prices set out or referred to in this advertisement are recommended retail prices (RRP) only and there is no obligation for Yamaha dealers to comply with this recommendation or the effective program dates. Errors and omissions excepted. Not all products listed in this advertisement are available at all Yamaha dealers. # These products are listed at normal RRP and are not part of this special distributor’s promotional offer. † The “value” speciﬁed for the bonus offers is Yamaha Music Australia’s recommended retail price of these products. The Yamaha dealer participating in this promotion may not have sold these products in the past and where it has sold these products it may have sold them at less than the RRP. Other dealers may or may not sell them at the RRP.
NO. 223 MIXDOWN
NEWS & TOURS
14 PRODUCT NEWS 24 MIKE PATTON’S MONDO CANE 26 AEROSMITH THENEWNO2 28 GARY CLARK JR SASKWATCH
As we get towards the business (or party) time of the year, we’ve put together another bumper edition chock full of not only all the great interviews, news that you’ve come to expect, but we also have a bloody huge acoustic guitar special for you to cast your eyes upon. Our cracking team of pluckers and strummers have put a massive range of acoustics to the test, covering every aspect so you’re more than looked after when it comes to making an informed choice when adopting your next six-string. As well as that, we dive well and truly into festival season with some massive interviews with big name talent. Gracing our cover is the one, the only, Mike Patton who will be bringing his 40-piece Mondo Cane ensemble to Australia as part of the stellar Harvest Festival lineup. As well as that, we have features with “America’s Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band” Aerosmith, rising blues star Gary Clark Jr, the brains behind some of our country’s finest independent labels with thanks to Melbourne Music Week, red-hot local outfits Saskwatch, Violent Soho and 12 Foot Ninja, plus we speak to Dhani Harrison about his thenewno2 project. Soak up those sunny days (be sure to slip, slop, slap!) and bask in the summer glory at the smorgasbord of festival offerings, gather ‘round the acoustic guitar with your mates, enjoy listening to all that new music, and most importantly, this November, make sure you strum, strum, strum!
30 VIOLENT SOHO 12 FOOT NINJA 32 MELBOURNE MUSIC WEEK LABEL SERIES LAKEWOOD GUITARS 34 UNLEASH YOUR INNER ROCK GOD CLASSIC KEYS 35 ON THE DOWNLOW BANGIN’ THE TUBS 36 (D)IGITAL (J)OCKEY HOME STUDIO HINTS 38 ACOUSTIC GUITAR SPECIAL
ALEKSEI PLINTE EDITOR IN CHIEF
12 FOOT NINJA PAGE 30
AEROSMITH PAGE 26
GARY CLARK JR
PUBLISHER Furst Media
COVER ART Michael Cusack
EDITOR IN CHIEF Aleksei Plinte firstname.lastname@example.org
COVER PIC: Kane Hibbard www.theartofcapture.com
EDITORIAL CO-ORDINATOR Lachlan Kanoniuk PRODUCTION MANAGER: Baly Gaudin
MIXDOWN OFFICE 3 Newton Street Richmond VIC 3121 Phone: (03) 9428 3600 Fax: (03) 9428 3611
ADVERTISING Aleksei Plinte, Ronnit Sternfein GRAPHIC ARTISTS Gill Tucker, Baly Gaudin, Michael Cusack CONTRIBUTORS Peter Hodgson, Rob Gee, Nick Brown, Adrian Violi, Tim Clarke, Andrew Burke, Zac Cooper
NO. 223 MIXDOWN
ACEBOOK.COM/MI X AT F
LAST MONTH’S WINNER NOVEMBER GIVEAWAY VOX AC4C1-BL GUITAR AMP
- M I X D O W N G I V E A W AY S IBANEZ AC240OPN GRAND CONCERT ACOUSTIC GUITAR R Up for grabs this month we have one of the stars of our acoustic special, the Ibanez AC240OPN Grand Concert acoustic guitar. The Artwood series was crafted to produce a traditional guitar. Technology moves forward at a frantic pace and the world of guitar craftsmanship is no different. In producing the Artwood series, Ibanez respected the rich tradition of the acoustic guitar while adding modern interpretations in their continuing search for the ultimate in guitar tone. For your chance to win, simply follow these steps: We had an understandably massive response to last month’s giveaway of the very tidy VOX AC4C1-BL guitar amplifier. The AC4C1-BL delivers this unbeatable sound in a portable, compact body. Gain control, Bass and Treble tone controls, and a Master Volume allow any player to easily recreate this historic sound. Remarkable not only for its authentic VOX sound, the AC4C1-BL is also captivating in its appearance. But as you know, there can only be one winner! So massive congratulations to Aidan Mackenzie of Northmead, Sydney, NSW!
Step 1. Head to our Facebook page (www. w. facebook.com/mixdownmagazine), like our page age if you haven’t already, then like and/or share our pic of the Ibanez AC240OPN as posted on November ovember 7. Step 2. Flip through to the Acoustic Special ecial and N’s top, find out what wood the Ibanez AC240OPN’s back and sides are constructed from. Step 3. Email your answers to mixdown@beat. t com.au with your full name, address and contact telephone number. One entry per person. Australian residents only. Best of luck!
*Competition disclaimer* All Mixdown Magazine competition winners agree to having name and photo with themselves and their prize published in Mixdown their loacation, loaca Magazine and online. All entrants must be residents of Australia. Maga
CAPTURES THE SPIRIT IN EVERY NOTE.
SHURE BETA MICROPHONES Optimised for high sound pressure levels, extremely low handling noise and higher gain-before-feedback. Accurate, focused polar patterns. Virtually indestructible. Precision control to practically eliminate bleed. Because the sound should be as clear and inspired as the message.
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NO. 223 MIXDOWN
DEEP PURPLE & JOURNEY
GOLDEN PLAINS LUCKY SEVEN
THEE OH SEES
San Francisco’s garage rock dominators, Thee Oh Sees, are returning to Australia early in 2013 for a run of shows alongside their All Tomorrow’s Parties appearance. Having built a feverishly prolific reputation for their immense output, Thee Oh Sees return to celebrate their 14th release Putrifiers II with performances at the highly regarded ATP festival and a blitz national tour serving tight
psychedelic jams and an unrestrained live show. TOUR DATES:
January 31 – The Hi-Fi, Melbourne VIC February 1 – Jive Bar, Adelaide SA February 11 – Transit Bar, Canberra ACT February 14 – The Zoo, Brisbane QLD
ST JEROME’S LANEWAY FESTIVAL Twerps
St Jerome’s Laneway Festival continually showcases a more jaw-dropping selection of talent year after year. As you’d expect, they’ve upped the stakes
yet again for their huge 2013 instalment. Gracing the laneways and pseudo-laneways around the country next February will be Alpine, Alt-J, Bat For Lashes, Chet Faker, Cloud Nothings, Divine Fits, El-P, Flume, Henry Wagons & The Unwelcome Company, High Highs, Holy Other, Japandroids, Jessie Ware, Julia Holter, Kings Of Convenience, The Men, Ms Mr, The Neighbourhood, Nicolas Jaar, Nite Jewel, Of Monsters And Men, Perfume Genius, Polica, Pond, Real Estate, The Rubens, Shlohmo, Snakadaktal, Twerps and Yeasayer.
Deep Purple and Journey, two of the biggest names in classic rock are teaming up for a doubleheaded Australian tour. Deep Purple has been more than in synch with fans’ tastes to remain a powerful drawing force since their formation in 1968. Nominated for the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the legendary outfit are currently preparing to unleash their latest album of brand new material in February, 2013. Joining Deep Purple will be Journey, who have received a massive burst of exposure in recent years thanks to prominent soundtrack duties in shows such as The Sopranos and Glee. TOUR DATES:
February 26 – Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane QLD March 1 – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne VIC March 2 – Sydney Entertainment Centre, Sydney NSW March 4 – Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide SA March 7 – Perth Arena, Perth WA
March 9-11 – Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre, Meredith VIC
PARAMORE After announcing themselves to a new legion of fans with their sophomore effort, Riot, Paramore were armed to go forth and conquer. With a swift and stratospheric rise, there seems to be no limit as to what Paramore can accomplish and this is nowhere more evident than on their latest album Brand New Eyes. As well as touring as part of the sold-out Soundwave 2013, Paramore will perform a one-off sideshow in Sydney.
February 1 – Alexandria St, Brisbane QLD February 2 – College Of The Arts, Sydney NSW February 3 – Footscray Community Arts Centre, Melbourne VIC
We don’t know how on earth she’s done it, but dear Aunty Meredith has pulled out one of the most spectacular lineups our barely-worthy eyes have ever witnessed. The full list of artists looks a little something like this: Cat Power, Dinosaur Jr, Tallest Man On Earth, George Clinton And Parliament Funkadelic, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Purity Ring, Flume, Moodymann, The Mark Of Cain, Toro Y Moi, Wild Nothing, Psarantonis, Naysayer And Gilsun, Six Ft Hick, Mulatu Astatke, Julio Bashmore, Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Client Liaison, Dick Diver, Keb Darge, Bushwalking, Opossom, Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk, Barry Dickins, No Zu, Zanzibar Chanel, Post Percy and Redd Kross.
February 8 – Fowler’s Live & UniSA, Adelaide SA February 9 – Perth Cultural Centre, Perth WA
February 21 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney NSW
Music Performance Music Industry Sound Production From year 10 to Certiﬁcate IV Govt funded Music courses from $200.
Write, Record & Tour while you study. Secure hands on experience through work experience with Maton Guitars Aust / Instrument construction / Repairs and setups / Design and documentation / 3D Modeling technology / Business planning / Work placement / Occupational Health and safety
Develop work ready skills from guitar professionals in manufacture, repair & set up. Work alongside professionals to build solid body and acoustic instruments, using the latest technology. The college is currently taking applications for Certificate III & IV programs. Govt funded programs. Materials charges only. Mature Age applicants welcome
www.ncat.vic.edu.au PG. 8
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NCAT specialises in
Teaching spaces include
/ Music Performance / Sound Engineering / Technical Production / Lighting / Live Stage Production / BackStage
/ Digital Work Stations / Apple Mac computers / Professional software / Full Recording Studio / Practice rooms
Mature Age applicants welcome For a complete listing of Arts & Technology studies go to;
NO. NO NO O. 223 223 MIXDOWN 22 MIX IX IXD XD DOW OWN WN WN
PG. PG 9 PG
WILLIS EARL BEAL
The band credited with creating heavy metal and one of the most influential bands of all time have announced their widely rumoured and highly anticipated reunion for their first Australian shows in nearly 40 years. Original band members – the
Prince of Darkness himself – Ozzy Osbourne, bassist Geezer Butler and guitarist Tony Iommi will make a thunderous return to Australia in April 2013 for arena shows in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, in their first Aussie shows since 1974.
April 25 – Entertainment Centre, Brisbane QLD April 27 – Allphones Arena, Sydney NSW
May 1 – Rod Laver, Melbourne VIC May 4 – Perth Arena, Perth WA
JOE SATRIANI MASTERCLASS TOUR
The mesmerising Willis Earl Beal will tour Australia for the first time in December and January, performing at Falls Festival and his own headline shows in Melbourne and Sydney. Complementing his soulful croon, Willis Earl Beal writes immediately arresting, warm, earnest and moving music. He’s made dozens of songs using whatever spare instruments and materials he could find in Albuquerque’s flea markets, thrift stores and alleyways. TOUR DATES:
January 2 – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne VIC January 3 – Goodgod Small Club, Sydney NSW
42 years has passed since the release of his debut album Cold Fact, and finally, Rodriguez is getting the recognition and success he deserves. His last tour in Australia in 2010 saw Rodriguez sell out multiple shows in Sydney and Melbourne, as well as selling out his show in Adelaide and two showstopping appearances at Bluesfest. Now, after being cast into the global spotlight with the awardwinning documentary Searching For Sugarman, Rodriguez returns as part of Bluesfest 2013. TOUR DATES:
March 22 – Hamer Hall, Melbourne VIC March 24 – The Gov, Adelaide SA March 25 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney NSW April 1 – The Tivoli, Brisbane QLD
Over a two-decade- long career, Joe Satriani has released over a dozen critically acclaimed studio albums that have sold over ten million copies worldwide. In the process, he has established himself as a player whose emotional musical dexterity equals that of his physical gifts, earning Joe 14 Grammy nominations. Witness Satriani impart his formidable guitar wisdom as he visits Australia for a series of masterclasses. Tickets onsale now through bookings.thumpmusic.com.au TOUR DATES:
April 8 - Queensland Conservatorium Theatre, Brisbane QLD April 10 - Wesley Conference Centre, Sydney NSW April 13 - George Wood Performing Arts Centre, Melbourne VIC April 15 – Elder Hall, Adelaide SA April 17 - Riverview Burswood Theatre, Perth WA
SILENT MACHINE TOUR with special guests THU 10 JAN / CAMBRIDGE HOTEL, NEWCASTLE FRI 11 JAN / ANNANDALE HOTEL, SYDNEY FRI 18 JAN / CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE SAT 19 JAN / FERNTREE GULLY HOTEL, FERNTREE GULLY THU 24 JAN / PRINCE OF WALES, BUNBURY FRI 25 JAN / AMPLIFIER, PERTH SAT 26 JAN / MOJOS, FREMANTLE FRI 1 FEB / ENIGMA BAR, ADELAIDE THU 7 FEB / THE VENUE, TOWNSVILLE FRI 8 FEB / TEMPO HOTEL, BRISBANE SAT 9 FEB / MIAMI SHARK BAR, GOLD COAST
ON SALE FRI NOV 9 FROM TWELVEFOOTNINJA.COM DEBUT ALBUM SILENT MACHINE OUT NOW PG. 10
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MIKE NOGA & BEN SALTER PYRAMID ROCK FESTIVAL
More than a few living legends have been revealed on the first few lineup announcements for the 2013 Byron Bay Bluesfest. Leading the charge will be Robert Plant presents Sensational Space Shifters, Ben Harper, Santana, Iggy & The Stooges, Steve Mike Noga Mike Noga and Ben Salter, two friends who happen to be members of two of Australia’s most acclaimed bands, The Drones and The Gin Club, and who also happen to have two of 2011’s most critically lauded solo albums under their respective belts in The Balladeer Hunter and The Cat, have decided to join forces for the first time in a co-headline tour. There’ll be talking. There’ll be songs. There’ll be love in the air. And let’s face it, there’ll be drinking. Playing songs from their respective band and solo careers, as well as some of their favourite covers, the duo will help each other out on stage in what promises to be one fun night on the tiles. TOUR DATES:
December 6 – Spotted Cow, Toowoomba QLD December 7 – Beetle Bar, Brisbane QLD December 8 – Petersham Bowls Club, Sydney NSW December 9 – Front Gallery, Canberra ACT December 13 – Karova Lounge, Ballarat VIC December 14 – Old Bar, Melbourne VIC December 15 – The Grand Poobah, Hobart TAS
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Miller Band, Chris Isaak, Wilco, Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Cliff, Joan Armatrading, Rodriguez and plenty more. TOUR DATES:
March 28 – April 1 – Byron Bay NSW
The party explosion that is Pyramid Rock Festival just got a whole lot juicer with the additions of some huge names to lead revellers into the New Year. Please welcome Tame Impala, Perth-based psychedelic superheroes, to the lineup. They join the already stellar roster that includes The Cribs, Blood Red Shows, Anti-Flag, Pnau, The Amity Affliction, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Saskwatch (as interviewed this issue) and plenty more. TOUR DATES:
December 29 – January 1 – Phillip Island VIC
The Datsuns, New Zealand’s most internationally lauded rock ‘n’ roll band, will launch their new album Death Rattle Boogie across Australia this December. Death Rattle Boogie will be available ten years to the day of releasing their highly acclaimed self-titled debut. 2002 saw The Datsuns catapulted into the international music scene with the release of their debut record and being hailed by the British press as “the future of rock”. Being plastered on the cover of one of the world’s biggest music publications was more than the band were ever expecting. The decade since has seen The Datsuns produce another three studio albums, tour the world many times and play some of the biggest music festivals on the planet. TOUR DATES:
December 12 – The Zoo, Brisbane QLD December 13 – Spotted Cow, Toowoomba QLD December 14 – Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast QLD December 15 – Festival Of The Sun, Port Macquarie NSW
December 16 – The Annandale, Sydney NSW December 19 – Karova Lounge, Ballarat VIC December 20, 21 – The Espy, Melbourne VIC
NO. 223 MIXDOWN
MUSIC MAN PREMIER DEALER NETWORK MAHOGANY ROASTED NECK UPGRADE MARKBASS BIG BANG AMPLIFIER Just over a decade ago, Marco De Virgiliis started pioneering small, lightweight amps and the Markbass Little Mark heads started a new era in bass amplification, inspiring many other companies to follow their lead. Now, you’ll be amazed with a warm, rich and “explosive” sound coming from an amp smaller than the groundbreaking Little Mark heads. Despite its small size, the Big Bang is packed with extra features – aux in, headphone output with level control, plus mute and VLE and VPF filters with footswitch control. Other features, already appreciated by Little Mark users, include a simple and effective 4-band EQ, effects loop, and level control and pre/post EQ switch for the XLR DI output. For more information on the Markbass range of products, phone CMC Music on (02) 9905 2511 or visit www.cmcmusic.com.au
ERNIE BALL 7 STRING COBALT ELECTRIC SETS Earlier this year Ernie Ball stunned the guitar playing community with the release of a game changing guitar string made from a patented cobalt alloy. Cobalts rewrote the rules for making great sounding strings, and reinforced the concept that great guitar tone starts with that one thing – a great string. Ernie Ball has heard the cries of the detuners and shredders who have been lamenting the fact that 6 string players got access to Cobalt performance first, and they have now released three (yes THREE) sets of 7 string Cobalt electrics. Gauges are .10/.56, .10/.62 and .11/.56 and will be in store early this month. For more information on the Ernie Ball range of products, phone CMC Music on (02) 9905 2511 or visit www.cmcmusic.com.au
HIWATT UPGRADES TUBE SERIES OF GUITAR HEADS AND COMBOS Hiwatt’s popular Tube series of valve heads and combos have been upgraded to include both channel switching and reverb switching from an optional footswitch. These extremely affordable all valve amps have always had a switchable reverb function, but as of November 1, all T20 and T40 heads and combos will include the additional option of footswitchable channel changes.
Extremely limited runs of custom Ernie Ball Music Man guitars and basses are now available from select Australian Music Man dealers. These instruments feature an exclusive set of finishing appointments not normally available on Music Man instruments. The feature set is available for just $500 on the standard price of your chosen instrument. These customised, limited run guitars and basses were ordered by Premier Music Man dealers earlier this year and will be in store this month.
For more information on the Music Man range of products, phone CMC Music on (02) 9905 2511 or visit www.cmcmusic.com.
The new Remo X14 snare head is constructed with a single ply of coated 14mm polyester film for extreme single ply durability. Offered in 13” and 14” diameters for snares, Ambassador X14 heads make drums sound bright and cutting with great attack and volume, but there is a depth of tone present as well, along with a hint of darkness. The snare drum is the most played drum on pretty much any kit and is therefore worthy of extra deliberation over choice of head. Single-ply heads tend to give the most honest rendering of a drum, and Remo now offers a selection of Ambassador variations made from progressively thicker sheets of Mylar – the standard Ambassador is 10mm thick, the Ambassador X is 12mm, and the new Ambassador X14 is beefier still at 14mm, the same thickness as a 2-ply Emperor. Remo X14 Snare heads are available in 13” and 14”.
MIXDOWN NO. 223
For more information on the Samson range of products, phone Electric Factory on (03) 9474 1000 or visit ww www.elfa.com.au
NEW TOKAI GUITAR MODELS
the Traditional Series ALS-48 in new Matt Black finish, the Traditional Series FA-70 Jazz guitar and many more new versions of old classics that you’ll be sure to love.
For more information on the Planet Waves range of products contact D’addario Australia on (03) 8761 6293 or email email@example.com
Tokai Guitars Australia have just released a bunch of new models including the new Contemporary Series AJG-88B offset style electric with Bigsby B5 vibrato,
guitar valued at $1300. All monies from band memberships are channelled into 3MDR’s live music program. The live music program includes the recording of bands/artists who visit the 3MDR studio. 3MDR-97.1fm, otherwise known as Mountain District Radio, is located in Emerald in the Dandenong Ranges. Its signal reaches most suburbs in Melbourne and is particularly strong in the South East and Bayside areas.
The Radiothon will commence on Saturday November 10 and conclude on Sunday November 18. The Radiothon prize draw will take place on Saturday December 1 @ 10am.
For more information on the Remo range of products, contact Australasian Music Supplies on (03) 9549 1500 or visit www.austmusic.com.au
Designed to produce the key elements of power, portability and exceptional sound, the Auro D208 2-Way Active Loudpeaker is a compact enclosure that combines superior components and meticulous engineering. Compact yet resilient, this loudspeaker offers 200 watts of output power and clear, full-range audio. Ideal for installation purposes, gigging musicians and general live sound reinforcement applications, the Auro D208 provides a versatile speaker solution that integrates easily into PA setups.
For more information on the Blue Microphone range of products, phone Amber Technology on 1800 251 367 or visit www.ambertech.com.au
SAMSON AURO D208 ACTIVE LOUDSPEAKER
AMERICAN STAGE MICROPHONE CABLES
As part of its 2012 Radiothon, 3MDR97.1fm is offering bands and artists a $50 dollar membership of the station. The band membership entitles the artist to a two week on-air campaign to promote a CD or gig of their choice. As well the band/artist will be acknowledged each week on the show of their choice. Those who subscribe during the Radiothon will be eligible to enter the prize draw and be in the running to win a Cole Clark
Yeah we know it’s currently spring on this side of the planet, but Blue Microphones, a leading innovator in microphone technology and design, have announced Free Fall 2012, an in-store promotion at participating retailers through November 30, 2012. During Free Fall 2012, customers who purchase a Bluebird, Baby Bottle or Reactor microphone, instantly receive a free enCORE 100, 200 or 300 live mic respectively. In addition, customers who purchase a Cactus or Kiwi microphone will receive a free Robbie mic preamplifier. Free Fall 2012 promotions are available from October 1 through to November 30, 2012 at participating stores worldwide, while supplies last.
REMO X14 SNARE HEAD
For more information on the Markbass range of products, phone CMC Music on (02) 9905 2511 or visit www.cmcmusic.com.au
Planet Waves delivers the ultimate microphone cable for the gigging guitarist. American Stage cables are precision engineered and expertly assembled in America, in their Farmingdale, New York facility. The process begins with a premium, audiophile cable manufactured in the USA, and add exclusive high quality connectors built by Neutrik utilizing aerospace crimp connector technology. These unique engineering and cutting-edge manufacturing techniques combine to create a cable that will exceed the most demanding expectations allowing the brilliance of your instrument or voice to shine through with the utmost in transparent, natural, and true-to-life sound.
BLUE MICROPHONES FREE FALL PROMOTION
Ring the station on 5968 2728 to join or during their favourite show on 5968 2727. Bands can also join via the website www.3mdr.com
For more information on Tokai Guitars contact Jade Australia on (03) 9457 8000 or visit www.tokaiguitarsaustralia.com.au
Once a Decade, a Game-Changer Comes Along...
This is it. Perfect Tuning Perfect Intonation
Instantly! With the simple push of a button on the new Peavey® AT-200™, guitar players can now create music in perfect tune and pitch. The Peavey AT-200 features Antares® Auto-Tune® for Guitar with String Tune and the Solid-Tune™ intonation system, two technologies that work together to bring the clarity of perfect pitch to this high-quality instrument. With the Peavey AT-200, you can even switch into alternate tunings like Drop D, Open G, Baritone and more instantly by adjusting your finger positions when engaging the AutoTune for Guitar feature. And no bulky, unattractive hardware weighs down the playing experience — the Peavey AT-200 looks, plays and sounds just like a conventional guitar. Exactly the way it should. COMMING SOON!
ONE BUTTON TUNING
Plug into an amp and switch the tone control pot to the “down” position. Strum all six strings evenly and press the volume control to engage Auto-Tune for Guitar and Solid-Tune.
Connect an adapter cable or the optional AT-200B to the built-in DIN connector to download or purchase upgrades from Antares that enhance the features and capabilities of the AT-200.
The optional AT-200B breakout box allows you to upgrade and also power the AutoTune for Guitar technology without the four AA batteries.
Unrivalled technology. y. Unheard-of price. &DOO
Innovation. A mplified. ® NOVEMBER NOV OVEMB E ER 20 2 201 2012 2
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MAYONES SIGNATURE SERIES INSTRUMENTS With a wealth of seriously talented musicians on their Artist roster, Mayones have chosen several high profile players to design their own customised instruments for a Signature Series production. These designs are available in limited production numbers to musicians, collectors, fans and the general public. Daniel Gildenlow, founder of progressive rock-metal group Pain of Salvation, Anders Blakkheim Nystrom of Swedish metal band Katatonia, Johan Edlund of Tiamat along with famous bass players Wojtech Pilichowski and Maurizio Rolli are among the musical luminaries given the opportunity to personalise a Mayones design instrument for their own Signature Series model. Daniel Gildenlow’s re-imagining of the famous Mayones Regius 6 guitar sees his signature Regius Perfect model installed with a MIDI hexpander system for unlimited creative potential. This beautiful instrument is also available in a fretless version for those who wish to experiment further with tonal improvisation. Finished in angelic Monolithic White gloss, this heavenly instrument also has a dark and dangerous side.
BLACKSTAR HT-5TH LIMITED EDITION 2X10” COMBO AMPLIFIER Musikmesse 2007 saw the launch of Blackstar Amplification. To celebrate Blackstar’s fifth anniversary we are launching a special, limited edition HT-5 2x10 combo. Based on the award winning HT-5R, the HT-5TH has the same patented features but with a unique cosmetic - cream covering, anniversary weave fret cloth and limited edition front panel. Each unit will also come with a unique certificate. The production run will be limited to just 2500 pieces worldwide. For more information on the Blackstar range of products, phone National Audio Systems on 1800 441 440 or visit www.nationalaudio.com.au
MAYONES 30TH ANNIVERSARY TWIN NECK GUITAR
To celebrate 30 years of manufacturing world class musical instruments, Mayones Guitars and Basses have created a special twin neck version of their famous Regius Series guitar design. Featuring a 12 string neck and 6 string neck on the same Regius-styled body, this is truly a unique instrument available in limited
production numbers to musicians, collectors and fans of the Mayones brand. For more information on the Mayones range of products, phone Ubersonic on (03) 9580 2060 or visit www.ubersonic.com.au
ISOACOUSTICS ISO-L8R155 & ISO-L8R200 SPEAKER STANDS and music lover. ISO-L8R155 speaker stands provide superior acoustic isolation and enhance the sound clarity of any speakers including studio monitors, home theatre systems and sound reinforcement. The patented approach is based on years of experience in the design and construction of radio and television studios. The driving force is Dave Morrison, closely involved in planning and building radio and television studios at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for close to 20 years. IsoAcoustics Inc. is pleased to bring this specialized line of speaker stand products to the audio professional, music hobbyist, audiophile
For more information on the Isoacoustics range of products, phone National Audio Systems on 1800 441 440 or visit www.nationalaudio.com.au
VOYAGE-AIR GUITAR The Voyage-Air Guitar makes it possible now for every guitar player to be able to take their instrument anywhere - wherever the inspiration or musical need takes them. Whether it be on a bike, hike, catching a plane to a gig or simply jamming with good friends around an open fire, your trusty guitar should be there with you. Travelling with a guitar shouldn’t be an obstacle, or require a musician to downgrade their instrument to a miniature size or shape. All VoyageAir guitars are full-size, performancelevel instruments that fold in half for easy portability. The Voyage-Air Guitar is truly the future of guitar travel. For more information on the Voyage-Air range of products, contact Sonic Frog on (08) 8354 1115 or visit www.sonicfrog.com.au PG. 16
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For more information on the Mayones range of products, contact Ubersonic on (03) 9580 1050 or visit www.ubersonic.com.au
ASHTON ARMOUR BAGS Ashton’s research and development team have been busy creating four unique series of armoured gig bags that are available to suit a variety of instruments from ukuleles to basses. With a sleek design aesthetic and fine attention to detail, Ashton’s Armour series of bags will protect your instrument from the wear & tear of day to day life whilst looking sleek and stylish. The ARM600 series of bags features 5mm of padding, whilst the ARM1200 series features 7mm. Both of these products employ a high quality zipper system that will ensure the safety of your instrument. In addition to these two ranges, the ARM1800 range offers a thicker 20mm of padding to ensure maximum protection, and also features a hidden pocket at the top of the bag to hold your tuner, guitar lead, picks, spare strings, or other small objects. Finally, the ARM2400 series consists of nylon-shelled hard foam cases. This design offers the highest level of support and is perfect for players who travel frequently with their instrument.
For more information on the Ashton range of products, phone Australis Music on (02) 9698 4444 or visit www.australismusic.com.au
BLOW YOUR OWN TRUMPET – A MUSICIAN’S GUIDE TO PUBLICITY & AIRPLAY Blow Your Own Trumpet – A Musician’s Guide to Publicity & Airplay is a book for self-managed artists, budding music managers and music industry students. It was written to dispel a few myths and provide a collection of tools to help the reader promote their own music or that of the bands they are representing, without handing over cash to a third party. It’s a book of ideas, guidelines, philosophies and stories telling the many pathways one can choose to
create a media presence in Australia. It’s a book that highlights what to look for, how to find it and what to expect and if you do decide the time has come to engage a third party to promote and service your music. It’s full of stories and experiences from artists from different genres, at different levels, who highlight what moves they have made to get where they are now. The book includes stories from Henry Rollins, Vikki Thorn (The Waifs), Gareth Liddiard (The Drones), Ray Ahn (The Hard-Ons), Dan Sultan and Lucius Borich (Cog, Floating Me) to name a few. Written by Two Fish Out Of Water’s Director Stacey Piggott Blow Your Own Trumpet will be available from November 12th at www.twofishoutofwater.com/book
NCAT FUTURES IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY
Beyond live performances, musicians contribute to several sectors within the economy, including film and television, advertising, gaming and mobile digital content. Emerging trends in technology have seen an increase in self-publication, broadcast and distribution to a worldwide audience. The College consults with industry and government reference groups to keep abreast of advancing technology requirements, ensuring that
our curriculum remains consistent with emerging trends. With journeys through all areas of the music industry to launching a group-produced CD with a live performance at a Melbourne venue, your performances will shine in our fully equipped recording studio, soundproof rehearsal rooms and state of the art digital work stations & multimedia Mac labs. Develop your song writing skills using instruments and computer-aided equipment. Appreciate the practical use of instruments, amplifiers, sound and lighting systems to produce group and solo performances. Develop financial, creative and promotional skills in event organisation to stage a professional music event.
For more information on NCAT visit www.ncat. vic.edu.au
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PAISTE BLACK ALPHA JJ HYPER CYMBAL SET and rather heavy, Black Alpha Hyper Cymbals – capable of cutting through even the loudest metal music. A very limited number of Joey Jordison Black Alpha «Hyper» Sets will arrive in Australia this November, consisting of 14” Hyper Hats, 16” Hyper Crash and 20” Hyper Ride with a free 10” Splash.
MATON MESSIAH EM100C Slipknot’s Joey Jordinson and Paiste have teamed up to bring you the bright sounding,
For more information on the Paiste range of products, phone Yamaha Australia on (03) 9693 5111 or visit au.yamaha.com
NYFLEX CLASSIC NYLON PICKS
Blending only the very best materials available, with exquisite craftsmanship, the new Maton Messiah EM100C represents a total, no compromise approach. Flawless attention to detail guarantees your Messiah will be an instrument of pride and pleasure for many years to come. The new Maton Messiah EM100C has been remodelled for a new beginning in 2012. Featuring a newly tuned, scalloped braced top and Solid Rosewood back and side sets, this Australian Music Industry icon has taken its
classic worldly timbers and expanded its tonal spectrum. A new Solid Mahogany Neck adds thickness to its deeper and richer tone and again the Maton UV paint finishes this model with a finer and more refined quality. The Maton signature M MOP decal on the headstock is the finishing touch to a guitar that is truly a world class performer. For more information, phone Maton on (03) 9896 9500 or visit www.maton.com.au
Inspired by the revered nylon picks of the ‘50s and ‘60s, the Planet Waves Nyflex is the first nylon pick to capture the flexible feel, warm tone and molded grip pattern of the original, delivering an authentic, vintage playing experience in its entirety. Now you can finally experience the feel and tone that was so eagerly sought out during the birth of rock’n’roll. For more information on the Nyflex range of products contact D’addario Australia on (03) 8761 6293 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
MATON 225 SERIES The 225 series now come with Maton’s own AP5 pickup system. Maton manufactures its own pickups, and are considered one of the leaders in onboard acoustic amplification by players around the world. The 225 Series combines superior quality, playability and affordability. Featuring a solid Spruce top, Queensland Maple back and sides, and the option of the AP5 pickup system, the 225 is an astounding choice for any musician serious about tone, at an awesome price. This model can be ordered as a left handed instrument and also includes the option of cutaway or standard non-cutaway versions.
RADIAL ENGINEERING Q4 The Q4 is a line level device designed to interface with balanced pro audio recording systems. It features four EQ bands with fixed low and high frequency shelving at 100Hz and 10kHz, plus two semi-parametric mid bands that span between 300Hz ~ 2.4kHz and 1kHz ~ 12kHz respectively. Each mid band is also equipped with the choice of wide or narrow Q to open up the sweet spot or tighten it for surgical precision. All frequencies are set with up to 12dB of boost or cut. The EQ may be bypassed to compare the pre and post effect. For more information on the Radial Engineering range of products, phone Amber Technology on 1800 251 367 or visit www.ambertech.com.au
For more information on the 225 Series, phone Maton on (03) 9896 9500 or visit www.maton.com.au
VOX AMPHONES AmPhones are created using headphone technology from Audio-Technica, the name you trust for headphones. AmPhones can also be used as conventional headphones when the amplifier simulator is switched off. You can connect your guitar/bass to these headphones, or use them for listening to music. AmPhones are what you need, whether you’re practicing by yourself in your room, or listening to your portable audio player on the way to the studio. AmPhones are a must-have item for any Vox enthusiast. Stock due to arrive late November 2012. For more information on the AmPhones range of products, phone Yamaha Australia on (03) 9693 5111 or visit www. au.yamaha.com
For a limited time only, PolyTune Mini is also available as PolyTune Noir, an exclusive run that combines all that is great about PolyTune in a much requested customised black colour. These highly coveted gems were made in finite numbers due to overwhelming feedback from the guitar community, requesting a black version of the original PolyTune Mini. Though the original PolyTune and PolyTune Mini’s form factor and distinct white color grew into music icons in under two years, TC-Electronic wanted to have some fun and get guitarists to turn to the dark side. For more information on the TC-Electronic range of products, phone Amber Technology on 1800 251 367 or visit www.ambertech.com.au
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adjusting your finger positions when engaging the Auto-Tune for Guitar feature. And no bulky, unattractive hardware weighs down the playing experience. The Peavey AT-200 looks, plays and sounds just like a conventional guitar, exactly the way it should. For more information on the Peavey range of products, phone Audio Products Group on (02) 9669 3477 or visit www.audioproducts.com.au
Perfect tuning, perfect intonation and instantly. With the simple push of a button on the new Peavey AT-200, guitar players can now create music in perfect tune and pitch. The Peavey AT-200 features Antares Auto-Tune for Guitar with String Tune and the Solid-Tune intonation system, two technologies that work together to bring the clarity of perfect pitch to this highquality instrument. With the Peavey AT-200, you can even switch into alternate tunings like Drop D, Open G, Baritone and more instantly by
Hand crafted in Japan the AT5040 is a sideaddressed cardioid condenser offering remarkable high-fidelity performance, with profound realism and depth, presence and purity of sound. Its proprietary element design employs four ultra-thin (2 micron) rectangular diaphragms that function as one to provide a combined surface area that is unachievable in a standard round diaphragm. The holy grail in microphone design is theoretically achieved by increasing diaphragm size, however, the practical limits of conventional round diaphragms have already been reached as greater size results in diminishing returns due to increased weight. Hence the development of the four rectangular element design, with each element exquisitely matched and proprietarily summed to function as a single ultra-precise unit., in one single shell.
For more information on the AudioTechnica range of products, contact TAG on (02) 9519 0900 or visit www.tag.com.au
WIN! with D’Addario EXP Strings... Simply buy any set of EXP strings from an Australian retailer between Oct 1st and Dec 31st 2012 and send us the packet (along with a copy of the receipt and your contact details), and you’ll go into the draw to win the following:
MONTHLY PRIZE! D’Addario Coated Acoustic Strings x 5 D’Addario Coated Electric Strings x 5 Planet Waves Headstand Planet Waves Pro Winder .00 $ Planet Waves Restore Polish E Planet Waves Protect Wax RRP VALU Planet Waves Shine Spray Planet Waves Untreated Polish Cloth Planet Waves Black Planet Lock Strap Planet Waves Mini Headstock Tuner
Alvarez Masterworks MF-75 Folk Guitar SKB Acoustic Guitar Hard Case D’Addario Coated Acoustic Strings x 10 D’A D’A D’Addario Coated Electric Strings x 10 Planet Waves Headstand Pla OVER Pla Planet Waves Pro Winder .00 $ Planet Waves Restore Polish Pla E Pla Planet Waves Protect Wax RRP VALU Planet Waves Shine Spray Pla Planet Waves Untreated Polish Cloth Pla Planet Waves Black Planet Lock Strap Pla Planet Waves Mini Headstock Tuner Pla
EXPerience the difference! Proudly distributed by D’Addario Australia email@example.com Send Packs/Receipt to: PO Box 141, Kilsyth Vic 3137
Follow us on NSW Lic #LTPS-12-08082 ACT Lic #TP 12/03831
For full terms and conditions please refer to the D’Addario Australia’s Facebook Page
REMO CLEAR VINTAGE EMPEROR TOM HEADS transparent midrange tones with enhanced attack and durability. When jazz and crooners subtly passed the reins to rock and roll in the 60’s, the Remo Emperor Series Drumhead bore witness and laid down the backbeat. Now the Vintage Emperor® is a reissue of the original Emperor® drumhead that contributed to some of the most distinct and memorable drum sounds in history! Offering a mid-range punch and a pleasant ring, the Emperor is constructed of 2-plies of Clear 7.5-mil polyester films, featuring transparent midrange tones with enhanced attack and durability. Current artists using the Clear Vintage Emperor Drum heads include Daniel Adair of Nickel back, R‘n’B Stalwart Gerald Hayward, and Mark Schulman of Foreigner. Old school is the new school.
PEAVEY RAPTOR STAGEPACK LANEY A1 AMPLIFIER
Inspired by the success of the original Vintage Emperor, Remo is proud to offer the Clear Vintage Emperor. Constructed with two free floating plies of 7.5 mil clear Mylar films, the Clear Vintage Emperor features warm
For more information on the Remo range of products, contact Australasian Music Supplies on (03) 9549 1500 or visit www.austmusic.com.au
ZILDJIAN GEN16 INTELLIGENT PERCUSSION
The Peavey Raptor Stage Pack now includes the Total Musician Series instructional DVD that’s designed to get beginners playing quickly. Everything needed to start playing is included; Raptor Plus EX guitar, Transtube Backstage amp, nylon gig bag, tuner, strap, extra strings, cable and picks. Available in Black, Red and Sunburst. For more information on the Peavey range of products, phone Audio Products Group on (02) 9669 3477 or visit www.audioproducts.com.au
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Laney created the A1 amplifier to fit the needs of experienced acoustic players around the world. A three channel amp, with a dedicated instrument channel, a microphone channel with XLR & jack inputs, and an iPod/CD channel, this amp is packed full of features for players who know their way around a guitar. The amp comes with a free DVD that demonstrates the functions of the amp, which will come in handy and might just teach a few old dogs some new tricks. For more information phone Australis Music on (02) 9698 4444 or visit www.australismusic.com.au
Since 1623, the Zildjian family has established a reputation for creating the world’s finest cymbals and percussion accessories. Now, Zildjian is bringing you the world’s first generation of 21st century acousticelectric percussion products. Gen16 is the home of the newest, most ground-breaking acoustic-electric
percussion products. The Gen16 AE cymbal system does not rely on the usual triggering arrangement to create its sounds. AE cymbals are ‘real’ cymbals, beneath which sits a dome-shaped dual microphone, which picks up the sound of the instrument and delivers it to the AE Digital Cymbal Processor, where clever digital signal processing shapes the sound that’s delivered to the outputs of the little silver box. It’s important not to think of the AE system as a traditional electronic percussion device that works by sensing a physical touch and generating a tone in response, where literally any sound can be triggered - with the AE, it’s all about offering ‘real’ acoustic tone in an electronic package that can be used for recording or live performance. Gen16.com offers you the opportunity to download new firmware, new tone shapes and of course the DCP access tool allowing you to edit, create and save your own tone shapes. For more information on the Zildjian range of products, contact Australasian Music Supplies on (03) 9549 1500 or visit www.austmusic.com.au
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NOVATION MININOVA MiniNova is a powerful mini-keys synth with incredible hands-on performance controls, VocalTune and vocoder effects. MiniNova is a compact, super-cool performance synth with the same sound engine as its big brother: the UltraNova. It comes with 256 incredible onboard sounds which you can tweak with 5 knobs, or totally warp with 8 â€˜animateâ€™ buttons. MiniNova also has an onboard VocalTune effect as well as a classic vocoder so you can recreate iconic vocal sounds from hip hop, urban and electronic music.
SIMON & PATRICK GUITARS MARTIN SP LIFESPAN ACOUSTIC GUITAR STRINGS
For more information on the Novation range of products, contact Innovative Music on (03) 9540 0658 or visit www.innovativemusic.com.au
Simon & Patrick guitars are manufactured by renowned luthier Robert Godin in La Patrie, Canada, where building guitars isnâ€™t just a job but a true passion. The luthiers who bring each Simon & Patrick guitar to life are not just guitar builders but they are also devoted artisans who have a love for their craft. With every selected piece of wood, every skillfully crafted part and with every strummed chord, there are people behind every finely crafted Simon & Patrick acoustic guitar. Craftsmen and women with a passion for what they do and love. Built with the same passion you have every time you pick up a guitar and feel the desire to play. Now these amazing guitars are now available in Australia. For more information on the Simon & Patrick range of products, contact Dynamic Music on (02) 9939 1299 or visit www.godindirect.com.au
To celebrate the launch of Muso City mid-November, Jade Australia are running a competition on their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Musocity) where you can win a holiday for two to Port Douglas. Muso City is an innovative new website utilising cutting edge technology and design that will change the way we shop for musical instruments online. No more dealing with faceless websites that cannot guarantee follow up service and support of your purchase. Muso City connects you to music professionals in over 300 stores Australia wide. Muso City carries an extensive range of musical instruments and audio products, carefully
The Martin SP Lifespan acoustic guitar strings are treated with Cleartone proprietary technology to bring you the longest possible string life without sacrificing tone or natural feel. Martin SP Lifespan strings are designed to repel the oils and dirt that can deaden strings. All six strings are treated to preserve the natural Martin SP sound whilst keeping the windings open to deliver a natural brilliant tone and feel that players prefer. For more information on the Martin range of products, phone Electric Factory on (03) 9474 1000 or visit www.elfa.com.au
DO YOU HAVE THE VISION FOR A MUSICAL HUB IN SUBURBAN MELBOURNE?
Some great sized Basement space also, which can be utilised for a fantastic music studio, or any musical purpose, only limited by your imaginative vision.
Business precinct. " # $ Station, Shopping Centre & Bottle Shop, Cafes and more! This 4 floor Commercial Office Property consists of 14 Individual Strata Units, ranging in size from 55sqm, ideally suited to rehearsal %'()* Penthouse.
All Units come with their own Bathroom facilities! Available for immediate Lease or Sale either in individual Units, or has a whole site. Looking for a discerning Music Business identity who has the â€œVisionâ€? to transform this building into one Melbourneâ€™s pre-eminent Musical Hubs.
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chosen for their reliability, playability and represent excellent value for money. Muso Cityâ€™s intuitive design provides detailed product information, images, videos and handy tips. The countdown begins... For more information on Muso City, visit www.musocity.com.au
PROTOOLS HD NATIVE THUNDERBOLT ProTools HD Native is a new generation of Pro Tools HD system that enables you to compose, record, edit, and mix music and/or sound for picture â€“ with great speed and ease. Consisting of an HD Native Thunderbolt interface or PCIe core card, Pro Tools HD software, and Pro Tools HD Series interface, Pro Tools|HD Native harnesses the power of your Mac or PC to deliver pristine sound, incredible performance, and the lowest latency of any host-based DAW.
For more information on the ProTools range of products, visit www.avid.com
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MIKE PATTON’S MONDO CANE
Mike Patton’s Mondo Cane should be no surprise to anyone. Even Patton’s most commercial music – Faith No More – was pretty damn uncommercial, a few hits notwithstanding. Mr. Bungle were always the musical equivalent of a sophisticated sugar high, Fantomas is like soundtrack music for a fever dream, and there are plenty of other non-obvious, non-pop entries dotted throughout Patton’s musical resume. Yet still Mondo Cane stands out as one of his most surprising yet most ‘that totally makes sense’ musical endeavours: sweeping versions of 1950s and 60s Italian pop music, rendered with respect and creativity rather than as a pisstake. Faith No More fans might have seen hints to this in that band’s occasional Burt Bacharach covers or some of Bungle’s more leisurely moments like on the album California, but Mondo Cane is the fully-realised expression of this surprising side of Patton’s musical personality. Fans in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane will be able to experience the splendour first-hand when Mike Patton’s Mondo Cane performs at the Harvest festival and at a sideshow in Melbourne later this month. What are the logistics of pulling something like this together? Well, it’s a lot of phases, a lot of steps. To go back to the beginning it’s selecting the songs. In the beginning I probably had about 150 tunes that I was in love with and thought that maybe I could do some justice to. Then you whittle them down, whittle them down and keep whittling them down. Then you want variety, you want this composer and that composer, and you try to paint the kind of brush strokes that you envision. So you have to eliminate certain things that are fantastic but could maybe be saved for later or something like that. And once you decide that, it’s ‘Okay… who am I gonna get to help me?’ And I was very, very lucky to find Daniele Luppi, who has since become a very, very dear friend. He helped me transcribe all of this stuff. I had the arrangements in my head how I wanted to change each tune and the sort of instrumentation I wanted, and he helped me put it down on paper and make it intelligible to the rest of the world. And then from that point you start finding a band, putting together a band, and that’s a whole other set of dramas and phone calls. There’s a selection process: what about this guy? What about that guy? And there are so many great musicians out there. That was kind of an eye-opening part of the whole process: how many choices I actually had. And once you make those choices, hey, there’s peoples’ schedules. Maybe he’s the perfect person to play Theremin but he’s not available so you’ve got to go to plan B. There’s
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literally sinkholes at every division. Every single time we do this, you don’t know what’s going to happen. On this tour I feel very fortunate that I’ve kept the band pretty much intact except for a couple of positions from the last time we were there. It must be quite the travelling party! Yeah. Three quarters of the band are from Italy but then there’s people coming from the [American] east coast, west coast, and it’s quite the airport pickup, put it that way! Now, I don’t understand Italian, apart from the food… That’s good enough, my friend, that’s good enough. …But there’s something about hearing a song in another language where you find yourself drawn to the emotion in the vocals, stripped of the meaning of the words, which makes it very pure. Well good, I’m glad you think that way. I think that way. I listen to, say, Indian music and of course I don’t understand a word they’re saying. It’s still music, and music does not really have to include a language that you understand. It doesn’t need to be words. Words can sometimes be a hindrance, in my opinion. I have another band, Fantomas, where I chose not to use words at all because I thought they’d get in the way. So I’m glad you
hear it that way, and honestly that’s the way I hear it. Even though I understand what I’m saying, I fall in love with the lyricism of it and the sound of the voice, as opposed to the message it may be conveying. A great thing about the Mondo Cane album is that it has plenty of that great ‘50s/’60s reverb sound, which is so evocative. I love that sound! It’s something that I’ve probably used and tried to recreate on many, many records, and maybe on this one I think I finally got it!
it’s just ‘Let’s see what happens next.’ And I think you need to take a pause to actually reflect on something like that, because otherwise we could just keep playing, and we’re very conscious of overdoing it, y’know, milking material that’s so old. You can only do that for so long, and I feel that we’ve done pretty well. The whole band’s naturally came to this conclusion, so now we’re just sitting tight. Well the reunion managed to avoid feeling like a nostalgia thing - it just felt like ‘Here’s Faith No More again.’ Well that’s good! I’m glad to hear that. I think we’d all be happy to hear that, and that’s why we did it. One of the reasons we didn’t do it sooner was we didn’t feel like we could make it feel that way. We wanted it to feel fresh and still somehow vital.
“I LISTEN TO, SAY, INDIAN MUSIC AND OF COURSE I DON’T UNDERSTAND A WORD THEY’RE SAYING. IT’S STILL MUSIC, AND MUSIC DOES NOT REALLY HAVE TO INCLUDE A LANGUAGE THAT YOU Well whether there’s more in the future or not, the UNDERSTAND.”
Do you plan to do any more of these albums? Yes! There’s another one that’s half done and I just need to clear some space and finish it. When we play live it’s about 25 tunes, 22, something like that, and on the record there’s like 10, so you’ll hear basically the whole second record if you come and see the show. And I kind of planned it that way. On the first record I chose it based on our live set, which was basically the length of two records. So I chose the first record knowing there was going to be a second.
Since this is a musician’s magazine I feel I should ask about vocal technique, and my question is: “How the hell, man?” I don’t know! That’s my honest answer! I found a little thing inside of me and figured out a way of using it, and sometimes faking certain things and imitating other things, and then I did it for a really long time, and I think just de facto when you do something for a long period of time, if there is a god up there, you’re going to get better at it. And y’know, that’s what I still feel like I’m trying to do. I still feel like a chump in a lot of ways. There are singers who can put me under the table, and there’s always lots to learn. And I feel like that’s what I’m here for: I just want to get better. Do you have any plans to release any live stuff from the Faith No More reunion tours? Right now we have no plans whatsoever. Live, recording or anything. We’ve done what we set out to do with the reunion, and it’s all great, but
fact that you did it meant a lot to a lot of people. That’s cool! And also for us. It wasn’t a money grab. It’s funny to say, but we all kind of reconnected, and after quite a long time we all kinda looked at each other and were like, “Man! We actually spent half of our lives together!” It’s interesting to see it through that set of glasses as opposed to the ones you wore back then. I suppose at least personally speaking I’ve grown up a lot since then, and I think I approach music differently, and I feel better about the music than I did then. BY PETER HODGSON Mike Patton’s Mondo Cane will be appearing at Harvest Festival, as well as performing a special one-off Melbourne headline show. November 10, 11 – Harvest Festival, Melbourne VIC November 12 – Regent Theatre, Melbourne VIC November 17 – Harvest Festival, Sydney NSW November 18 – Harvest Festival, Brisbane QLD
$&231 *5$1'&21&(57%2'< 62/,'0$+2*$1<72362/,' 0$+2*$1<%$&. 6,'(6 23(1325(1$785$/),1,6+
NO. 223 MIXDOWN PG. 25
AEROSMITH O VU I STI OONFS TIHNI SU N WIO SR O LND
For a while there it looked like Aerosmith were done. Steven Tyler had fallen off the wagon (and subsequently the stage), and at some point he was in consideration for a proposed Led Zeppelin tour in the absence of an unenthusiastic Robert Plant. Along the way bass player Tom Hamilton was diagnosed with throat and tongue cancer (he recovered but the cancer returned last year, and after treatment he’s recovering well). And of course Tyler went off and took a job as a judge on American Idol too. When the band finally reconvened and hit the studio, the question was “Which Aerosmith will be making an album? The ‘70s bluesy rockers? The ‘80s/’90s hard rock superstars? The FM smash balladeers?” It turns out the answer was all of the above. Music From Another Dimension! manages to have something to appeal to fans of all three of the band’s main eras, and with 15 tracks on the standard edition it’s pretty much a case of “If you don’t like the ballads, there’s plenty of the other stuff.” Whether intentional or not, Aerosmith seems to have found a way to please everyone. We spoke to Hamilton about it. Hi Tom. This interview is for Mixdown magazine in Australia. Great! I get that magazine! I read every single recording and music magazine there is! Have you had a chance to listen to the record? Yeah! I like that there’s three Aerosmiths here - the ‘70s, the ‘80s/’90s and the ballads. Yeah, I noticed that’s how it came out. Every era of our career is represented. I don’t think it was a conscious decision. We’ve learned that it’s so much about songs, and we’ve dipped into different styles throughout our career. What always comes back is that it’s all about the songs. We want to have really kickin’ drums and blasting guitars, and Steven singing amazing vocals. And I’m a musician, so sometimes I’ll listen to music just for the bass player, but not that often. I really believe that the song is the thing. You have three songwriting credits on the album, and more on the bonus material. Tell me about the song ‘Tell Me’. Yeah, I came up with the basic chords and
arrangement on acoustic guitar, and for the longest time I would play that. I’ve never written a vocal for an Aerosmith album, so I just coaxed myself to try it, and eventually it became more of a natural thing. When I picked up the guitar, instead of just playing chords I started to hum notes that were part of the chords. And over the years I started to accumulate a lot of song ideas, and started to realise that a lot of them would probably not be used by the band, even though some of them would. So I’ve had to learn how to finish a song completely. Because in the past my songwriting contribution was obviously about the instrumental tracks. So I kept working on the lyrics and I learned that lyrics can sometimes be discouraging, because you can’t just write something that sounds poetic, and just because something is poetic doesn’t mean it’s going to work well when somebody’s singing it. Lyrics are musical sounds, so it’s an extra challenge to take a line that you think is very clever in terms of imagery and put it to that test of whether someone can actually sing it or not. So over time I was able to do that with “Tell Me.” And it was an amazing experience to have a singer like
Steven singing a song I wrote, because I’ve never written vocals before. It’s been a cool experience and I’m excited that people are noticing. One of my favourite moments on the album is the false start on ‘Lover Alot’. I love that stuff too! That goes back to [producer] Jack Douglas because he really loves that kind of stuff. There used to be a TV show in America called The Outer Limits that was supposed to be these scary, spooky stories. We wanted to do that on the album but we couldn’t get clearance so Jack went in and did it himself… What basses did you use on the album? I used a Fender relic Jazz Bass for a lot of it. When we were finishing the tour before the record, Steven and I were walking around Vancouver and we went to a music store. We had another friend with us that plays bass, and we were looking at this beautiful, beatup but brand new Fender Jazz bass. We were both playing it and I liked it but I looked at the price tag and walked away from it. I went upstairs and started looking at some of the computer equipment and electronic stuff, and when I went back down, Steven was at the front counter paying for it. He bought the
damn thing for me, and sure enough, we tried it out on the record and it just sounded amazing. About two thirds of the record is that bass, and the rest is G&L ASATs, which I’ve always loved. One day their artist rep came into the studio and dropped one off. It has this unbelievable gold metal flake finish on it. Have you ever thought of having a signature bass? I am! With G&L! I actually went down to the company, which occupies the same buildings, and I was allowed to go and hang around in Leo Fender’s lab, where he used to come up with his stuff. He has all these bizarre mock-ups of basses that are just planks of wood with strings on them, and it’s all chaotic and sloppy and everything’s all over the place. It was awesome to just sit in his chair, because I’m always worried about what a disorganised person I am, and here I was in his office and it was just chaotic. I was like, “Okay… I guess it’s okay!” BY PETER HODGSON
Music From Another Dimension! is released on Friday November 9 via Colombia/Sony.
CONQUERING THE FEAR
Thenewno2 is not so much a band, but an all-encompassing concept. The brainchild of Dhani Harrison, the amorphous project has so far spawned two EPs and two full-length LPs, most recently thefearofmissingout. The album features a broad palette of genres, ranging from folk and rock to electronica and rap – and features including Wu-Tang luminary RZA. Speaking upon his return home (to his excited dogs) from US festival duties, Harrison dissect the fear of missing out (FOMO, for short), recounts the formidable arsenal of guitars used on the record, and explains his impressive band managerial skills. The whole concept of ‘the fear of missing out’ is a new one, but it definitely is something that’s tangible. It’s one of those things everybody gets when they see someone say “oh look at me, I’m on a mountain,” or, “look at me, I’m on a boat”. We once a day get that on our Facebook from one of our friends. It’s one of those things that prevents you from being here, now. If you are ‘here’ is one side of the spectrum, the fear of missing out is the other side. Tell us about the album’s writing process. Well different songs came from different days when we would we identify with a kind of feeling. Like ‘I Won’t Go’ came from being in LA with so much driving and so much industry bullshit. Everyone’s always got a reason to go out, and ‘I Won’t Go’ is about everyone being so sick of it, just wanting to stay home and read a book. That just came about from living in LA. ‘The Number’, I don’t want to explain it too much, but if you imaging the FOMO you’d have with every girl you’ve ever gone out with, you know what I mean. We say these different types of FOMO, like “party FOMO”, and the list could go on. For every kind of action, there is some sort of FOMO going on somewhere. And you’re trying not to get sucked into it. I get it with music – if the band are working without me I just get terrible music FOMO.
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Run us through how thenewno2 has evolved since the release of the first album. It’s definitely grown, there’s probably been about ten new members since the last record. It’s nice. I love expanding it the whole time and bringing in different people to do different things. You see people work well together, even if it’s two people that have never met before and suddenly they’re making a record. I like being kind of like a team manager of a football team. Depending on what album you’re doing, or what festival were doing, or what show we’re doing, you kind of just pick the team that’s going out. So I can pick [violinist] Jessy Green, RZA and Regina Spektor. Regina was visiting and I asked her to do it and she was more than happy to work with us, and I’m sure she’s going to come back and do some more stuff because we just had so much fun. Then we had so much fun with the Wu-Tang guys that we brought them back on the record. Then we had Jessy on the record. Then Thorunn [Antonia, vocalist], we played with her at Coachella a few years ago, then that was a great combination so we brought her back. And Holly [Marilyn] is a friend of mine from LA, she was over at the studio one day and it just sort of happened. I like mixing it up. You never know what you’re going to write when someone else is around. It makes it more interesting.
Was it a challenge to form a cohesive package with all these disparate elements? Well I think when we first started it all seemed different, but if you listen to the record on vinyl and with headphones and go start to finish, there is a curve and a graph and things turn up like instruments. RZA’s voice is more like an instrument. Thorunn’s voice is more like an instrument. The only thing thing that was holding me back from releasing it the way I did was the fear that people might think that it’s weird. But when the whole concept of the fear of missing out really fully settled, I thought “well that makes it even funnier”, because if you call it the fear of missing out then you’re definitely acknowledging it. No-one can say “this is just an album that’s a random collection of tracks”, it’s definitely meant to be this way. The arch works really well, in my opinion. I really enjoy having ‘thewaitaround’ going into ‘Staring Out At The Sea’. I always loved continous mix, DJ records. I always loved things that push you forward in a record and being taken to the next place.
is really nice. I usually have my classic Strat that I always play. That’s been my go-to for a long time. It’s an Eric Clapton model with those Lace Sensor pickups. They’re just louder than other guitars. Loud is good. What else, a couple different custom Telecasters. There was a Les Paul Gold Top. That was an old one, it was my dad’s. Then there’s a Gibson that’s strung a bit differently, that’s the kind of thing I use in Fistful Of Mercy. A lot of them on the last record have been on other records as well.
There are a lot of eclectic guitar sounds on the record, what guitars were you using? Myself? I used so many different ones. I’ll tell you some of them. There’s a really great Martin 12-string that appears on ‘Staring Out To Sea’. I was actually given that one by Ben Harper, which
BY LACHLAN KANONIUK
So when will Australia see thenewno2 in the live setting? We were supposed be there in January for Big Day Out, then I was bummed that we weren’t on Big Day Out in the end. I played Byron [Bay Bluesfest] with Fistful Of Mercy, and I would love to get back out there. A lot of my band haven’t been to Australia, but I’ve been there a lot – I love Australia. It’s one of those places where it’s so far away that when you tour, you have to make a big tour out of it.
thefearofmissingout is out now through Shock Records.
GARY CLARK JR NO MESSIN’ AROUND
Austin Blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr is riding a wave of hype, having been labelled the next Hendrix by the New York Times and having played alongside blues legends such as BB King and Eric Clapton at festivals all around the world. With his much anticipated debut album Blak And Blu being released this month, Mixdown spoke to Gary about dealing with publicity, working in the studio and how he achieves his distinctive guitar sounds. Your first album just came out. How are you feeling? I’m excited, a bit nervous cause it’s a new thing for me. There’s been quite a lot of hype about you and the new album. Do you feel any pressure to live up to that hype? I’m aware of it, but I try not to put too much in it, it can be a bit overwhelming but it’s great, I’m excited about it. Do you read much of the press about you, or do you try to stay insulated from that sort of thing? I try to stay away from it for the most part, I don’t go looking for it. I think a notable feature of the album is the diversity of the guitar sounds, between the high psychedelic tones and the deep bassy fuzzes. What equipment did you use to achieve that? As far as the record goes, Mike Elizondo [who produced and played on the album] was all into experimenting with the guitar sounds, so for the most part I use my main axe which is the Epiphone Casino. And I used Mike’s Gibson 335. I have a Real McCoy Wah-Wah pedal and a Cry Baby, an Astro Tone. I used all kinds of stuff. Mike was pulling stuff out left and right, so I wasn’t always sure, cause he would just go “stomp on this”, which was pretty cool for the most part. Do you bring a lot of that equipment with you on tour to capture those guitar tones in your live setup? Yeah for the most part. I mean I have brought down a version. So the Octafuzz, the Astro Tone, the Real McCoy Wah, the delay and my Vibro-King amp. You mentioned working with Mike Elizondo, who has produced music in a range of genres, but is perhaps most famous for his hip-hop production. Is he responsible for some of the hip-hop beats
on the album that accompany the blues sounds that you’re more well known for? That’s why we worked well together, we had an understanding of both, so we were just experimenting. I mean we were just feeding off of each other, there was no pushed ideas or anything. You say you were experimenting a lot. Do you mean production-wise, or were you working on the songs in the studio? Most of it was written before we got in the studio. I had the idea of basically what I wanted to do sonically in mind for all of the songs, and just let Mike help me lay it down. He had some great ideas as well in the process. You also worked with [Green Day producer] Rob Cavallo and you helped produce the album as well. Yeah I worked with Rob Cavallo, he also worked on the Bright Lights EP. He did a couple of things there, and yeah I brought some ideas to the table. How did you find the process of producing? I kind of grew up, when I started playing music, putting a little studio together and experimenting with new sounds, and I would play the drums and play bass, and put all those elements together, so I’ve got a little experience putting stuff together on my own before I went in. The band on the album is unbelievably tight, have you been playing with that band for a long time, or were they new for the album? I hadn’t really played with Mike Elizondo before. [Drummer] J.J. [Johnson] and I have played together for a while. I met him in Austin, Texas, so we’ve been jamming from there, so we are very comfortable with each other, and Mike is just super talented as a musician and a bass player, so he’d just jump in. It was pretty cool to watch, I was surprised how fast he could.
There is a great dynamic chemistry there. During the guitar solos, the band is never just playing a beat. There’s a lot of interplay between the instruments. Right right, yeah exactly, on a couple of those tracks, this guy from Austin, Scott Nelson was playing bass on that stuff too. Zapata from Austin played some guitar on it as well, so I’ve been playing with them a long time. Will the band that played on the album be coming on tour with you, or do you have a separate group for that? A separate group for now, which is made up of musicians from my home town, awesome guys and great musicians, all the guys I’ve been rolling with for the past two years. So you’ll be touring Australia for the first time, are you excited about that? Yeah I’m very excited. I’ve never been before, everyone says I’ll like it. What are you doing in preparation for the big tour and the album release? Are you rehearsing much? I’m taking it a bit easy. I’m pretty sure we’re touring for a while once the album comes out. The album is quite long, going for well over an hour. There was clearly an abundance of material, did much miss out on making it onto the album? We sorta just put everything on there. Was that your decision? Yeah, instead of making an album that just had one
direction, I wanted to just put it all out there. Due to the diversity of the album in terms of genres – one minute psychedelica, the next boogie woogie, the next modern r’n’b – did you put much thought into the ordering of the tracks? I was just sitting around, and you know, the songs are very different at times, so I was just listening to it and thinking “ok, well that song’s over, now what do I wanna hear next?”, but I mean I had a little help putting the sequence together, cause it wasn’t easy. You’ve played with many of the great blues legends, such as BB King and Eric Clapton. Is it intimidating playing alongside these people? No, it’s not intimidating, it’s exciting, I look forward to it if I get an opportunity to do that. I mean I’m all in, I used to be a little bit shy growing up, but I get so excited now, I just love to. BY ZAC COOPER Black And Blu is out now through Warner. Gary Clark Jr returns to Australia next year for Big Day Out. BIG DAY OUT DATES: January 18 – Showgrounds, Sydney NSW January 20 – Parklands, Gold Coast QLD January 25 – Showgrounds, Adelaide SA January 26 – Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne VIC January 28 – Claremont Showground, Perth WA
DOIN IT FOR THE KIDS
As anyone who had queued down the long stretch of Melbourne’s ACDC lane during any Thursday last April can attest, nine-piece soul-revivalists Saskwatch are one of the most electrifying outfits to emerge onto the Australian musical landscape in recent memory. It’s been a breakthrough year for the ensemble, supporting international legends and performing barnstorming festival sets – with many more emerging on the horizon. Speaking after a massive launch tour of their album Leave It All Behind, trumpeter-toter Liam McGorry runs us through the nascent soul explosion. You performed a hell of a lot of shows before going into record your debut album. Were the recording sessions a relative breeze? We had been playing around Melbourne a lot, just at Cherry Bar most Thursdays, plus rehearsing. We had four days in the studio so we went in and did it all live to tape with our friend Cam [Trewin]. Luckily we got it all done in that time. Was it difficult to navigate live recording with nine elements in the studio? Fortunately it was pretty contained. There was a little bit of separation so we could afford to do a few crazy mic techniques, lots of room mic stuff going on. Pretty straight up and live. What range of mics were you using to capture that vintage soul sound? A lot of old valve mics, I’m not too sure exactly what they were. A lot of Cam’s and his friend’s mics. A lot of mixing between those older mics plus your 57s and 58s. Was it a different approach to how you recorded your earlier seven-inches? It was actually the same. What we’re sort of going for is just a straight up live band outfit. We were just trying to capture a bit of the live show in the recording.
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How did you settle on the current lineup? I guess it was pretty sort of loose organisation and no foresight as to what instruments that we wanted in the band. It started off jamming and busking with a group of up to 15 of us from uni – we all studied music together. From there we had people coming and going when busking, then we got it down to nine when we were first asked to do gigs. It was all pretty loose and natural, I guess. How about in the live setting, is it a challenge to adapt your stage plot? We try to keep the one stage plot, but there are a lot of venues around where we struggle to get everyone on the stage so it all goes out the window. But for now it’s been fairly consistent. With all these festival shows it’s been weird to have all this space on the stage. How was it supporting the likes of Earth Wind & Fire and Maceo Parker? They’re all really nice guys and just really supportive and were saying stuff like “Keep doing what you’re doing.” Just to see them still rocking at like 60 and 70 is inspiring, seeing them still rocking and doing what they love doing. You established yourselves as the definitive act of Cherry Bar, which you could say is traditionally a rock venue. Do you feel it’s indicative of a
changing local landscape? Totally. Like you said, Cherry is sort of a rock venue, but there’s always been the soul night. I think there is a mixing and matching and joining together of different venues and genres and styles and as a result there are so many good bands coming out. It’s such a pleasure to be a part of the scene. You just returned from a stint at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, how was that experience? It was awesome, man. Just amazing for us to go overseas for the first time and just start again in a way. Playing a lot of club shows and different atmospheres – playing shows at 3am, playing in the Spiegeltent, playing late night club shows. It was a real interesting mix of shows, but all of them had a good response. The members of Saskwatch all have extracurricalar commitments – musical or otherwise – are logistics difficult to keep in check? It used to be a struggle in the beginning, but in the past year or two years everyone has really stepped up and now it really is easy because everyone enjoys it and makes time for the band and happy to put in the effort, which makes everything so easy – recording, touring, anything. It just makes such a difference. Do you feel like you have any soul contemporaries in the local scene? I guess the thing for us is that we enjoy not just soul but everything. There are a lot of great soul bands coming out of Melbourne – Clairy Browne And The Banging Rackettes, and The Cactus Channel for example. It’s hard to say, there are great bands of all types coming out of Melbourne. I think the scene is just great at the moment. You’ve covered Robbie and Kylie’s ‘Kids’ and Little Red’s ‘Coca Cola’. They’re curious choices, how
did they come about? It’s tough. With a cover you don’t want it to be a rehash of the original, because that would be boring. With ‘Kids’ I just like the song, and I grew up listening to it. It sounds kind of daggy. We tried it out at rehearsal and have been playing it ever since. With the Little Red one, we’ve been friends with those dudes for a while and just loved the songwriting of the band. We tried it out and it worked. You have a fairly busy summer ahead, what’s the gameplan thereafter? We really want to head back to Europe for summer there. There’s this really amazing scene and it would be great to head back over. We’re also almost finished writing the next album as well, so it will be good to hit the studio soon. What can we expect from the next record? I think it’s a little but of a different direction. I’m not really great at describing it. I think it will be that great live sound, as well as building something new. BY LACHLAN KANONIUK
Leave It All Behind is out now on Northside/ Shock. Saskwatch will be performing at Pyramid Rock Festival over New Year’s, plus other festival dates over summer. November 15 – The Hi-Fi, Melbourne VIC December 6 – Jive Bar, Adelaide SA December 7-9 – Meredith Music Festival December 29 – January 1 – Pyramid Rock Festival, Phillip Island VIC January 6 – Summer Of Soul, Mossvale VIC
“Maton is my ﬁrst choice of guitar when I’m recording, and when I’m on stage. That’s the truth.” John Butler
maton.com.au NOVEMBER 2012
NO. 223 MIXDOWN PG. 29
VIOLENT SOHO LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR
Shooting like a thunderous meteor from Brisbane across the Pacific, filthy rock exponents Violent Soho proved to be one of our most worthy musical exports in the past few years. Touching down in the US with the guidance of Thurston Moore, the group recrafted their anthemic arsenal of tracks into a consolidated self-titled debut – including the all-conquering track ‘Jesus Stole My Girlfriend’. Now the reinvigorated four-piece are gearing up for their proper sophomore release, one which is preceded by the awesome double A-side single ‘Tinderbox’/’Neighbour Neighbour’. Before he hits the road to launch the record, frontman Luke Boerdam runs us through the lead-up to the new material, including the recent signing to shit-hot stable I OH YOU. You’ve done a few shows since the wrap-up of the last album touring cycle, what have you been up to in the downtime? Basically it’s just been about writing the album. It’s really hard to write while touring, especially in America. We’re sharing one hotel room, so to get time alone to write while people want to sleep is hard. The rest of this year, besides touring, has just been about hitting the rehearsal room. We have a lot of ideas to work through. Just throwing songs at the band and seeing what works and what doesn’t, finding what works for the next album and what doesn’t. It’s funny, after all these years of playing you find what you used to like and what you used to be happy with you now find boring. It’s a natural progression – you need to keep writing until you’re happy. It took a while to find our feet, but now we’ve hit our stride and heading into summer to record our whole second album. ‘Tinderbox’ was done as a teaser for the record, I guess. Just writing, writing, and doing more writing. What are the plans with recording the new album, back to the States? We haven’t locked anything in. I think we’ll approach it in the same way – just go into lockdown for six weeks somewhere and not worry about shit. It’s what we did last time, and it was awesome not having to worry about touring or worry about shit at home.
We just got to go to the countryside. It really lends itself to recording, just being able to do 16 hour days without feeling like it’s rushed or stressful. We’d love to do that again, whether it’s in Australia or overseas. We’re shortlisting producers, but with lessons learned previously it usually comes down to availability – who’s free to work and who’s keen to work on the record. It takes a lot of back and forth to find that right guy or chick to do it and see where we end up. Australia’s got a very good crop of young producers. You’ve just inked a deal with I OH YOU, which I see as a perfect fit. How did that come about? When we got back from America I had never even heard of I OH YOU. Then I heard of them through Shane from DZ Deathrays beacuse we caught the same bus in the morning. So it was in the back of my head. Then I remember seeing Bleeding Knees Club around and thinking they’re such a good band. It came about and then I met [label founder] Johann [Ponniah], then I saw that I OH YOU were really young but they have just the right attitude when it comes to putting bands out there. They just try and create a party and make it fun, that’s the way I see it. And it is fun [laughs]. They put the bands out there without sacrificing any of the music or making people do shit they don’t want to do. We’re really happy.
Do you think you got the recognition you deserved with the last album in Australia? How do you guage your success? In Australia it’s hard. Yeah you could get played heaps on triple j, but if you compare them to Nova, is it success if you get on that radio station instead? Or if you don’t get on Big Day Out? There are so many ways bands can be perceived as being successful or not. I never really thought about it. I care if my band is touring and working. So I suppose success is if you can keep going and keep working. I think the album did well in Australia. To get nominated for an ARIA is pretty cool. I don’t know what the hell they base that on [laughs]. And record sales, I don’t think they really mean anything these days. If you get high record sales, doesn’t it just mean a heap of old people are buying it? That’s the way I see it, they don’t know about Rdio or Spotify, they’re just buying it from JB Hi-Fi. I don’t know if I want a heap of old people buying my music [laughs]. In all honesty man, if we came back from America and no-one wanted to work with us and noone came to the shows, then I’d accept it. But there was enough drive there when we got back, we were thinking “this is awesome”. For me, that’s success. It’s a tough thing. If you judge the amount of work you put into a band compared to any other industry, then you’d be nuts to still do it. If you look at it on paper, it’s the equivalent of working a full-time job while keeping your day job while not getting any money. If you judge success like that, you’re not gonna get far. Music is a weird beast. I don’t know why people do it [laughs].
It’s amazing to see how many new bands come up, you just think ‘fuck, you’ve got so much work ahead of you’. It’s awesome. If people are willing to do it without getting that much money back, it must be a good thing. You’re repping Mansfield pretty hard, that’s your hometown yeah? Yeah it’s a suburb. It’s funny, I think we sold it so much that people think it’s a town, but it’s a suburb. I think there is something special about Mansfield and the postcode 4122. What I think that makes it special is that for one, it’s where the band grew up. It’s special for us. I think it kind of says something when there is a ridiculous amount of churches for a small area, pentecostal churches and schools. So I think it kind of stands apart. That’s what we were surrounded by growing up, and I think it’s always going to have a place in our music as what we revolt against [laughs]. BY LACHLAN KANONIUK Violent Soho launch their ‘Tinderbox’/ ’Neighbour Neighbour’ double A-side (through I OH YOU) with a national tour. November 15 – Goodgod, Sydney NSW November 16 – Rocket Bar, Adelaide SA November 17 – The Tote, Melbourne VIC November 23 – Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane QLD
TWELVE FOOT NINJA NOT-SO-SILENT ASSASSINS There isn’t really any one thing you can point to and say “That’s the Twelve Foot Ninja sound.” The closest thing you’ll get to it is the way the backing vocals tend to tie everything together. Outside of that though it’s pretty much a musical free-for-all, where anything can happen at any time. But it’s not chaos for the sake of chaos: it’s controlled, deliberate, and compositionally creative. And after some killer live shows and EP releases, the band has finally unleashed their debut full-length album, Silent Machine. It jumps around from metal to reggae to electronica to hard rock and even full-on Periphery-esque djent while somehow managing to avoid sounding like someone’s channel-hopping through radio channels. Mixdown spoke to guitarist guitarist Steve “Stevic” Mackay on the eve of the album’s release. How on earth do you manage to maintain consistency from song to song or from section to section with so much going on? It’s often harder than it seems, hahaha! But that’s what sort of drives me, personally. I love flipping things on their head and somehow not making it too abrasive - or making it totally abrasive, depending on what the desired effect is. The vocals and harmonies sew the patchwork together with a constant thread. Was there an initial plan for the band, or did it just kind of happen? Was this all part of a sonic manifesto? I recruited the drummer who I’d played with in a previous band called Flow and we started from there. We put a weird, cryptic video out with a couple of MySpace links to a couple of vocal-less tracks. Nik stumbled across the video somehow and we started rehearsing in late 2008, and we got out there and started playing gigs then. That’s about it! What was the recording process like for the album? I’d be lying if I said it was just sick from start to finish. It was definitely quite tumultuous. We kind of recorded it twice, which was pretty PG. 30 MIXDOWN NO. 223
annoying! Just different processes… the way we write, we wrote a lot of it in the studio. We had a framework and it drastically altered, while other songs were more comprehensive from start to finish before we got in there. It was a very non-traditional way to record an album, which frustrated the engineer we were working with initially because he was used to working with jazz musos in indie bands and stuff where they write their songs, rehearse it, get in a room and punch it out over a couple of days. But for us it was a full-on process.”
Steve Vai and those kind of dudes but I really like Guthrie Govan. He’s one of the most proficient contemporary guitar players on the planet. He plays so many styles and he does it with so much skill. I like Django Reinhardt, Pat Martino… anything that’s a bit different. I’m not huge on a lot of jazz but there’s some that I just love to death. I guess I’ve got fairly specific tastes, which could sometimes be said as narrowminded, but to have a filter enables me to do what I do with the band, to go ‘That’s out… that’s in.’ So to be excited about what I like, I see that as a benefit.
topic, I upgraded the POD firmware, which has individual string tuning in the actual unit, but there’s a bug which creates a slight click when you change patches, so I had to roll back the firmware. And there was a bug with the tuning where you’d go to switch to another patch and it’d forget what tuning you’d set, which is kind of hilarious when you’re playing an eight-string type tuning and it’d come out as some kind of Nashville or bloody banjo tuning or something!
Well there’s a saying that albums aren’t completed, they’re just abandoned... I can always see areas for improvement but I think if I was satisfied with everything, where do you go? It gets to a point where you just have to let it go. I think if I was absolutely satisfied with everything, I’d be worried, because where do you go?
What gear are you using? Live, I play all Line 6 gear. I use a James Tyler Variax 89 US, which is pretty unusual. I haven’t seen many guys playing them in Australia. I use that because of the drastic tuning and rig changes. I can change it from a Strat to an acoustic guitar to a kind of seven or eight string configuration. But I’ve actually got an endorsement with Paul Reed Smith guitars. I love those guitars - the look, the feel, the sound of them. But predominantly a lot of the stuff I’ve been doing is on the Variax. I’m trying to get a hyrbid with a Variax brain. Other than that, I use a Line 6 POD HD500 and that’s it! I keep it pretty simple. On a completely nerdy
Silent Machine is out now. Tour dates: January 10 - Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle NSW January 11 - Annandale Hotel, Sydney NSW January 18 - Corner Hotel, Melbourne VIC January 19 - Ferntree Gully Hotel, Ferntree Gully VIC January 24 - Prince of Wales, Bunbury WA January 25 – Amplifier, Perth WA January 26 – Mojos, Fremantle WA February 1 - Enigma Bar, Adelaide SA February 7 – The Venue, Townsville QLD February 8 - Tempo Hotel, Brisbane QLD February 9 - Miami Shark Bar, Gold Coast QLD
Guitar nerd talk. So who are your guitar heroes? I really like Tommy Emmanuel. He was the dude that really inspired me and I learned a lot of his songs when I was younger, because they were very dynamic and technical. I never got into
BY PETER HODGSON
NO. 223 MIXDOWN
MELBOURNE MUSIC WEEK LABELS SERIES
Two Bright Lakes and Cutters
Slowly but surely, a formidable contingent of Australia’s most influential musical figures gathered in the sun-drenched Arts Centre courtyard. I first spot Gill (Mixdown’s own beloved typesetter) and Antonia from Beaches kicking back by the moat outside National Gallery of Victoria, before running into Alex and Tom from Forces. We all make our way indoors to join some well-known faces – Dan from Cut Copy, Vince from Midnight Juggernauts, Geoffrey from Crayon Fields – as well as the brains behind some of our country’s most revered independent labels. All are involved, whether as a performer, curator, or both, with Melbourne Music Week’s Labels Series – a disparate triptych of musical showcases featuring a remarkable array of talent in unconventional scenarios. As the palpable excitement in NGV today indicates, there is something more than a little bit special in store. Chapter Music, the longest-standing label out of the four imprints involved in the Labels Series performances, is well-represented here today with members from Beaches, Crayon Fields, Bum Creek, Clag, Pikelet and Primitive Calculators, as well as label founder Guy Blackman and manager Ben O’Connor. In between being shuffled around shooting locations around the gallery, Guy and Ben recount the storied 20-year history of Chapter Music. “It was around the time that a lot of people were putting out cassettes,” Guy states, looking back on the label’s humble Perth origins. “They seemed like a really DIY, easy, fun format. As soon as we put out the first cassette we knew it was something that we wanted to keep on doing, not just with the fanzine.” The day before the shoot, one of Chapter’s foremost acts had again made the voyage to the US. It’s the second time Twerps have toured the country this year after a barnstorming run with Real Estate earlier in 2012. It’s a strategy that’s paying off both abroad and at home, as Ben explains before flying over to join the band a few days after our chat. “We’ve always looked at the bands we work with as part of the international music community rather than just part of the Australian music community. Being Australian is really important to us and supporting good Australian music is really important, but most of the work that we do I see as fitting into what’s happening internationally rather than just what’s happening in Australia,” Ben muses. “We’ve always worked hard to combat Australian cultural cringe – the idea that things from overseas are inherently better than stuff that’s made here in Australia,” Guy adds. “We’re trying to reverse that.” We’re escorted up the elevator and into the mezzanine of NGV’s Great Hall. The breathtaking room will play
host to a Tim Sweeney-headlined party presented by Cutters Records and Two Bright Lakes. Colourfully illuminated by the kaleidoscopic ceiling, Cut Copy frontman and Cutters founder Dan Whitford explains the philosophy behind the label. “I guess it was something we set up after starting our band as a means of putting out music made by other people that we were really passionate about,” he relays. After a hectic touring schedule following on from the 2011 release of Zonoscope, Dan reveals that the Labels party comes at an opportune time in the Cut Copy writing-recording cycle. “We probably rested for about a week, then went back to writing for the next record. We’re just getting towards the end of that now, so it’s a great time to have a party and blow off the cobwebs a little bit,” he grins. Absent from today’s shoot, Daniel Stricker of Siberia Records and Midnight Juggernauts calls the week later from New York, where he is travelling with Kirin J Callinan as part of the CMJ series of events. As he explains, while Midnight Juggernauts’ formation of Siberia Records is comparable to Cut Copy’s Cutters Records, the two imprints started out with differing intents. “We started it to put out our own music, first and foremost. When Midnight Juggernauts started we had a look at the major labels, and none of them felt right. We had been doing stuff own our own up until that point, then we ended up putting out our first record. That was back in 2007. Then we thought it would be a good idea to put out other people’s stuff, which is something we always wanted to do. So we did that when we had the time, because we were so busy touring. When we came back at the end of 2010 to write our third record we made the decision to put out some records during that writing process,” he recalls. “Our first releases, which came
Photos by Ben Clement out on the same day, were a seven-inch for Jonti, who was going under Danimals back then, and Kirin J Callinan’s She EP. That was November 2010, and we’ve just been doing stuff since then. It’ been great, just doing stuff with friends and doing these releases exactly how we want to do them. Going all out with stuff like coloured vinyl, and we did a postcard that you could send to someone and it played Forces and Kirin if you put it on a record player. Just doing fun stuff. It’s a labour of love,” he beams. With impending releases from Forces and Kirin in the next 12 months, there’s a sense that Siberia Records is a rumbling geyser on the point of eruption. “All these records that are coming together, it feels like everything is coming to a head. The fact that Kirin’s here in New York and getting really good press and people are getting into it, plus it’s building back home, it feels like the last two years are culminating to this point – especially this Melbourne Music Week show, and some events in Sydney, plus Kirin’s album tour next year. It’s a lot of work, but it feels good that it’s
coming together. I think it’s really indicative of what’s happening in Australia. There’s heaps of good stuff happening with labels like Chapter and Two Bright Lakes, all these people doing great stuff.”
to adjust the volume and the level of the internal microphone, and aside from a phase switch to zap feedback problems or wave cancellations, the system doesn’t have any sound controls or equalizers: it works so efficiently that it doesn’t need them. If there’s one thing that stands out across the many Lakewood guitars I’ve played while reviewing guitars for Mixdown, it’s that the construction quality is always outstanding. Peek inside with a mirror and you you’ll see internal workmanship that’s every bit as neat and precise as what you see on the outside. It seems to come from the same place as the philosophy that Steve Jobs always tried to instil in Apple designers: that the product had to be of a high level both inside and out, as an expression of the pride that goes into doing a good job. As Seeliger puts it, “What is the Sound
of Magic? It’s when the song you are playing seems to play itself. It’s when you pick up a guitar and from the moment you play it you become inspired, and new ideas flow freely with every strum. It’s when your guitar becomes the vehicle of your inspiration, and an extension of your soul. It’s that elusive element that is the difference between a mass produced, machine-made guitar, and a hand-made instrument that takes on the soul of its creator, and eventually its owner.”
BY LACHLAN KANONIUK Melbourne Music Week’s Labels Series is three unique events with four of Melbourne’s independent labels showcasing our brightest talent: Chapter Music’s 20th Birthday, with Crayon Fields, Twerps, Pikelet and more at North Melbourne Town Hall on Saturday November 17, Cutters Records and Two Bright Lakes presenting Tim Sweeney, Teengirl Fantasy, Collarbones and more at The National Gallery Of Victoria on Friday November 23 and Siberian Nights, with Kirin J Callinan, Forces and more at the Melbourne University Underground Carpark on Saturday November 24. For all information, head to melbourne.vic.gov.au/mmw.
LAKEWOOD ACOUSTIC GUITARS
Martin Seeliger founded Lakewood in Germany in 1986 with a simple goal: to make musical instruments that would be treasured by their owners. In fact, the company’s slogan is ‘The Sound of Magic,’ which sums it up pretty well for those of us who have had their paws on these beautiful guitars. Seeliger’s love of the guitar dates way back to when he was a boy scout. “Playing the guitar together was the one thing I remember most about being with my friends,” he says. At the age of 18 Seeliger was offered an apprenticeship by a luthier named Manfred Pletz, and in those three years he learned a lot about the process of luthiery, including of course the skills that would later inform his work in Lakewood’s distinctive and sometimes beautifully minimal designs. With Pletz, Seeliger built classical guitars as well as mandolin-type instruments and acoustic basses. After completing his apprenticeship he worked as an instrument repairman, learning a lot about what players did and didn’t like about their instruments, and about the impact of different construction techniques on the final result. “During that period, thousands of guitars passed through my hands,” he says. “I heard many different sounds, and saw many different building techniques. I also got to speak with the owners of these instruments about what they liked and did not like. It was a never-ending learning experience that helped shape the guitar building philosophy I have today.” That’s pretty clear when you play a Lakewood and you realise just how player-friendly the necks are, for example. Some European PG. 32 MIXDOWN NO. 223
builders are incredibly traditional in their methods and execution, but Lakewood aren’t afraid to step out with their own designs. Notable Lakewood users include Dave Matthews, Thom Yorke and Richie Blackmore, but you don’t have to be a top-flight artist to get a Custom Shop Lakewood: any authorised Lakewood dealer can assist in placing a Custom Shop order. Any Lakewood owner can register their guitar with the company, which has two benefits: “Through the registration we simply celebrate your highly official joining to the Lakewood family,” the company says. “You have no duties to fulfill and your data are stored safely in our database.” But additionally, the registration allows Lakewood to understand better the course of the guitar’s life and where it travels through the years. This is helpful for customers wanting to track down information on a used Lakewood and is also a huge benefit in tracking down stolen guitars. All new Lakewood CP models are fitted with the L.R. Baggs Anthem system, a high-profile dual system which uses an undersaddle transducer in the bridge along with a microphone inside the body. The soundhole-mounted controls allow you
BY PETER HODGSON For more information on the Lakewood range of products, phone CMC Music on (02) 9905 2511 or visit www.cmcmusic.com.au
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NO. 223 MIXDOWN PG. 33
UNLEASH YOUR INNER ROCK GOD
SIMPLIF YING BARRE CHORDS Y’know what’s always kinda baffled me? The emphasis placed on barre chords for beginners. Barre chords can hurt, they’re hard to reach, and the majority of pro players only use partial versions anyway – letting other instruments share some parts of the chord – so this means that players who learn certain songs with full barre chords could be playing them wrong! I’m not saying that barre chords are not important, but I think they needlessly stress out a lot of beginners. And when you’re in the early stages of learning to play guitar, I firmly believe that you should focus on the things that are fun to play and that inspire you to keep learning and developing, not things that put you off after the first few weeks. So what can you do if you’re struggling with barre chords but you really, really want to play a particular song that you’ve got a chord chart for? Well here’s a helpful method that I’ve kind of slowly carved out over the years which will:
chord, or down two frets to play G, etc. There are a few problems with that. One is finger fatigue. The other is that it doesn’t necessarily sound natural to have the entire chord shift up like that. It makes the arrangement sound claustrophobic, and it can also give a chord progression a bit of that odd feeling you get when using a ‘one-finger chord’ setting on a cheap keyboard. Want to make it a lot easier on yourself and give the chords some room to breathe? Easy! Visualise the chords as the are above, but take your mind off those pesky lowest two notes and simply fret the chords thusly: Diagram 2.
a) Get you playing the song in a recognisable, listenable fashion; b) Increase your confidence and finger strength so that when you actually do want to play a full six-string barre chord, you’ll be in better shape to do so; and c) Make you appear really cool to members of the opposite/same [check all that apply] sex. To start with, let’s look at four common barre chord shapes, presented here in the key of A.
of each chord, but they’ll no longer be so damn hard to fret. And if you look close you’ll notice something: every single one of these chords involved an index finger barred over the fifth fret, and either one, two or zero fingers pressed down at a specific fret. Start with the A major shape (the first one). Want to make it Am? Remove the second finger. Want to make it A7? Remove the third finger instead. Want to play an Am7? Take them all off, leaving just the barred fifth fret. Easy! If you’re playing in a band, these partial versions of the chords may actually make you sound better by spreading out the notes of the chord between the guitar and bass, and they’ll even free up a finger for adding little melodies on top of the notes, like those connecting notes in the verses of “Under The Bridge” by Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Granted, if you’re playing a song all by yourself you might loose a little of the low end, but these versions of the chords should increase your finger strength and musical confidence and soon you’ll be ready to tackle the full six-note versions. Happy shredding!
Some of these can be real fingerbusters for the beginner. What most people like about barre chords is that if you want to change to a different one, just move the shape elsewhere on the neck so that the lowest note is starting on the root note of the chord you want. For instance, move the barre chord shape up two frets from A to play a B
BY PETER HODGSON All of these chords are still playing off the fifth fret like the regular barre chords in the first diagram, but now you’re only barring over the thinnest two strings, not all six of the freaking things. You’ll still get the character and defining notes
WHAT’S THAT SOUND YA M A H A M X 4 9
Well, it looks like I spend far too much time rambling on about old keyboards and tend to get a little caught up in the past when so many new ideas are coming our way. So, this month I was made privy to the newest beast from Yamaha, the prototype and only one in existence in the world at the moment, the new MX49. I am sure many of you will have seen the rumours recently and if you are really on the ball, you’ll have noticed Yamaha have recently added it to their product line-up on their US site, so it may not come as a complete surprise to all who read this that a new keyboard is on its way. In fact, by the time this goes to press, it will most likely have been added to the Yamaha Australia website, so you can jump online (www.au.yamaha.com) and check it out in full to see what’s soon to hit our stages. I only got a brief look into this new keyboard, but I was quite impressed with what I saw. The development team at Yamaha have gone for a hybrid style of keyboard that is somewhere between a MIDI controller keyboard for your DAW and a Motif engine performance PG. 34 MIXDOWN NO. 223
workstation. It looks like the lovechild of a MOX synthesizer and the now discontinued KX series MIDI controllers and share functionality of both units. With 1000 Motif sounds on board, with many of them apparently updated for a more modern sounding engine, the MX49 is going
to appeal to users for live performance in its lightweight frame and wealth of tonal options. But it doesn’t stop there. It apparently integrates DAW with MIDI control via USB and audio streaming from the Motif engine also via USB, so the sounds you create and play on the keyboard can be directly recorded with a digital connection, meaning no need to run analog inputs into your audio interface. The MX49 is supposed to feature Yamaha’s Advanced Integration as well, making control over your on screen parameters within your DAW quick and easy. Placing the mouse over a parameter allows you to control it from the keyboard’s controllers. It’s almost like auto mapping need never be invented. I have also been told by the tech heads at Yamaha, but haven’t been able to experience it myself, that the arpeggiator functions act in a really wild way
when integrated with your DAW. Instead of note data being transferred, you get control data being sent through for some amazing effects. Of course, all this is pure speculation and rumour at this stage, but well worth mentioning. There is currently one of these keyboards in Melbourne, so it does indeed exist, but they are not available for delivery just yet and how the final product will differ we cannot tell until it lands. I was told that the first shipment was likely to be late November if we are lucky, so get ready for a December drop. I know what I will be asking Santa for this year. Let’s hope it is priced as competitively as Yamaha are hoping when it does land. If so, I think a fair few of you will want to get one of these into your studios and out on the road with you soon! Keep your eyes and your ears peeled. BY ROB GEE
ON THE DOWNLOW BASS TAPPING
Two-handed tapping sometimes gets a bit of a bad rap - at least, it did between the early ‘90s and a couple of years ago - probably because one too many guitar players used it to make ray gun noises, and one too many bass players used it to pretend they were Les Claypool. Don’t get me wrong, Les Claypool’s awesome, but a lot of players seemed to borrow some of his chord shapes and use them out of the context of Primus compositions and… that doesn’t always work. So today we’re going to look at some ways you can add some upper end richness to your basslines while still holding down the low end. Tapping is infinitely easier if you have a bass with relatively low action, but even if you have pretty high strings you can make things a little easier on yourself by using a hefty amount of compression. I like to anchor my right hand on the fretboard itself, with my thumb pressed against the side of the neck that the E (or B) string is on and my pinky and ring fingers holding onto the side by the G string. This leaves the index and middle fingers for tapping chords. Just remember to relax your right hand: don’t actually grip the neck - give your hand enough looseness and flexibility to move to different angles so you can hit different shapes. You’ll run into trouble very quickly if you try to keep that hand totally rigid while contorting it into bizarre configurations to hit a particular chord shape that would be much easier if you just angle your hand a bit. Figure 1. is a pretty simple piece which plays a few different chord shapes off against a moving bassline. The chords themselves aren’t too tricky (remember to angle your right hand for that last
one though), and the left hand part is pretty easy too. You won’t be able to pick it of course, since your picking hand will be busy holding down chords, so it’s a good excuse to tighten up your left hand ‘hammer-on from nowhere’ technique. Figure 2. takes a different approach. You’ll be able to pick, pluck or otherwise strike the first two notes of each bar normally, but the other two are tapped and then slid to another note. The trickiest part here is in keeping a consistent rhythm between the picked and tapped notes. Try to keep a steady 1-2-3-4 pulse going, and don’t use slow, drawn-out slides: change at the very last microsecond so that the slide becomes the method of sounding the next note, rather than a way of getting from one to the other. Bonus tip: this riff sounds super-bitchen on a fretless bass. Figure 3. uses a tapped harmonic an octave above the original note. Simply fret the appropriate note, whack the string exactly 12
frets higher, right on the fret, with your index finger, then go on and play the rest of the riff normally while the harmonic rings out. You can enhance the effect with some delay timed to the tempo of the song, or with an envelope filter if you want to get a little crazier. This is a good way
of covering a lot of sonic ground while someone drops out of the rhythm bed to take a solo, or to maintain the sonic spectrum while guitars do something a bit textural. BY PETER HODGSON
BANGIN’ THE TUBS IN THE ZONE?
These days I find it reasonably hard to find time to really practice or experiment on the drums when not playing a gig. I have to face it - I’m grown up, married with two kids, working full time (on and off the drums) and living in a house with neighbours that - let’s just say,”prefer less noise in their lives.“Frankly, there’s not a lot of time to do anything let alone sit on those drums and crank out hours of practice. But the fact is, there are so many drummers out there with the very same problem. There’s always going to be constraints keeping you off the drums. Even the pro touring drummer has this problem - for practice that is. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to masters such as Keith Carlock, Antonio Sanchez and Jonathan Moffett and each of them answered similarly when quizzed about “do you have time to practice?” The answer was pretty simple - “... I’m pretty flat out on the road.” Drummers that have studied their craft at tertiary level will have undoubtedly been though a period of their lives where there was pretty solid practice. Even players that haven’t studied may have done so too but as time moves on this routine of huge chunks of time gets harder. I think about this a lot and I like to come up with ideas and ways of finding time-effective ways to develop on the instrument and stay inspired and excited. I look back at my drumming life and concede that I wasn’t the studious type of student who put in eight hours a day for five years. Yet, I’m still reasonably handy with a set of sticks. After the wonderful realisation that I’d still accomplished something, I concluded that the answer for me was short bursts of ‘in the zone’ practice - a term that got flung around a lot at University and it meant really solid, focused practice without interruptions and distractions - five minutes here, 15 minutes there - a groove, a fill, a rudiment, an idea. Anything that is new and might stick in your brain with focused attention to detail. I’ve
learned some of the most valuable techniques that I now use every time I play by using this method. I’m not scared to admit that I’m not great at doing massive slogs of practice at one time. I lose interest and energy. If I can find ten minutes and workshop one lick or concept to the point of remembering it to use at the next gig i’ve kicked a goal in my books. Even if it is on a practice pad, remember your stick technique is still going to be worth every hit. As for staying inspired, this ‘in the zone’ method of practicing for the busy human helps, but try seeing a gig, watching a video, listening to a great drummer on CD, buying new music, buying a new piece of gear (honestly, nothing will get you on the drums faster), buying a new drum book, or if time permits join a new band. I still find myself doing exactly what I did as a kid. I’d watch another drummer, either live or on video and jump on the drums and see if I could copy them. Now I do it in between a student, after work, or before a gig - trying to be clever and overcome constraints. Let’s face it, who can’t find 5-15 minutes in a day? BY ADRIAN VIOLI
NO. 223 MIXDOWN PG. 35
(D)IGITAL (J)OCKEY ALL IN ONE
So, I am always on the hunt for the next big thing in DJ technology. I say this as I am playing Devo’s Freedom of Choice album on vinyl for some ‘easy listening’, but I do like to drag myself away from the turntables and play with all the new gadgets that are out there. What I was excited about this week was my newest discovery in the Stanton range of digital DJ consoles. Step aside laptop; you could well be replaced with an all in one system. Over the years we’ve seen the development of USB connectivity in a wide range of products not strictly for computer connection but simply as a device drive for mass media storage like USB sticks or hard drives. These first started appearing on CD players designed for the DJ market to allow the user to incorporate MP3 files into the mix, direct from a flash drive instead of from the CD in the unit, allowing greater track storage and file management. What a great idea this all seemed to be. First we used to lug around thirty or forty kilos of vinyl to a gig, which then got reduced to a wallet full of CDs. Now it looks like you can just turn up with a USB stick on you key ring, plug in and rock the party, excellent! Well, this all went up the scales in the “excitement charts” for me this week when I came across the new Stanton SCS.4DJ console. What this
unit does is remove the need for a computer in a virtual DJ console and replace it with inbuilt memory and additional USB connectivity for storage drives. This has been done before, but not in the same way with the SCS.4DJ featuring an inbuilt full colour screen so you can operate the unit like a hardware controller and a laptop, but all built into one unit. Hell, it even mixes video if you really want to go nuts. Now we are talking. Get rid of that unstable laptop that always crashes at the wrong moment and put it all into one unit that is lightweight, portable and stupidly cheap for the features it offers. The question is will this now be the blueprint for next generation of DJ interfaces and controllers ? Have we seen the demise of the laptop computer
in the club scene beginning right here? Or, am I just getting overly worked up about a cool new gadget that brings back the fundamental process and hands on technique required for respectable live DJ mixing. Imagine though, if every venue out there installed these systems into their DJ booths, you could turn up with a couple of USB sticks and still have full control over your mix. Madness, some might say. Personally, I’d like to see turntables still available in all venues, but
those days are now gone, so bring on the USB and bring back hands on live mixing. BY ROB GEE For more information on the Stanton range of products, contact Jands on (02) 9582 0909 or visit www.jands.com.au
HOME STUDIO HINTS: LAPTOP OR NOT
I have always been a staunch advocate of running a desktop computer system in my home studio. That said, I also use a laptop in there as well, and often the two will work side by side for some projects, but more often than not, I rely on the big beast to handle the brunt of my workload. But not everyone shares the same opinion. There are people out there that are getting excellent results form cost effective, compact and easily portable laptop computers in their home studios. So, why should you go with one over the other? And is it a debate that will never really be settled? Is this just another Mac vs. PC argument? And when will the tablet make its debut as a reliable contender for a studio tool? Too many questions and not enough clarity really. BUILD YOUR OWN I personally prefer a desktop design in my home studio purely for the ability to customise the beast. That and the fact I can build it into a rack casing. Everything is better when it is rack mounted. Everything! But, when all is said and done, with modern computers changing and growing all the time, it is a necessary task to upgrade repeatedly. That is why I prefer a desktop system, where I can change out components and get it running how I need it to in order to handle my workload. ALL IN ONE, GO ANYWHERE! Obviously the biggest argument for the laptop computer is the portability. You can take your studio anywhere and work on your music all the PG. 36 MIXDOWN NO. 223
time. It is also compact and fits into a workspace nicely when you are crammed into a small room. With my current recording setup, I am not likely to want to go portable, so the desktop suits me just fine. I do like to take a laptop about with me with a smaller interface so I can record on location out of the studio when needs be. Plus, I can edit audio sitting on the couch in front of cartoon re-runs if I so desire. My biggest issue with the laptop is the all in one nature of them and the limited ability to upgrade. That said, they are getting so cheap
these days, many people could afford to simply replace the entire computer every 12-18 months, rather than upgrading individual components. When all is said and done, you want to consider your individual needs and your spacial limitations. If you have a large enough space and use a bit of outboard gear, I would always recommend a desktop computer as a main audio machine, with a backup laptop for offsite work. But if your home studio isn’t so fixed a permanent, or you simply
don’t have the space, the laptop may well be a better option. Just remember, whatever way you go, don’t go absolute top end. You will always be paying for the latest and greatest R&D and won’t get much more for your extra dollars. Aim to get a computer that is about 80-85% of the way to the most powerful unit on the market and you will save a lot of money and not see you machine get outdated as quickly. BY ROB GEE
I/O it to my music. I/O it to my fans. I/O it to myself.
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Guitarist Nick Wheeler relies on Avid® to help create The All-American Rejects’ multi-platinum sound. From the popular Mbox® series to the Fast Track® C600, only Avid I/O interfaces come with Pro Tools® —the industry-standard software for music and audio production. Check out Avid’s great-sounding I/O lineup and plug into the one that best tells your story.
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NO. 223 MIXDOWN PG. 37
There are few instruments in the world as well-loved and as versatile as the humble acoustic guitar. From the smallest of bedrooms to the biggest of stadiums, the good ol’ six string has indelibly shaped the course of musical history like no other. From its earliest incarnations in the 12th century, the instrument has evolved greatly but still retained the core elements which has earned a perennial pertinence throughout an everchanging musical climate. As you’ll see in our extensive acoustic special, technological advancements are still being made – plus there is still a resounding pursuit for the perfections of the basics of craft. While an acoustic guitar is an intensely personal artefact, our guide will point you in the right direction with an in-depth look at style, sound and tone, playability and construction, giving you more than enough material to make an informed decision when it comes to selecting a new acoustic. From beginner-level guitars to the ultimate in quality and build, there is something for the strumming connoisseur of any budget. Flick through at the eye-candy, digest what our range of guitar gurus have to say, then get a guitar in your hands and build some callouses on the tips of your fingers.
Ibanez Mohogany AC240OPN Grand Concert Acoustic thanks to Australis Music, see page 6 for details!
TAYLOR GS MINI MAHOGANY
DISTRIBUTOR: AUDIO PRODUCTS GROUP ACOUSTIC TYPE: GRAND AUDITORIUM
DISTRIBUTOR: AUDIO PRODUCTS GROUP ACOUSTIC TYPE: MINI
RECOMMENDED FOR: Those looking for a Grand Auditorium with that little extra oomph, live and studio players will love this one and anyone after a solid workhorse guitar.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Travelers, home strummers, rootsy singer-songwriters and perhaps surprisingly, slide players. SOUND AND TONE: Where the original GS Mini has commanding treble and more bass than you’d expect for its size, the GS Mini Mahogany is all about the mids. It’s single notes are almost vocal, and chords have amazing projection for a guitar so small.
SOUND AND TONE: Crisp and full the 414ce sounds exotic with a combination of Ovangkol, Sitka Spruce, Mahogany and Indian Rosewood. The gloss top adds a little zing to the overall tone which can be amplified again thanks to the on-board ‘ES’ Expression System Electronics. PLAYABILITY: Absolutely Killer, with thanks to the combination of the great action, intonation, slimmer neck and cutaway you can really get into the 414ce on all angles.
PLAYABILITY: Effortless. All but the biggest hands will feel comfortable on this neck, but it’s especially geared towards strummers and arpeggiators rather than full-on finger-pickers of the ‘human orchestra’ variety.
CONSTRUCTION: That classic Taylor shape with some extras including a white binding on the body and neck, ‘progressive dot’ inlays on the fretboard and beautiful grains running through the back and sides.
CONSTRUCTION: Really impressive for such a size. Built in Taylor’s factory in Mexico to very high standards (and just a hop, skip and jump away from the USA factory in El Cajon, California), this is unmistakably a Taylor.
OVERALL: Another serious guitar from Taylor. Looks great but also plays the part and would be right at home in the studio or live on tour rather than just a strict lounge room display piece.
OVERALL: A serious instrument with a million uses and a very distinctive yet adaptable tone. Most players probably wouldn’t consider it for their main acoustic, but it’s up to the job none the less and will attract the player looking for something different.
PG. 38 MIXDOWN NO. 223
TOP: SOLID SITKA SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: SOLID OVANGKOL PICK-UP: TAYLOR ES CASE AVAILABLE: TAYLOR HARD CASE
TOP: TROPICAL MAHOGANY BACK AND SIDES: SAPELE LAMINATE PICK-UP: OPTIONAL ES-GO CASE AVAILABLE: HARD GIG BAG
LAKEWOOD DELUXE SERIES A14CP
LAKEWOOD NATURAL SERIES D18
DISTRIBUTOR: CMC MUSIC P/L ACOUSTIC TYPE: AUDITORIUM CUTAWAY
DISTRIBUTOR: CMC MUSIC P/L ACOUSTIC TYPE: DREADNOUGHT
RECOMMENDED FOR: Fingerpickers and flatpickers. Players who need plenty of detail in their sound, either for lead work or intricate multi-voice finger-picking.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Fingerpickers, folkies, bluesers, country players, strummers and arpeggiators, the whole gamete of acoustic players really.
SOUND AND TONE: Although the levels of bass and treble are definitely quite clear and audible, the most obvious quality is a lively and bouncy midrange. Sounds the real deal when plugged in.
SOUND AND TONE: A bare-bones Dreadnought in the grand tradition of old, with all the sonic features you would expect: strong bass, dipped midrange, bright highs, and a particular affinity for folksy finger-picking as well as flat picking.
PLAYABILITY: The neck joins the body at the12th fret but a soft cutaway gives you improved access to the higher frets, although it’s a little bit of a stretch to reach the 19th. Action is nice and even across the comfortable D Round shaped neck.
PLAYABILITY: The open-pored satin gloss feels comfortable, almost velvety, and the playability is great for those of us who like to wander about the neck.
CONSTRUCTION: Great! No gloopy glue spots or file marks or anything like that. The slotted headstock with old-school Schaller-style nickel tuners is an unusual design choice but it looks great and it’s possible that this particular string break angle noticeably adds to the sustain and tone transfer. OVERALL: It plays brilliantly and it feels like the body is shooting the tone clear across the room, giving this guitar the natural oomph and cut to shine through in a mix.
CONSTRUCTION: Very simple but very high quality. The only real concession to its “visual flash” is its sound hole rosette, which features a central core matching the back and sides. There’s no scratchplate, the headstock design is straightforward, and there aren’t even any inlays on the fretboard face, simple but done to perfection. TOP: SOLID AAA EUROPEAN SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: SOLID MAHOGANY PICK-UP: SONIC SYSTEM (SHADOW. LAKEWOOD DESIGN) CASE AVALIABLE: HISCOX LAKEWOOD HARDCASE
LAKEWOOD NATURAL SERIES J14CP
OVERALL: A great ‘all-rounder’ acoustic. It has the sonic hallmarks of a good dreadnaught but with improved playability and a unique visual style that matches the straightforward directness of the classic dreadnaught sound.
DISTRIBUTOR: CMC MUSIC P/L ACOUSTIC TYPE: GRAND CONCERT CUTAWAY
RECOMMENDED FOR: Gigging and professional touring guitarists of a variety of genres, but predominantly anything where the acoustic guitar is a featured instrument rather than hiding in the background.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Soloists, whether they play single-note jazz or complicated finger-picking. Also produces a real sweet chord tone for strummers too.
PLAYABILITY: Very playable, both in terms of neck shape and upper-fret access. Definitely one for those who are into advanced techniques.
PLAYABILITY: The upper fret access is quite good at least until you get to the 20th fret, which is certainly doable but no so much if you’re going all Yngwie Malmsteen.
CONSTRUCTION: Comfortably minimalist in design and similarly unobtrusive in its execution. A very cleanly-built guitar with no cut corners. All around solid.
CONSTRUCTION: A very high quality build, which you’ll find across the Lakewood range. They’re very consistent instruments and the company has great quality control. TOP: SOLID AAA EUROPEAN SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: SOLID MAHOGANY PICK-UP: SONIC SYSTEM (SHADOW/ LAKEWOOD DESIGN) CASE AVAILABLE: HISCOX LAKEWOOD HARDCASE
RRP: $599 (ON SALE FOR $499 UNTIL 31/12/2012)
OVERALL: A super-playable guitar with a slightly airy sonic character that makes it great for styles that require a lot of detail - folk, jazz, country - and which also helps it to add some nice upper-end detail to a bigger band mix as well. The perfect rootsy workhorse.
DISTRIBUTOR: AUSTRALIS MUSIC ACOUSTIC TYPE: DREADNOUGHT CUTAWAY
RECOMMENDED FOR: Great for use as an acoustic instrument or plugged in with the preamp system. The perfect step up for any beginner looking for a better playing, rounder sounding acoustic.
RECOMMENDED FOR: This is the perfect guitar for someone looking to upgrade from a beginners guitar and looking for something that will offer them the next stepping stone in their guitar playing.
SOUND AND TONE: With a bright top end from the spruce top and a fairly even mid range, the AW70ECE has a solid punchy sound with strong mids and a little jangle.
SOUND AND TONE: It has a bright top end that sings and stands out against other guitars. Although a little lacking in the lower mid frequencies, it still has a workable sound that's pretty great for the price. Sounds ripper plugged in thanks to the B-Band pick-up system.
PLAYABILITY: All Ibanez Artwood guitars seem to be very playable right out of the box. This model is no exception. No fret buzz, and a very playable action which is great.
TOP: SOLID AAA EUROPEAN SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: SOLID OVANGKOL PICK-UP: SONIC SYSTEM (SHADOW/LAKEWOOD DESIGN) CASE AVAILABLE: HISCOX LAKEWOOD HARDCASE
DISTRIBUTOR: AUSTRALIS MUSIC ACOUSTIC TYPE: DREADNOUGHT CUTAWAY
PLAYABILITY: Out of the box, it needed a little adjustment to the neck, but beyond that, the D59 played great. It is comfortable in the hands and doesn’t feel like you are fighting it when it’s being strummed hard or doing intricate lead lines.
CONSTRUCTION: This feels like a guitar with a much higher price tag. The neck is well finished, the body is solidly constructed and the detail work isn’t too bad either, really impressive. OVERALL: The AW70ECE ticks a lot of boxes and needs to as it is up against stiff competition at this price point. But, in all, it represents very good value for money and could easily be priced higher for the quality of build it carries.
SOUND AND TONE: The tone of the M-18CP is clear and bouncy, with plenty of projection and definition. The bass frequencies are nice and tight while the high end sings out sweetly indeed. The Sonic System sounds great, especially when you blend about 75% of the Nanoflex pickup and 25% of the neck pickup.
SOUND AND TONE: There’s plenty of projection and liveliness to the tone in terms of both body and harmonic richness, which is great for single-note soloists. But those same qualities also make it great for intricate finger-picking, and especially for rhythm players who use a pick and are not afraid of really varying their pick attack to emphasise different notes or beats.
TOP: SOLID AAA EUROPEAN SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: SOLID OVANGKOL PICK-UP: N/A CASE AVAILABLE: HISCOX LAKEWOOD HARDCASE
LAKEWOOD NATURAL SERIES M18CP
DISTRIBUTOR: CMC MUSIC P/L ACOUSTIC TYPE: JUMBO CUTAWAY
OVERALL: Great low end, impressive projection and a killer amplified tone with thanks to the very clever electronics. Really impressive.
CONSTRUCTION: Well built and well finished for the price point. It isn’t over the top with flashy inlays or anything like that, and it doesn’t need to be.
TOP: SOLID SITKA SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: SAPELE PICK-UP: IBANEZ SPT RE-AMP WITH SADDLE PICK-UP CASE AVAILABLE: N/A
OVERALL: For what it is, the D59SCEQ is a great sounding dreadnought guitar that ticks most of the boxes well. You really couldn’t go wrong with one of these if you are shopping in this price range.
TOP: SOLID ENGELMANN SPRUCE TOP BACK AND SIDES: SAPLE PICK-UP: B-BAND A3T PRE-AMP (4BAND EQ) CASE AVAILABLE: N/A
NO. 223 MIXDOWN PG. 39
FAITH VENUS CONCERT FVHG-HEX
DISTRIBUTOR: AMBER TECHNOLOGY ACOUSTIC TYPE: CONCERT CUTAWAY
RECOMMENDED FOR: Live, studio, those needing a smaller acoustic that still cuts the mustard and looks classic yet feels modern.
SOUND AND TONE: There’s lots of beautiful sustain here as well as plenty of rich harmonic overtones and some nice internal ambiance, which are picked up very neatly by the HEX pickup - which offers individual string volume and a stereo spread.
SOUND AND TONE: Responsive and loud. Much fuller sounding than other comparable sized guitars I’ve heard with a tight, warm low end and a really nice mid range. PLAYABILITY: Sits comfortably, feels great with the combination of high gloss and satin on the neck. The reduced body size definitely creates a unique feel.
PLAYABILITY: Another ridiculously playable Faith right out of the box. Literally, still wrapped up and untouched since leaving the factory, it came out of the shipping box completely stage ready. Amazing!
CONSTRUCTION: A real looker, it combines solid woods with tasteful binding, rosette and inlays to good effect. Even as a smaller bodied Parlor sized guitar I got the impression this glossy little number could withstand a heap of playing and gigging.
CONSTRUCTION: Flawless. Whatever Faith are doing at their magical facility, they’re doing it to a very high standard. If this was a US-made instrument I’d assume it would sell for a lot more. OVERALL: A lovely acoustic instrument that is made even better by its very clever pickup system. It’s also great to look at and it plays like a dream. One of Faith’s real standouts.
TOP: SOLID ENGELMANN SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: SOLID ROSEWOOD PICK-UP: SHADOW L4020HEX STEREO PRE / SHADOW NANOFLEX 6 PICK-UP CASE AVAILABLE: HARDSHELL
RRP: $495 (ON SALE FOR $395 UNTIL 31/12/2012)
DISTRIBUTOR: AUSTRALIS MUSIC ACOUSTIC TYPE: GRAND CONCERT
TOP: SOLID SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: SOLID MAHOGANY PICK-UP: B-BAND A3T ELECTRONICS WITH TUNER CASE AVAILABLE: TRIC CASE
SEAGULL NATURAL ELEMENTS CW FOLK ‘HEART OF WILD CHERRY’
RECOMMENDED FOR: Players of any level looking for a great $1000 price marked semi acoustic from a respected brand. Any players looking to hit the stage and really progress in the live setting.
SOUND AND TONE: This guitar offers a really warm, rounded tone that projects very well from the sound hole. The mahogany top gives it a soft, warm tone, but this doesn’t take away from the instrument’s overall volume which is great.
SOUND AND TONE: Natural and responsive, you get plenty of body and volume with an even tone. It really rivals some much higher priced guitars. PLAYABILITY: Great, with the maple and rosewood neck/fingerboard combo feeling really nice to the touch and the CW Folk body shape being easy to handle.
PLAYABILITY: The satin finish neck feels great in the left hand and the smaller body size makes the AC240 very playable indeed. I really dig the feel of this acoustic, it’s compact yet feels tough.
CONSTRUCTION: A distinctive combination of the Seagull headstock design, lighter coloured timbers with Wild Cherry and Spruce with understated binding and inlays makes the CW Folk a clean looking guitar that feels rock solid.
CONSTRUCTION: This is a beautifully finished guitar that well exceeds its price point. The attention to detail in the construction and finish is great and it just begs to be picked up and played. OVERALL: I don’t think you can go wrong with the AC240. It offers something different to many other acoustic guitars, but certainly delivers in tone, feel and looks. Simply put, a fantastic acoustic for the price point.
OVERALL: Don’t be fooled by the smaller body size as you get quite a bit of bark for your buck here. It came with good intonation and action and the B-Band A3T pick-up makes it an absolute goer for live amplified work too.
DISTRIBUTOR: DYNAMIC MUSIC ACOUSTIC TYPE: DREADNOUGHT CUTAWAY
RECOMMENDED FOR: This is the guitar for the player looking for something a little different, sonically and visually. It is great for country and blues, but it could fit into any genre.
OVERALL: Coming from the lower side of the Seagull range, the Natural Elements CW Folk is one impressive guitar for the price. A sweet tone, on-board electronics for plugging in and a nice feel make it a contender up against other brands at quite a few higher price points.
TOP: SOLID MAHOGANY BACK AND SIDES: MAHOGANY PICK-UP: N/A CASE AVAILABLE: N/A
DISTRIBUTOR: AUDIO PRODUCTS GROUP ACOUSTIC TYPE: GRAND AUDITORIUM
DISTRIBUTOR: ELECTRIC FACTORY ACOUSTIC TYPE: PARLOUR
RECOMMENDED FOR: Anyone after a top quality grand auditorium styled guitar for live performance and studio recording.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Pickers, fingerstyle players and those after a high quality vintage styled yet understated acoustic.
SOUND AND TONE: Balanced and clear the 314ce has a definite Taylor mid range with a little top end sparkle. Both finger picked and strummed you get a nice responsive instrument. You can also plug this baby in thanks to Taylor’s own ES electronics system for live use which is designed to perfection.
SOUND AND TONE: Warm and rich, the 12th fret joined guitar has an undeniable full response in the low end and mid range. Perfect for blues styles and country with it’s darker tones that are still full bodied and responsive.
TOP: SOLID SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: HEART OF WILD CHERRY PICK-UP: B-BAND ACI.5T WITH TUNER CASE AVAILABLE: TRIC CASE
PLAYABILITY: The medium sized rounded body feels compact whilst the neck is perhaps a little slimmer making it easily accessible. Once you pick it up you won’t put it down, absolutely stunning.
PLAYABILITY: Although a bigger bodied Grand Auditorium the 314ce feels great to play. The body tucks away under your arm and sits beautifully on your knee. Taylor have also gone for a slimmer neck which gives great access to the whole fretboard.
CONSTRUCTION: Another beauty from Martin here - understated mahogany top, back, neck and sides with a slotted headstock and minimal decoration make for a classic and classy look that will stand the test of time.
CONSTRUCTION: Simply put, from detail to detail this is one beautiful looking guitar., with no blemishes or build flaws to be found. OVERALL: A fantastic guitar that couples Taylor’s building precision and aesthetics for a solid sounding and looking guitar at a decent price for the active musician. TOP: SOLID SITKA SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: SOLID SAPELE PICK-UP: TAYLOR ES CASE AVAILABLE: TAYLOR HARD CASE
PG. 40 MIXDOWN NO. 223
DISTRIBUTOR: DYNAMIC MUSIC ACOUSTIC TYPE: PARLOUR
RECOMMENDED FOR: Finger-pickers, jazz players, fusioneers, balladeers, strummers and flat pickers, especially those who need to be amplified or recorded.
SIMON & PATRICK WOODLAND PRO PARLOR HG A3T
OVERALL: Responsive and dynamic this 000 features a solid and resonant low end that would be perfect for the studio. Pickers and traditionalists will too enjoy its aesthetics and construction that almost take you back in time. A great alternative to bigger bodied, brighter acoustics. Top job!
TOP: SOLID MAHOGANY BACK AND SIDES: SOLID MAHOGANY PICK-UP: N/A CASE AVAILABLE: MARTIN HARDSHELL
TAYLOR 514 CE
MARTIN D-18E RETRO
DISTRIBUTOR: AUDIO PRODUCTS GROUP ACOUSTIC TYPE: GRAND AUDITORIUM CUTAWAY
DISTRIBUTOR: ELECTRIC FACTORY ACOUSTIC TYPE: DREADNOUGHT
RECOMMENDED FOR: Pickers, strummers, serious players and pros who will fall in love with this for live and recording purposes.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Pickers, strummers, live or recording purposes. Professionals, gigging players and guitar enthusiasts will love this traditional and classic acoustic.
SOUND AND TONE: Big and clear with a great focused mid range. Warm and natural sounding the 514ce also has a nice twang to its top end for a little extra response over its siblings.
SOUND AND TONE: Some added bottom end here thanks to the bigger body but still warm and sweet through the mid range and top end. A beauty of an instrument acoustically and again reinforced with the Fishman F1 Aura Plus electronics when plugged in.
PLAYABILITY: Like all the other Taylor guitars reviewed, this instrument is an absolute beauty. Taylor have mastered their design and build making it an easy strumming dynamo or finger-picking powerhouse.
PLAYABILITY: A nice neck that will feel at home bashing out chords or playing bluegrass lines. Full bodied but not too chunky lets you get around easily enough whilst still having something to hold onto, really feels exquisite.
CONSTRUCTION: With a touch more adornment than its 314 and 414 brothers, the 514ce has great faux tortoise shell binding on the neck and body that really looks slick. Abalone and mother of pearl feature too, with ebony bridge pins and abalone dots making it one classy player. OVERALL: You can really see the time and effort put into the build of this guitar and then hear the quality in craftsmanship when played. A serious instrument with a big, balanced tone that could be right at home in a range of settings - easy to see why so many pros are using them!
MARTIN OM-28E RETRO
CONSTRUCTION: Beautiful traditional styled guitar with lovely grain and polished top back and sides. Rock solid for those who want a guitar that will take some touring and gigging punishment.
TOP: SOLID WESTERN RED CEDAR BACK AND SIDES: SOLID TROPICAL MAHOGANY PICK-UP: TAYLOR ES CASE AVAILABLE: TAYLOR HARD SHELL
DISTRIBUTOR: ELECTRIC FACTORY ACOUSTIC TYPE: AUDITORIUM
TOP: SOLID SITKA SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: SOLID MAHOGANY PICK-UP: FISHMAN A1 AURA PLUS CASE: MARTIN HARDSHELL
DISTRIBUTOR: ELECTRIC FACTORY ACOUSTIC TYPE: GRAND AUDITORIUM CUTAWAY
RECOMMENDED FOR: Professionals, gigging guitarists and even the enthusiast/collector.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Live use and gigging, those after a full bodied acoustic with plenty of volume. At a lower price point this Martin also opens itself up to a bigger range of potential customers.
SOUND AND TONE: Clean and perfectly balanced with a clear mid-range. The orchestra shaped body still puts out plenty of volume and you’ve got the Fishman Aura Plus on-board to handle your amplified duties...this really is acoustic perfection.
SOUND AND TONE: Rich and assertive the body has a beautiful natural tone with plenty of projection. Good bass response with clear mids and a sweet top end makes it a well rounded guitar.
PLAYABILITY: Killer! Feels great, sits beautifully and the smaller OM body lets you wrap around it with ease.
PLAYABILITY: Don’t be fooled by the GPCPA5K’s bigger body, with a slightly slimmer profile neck you’ll still get around the guitar easily and with a good action it’s a pleasure to play.
CONSTRUCTION: With a traditional OM look, the combination of the grained binding and herringbone touches, tortoise shell guard and polished gloss Sitka spruce and Indian rosewood make the OM28E Retro a stunning looking guitar. A flawless finish and a super solid feeling build make for a very attractive acoustic.
CONSTRUCTION: Same classic Martin design and features meet up with their own innovative HPL material with Koa grain for the back and sides with a Solid Sitka Spruce top. A great looking guitar that also feels a million dollars.
OVERALL: A flawless guitar - you get the Martin reputation which seems fully justified for this quality axe. An acoustic that could be enjoyed by anyone but makes more sense to the professional with the build quality, features and serious price tag. TOP: SOLID SITKA SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: SOLID EAST INDIAN ROSEWOOD PICK-UP: FISHMAN F1 AURA PLUS CASE AVAILABLE: HARDSHELL
TIMBERIDGE TR1 SBP NGL
OVERALL: That classic Martin Dreadnought look, down to the old school looking open geared tuning pegs. Open, clear and punchy it’d be right at home in the studio, on stage or as a show piece... but really ought to be played and often!
OVERALL: Nice to see a different take on the Grand Auditorium style with some fresh features and looks. Sounds a treat and the price makes it a great option for busy, gigging players. A very cool and handy guitar indeed.
TIMBERIDGE M1 NST
DISTRIBUTOR: JADE AUSTRALIA ACOUSTIC TYPE: DREADNOUGHT
DISTRIBUTOR: JADE AUSTRALIA ACOUSTIC TYPE: TR MINI SIZE
RECOMMENDED FOR: Anyone after a solid entry to mid level dreadnought acoustic.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Those on the go and limited by size/space or live players wanting something a little more compact.
SOUND AND TONE: Quite balanced with a slight mid range focus the TR1 is loud and clear. The combination of a solid spruce top and solid mahogany back make for a light and resonant guitar that will let you be heard with ease.
TOP: SOLID SITKA SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: KOA WOOD PATTERN HPL PICK-UP: FISHMAN F1 ANALOG CASE AVAILABLE: HARDSHELL OPTION
SOUND AND TONE: Thick and mid rangey, definitely not super bright like some might think for a ‘mini’ sized acoustic. Plenty of volume and the ability to plug in via the onboard B-Band A3T electronics system really makes it sparkle.
PLAYABILITY: Good action and intonation make the TR1 an easy player. The medium C type neck should suit most players too.
PLAYABILITY: Easy to get around without being awkward, it’s comfy playing standing or sitting down. This M1 felt great straight out of the bag.
CONSTRUCTION: Neat, clean and solid the TR-1 SBP looks sweet (plus there’s a natural satin if the gloss isn’t your thing) and it feels like it’ll take more than a little bashing which is good for players getting on stage.
CONSTRUCTION: Looks a treat - natural with a little glitz. Smooth edges, a clean finish and solid construction. Whilst a smaller bodied instrument, the M1 still feels robust and gig worthy.
OVERALL: A beauty for beginners and solid guitar for those after a cheaper dreadnought. Comes with an included paisley hardcase to protect your new axe too, showing Timberidge’s commitment to adding value to their already competitive range of instruments .
OVERALL: Fun to play for something different, but also a serious guitar for gigging. The M1 is a great addition to the Timberidge line coming with a padded gig bag and inbuilt pick-up/tuner makes it a cost effective guitar compared to some other minis on the market. TOP: SOLID SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: SOLID MAHOGANY PICK-UP: ENDPIN JACK SOCKET W/ PIEZO CASE AVAILABLE: PAISLEY HARDSHELL
TOP: SOLID SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: MAHOGANY PICK-UP: B-BAND A3T PREAMP CASE AVAILABLE: DELUXE GIG BAG
NO. 223 MIXDOWN
TIMBERIDGE TRC 4 NST
DISTRIBUTOR: JADE AUSTRALIA ACOUSTIC TYPE: GRAND AUDITORIUM
DISTRIBUTOR: JADE AUSTRALIA ACOUSTIC TYPE: DREADNOUGHT CUTAWAY
RECOMMENDED FOR: Great for someone looking for a smaller bodied guitar that doesn’t lack in tonal qualities. The slim design and smooth body contour makes it a very comfortable guitar that many electric guitar players will feel at home with.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Strummers and pickers of any level wanting a solid dreadnought that won’t break the bank. SOUND AND TONE: Warm and full, the TRC 4 has a big balanced tone that suit both the nuances of finger picking and stronger strumming and chordal work.
SOUND AND TONE: Even with the smaller body chamber, this guitar has a rich warm tone, thanks to the solid cedar top. It projects well and has a delicate brightness that isn’t too overpowering.
PLAYABILITY: Good feel straight out of the case. A nice medium sized neck and cut away combine to give you good access all over the fretboard.
PLAYABILITY: These guitars feel pretty good in the hands for their price point. They play well, but could use a little cleaning up on the frets for a smoother run of the neck through the hand, but really overall it feels good allowing a nice strum hand action.
CONSTRUCTION: Solid cedar top, bubinga back and sides and a mahogany neck with rosewood board makes for a nice set up. The Natural Satin finish and binding makes for a classy understated finish.
CONSTRUCTION: Ashton have definitely stepped up their game with the quality of acoustic guitars in recent years and the TH45SCEQ is no exception. Built well, it feels like it will last the test of time. OVERALL: This is a little different to a lot of other guitars on the market, and that is where it gets its appeal. Well priced, great sound and projection it's a sure highlight in this price bracket.
OVERALL: A great dreadnought at a nice price. Good feel, even tone and the ability to plug in thanks to the B-Band A3T. The Hardcase is included and a choice of 3 pickguards also come with in clear, black and tortoise shell which adds to value of the TRC 4. What a ripper deal!
TOP: SOLID CEDAR BACK AND SIDES: MAHOGANY PICK-UP: B-BAND AST CASE AVAILABLE: N/A
TIMBERIDGE TRFC 412 SB NST
DISTRIBUTOR: JADE AUSTRALIA ACOUSTIC TYPE: SMALL BODY 12-STRING
RECOMMENDED FOR: Live players, studio work, those after a smaller bodied acoustic with big tone and great projection. SOUND AND TONE: Wow! A very full bodied and clear sounding guitar with great attack. The combination of Spruce top and Queensland Maple really cuts whilst retaining all the nuances of your playing from finger style through to strumming.
SOUND AND TONE: Full and clear, chimey but not bright, with a strong mid range and plenty of volume. Pretty damn impressive! PLAYABILITY: 12’s can take a little adjusting to get used to but the TRFC feels great. The smaller body gives you a little more access rather than feeling like you’re battling against a huge bodied dreadnought.
PLAYABILITY: I loved the smaller body shape. It just feels so easy to get around the neck and makes for a good strum hand action whilst bashing out chords or playing lead lines.
CONSTRUCTION: Solid cedar top, bubinga back and sides and a mahogany neck with rosewood board. The natural satin finish and binding makes for one classy understated final product.
CONSTRUCTION: For those of the you that didn’t realise the TE stands for Tommy Emmanuel. Built to his specs the EBG808TE features the typical Maton know how that is built to stand up to as much playing as you can do!
OVERALL: For the price, this 12 string is a damn good bargain. Clear and full the TRFC 412 projects beautifully and feels rock-solid. If you’ve been wanting to try a 12 but have been scared off by the big price tags, this just might be the ticket. TOP: SOLID CEDAR BACK AND SIDES: SOLID MAHOGANY PICK-UP: B-BAND A3T PREAMP CASE AVAILABLE: PAISLEY HARDSHELL
OVERALL: A really sweet and rich guitar acoustically that is then translated to the live setting thanks to Maton’s APMic system. Simply put, this is one serious Australian made piece of acoustic muscle... sounds awesome!
DISTRIBUTOR: MATON AUSTRALIA ACOUSTIC TYPE: DREADNOUGHT CUTAWAY
DISTRIBUTOR: MATON GUITARS ACOUSTIC TYPE: DREADNOUGHT CUTAWAY
RECOMMENDED FOR: Studio work, pickers, serious players, professionals and guitar enthusiasts after a killer acoustic instrument.
RECOMMEND FOR: Almost anyone. Live guys, intermediate players wanting an upgrade through to pros and all those in between.
SOUND AND TONE: Rich and dynamic with tight low end and focused mid range. I love the fact that you still get some sizzle from the top end but it’s beautifully balanced with the overall sound of the guitar.
SOUND AND TONE: Balanced, resonant, bright and snappy (not in a cheap way though). Plenty of body and volume and the option of Maton’s AP5 pickup system too for live work.
TOP: HIGH GRADE SOLID SITKA SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: SOLID QUEENSLAND MAPLE PICK-UP: APMIC CASE AVAILABLE: MATON HARDSHELL
PLAYABILITY: Plays great, the medium C type neck is easy to get around but still enough chunk to feel like you’re working a little. Nice midsized body shape too.
PLAYABILITY: Simply put, it plays like a dream. Great action, set-up, intonation, this is the guitarists acoustic guitar. CONSTRUCTION: One of the flagships of the Maton range; the attention to detail and workmanship are amazing. Herringbone binding, Ebony fingerboard, snowflake inlays, gorgeous ‘keyhole’ headstock design, natural gloss finish and the list goes on.
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TOP: SOLID CEDAR BACK AND SIDES: BUBINGA PICK-UP: B-BAND A3T PREAMP CASE AVAILABLE: PAISLEY HARDSHELL
DISTRIBUTOR: MATON GUITARS ACOUSTIC TYPE: SMALL BODY
RECOMMENDED FOR: 12 string players after a price friendly guitar, first timers delving into the 12 string world, guitarists wanting something a little different to add to their acoustic arsenal.
OVERALL: A world class guitar the Messiah looks, feels and plays superbly. Whilst not exactly cheap it’s nothing compared to some overseas builders and competes with them easily. Maton pulls out all the stops on the Messiah, resulting in one world class acoustic.
CONSTRUCTION: I love the clean, lighter coloured aesthetic of the Em225C as it brings out the Spruce top and Queensland Maple back and sides. Feels rock solid. OVERALL: One of the staples of the Maton line you’ve no doubt seen this model played in a tonne of settings. A very impressive guitar for the price with a tone that will rival plenty of the more expensive instruments. Australian made and proud of it! TOP: AAA SOLID SITKA SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: SOLID INDIAN ROSEWOOD PICK-UP: AP5 CASE AVAILABLE: MATON HARDSHELL
TOP: SOLID SITKA SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: SOLID QUEENSLAND MAPLE PICK-UP: AP5 CASE AVAILABLE: MATON HARDSHELL
YAMAHA GUITALELE GL-1
DISTRIBUTOR: MATON AUSTRALIA ACOUSTIC TYPE: DREADNOUGHT CUTAWAY
DISTRIBUTOR: YAMAHA AUSTRALIA ACOUSTIC TYPE: MINI ACOUSTIC UKE
RECOMMENDED FOR: This Maton is mostly suited to the live player, semi and full professional touring musician.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Excellent idea for those occasions where you want to look like a uke player, sound like a uke player but have no idea at all how to play a ukulele.
SOUND AND TONE: Warm with rich overtones and a sweet balance means this really produces a sound that needs to be heard, absolutely magic.
SOUND AND TONE: Slightly deeper tone than a regular uke as it’s closer in size to a baritone uke. It has a really sweet overtone to it with the 6 strings, that makes you just want to strum, strum, strum.
PLAYABILITY: Easy access to frets and a great feel makes this bad boy a dream to play feeling really well balanced including a great strum hand action and comfortable sitting body.
PLAYABILITY: With pitched strings up to a 4th it definitely makes it sound more like a uke. And the 6 strings aren’t too close together which was my concern before I played it. All around a really nice little summer strummer.
CONSTRUCTION: Built with a AAA grade design and no flaws in sight, the beautiful dark back and sides are mixed with rich red browns running through the grain making it stand out from the pack. Love the retro styled head stock too.
CONSTRUCTION: Built really tough, the woods used and build quality seem like it could be fun to take on tour.
OVERALL: This Maton has amazing attention to detail and once played will become part of the arsenal. It’s all about quality in craftsmanship here and producing that top end sound. This certainly is one model that passes with flying colours. and takes it to the top of the wish list.
OVERALL: The sound isn’t quite as loud as a regular uke but loud enough. It’s the perfect travel, kidfriendly, summer, pick-up assisting accessory, you could even put a pick up in it easily and take it to new levels. TOP: HIGH GRADE SOLID SITKA SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: SOLID INDIAN ROSEWOOD PICK-UP: AP5 CASE AVAILABLE: MATON HARDSHELL
YAMAHA SILENT GUITAR SLG110S
RRP: CALL FOR PRICING
TOP: SPRUCE TOP BACK AND SIDES: MERANTI PICK-UP: N/A CASE AVAILABLE: SOFTCASE
DISTRIBUTOR: YAMAHA AUSTRALIA ACOUSTIC TYPE: SILENT ACOUSTIC
DISTRIBUTOR: YAMAHA AUSTRALIA ACOUSTIC TYPE: DREADNOUGHT CUTAWAY
RECOMMENDED FOR: The perfect traveller guitar for the touring musician who will plug in and play. A real showman's acoustic styled electric that is really in its own league. Definitely for the unconventional muso.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Anyone who wants a lovely new guitar with the feeling of an instrument that has been played in for some time will love this. A slightly different body shape adds a further point of difference.
SOUND AND TONE: This really has to be plugged in and played, I mean it can be strummed acoustically but couldn’t be classified as a traditional acoustic. The tone and real sound comes out when put through an acoustic amp, PA or it's designated headphone output. It plays really clearly with good separation. Very low noise when plugged in and the Yamaha SPX preamp on board gives you the options of Volume, Treble and Bass. Extra thought has been put into the Effects knob with two types of reverb (short/long), chorus and echo.
SOUND AND TONE: This are a wonderfully rich sounding guitar for the price. It has plenty of warm mid-range and a bright top end to compliment it nicely. In all, the A1M is a very well rounded instrument tonally and well worth it with the S.R.T Piezo Pickup and System66 Preamp. PLAYABILITY: These just have to be played to understand how good the neck feels. It is like a neck that has been worn in over ten years of playing and just feels right and comfortable in the hand straight out of the box. Mind blowingly comfortable for the price.
PLAYABILITY: Despite the gaping holes in the body it is weighted really nicely and the fretboard plays extremely well. It's very light weight and will take some getting used to, but all around a nice feel. CONSTRUCTION: Built with absolute precision, the maple body and mahogany neck make it look great with the rosewood fingerboard and bridge contributing to its unique design and solid on board electrics. OVERALL: It doesn’t look like a traditional acoustic, in fact it might be disputable even categorising it as one, but it sure as hell sounds like one when plugged in with
LAG T66 DCE
warm overtones and tonalities that would go on par with a real hollow body. TOP: N/A BACK AND SIDES: N/A PICK-UP: YAMAHA SPX PREAMP CASE AVAILABLE: CUSTOM HARDSHELL
CONSTRUCTION: As with all Yamaha guitars, these instruments are built to an amazing quality, and they are built to last with a warranty to back them. I love the look, off body pick guard and sound hole details, a real classic twist making it a sure eye catcher. OVERALL: This guitar simply feels great, looks great and sounds great too. It has a bang for your buck rating off the scales and would suit all styles of playing to a tee. A great all rounder.
LAG T100 ACE
DISTRIBUTOR: AUSTRALASIAN MUSIC SUPPLIES ACOUSTIC TYPE: DREADNOUGHT CUTAWAY
DISTRIBUTOR: AUSTRALASIAN MUSIC SUPPLIES ACOUSTIC TYPE: AUDITORIUM CUTAWAY
RECOMMENDED FOR: Players on a budget looking for a solid cutaway dreadnought semi acoustic guitar that can also be used in a live setting.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Live or bedroom players who want a slimmer auditorium acoustic that can be plugged in and played with a band, would love this Lag.
SOUND AND TONE: Clear and even with the dreadnaught shape giving it ample volume and a surprisingly nice low end.
TOP: SOLID SITKA SPURUCE BACK AND SIDES: SOLID MAHOGANY PICK-UP: SRT SYSTEM66 PREAMP AND PIEZO PICK-UP CASE: YAMAHA CASE
SOUND AND TONE: Clear and balanced this model seems to have a slight mid and bottom end focus with a full sound. Really like the darker overtones here.
PLAYABILITY: The T66 DCE comes with a very easy to play neck that sits slightly on the skinnier side of things, but is light and well balanced.
PLAYABILITY: The T100 ACE features a slimmer neck that feels a treat - easy to get around but not pencil thin. Then add in the cut away and you’ve got a really versatile playing acoustic.
CONSTRUCTION: LAG continue their use of darker features with both black and ivory touches on the binding and rosette and black tuning pegs. Then adding to the overall look is the ‘no fret inlay’ design making for a slick looking acoustic.
CONSTRUCTION: Available in a Natural, Black and this particular Brown Shadow finish this T100 ACE definitely has its own thing going on. Red Cedar is used for the top with dark mahogany on the back and sides meaning it is one solid guitar.
OVERALL: For a lower end guitar price wise, the T66 DCE is a great guitar that is well built and plays nicely with a nice strum hand action. It offers something different in the looks department too that separates it from other acoustics in this price bracket. TOP: SOLID SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: SOLID MAHOGANY PICK-UP: DIRECT LAG / NANOFLEX PICK-UP CASE AVAILABLE: OPTIONAL HLA7 CASE
OVERALL: Looks like a guitar that should be twice the price with a little extra given to its design adding to the equation. Another solid offering from LAG with some extra finish options available for the fashionable conscious or “choice of” factor which is a big bonus when shopping around.
TOP: SOLID RED CEDAR BACK AND SIDES: DARK MAHOGANY PICK-UP: STUDIO LAG / NANOFLEX PICK-UP CASE AVAILABLE: OPTIONAL HLA7 CASE
NO. 223 MIXDOWN PG. 43
LAG T200 DCE
LAG T300 AE
DISTRIBUTOR: AUSTRALASIAN MUSIC SUPPLIES ACOUSTIC TYPE: DREADNOUGHT CUTAWAY
DISTRIBUTOR: AUSTRALASIAN MUSIC SUPPLIES ACOUSTIC TYPE: AUDITORIUM
RECOMMENDED FOR: Anyone after a solid dreadnought under the 1k range, live gigging guys will dig what this offers.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Strummers, finger pickers, live players after a semi acoustic with a slightly different look.
SOUND AND TONE: Clear and mid rangey with the ability to plug in thanks to the Studio Lag Plus electronics and Nanoflex pickup which is simply awesome by the way.
SOUND AND TONE: Focused and clear with good volume. Tight and resonant but not brittle or harsh. Plugged in you can then build on the T300 AE’s tone with the Studio Lag Plus and Nanoflex electronics/ pickup combo which works exceptionally well in this model.
PLAYABILITY: Easy playing, good for picking or bashing out chords and sits well both standing or on your knee.
PLAYABILITY: Very comfortable with the smaller body size and rounded binding edges makes this model that little easier to play. Nice neck, great action and intonation.
CONSTRUCTION: Looking a bit more straight ahead then some of LAG’s other models the T200 DCE combines red cedar, mahogany, rosewood and maple for a classy, clean looking dreadnought. Feels solid and looks the part too with all joins and finishes to perfection.
CONSTRUCTION: Beautiful grain on the back and sides and a number of features that show attention to detail and finishing. A big leagues build.
OVERALL: If a little more traditional is your thing then you might move towards the T200 with its understated satin finish. Another easy player from LAG, it’d be at home in a range of settings and drops in at a nice price range with the sound it produces.
OVERALL: Coming from the higher end of the LAG range the T300 AE continues with their slightly unique style and clean aesthetic. It also incorporates some different woods for a clear sounding, well rounded guitar. TOP: SOLID RED CEDAR BACK AND SIDES: SOLID MAHOGANY PICK-UP: STUDIO LAG PRE / NANOFLEX PICK-UP CASE AVAILABLE: OPTIONAL HLD7 CASE
FAITH ECLIPSE MERCURY SERIES FECM-BNC
DISTRIBUTOR: AMBER TECHNOLOGY ACOUSTIC TYPE: BABY JUMBO
RECOMMENDED FOR: Primarily blues, folk and lonesome country players. Maybe the odd indie strummer too. Anyone who likes something slightly offbeat.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Balladeers and country troubadours, but also folkies, acoustic rockers and maybe even the occasional metalhead looking for an acoustic moment of clarity.
SOUND AND TONE: This parlour-style guitar inspired by singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman has a very musical, slightly boxy midrange and reduced bass. It's great for accompanying vocal songs or playing 30s-style acoustic blues and it's surprisingly loud.
SOUND AND TONE: This guitar has a very clear and precise tone without being too forceful about it. There’s just enough low end to provide some wallop but also a decent amount of body and air. It’s definitely a good solo instrument.
PLAYABILITY: Very playable, especially for finger picking styles such as country and delta blues. The neck seems to encourage glissando techniques like slides and hammer-ons, which makes it great for playing single-note solo work as well. Beautiful voice for slide too.
PLAYABILITY: Stellar playability seems to be a consistent trait across Faith guitars, and this one is no exception. It sounds so good at the widdly end of the neck that you’ll go all jazzy before you even know it.
TOP: SOLID ENGELMANN SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: SOLID MAHOGANY PICK-UP: SHADOW SHT-PRO TUNER PRE / SHADOW NANOFLEX PICK-UP CASE AVAILABLE: HARDSHELL
FAITH SATURN ECLIPSE SERIES FECS
OVERALL: A bit of a darker sonic vibe, great for single notes or slightly boomy chord work of the ‘Space Oddity’ variety. Very cool and attractive for the price.
TOP: SOLID ENGLEMANN SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: SOLID MAHOGANY PICK-UP: SHADOW L4020HEX STEREO PRE / SHADOW NANOFLEX 6 PICK-UP CASE AVAILABLE: HARDSHELL
FAITH NEPTUNE BABY JUMBO FNCE
DISTRIBUTOR: AMBER TECHNOLOGY ACOUSTIC TYPE: DREADNOUGHT CUTAWAY
DISTRIBUTOR: AMBER TECHNOLOGY ACOUSTIC TYPE: BABY JUMBO CUTAWAY
RECOMMENDED FOR: In terms of both looks and sound, this guitar will suit everyone from country players to goth moodsters - anyone who’s appreciative of how black goes with everything, and indeed how dreadnoughts seem to suit almost any acoustic guitar situation.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Acoustic finger stylists, folkies, singer-songwriters and the semi-pro rock or pop balladeer.
SOUND AND TONE: This guitar has a somehow gentle yet direct attack with a nice smoothness to the high end, which makes it very much an ‘easy listening’ guitar. It sounds and feels very lively and could be used in numerous live situations, especially when plugged in where it really burns.
SOUND AND TONE: A full-bodied dreadnaught tone with great projection and midrange warmth. There’s lots of nice fine detail on treble-string arpeggios and it packs a decent wallop when you pick hard too.
PLAYABILITY: Brilliant! The neck is very consistent from the bottom to the top in terms of fret access, which is great news for players who like to employ complex chord voicings or unorthodox fingering patterns.
PLAYABILITY: Like pretty much every Faith, this one is very playable - even more so due to the great upper fret access courtesy of the cutaway. CONSTRUCTION: Using Patrick Eggle’s bolt-on neck design, this is a very securely-built instrument. Taking a peek at the internals reveals very careful attention to detail and clean lines, even on the parts you don’t see.
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CONSTRUCTION: This guitar seems especially suited to beautiful single-note solo work, and the neck shape supports this. Very thoughtfully and tidily constructed with a gorgeous 5mm Abalone with Fibre Border Rosette.
CONSTRUCTION: A very reliably-built little acoustic with great fretwork and attention to detail. The tuner buttons are a nice touch too and of course the Mother of Pearl at the 12th fret.
OVERALL: A good all-rounder with a dark visual vibe and a very confident, bold sound, aided by the mahogany back and sides. Black and here to stay!
TOP: SOLID RED CEDAR BACK AND SIDES: SOLID ROSEWOOD PICK-UP: STUDIO LAG PLUS PRE / NANOFLEX PICK UP CASE AVAILABLE: OPTIONAL HLA7 CASE
FAITH ECLIPSE NEPTUNE FECN
DISTRIBUTOR: AMBER TECHNOLOGY ACOUSTIC TYPE: PARLOUR
OVERALL: Probably not most players' first choice, but a real stunner once you give it a chance. It's definitely not the dreadnaught, concert or jumbo sound, but it's very distinctive and musical acoustic none the less and could just be your next acoustic gem.
CONSTRUCTION: Great quality and very minimalist. The single ‘F’ inlay at the twelfth fret is a nice touch, and the overall fretwork is very well done.
TOP: SOLID ENGELMANN SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: SOLID MAHOGANY PICK-UP: SHADOW L4020HEX STEREO PRE / SHADOW NANOFLEX 6 PICK-UP CASE AVAILABLE: HARDSHELL
OVERALL: This is a good all-rounder that looks quite classy - the kind of instrument you could play in a wedding band, a pub covers band, an acoustic act or even in a jazz situation and fit right in with ease. Solid all-rounder with that special spark.
TOP: SOLID ENGELMANN SPRUCE BACK AND SIDES: SOLID MAHOGANY PICK-UP: SHADOW PERFORMER TUNER PRE / SHADOW NANOFLEX PICK-UP CASE AVAILABLE: HARDSHELL
- THE PARTS OF AN ACOUSTIC GUITAR MACHINE HEAD TUNERS HEAD STOCK NUT
PICK GUARD/ SCRATCH PLATE SOUND HOLE
TOP - BODY
ROSETTE BRIDGE PINS SADDLE BRIDGE
- THE CUTS DREADNOUGHT: The Dreadnought is a large, deep and squarer shaped guitar that’s very widely used, especially popular with bluegrass and country muscians. Originally created by Martin very early in the 20th century, its larger than traditional shape resulted in excellent volume and bottom end sound, while remaining crisp and sharp. Perfect for the muscian and band.
AUDITORIUM: The Auditorium is an exceptional guitar for fingerstyle players and excels at lead and rhythm playing both live and in the studio. It mics extremely well, and makes an excellent rhythm instrument for backup but can bite when you need it to in a lead situation.
The Parlour guitar is a smaller full bodied acoustic that was originally designed for more blues and folk musicians. It’s great for fingerpicking and they’re made in a variety of tone woods that generally aim to produce a brightness in tone but with a full volume.
A Mini is a guitar obviously smaller in shape and overall size than your regular acoustic guitar. Great for traveling, practicing and players looking for something different in their live aesthetic. Generally more compact in projecting volume they are really surprising when fitted with a pick-up and make great rhythm guitars.
GRAND CONCERT: The Grand Concert is predominantly designed for fingerstyle playing and vocal accompaniment. This body size is especially well-suited for lead playing, and its exceptional focus of tone makes it perfectly suited for recording and stage performance over microphones.
CUTAWAY: A cutaway is simply a scooped out section of the body to allow easy access to the higher frets. Most commonly found on dreadnoughts.
BABY JUMBO: Baby Jumbo is a smaller-bodied jumbo guitar suited to players who want the big full bodied sound of a jumbo acoustic in a smaller unit. It aims to produce a big, balanced sound and tone perfect for players who after volume.
- DISTRIBUTION DETAILS DISTRIBUTOR:
AMBER TECHNOLOGY AUSTRALIASIAN MUSIC SUPPLIES AUDIO PRODUCTS GROUP AUSTRALIS MUSIC CMC MUSIC DYNAMIC MUSIC ELECTRIC FACTORY JADE AUSTRALIA MATON YAMAHA
1800 251 367 (03) 9549 1500 (02) 9669 3477 (02) 9698 4444 (02) 9905 2511 02) 9939 1299 (03) 9474 1000 1800 144 120 (03) 9896 9500 (03) 9693 5111
www.ambertech.com.au www.austmusic.com.au www.audioproducts.com.au www.australismusic.com.au www.cmcmusic.com.au www.dynamicmusic.com.au www.elfa.com.au www.jadeaustralia.com.au www.maton.com.au www.au.yamaha.com NOVEMBER 2012
NO. 223 MIXDOWN PG. 45
TC ELECTRONICS FLASHBACK X 4 DELAY PEDAL
VINTAGE VXP6BK ELECTRIC GUITAR
The Gibson Explorer is a classic axe which has found its way into blues, rock, metal, alternative, thrash, even country rock. It’s a heavy instrument, both sonically and physically, and packed with mojo. Trev Wilkinson has turned his attention to this classic design and made a guitar which has enough of its own personality to be recognised as a Vintage guitar rather than a copy of a Gibson one, even though it’s not shy about its inspiration. Let’s take a closer look. MISTER POPLAR The Vintage VXP6BK’s body is made of Eastern Poplar. Poplar is an interesting wood: sometimes it’s used on budget-priced guitars to keep the cost down especially on larger-bodied axes in wild shapes - but it’s also used in some premium instruments by builders like Buddy Blaze and Ernie Ball Music Man, whose longstanding Steve Morse model uses this wood. The set neck is made of Hard Maple with a Rosewood fretboard featuring 22 frets. The scale length is 24.75” (that’s 628mm to you and me). The tuners are Wilkinson Deluxe WJ44 models with super-green buttons. I get that they’re going for an aged vintage look but these buttons look almost Ghostbuster green in certain lighting conditions. The bridge is a Tune-O-Matic style unit with matching tailpiece, and the pickups are a pair of Wilkinson humbuckers with gold-plated covers: a WHHBN in the neck position and a WHHBB at the bridge. They appear to be PAF-inspired, and the bridge pickup seems to be wound a little hotter than the neck for better tonal balance. Controls are a pair of volumes (one for each pickup) and a master tone. The first thing I noticed about the VXP6BK is that it’s heavy. Sometimes Explorer-style guitars are deceptively light, but not this one. The weighty body offsets the
tendency of some Explorer-type axes to be neck-heavy though, so that’s a good thing. POWER CHORD IN 3…2…1 I plugged this behemoth into my Marshall DSL50 and chugged out some power chords. Compared to some other Explorer-inspired axes I’ve played, this one is very dark-sounding, almost woolly. There’s a huge amount of bottom end, muted highs and a big fat midrange. This makes it a fairly dominating-sounding guitar, which is great for single-guitar bands, and it’s especially well suited to stoner rock/metal styles. It really hits fuzz pedals with a wallop and it sounds fat and full for palm-muted chugs. It’s also well suited to the blues, especially when you use the neck pickup, which sounds almost ‘flutey,’ with limited pick attack but plenty of body and sustain. The clean sounds are a bit muffled though, lacking the high end detail required to make this a go-to clean axe. CHUNKY MONKEY The VXP6BK is certainly not the brightest-sounding axe in the Vintage range, nor the easiest to wrangle but it packs plenty of attitude and tone into its hulking frame, and its sonic qualities are very well suited to particular tones - particularly chunky dark metal and fat blues - in a way that you just don’t get with ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ guitars.
TC Electronic made quite an impact with the introduction of their Toneprint concept and line of pedals seeing users able to dial in their own sounds and then borrow from the ever increasing bank of new creations online from the likes of John Petrucci, Steve Morse, Joe Perry, John 5 and Paul Gilbert. One of the hits from this pedal series was the Flashback Delay. Now building on this popularity those nifty folk at TC expanded on the idea with the new (and highly anticipated) Flashback X4. FOUR TO THE FLOOR Basing itself on the single pedal Flashback Delay the x4 has four footswitches across the bottom set for banks A, B, C and Tap meaning as a start you can have three presets stored and the use of tap tempo for any of them. All four switches have an LED so you’ll know its status with a quick look. The top of the Flashback x4 has controls for Toneprint, Delay Time, a switch for quaver, dotted quaver and crotchet and dotted quaver settings for the repeats, Feedback, Delay Level and Looper Lever controls and another toggle switch for switching between Looper or Delay mode. There are then different modes to run the pedal in and different functions and setup capabilities for the footswitches when you really get into the tweaking and programming! On the i/o front, TC have included stereo ins and outs, expression pedal input, midi in and thru and USB socket opening.
FLASH! Tape, Tube, Space, Analog, Analog with Mod, Reverse, Dynamic, 2290, 2290 with Mod, Slap, LoFi, Ping Pong and then four slots for downloaded Toneprints from the TC Electronics website. Yep, you get quite a few options. The parameter knobs make for a range of tones from short Slap backs, Tape and Tube delays to more involved dotted eighth modulated repeats in the U2 vein. ‘80s freaks will dig the much revered 2290 setting which sounds a treat with a little distortion. Stereo Ping Pong really gets you thinking creatively as does the aptly titled ‘Space’ delay. TC have really pushed their Toneprint concept with dozens of high profile players creating their own Toneprints and making them available via download. Four slots for them on the Flashback X4 then gives you the power to emulate some of your heroes or add in perhaps a setting that you might not usually use. With TC adding new Toneprints to their arsenal quite regularly it seems like a pretty cool feature. Don’t forget as well as the delay settings TC Electronics have included a 40 second looper with full control via the four footswitches. A bit of experimenting and you’ll get the hang of Record, Play/Pause and Play Once and the Undo/Redo button lets you fix up parts super quick. FLYING COLOURS Firstly I dig the fact that this can basically be a glorified Flashback with a few presets and tap tempo. I then like that you can get more involved with Midi, customised Toneprints, switchable buffered or true bypass settings, expression pedal or USB connectivity. The tones are great - warm, lush and very usable with a good range of tweakability. If you’re after a flexible, killer sounding multi delay unit in a great package at a decent price give the Flashback X4 a shot. BY NICK BROWN RRP: $449 Distributor : Amber Technology Phone: 1800 251 367 Website: www.ambertech.com.au
DV MARK DV 403 CPC GUITAR AMP
BY PETER HODGSON RRP: $499 Distributor: National Audio Systems Phone: (03) 9761 5577 Website: www.nationalaudio.com.au
AVID PROTOOLS HD NATIVE THUNDERBOLT The DV Mark Little 40 is a well-respected single channel amp which we reviewed in these pages a while ago. For a one-channel beastie it sure has a lot of sonic flexibility, but there are times when you just need a little more, particularly when it comes to separate tonal voices. The Little 40 is great at giving you a world-class base sound upon which to use the onboard boost, the Gain control and your guitar’s volume knob to get different levels of overdrive or cleanliness, but what if you want a scooped crunch tone, a midrange-boosted lead tone and sparkly cleans? The unromanticallynamed DV 403 CPC to the rescue! The latest generation of Pro Tools systems from Avid sees Pro Tools HD Native available on either PCI Express cards or high speed Thunderbolt connections to eliminate latency issues in monitoring and allow high track counts in recording and mixing sessions. I had the Thunderbolt breakout box racked up with a HD Omni interface to play with this month and I can tell you, I haven’t been as excited about a Pro Tools product like I was with this in quite some time. Avid have really stepped up the mark in their HD Native system to bring you some of the fastest performance and lowest latency ever. THUNDERBOLT BREAKOUT The simple breakout box for the Thunderbolt system sits neatly on the desktop with a headphone output and volume control on the front panel. Around the back are two port connections for interfacing with Pro Tools HD hardware, allowing high track counts going both in and out of your DAW. Combined with the HD Omni interface, I had the option of two XLR inputs, two combination XLR/TRS inputs and a further four TRS inputs with two TRS outputs. There is an AES/EBU connection, SP/DIF and optical connections as well, with breakouts for further outputs and an additional port connection for even more inputs. In short, this is a simple and neat rack that delivered more power to my studio than I had ever seen before. LATENCY ISSUES BE GONE You don’t need to look at the comparison charts to know that you are operating with superior latency
PG. 46 MIXDOWN NO. 223
control when using the HD Native system, you simply need to listen. Although not quite the amazingly low 0.7 millisecond latency that is found with the PCIe HDX systems, the HD Native system still comes in at an inaudible 1.7 milliseconds. This was unheard of for the price point a few years back and Avid have done amazingly well to get the HD Native system to work so efficiently. With the ability to run upwards of 256 audio tracks, generally without slugging your computer if it is well spec’ed up, this new breed of Pro Tools HD is going to raise the bar for producers and mixing engineers who have a call for large channel count sessions and need precise latency monitoring. So whether you are producing for film and video, recording and mixing an album or creating whatever you like within Pro Tools, with the new HD Native system you now have the capabilities do so with amazing sound quality and a wealth of AAX Native and RTAS plug-ins to polish your mix. For anyone who has thought about stepping up to the world of Pro Tools, or is looking at upgrading from an older and somewhat sluggish version, this is really the perfect way to take control of your mix and monitoring in a relatively inexpensive unit for what it offers. BY ROB GEE RRP: CALL FOR PRICING Distributor: Avid Website: www.avid.com
UNLIMITED (FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES) POWER! Like the Little 40, the DV 403 CPC is a 40-watt amp with variable power scaling courtesy of the Continuous Power Control (CPC), which lets you go from the full 40 watts (Class A/B) down to 1 watt (Class A) and anywhere in between. But unlike the Little 40, it has three channels, each with their own controls for Gain, Low, Mid and High and Master, as well as a Presence control for Channel 1, a -6dB pad for the input, and of course the CPC knob. Around the back there’s a low/high Bias switch, a Service ATCS interface which lets you plug in the optional DVM Controller via an ethernet cable for monitoring various parameters such as voltages and tube life; MIDI ports for connecting external MIDI devices and using the amp within as complex a rig as you like; a Loop Assign rotary control which lets you assign the effects loop to any or all of the three channels; and three speaker outputs: 4 ohm, 8 ohm or 16 ohm. The footswitch jack and channel switch are on the back. The amp automatically biases and matches the output tubes, which are a pair of EL34s as shipped, along with an ECC83. There’s also a pair of ECC83s in the preamp. A few cosmetic points: it’s great that the amp is designed with a carrying handle on its side instead of the top, and the various internal LEDs which shine through the chassis ventilation are a nice touch, in a totally showing and unnecessary but cool way. And the ‘chicken head knobs’ make it super-easy to see how your amp is configured from a good distance away.
THREE TIMES THE CHARM The first channel is capable of everything from a clear, sparkling bell tone to a mean, punchy countrified clean with a hint of overdrive. This is the channel to go for if you’re after that AC/DC “Huh, that’s actually pretty clean” rhythm tone. It seemed to emphasise the clarity of my Strat’s single coils, yet my Les Paul’s humbuckers sounded smooth and creamy in the high end. Great for jazz and blues. The second channel is dirtier and can handle some very nice crunch tones as well as rounder blues-rock lead sounds. This is also a great channel for those who like to ride their guitar’s volume knob for gain changes, and once again it really seems to thrive on the detail of my Strat while emphasising the thickness of the Les Paul. The third channel has plenty of gain and sustain, and it gets quite saturated, which is great for those Vernon Reid ‘overtone overload’ lead sounds or for really thick modern rock rhythms. The boost helps to kick things up a notch, but don’t overlook the CPC: higher settings increase the headroom and the treble detail while lower settings squish down the dynamics and increase the sustain (in a good way). And because it’s a rotary pot rather than a notched switch or anything like that, you can really dial in the perfect point between saturation and openness. TOP MARKS The DV 403 CPC may not quite be a mega metal amp (unless you’re into vintage or stoner metal, both of which it can do quite well indeed) but it can handle pretty much every type of gain and tone requirement up to ‘kill.’ It’s very responsive to your playing dynamics, yet it gives you control over its own dynamics too thanks to the very useful CPC control and the -6dB input pad switch. BY PETER HODGSON
RRP: $1995 Distributor: CMC Music Phone: (02) 9905 2511 Website: www.cmcmusic.com.au
ASHDOWN MAG300H EVO III, SPYDER 550 & MAG 410T BASS GEAR
MAG 300H EVO III Now in its third incarnation the MAG 300 has been a staple of the Ashdown line for quite some time. Checking in at 300 watts the front panel consists of Passive and Active Inputs, Input Level Control, Bright, Deep and EQ buttons, Bass, 340Hz, Middle, 1.6 KHz, Treble EQ Controls, Switchable Overdrive and Sub Harmonics Levels, a Post EQ DI Out, Master Output Level, Effects Loop with Send/Return Jacks and a Tuner/Line Output jack. Set flat you get a solid, clear tone with the ability to balance the Input and Output levels for a little
SPYDER 550 Heading into tube territory the Spyder 550 retains Ashdown’s individual look with a chromed faceplate, large black rotary knobs and a retro looking VU meter. High and Low and Effects Send/Return Middle inputs/ outputs are found at the far left of the front panel. Then Bass, Treble, Gain and Master controls are joined by Mid shift, Bass shift, Bright, Mute and Pre/Post switches.
edginess. With some added frequency dials as well as your typical Bass, Middle, Treble you can also tweak for pristine and bright, dark and fat or scooped if a metal/rock sound is your thing. The newest upgrade in the EVO III is the Overdrive which works from a little hair to grindy. It’s definitely usable and the fact that it’s also foot switchable makes it available quickly and easily. Dialing in the Sub harmonic control then adds some interesting frequencies that really fatten your tone without getting woofy and you can push the OD and Sub harmonic if you really want to get it rocking.
Are your wireless mics ready for the Digital Dividend ?
amps for a serious amount of juice on tap. Crank up the Master and you’ll find yourself with a round, thick tone. You can then work in EQ section with the benefit of the Bright switch and Mid and Bass shifts if you need some more range. The Spyder will sit well with a range of basses from old school type deals through to your modern active gear and you can push your rig from super clean to thick and edgy with a turn of the Gain control.
OURS ARE !
Rated at 550 watts the Spyder combines its new preamp design with the power stage of its ABM 500
By the end of 2014, all analogue TV transmitters will be turned off and all digital TV transmitters will have changed frequency. The band between 694 MHz and 820 MHz will be cleared of all users so it can be used for mobile data services. Check your wireless microphone systems now ! If they operate between 694 MHz and 820 MHz you need to start planning to operate between 520 MHz and 694 MHz before the end of 2014.
Make certain your systems are ready!
MAG 410T As a cab the Ashdown MAG 410T weighs in at around 37 kgs and is 655 x 604 x 420 - not massive by any means and still quite manageable as far as 410 cabs go. With a vinyl type covering, chrome corners and tough handles it looks and feels like it can take quite a bit of loading in/out and gig work. Rated at 8 ohms you get four of Ashdown’s own 10” custom drivers and a HF Tweeter. For me the 410T felt quite tight and responsive and handled higher volume levels, the lower registers of the bass and overdrive well. Obviously designed to pair with Ashdown’s own amp range you’d still consider the 410T a more than capable cab for its price from rehearsals through to loud gigs.
visit More than just a newcomer Ashdown have worked themselves into a serious member of the bass amp community and boast a range of amps, cabs and effects for the bedroom player through to the touring pro. The MAG 300 EVO III, Spyder 550 and 410T show that they are prepared to vary their line and price points.
ddready.com.au for more information
BY NICK BROWN RRP: $600 (MAG 300H), $850 (SPYDER 550), $550 (MAG 410T) Distributor: D’Addario Australia Phone: (03) 8761 6293 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NO. 223 MIXDOWN PG. 47
STANTON DJC.4 VIRTUAL DJ WORKSTATION
BLACKSTAR HT-METAL PEDAL
Blackstar’s amps are quite well established now, but if you peer even further back into the company’s history, they tested the waters with a few pedals first. And they haven’t let up, offering an ever-expanding line of stompers, including gain, modulation and time-based effects. The HT-METAL is the latest, and it’s a virtual amp in a box. TUBULAR, DUDE The HT-METAL is a genuine valve distortion pedal with two cascaded ECC83 triode stages. It runs at 300 volts, and offers two channels of ultra high gain. Blackstar goes so far as to refer to it as an “ultra high gain filth machine,” so there ya go! The valve section is designed to provide authentic amp response. Each channel has its own gain and volume controls. Channel 1 has a Clean/Overdrive switch, which both channels share a three-band EQ as well as Blackstar’s patented ISF (Infinite Shape Feature) control, which revoices the entire tone stack for British or UK tones, and anything in between. The Gain and Level controls for each channel are housed in concentric knobs. Other features include highintegrity buffered bypass, silent soft switching, and a speaker-emulated direct recording output for connection to a PA or mixing desk,
TONE SO HOT IT GLOWS The HT-METAL is capable of some pretty damn aggressive tones. You can dial in a hairy, sizzly metal chunk with killer harmonics, especially if you like to throw in the occasional Zakk Wylde-style pings and squeals. There’s plenty of gain available, especially if you want to really go nuts. But that’s not all the HT-METAL can do. The clean channel means you can dial in a sparkly (or even punchy and gritty) clean sound on one channel and a dirty one on the other, each with separate output levels. Or you can set it for two separate levels of distortion and output. Beyond the use of the Clean/Overdrive button and Gain controls there isn’t much scope to vary the tone between the two channels, but it’s still surprisingly flexible and very authentic-feeling. Because you’re actually playing through a valve you’ll get a more realistic, amp-like response, rather than the clipped, synthetic feel you usually get from solid-state pedals, and this is most noticeable in the dynamic range. There just seems like there’s more ‘air’ around the notes. Lead guitarists are gonna love it, and rhythm chunkers will be in power chord heaven too. METAL BY NAME, METAL BY NATURE The HT-METAL isn’t trying to be a smooth overdrive, although it can get close if you set it just so. It’s unapolagetically metal. It even looks like it should be a metal pedal. And it’s a great way to add some real tube warmth to a digital modelling amp or a direct-into-the-board setup. BY PETER HODGSON
RRP: $299 Distributor: National Audio Systems Phone: (03) 9761 5577 Website: www.nationalaudio.com.au
Stanton is a name that is well known with DJ gear. From their head shells and cartridges, to their turntables and now their digital DJ workstations, Stanton have strived to remain at the forefront of technology in the DJ world and continue to release new products to meet the demands of modern DJs around the world. The DJC.4 virtual DJ digital workstation is just one of those products that gives the user exactly what they need in an intuitive layout and with the ability to integrate turntables or CD players into their software mixing experience. THE NEW MEETS THE OLD With the DJC.4 it is not just about controlling your DJ software. This acts like a traditional DJ battle mixer as well as an audio interface so you can bring together your turntables and the included Virtual DJ software for a stunning combination. The analog inputs allow for either Phono or Line connections, so turntables or CD players can be integrated. The centre section of the console is very similar to most DJ mixers out there, so there should be no trouble for any DJ to navigate around the controls in this area. The user replaceable cross fader has a smooth gliding motion to it and has the added benefit of curve control via a knob on the front edge of the unit. Moving out from this section of the console and we get into the virtual DJ side of things. There are two large jog wheels for controlling the software decks which have a nice, smooth action to them and firm, centre indented pitch bend controls.
This also features the ability to extend the pitch range beyond what you would normally expect from a fader style pitch adjustment. TAKING CONTROL With the included Virtual DJ software, you have almost limitless control over you mix when using the DJC.4. The FX control section allows you to engage a series of FX and tweak them with the supplied knobs. Below this you have loop marker buttons, four ‘hot cue’ buttons and four ‘sampler’ buttons allowing playback of samples on the fly. Installation is quick and easy, I had no problems getting it going even on my dinosaur of a laptop and I was in the mix on very little time at all. As far as compact virtual DJ control surfaces go, Stanton seems to have their heads in the right place. The DJC.4 gives the user what they need in a compact, but somehow spacious layout, making mixing an easy task. You can control most functions right off the DJC.4, so you don’t need to constantly refer to your software, or spend half your set with the mouse in your hands. This, I like! BY ROB GEE RRP: $419 Distributor: Jands Phone: (02) 9582 0909 Website: www.jands.com.au
“I tried coated strings like everyone else; I didn’t like them. Cleartone are so bright and responsive, I forgot they were coated. Bend them in good health.”
-Tommy Emmanuel Guitar Virtuoso
Hate Coated Strings? We know why... Coa Coated strings you’ve played in the past use tone killing layers of material. The coating gets in between the winds and inhibit vib vibration. Instead, Cleartone feature the thinnest coating in the industry. At one micron, they feel and sound like traditional strings but with the added benefit of 3-5X string life. In fact Cleartone’s were tested to be up to 36% louder than the leading st coated string brand according to an independent sound lab. For more information visit www.dynamicmusic.com.au c PG. 48 MIXDOWN NO. 223
NO. 223 MIXDOWN PG. 49
DUNLOP GUITAR ACCESSORIES ULTRAGLIDE 65 STRING CLEANER AND CONDITIONER Something for your strings this time the Ultraglide cleaner and conditioner should be applied to your strings at tension, one at a time with a clean dry cloth. The aim is to ‘restore brilliance to your strings and extend string life’..sounds like a plan hey.
BLUE TIKI USB MICROPHONE
MICRO FINE FRET POLISHING CLOTHS For those wanting to get a little more intimate with their frets you can wrap one of the Micor Fine cloths around the tip of your finger and poilishiing them with even, light pressure across the entire fret. This will wear elements and tarnish making a clean polished finish. You can then tidy up any excess gunk and grime on the fingerboard with the following...
The design gurus at Blue Microphones never cease to amaze. With every new release they not only captivate the imagination of their users with the functionality of their microphones, but also manage to package them is some of the most striking housings you will ever see in microphone designs. The Tiki is just the next step from Blue, as they prove that USB microphones need not lack in quality, even if they are just being used for Skype or dictation uses. And, they have definitely proven that a USB microphone need not look bland and boring, nor should it be limited in setup options either. The Tiki gives you all this in a tidy little, funky package. INTELLIGENT DESIGN As well as the looks, Blue Microphones are always very cleverly designed for functionality and the Tiki represents the very best of these ideas. As a USB microphone, it has been designed for Skype users, podcasters and musicians who want to record easily and without the fuss of a large setup. What you get with the Tiki is an intelligent microphone that works to your advantage. It offers excellent noise cancelling and a pair of condenser capsules to selectively capture the sound within the room for a natural audio image. The Tiki has two modes, one designed to accent the human voice and reduce background noise at the same time, giving you what I found to be an amazingly clear response, even without worrying too much about microphone placement. But, best of all, it has a built in
gates system that sets the microphone to mute when the audible signal drops below a certain threshold. The blue LED within the microphone shows it is live and this switches over to a red LED when it goes into mute mode. When set in natural recording mode for instrument use, the LED lights up purple, so you always know what is going on. NIFTY CONCEPT Naturally, Blue wouldn’t be happy just producing a USB microphone that looks like every other one, so the Tiki has a look and feel to it like no other. It’s retro design is stylish and clever, allowing it to be connected right into a USB port on the side of a laptop and used from that position, or it comes with a mounting plate that has a USB extension lead running from it so you can set it up at a short distance from your computer for vocal and instrument recording. This is unlike any USB microphone I have seen before and it sounds unlike any USB microphone I have heard before. The Tiki has set new standards in compact USB audio recording, and it looks great too! BY ROB GEE
RRP: $89 Distributor : Amber Technology Phone: 1800 251 367 Website: www.ambertech.com.au
On the other side of playing your guitar is the care and maintenance area of things. Dunlop definitely feel that this is a worthy topic and thus have a solid line of products aimed at looking after your instrument. For many this is an area that gets little thought or attention but in a world where people like to get any advantage they can why not take some pride in your gear and reap the rewards of a fine tuned machine. FRETBOARD 65 LEMON OIL Lemon Oil has long been used on fretboards and its benefits are twofold. Firstly it removes grime and acts as a cleaner. Then it further heads off gunk and grime by working as a sealant. You don’t need much between fret so a bottle should last quite some time too. BODYGLOSS 65 CREAM OF CARNAUBA Cream of Carnauba is a wax that will polish guitar and help to cover light scratches and buff type marks. Basically apply in a circular motion, wait and then polish (just like karate kid - wax on, wax off) for a clean finish that adds a moisture and stain resistant barrier. FORMULA NO 65 GUITAR POLISH AND CLEANER The general polish and cleaner type deal Formula 65 comes in a pump pack and is as easy as spray on and wipe with a cloth. Will remove light marks, fingerprints and general grease and grime and is small enough to chuck in your guitar case for the occasional spruce up on the road, at a gig or on the couch.
FINGERBOARD CLEANER AND PREP 01 With a two step process the Cleaner and Prep 01 is applied to the fretboard with a clean cloth, removing all unwanted grime from the fingerboard and frets. This stuff really gets into those little crevices, then comes step 2. FINGERBOARD DEEP CONDITIONER 02 A premium fingerboard oil the Deep Conditioner replenishes the wood with ‘natural protective oils and brings out its rich, dark beauty’. Guitars with dry, aging fretboards are prime candidates for some Dunlop love. POLISH CLOTH The perfect partner for a number of the aforementioned products this polish cloth is 100% soft lint-free flannel and can be used on the body, fingerboard, frets or strings. Remember the use of these kind of products doesn’t always have to be reactive and regular care and maintenance can be a good routine for extending the life of your instrument, helping it play better or just keeping it in good condition for longer. People are always washing their car or spending money and big time looking after clothes/shoes/etc. You’ve spent good money on your guitars, why not look after them too? BY NICK BROWN RRP:$4.95 - $12.95 EACH Distributor: Australasian Musical Supplies Phone: (03) 9549 1500
RRP: $499 Distri Distributor: t butor: Na National Audio Systems Phone: Pho ho one: ne n e:: (0 e ((03) 03) 3) 9 976 9761 7 1 5577 Website: We W Web eb e bssit itte: e www www.nationalaudio.com.au w .na ww atio ti nalaud au aud au ud dio. io com.au io
TOM DRUMHEADS remo.com/vintage Available in Sizes 8”, 10“, 12”, Avai Av 13“, 14”, 15“, 16” and 18” Proudly Pro oud distributed by Australasian Music Supplies
PG. 50 MIXDOWN NO. 223
Joe Satriani Richie Sambo
ra Lenny Kravitz
e c i o h C s ’ r e y a l P The n Billy Marlotitte Brent Hinds
Ben Harper Airbourne Kings Of Leon
Proudly distributed by D’Addario Australia email@example.com Follow us on
@DaddarioAus NOVEMBER 2012
NO. 223 MIXDOWN
VOX DELAYLAB PEDAL
VOX LIL LOOPER EFFECTS PEDAL Two quick presses of the buttons stops the loop and holding the button acts as an undo/redo function to remove the previous loop layer or add it back in again. What a lot of loop pedals lack, even with their extensive range of features, is the ability to run two separate loops together. This is not the case with the Lil Looper though. It really is just like having two simple loop pedals being fed from the same source, but saves on the space and price tag of buying two pedals.
Vox have really nailed it with this product. After some conjecture about their previous loop pedal being too large for use on a lot of pedal boards, although packed with features, it just didn’t fit the needs of a lot of guitarists. Now, though, the Lil Looper is set to change that. Not only does it offer you two independent loops on the one pedal, it also give you multi-effects thrown into the deal and all comes bundled into a compact housing that allows it to live up to the name of the Lil Looper. AROUND WE GO Not at all overly complicated to set up, the Lil Looper was running me around in circles in no time at all. It is a simple addition to any existing pedal setup and you’ll be looping in a flash. The two buttons on the top of the unit act as multi-function controls for each of the two loops within the box. One press engages recording, as well as playback and overdubbing.
PG. 52 MIXDOWN NO. 223
IN THE LOOP The Lil Looper doesn’t just stop at simple loop functions though. Vox have also included a multieffect feature in the pedal, allowing you to add various effects to your loop for even more fun. Other features include a metronome for help with timing and an auto record function that starts the loop when a signal is detected, meaning you don’t miss the start of your first note only to hear the error every time the loop goes around. What it gives you is the simplest and easiest way to get a clean loop of up to 90 seconds with about as little fuss as possible. Then, well, why not add a second loop, or a few more layers to your first loop. The Lil Looper is ready to handle whatever you throw at it and send it right back at you again and again. Simply Awesome! BY ROB GEE
RRP: $189 Distributor: Yamaha Australia Phone: (03) 9693 5111 Website: au.yamaha.com
Vox’s Joe Satriani Time Machine is one of the coolest delay pedals out there, with a range of easy-to-control traditional delay sounds. The DelayLab approaches delay from a different perspective though: it’s much more in the tradition of ‘mega delays’ like the Strymon TimeLine, DigiTech TimeBender and Eventide TimeFactor – and not just because they all feature intercapped names. All of these pedals offer multiple modes and enhances levels of control beyond the standard time/feedback/ level that you’ll find on simpler delays. THE BIG 3-0 The DelayLab has 30 types of delay effect. You ready for this? Analog, Saturated, Stereo Analog, Echo Plus, Tube Echo, Multi Head, Stereo Digital Delay, Lo-Fi, Pitch Shifting Delay, Multitap, Rhythmic Delay, Multitap Filter Delay, Ducking, Sweep Delay, Distortion Delay, Parallel, Series, Dual Band, Modulation, Filter, Phaser, Cross Delay, Panning Delay, Left Center Right Delay, Space Delay, Reverb Delay, Early Reflections Delay, Reverse Stereo, Reverse Analog and Reverse Filter. Some of these are quite traditional while others are really out there. There are 30 preset program slots that you can customise or totally replace with your own, and there’s a 24-big/48kHz processor. Switching between presets or turning the effect off is smooth thanks to Seamless Bypass and Seamless Program Change features, and there’s a sync mode for setting up complex polyrhythm effects, a Kill Dry feature for muting the original sound when using the pedal with a parallel effects loop or stereo rig, and an expression pedal jack which lets you take control of all sorts of parameters. There’s also a 28 second stereo looper with extensive levels of control, including reverse playback, triggered playback and expression pedal control, as well as three
types of delay that can be used simultaneously with the looper, and the ability to adjust the left and right delay times independently or to attenuate the volume of looped phrases each time you overdub. Very clever! DON’T MAKE ME REPEAT MYSELF There are plenty of great traditional delay effects here which really come alive in a stereo setting, and they do what delays are supposed to do. But it’s the more offbeat settings that really set the DelayLab apart. For instance, Digital LoFi Delay is one of my favourite settings: it sounds like a demented and lonely robot singing through a Nintendo Game Boy. The Left Center Right Delay is also extremely useful if you have a stereo rig, and the Space Delay is killer for those modulated, swimming Devin Townsend acoustic delay sounds. Pitch Shifting Delay is another great ear-catching effect, letting you get some really unusual effects as the repeats come back at you in different pitches to the original note. The looper is extremely intuitive and really needs to be hooked up to an expression pedal to explore its most extreme and entertaining reaches. DON’T MAKE ME REPEAT MYSELF..AGAIN! The DelayLab is a great all-rounder for all your delay needs, whether you require standard digital and analogue-voiced delays or whacked-out special effects, or very sophisticated looping. And if you have an expression pedal, it becomes an interactive part of your performance, rather than something that’s just happening to your guitar sound. BY PETER HODGSON RRP: $349.99 Distributor: Yamaha Australia Phone: (03) 9693 5111 Website: au.yamaha.com
Party in the front.
Business in the back.
The K Family didn’t become the #1-selling line of loudspeakers* in the U.S. just by showing up to the party. Like you, we’re where we are today as a result of hard work, continuous improvement, and a deep understanding that every performance matters. When you do things right, people notice and you earn their business. No shortcuts. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? So while your audience out front will probably never know the time, effort, and dedication that went into preparing a great experience for them, we do. And we’ve got your back.
In Australia: TAG. Ph. (02) 9519 0900 / E. firstname.lastname@example.org
*Among all brands in retail dollar sales. Source: MI SalesTrak, 2010-2011 ©
2012 QSC Audio Products, LLC. All rights reserved. QSC and the QSC logo are registered trademarks of QSC Audio Products, LLC in the U.S. Patent and Trademark ofﬁce and other countries. MI SalesTrak is a registered trademark of Marketing Information Services, Inc. in the U.S. Patent ofﬁce.
VOYAGE-AIR ACOUSTIC TRAVEL GUITAR
YAMAHA MGP12X MIXER inputs and four of the microphone channels can be used as mono line inputs if needs be. On top of this, you get two auxiliary sends, one as a fixed pre-fader send and the other one being switchable to pre or post fader. A nice addition to the MGP series is the auxiliary outputs being supplied on XLR connections, rather than 6.5mm jack connections as is so often the case. This makes connection to powered monitors a breeze with standard microphone leads and keeps your signal balanced the whole way through the monitoring process.
Over the last ten years or so I have seen various changes and developments in the MG series of analogue mixers from Yamaha that have not only seen them become lighter and more functional, but with a quieter mix bus as well, making them some of the best designed mixers in their price range. Now Yamaha have stepped it up once again with the introduction of their MGP series which draws on many design elements of the MG mixers of past, but incorporates many new features that are sure to please. For use in portable PA situations where a compact mixer is required, but a range of features still need to be implemented, the MGP mixers really tick all the boxes. PREMIUM MIXING CONSOLE The MGP12X is the smaller of the two models in the range and really does represent the best of Yamaha in a smaller, rack mountable mixer. Although still an analogue console, it draws on many features from Yamaha’s digital mixing consoles to make your setup and sound the best it can be. The MGP12X is perfect for small groups and duos that only need a small amount of microphone preamplifiers, but require flexibility with their line inputs too. You get six microphone preamplifiers, four of which feature Yamaha’s one knob compression to tame your dynamics quickly and easily. You also get four stereo line
DIGITAL HEART As well as the two auxiliary sends, each channel has two FX sends which go to the two onboard digital effects processors. Anyone who has used Yamaha effect over the years will instantly recognise the Rev-X and SPX processors that are built in. These quality effects processors allow you to choose from a range of preset features with simple parameter adjustment to get your mix sounding its best in a flash. There is also the added benefit of a tap tempo button for use with the delay effects in the SPX, a very handy addition indeed.
Alright, I cannot repeat what actually came out of my mouth when our Editor first showed me this new guitar, but let’s just say it was a combination of disbelief and amazement. Every now and then, a new product comes along that defies explanation and makes us wonder why it hadn’t been done before. Then you stop and think, how on earth did they manage to do that in the first place? The Voyage-Air acoustic guitar is just that. The ultimate travelling guitar, it folds up and fits snugly into a specially designed backpack style case for easy transport. Yes, you heard me right – it folds up!
But, where this unit really comes into its own is with the USB connectivity. You can connect an iPod or similar device by USB and stream audio into the MGP, either as a 2-Track input or to one of the stereo line channels. Then it gets really fun as there is a ‘ducker’ function that allows you to use one of the microphone channels to drop the level of the background music when spoken into. This is ideal for announcements during events when music is being played and you don’t want to adjust your levels so the microphone can be heard. The MGP12X does it all for you. With additional control over the ducker, compressors and effect through an iPad App, the MGP12X really starts to feel like a digital console, but has the ease of use that you would expect of an analogue unit.
CARRY-ON LUGGAGE Anyone who has ever travelled with their guitar on an airplane knows the fear of letting it go into the hands of the baggage handlers to maybe never return in its original state. Now, the worries can be gone as with the Voyage-Air guitar you can take it on board with you in carry-on luggage. The folding design of the Voyage-Air guitar seems slightly farfetched to begin with, but it really works. This is a full bodied, solid top acoustic guitar. Not short scale, not slimline, not any other compromise. You get it all, and you get it in a small case, folded in two! I had the VAD-1 model to road test, this is an all solid guitar, spruce top and mahogany back and sides, with a gloss body and satin finish to the neck. When assembles it looks not unlike any other acoustic guitar of similar specifications, but when it is folded in half it looks like some other beast altogether. There is a split in the neck just below the fourteenth fret, where the neck joins the body allowing the strap pin to be unscrewed so the neck can be folded in.
BY ROB GEE
RRP: $899 Distributor: Yamaha Australia Phone: (03) 9693 5111 Website: au.yamaha.com
VOX AGA30 ACOUSTIC GUITAR AMP The sound is pumped out of a 6.5” full-range speaker.
Vox’s AGA70 and AGA150 are a great pair of acoustic amps, but they might have a little bit too much power and too many controls for some. That’s where the AGA30 comes in. It offers much of the same tone and control as the AGA30, but with less stuff to fiddle about with and not quite as much volume, which makes it more user-friendly and adaptable for smaller, more intimate gig settings. COFFEEHOUSE BLUES The AGA30 is a 30-watt acoustic guitar amp with two channels: Tube-Pre and Normal. The TubePre channel has a 12AU7 valve, an XLR/1/4” combination input with selectable phantom power, a high/low input Gain switch, controls for Volume, Bass and Treble, and an Effects Select/Depth control with reverb, reverb/chorus and chorus options. The Normal (ie: solid state) channel has a 1/4” standard input, high/low input Gain switch, controls for Volume, Treble and Bass, and the same effects capabilities as the Tube-Pre channel. There’s an anti-feedback control which is especially handy if you’re using an internal microphone as part of your acoustic amplification; a tuner/direct output for recording or sending the signal to a PA system when you’re not using it for a tuner, an Aux In jack for playing along to external tracks, and a jack for an optional VFS2 footswitch for turning the effects section on or off and activating the All Mute function.
PG. 54 MIXDOWN NO. 223
CHANNEL HOPPING What’s really great about the AGA30 and its AGA series brethren is the sheer adaptiveness. You can use the Tube-Pre channel to take some of the ‘quack’ and coldness out of piezo pickups, or you can use it to get more warmth and realism from an internal or external mic on your guitar. Or you can use it for a vocal microphone while feeding your guitar into the Normal channel. Or you can use both channels at once for a single instrument, for example using the normal channel for clear, crisp highs courtesy of a piezo element while using a microphone or magnetic pickup on the other channel. And the ability to set different effects for each audio stream further adds to the tone-shaping ability. This isn’t just an acoustic amplifier: it’s an acoustic sound creation station. The reverb is quite useful, although the chorus sounds a little synthetic - probably a little moreso than that of the AGA70. It’s not a deal-breaker though and you can get some nice Alice In Chains “Rooster” tones by pushing the tube preamp and giving the chorus and reverb a good going-over. I’d definitely recommend using two output streams somehow with this amp if you’re able to, whether your guitar has two outputs or if you can add a magnetic soundhole mic, internal gooseneck mic or a regular microphone on a stand. It just brings gives you so much more control and flexibility on top of what’s already a very useful amplifier. VOXY LADY The AGA30 might not be the most feature-packed of acoustic amps but it does have more features than some, and what it lacks in parametric EQs, sophisticated effects, tweeters and onboard tuners it more than makes up for in sonic flexibility, especially once you start combining separate audio streams through the two channels. Well worth a shot. BY PETER HODGSON RRP: $349.99 Distributor: Yamaha Australia Phone: (03) 9693 5111 Website: au.yamaha.com
BACK IN TUNE So, I immediately thought of all sorts of problems that could go wrong with this guitar and tuning stability first came to mind. But clicking the neck into place and tightening the screw saw the guitar sit right back in tune as though it was always in one piece. A clever string through design in the nut, with a zero fret just beyond that stops the strings from coming lose from the capstans when the pressure is relived from the neck. This clever idea really took my fancy as it is something so simple, yet so clever and without it, it could be a make or break design point. I was also a little concerned about the playability, as you usually expect your guitar’s neck to be firmly joined into the body and not able to move. The action was slightly high, but this was only due to saddle height and could easily be adjusted by a guitar tech to bring it down. As far as the curve of the neck and the action were concerned, it was pretty much spot on. I wouldn’t have thought it would work, just looking at the guitar to begin with, but it all comes together nicely. Tonally, the VAD-1 is a warm sounding instrument, almost with a classical nylon string tone to it, benefitting from the all solid construction. It feels great, sounds great and packs up to go anywhere on your back. I think, as you all read this, disbelief will be quite popular. So, all I can say is, go and try one out. I was amazed. You will be too. BY ROB GEE RRP: $1999 Distributor: Sonic Frog Phone: (08) 8354 1115 Website: www.sonicfrog.com.au
PLANET WAVES LUBRIKIT FRICTION REMOVER & HUMIDIPAK KIT FOR GUITAR Guitarists are typically obsessed with their tone and their gear. Pedals, guitars, amps, leads and the like are all fair game with many players happy to fork out money in pursuit of the ultimate sound. With options aplenty you can then go into this seemingly endless pursuit as deeply as you like. Fresh from the D’Addario/Planet Waves tool kit come a couple of handy extras in the Lubrikit Friction Remover and Humidipak. Although these might not be your first thought when trying to get the best out of your setup they may well be that little something extra you’ve been looking for.
REDUCE THE FRICTION One more for the real tinkerers, DIY guys and full service type blokes (or even just those after good tuning stability!) is the Lubrikit. Coming in a fancy little syringe and swab type setup this lube solution is intended for tremolo systems, bridges and the nut. With the idea of reducing friction, tuning stability is increased, string breakage can be less likely and general wear and tear is condensed.
HUMID LEAGUE Designed to help protect your instrument from warping, cracks and damage caused by lack of humidification the Planet Waves Humidipak is a maintenance free, two way humidity control system especially for guitar. Comprising three Humidipaks and a soft mesh pouch to sit in the guitar’s soundhole installation is easy and no mess. Plus they have a suggested shelf life of 2 – 6 months so you shouldn’t be replacing them super quickly. Whilst perhaps more orientated towards those that live or store their instruments in places with extreme temperatures or touring players that experience a lot of changing climates the Humidipak is hassle free and relatively inexpensive. Keeping that in mind they could be a worthwhile investment for those of you that really want to cover all bases when looking after your instruments.
The syringe is easy to use and application is quick and mess free with more than enough solution to last a good while (a drop in each nut slot and saddle is enough). Two swabs are supplied and feature tiny bristly ends that really can get in small places - great for saddles, nuts and finicky bridge work. CAPTAIN PLANET D’Addario and Planet Waves have long been exponents of the strings and accessories bunch. With a fair line-up of gear and tools to help you stay above the game already on offer its little additions like these that continue to push the Planet Waves name forward BY NICK BROWN RRP: $50 (HUMIDIPAK), $30 (LUBRIKIT) Distributor: D’Addario Australia Phone: (03) 8761 6293 Email: email@example.com
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NO. 223 MIXDOWN PG. 55
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