I broke a G string on my 1966 Telecaster yesterday. It was time for a new set of strings anyway, so I headed off to the nearest Guitar Center.
But when I asked for a set of strings for my Tele, the clerk behind the counter said “Which year?” When I said “1966,” he replied “That particular model of Telecaster was discontinued over a decade ago, so we don’t support it with strings anymore.”
I was shocked, to say the least, and asked what I could do. “Well,” the clerk replied, “It’s pretty much obsolete since you can’t get strings for it, so you might as well throw it out. Or, we do offer a $300 neck upgrade that accommodates our newer model strings.”
Except of course, that didn’t really happen. I bought a couple Fender 150 sets, re-strung my Tele, and was back in action. But had that been a high-tech piece of gear, the fictional conversation with the clerk would likely have been non-fiction. Is there anything we can do to keep our hardware and software investments intact in the face of rapid technological change?
As musicians, we have a somewhat different perspective because we regularly play guitars that are several decades old, and pianos that might even date from the turn of the last century. So why do our high-tech instruments have an expiration date? Part of it is due to riding the coattails of consumer electronics. When Apple or Microsoft releases a new operating system, their overriding concern isn’t whether you’re going to be able to run some favorite plug-in from a company that went out of business years ago. Hardware can be even less forgiving (if you need any ISA or NuBus cards, let me know!).
The solution: Invest wisely in your high-tech gear, and ask whether you’ll be able to amortize what it cost—either in terms of finances or emotional satisfaction—before it becomes obsolete. In many ways, the music industry is far more generous about updates and compatibility than other industries; they understand customer loyalty. Regardless, given the relentless march of technology, at some point it’s simply not possible to keep gear on life support.
But there’s also a flip side: Sometimes you need to be dragged into the future. I stayed with Windows XP for longer than I should have because it worked fine. Then a lot of software appeared that required Windows 7, so kicking and screaming, I installed it.
I should have done it months before—every aspect of my computer ran better. So when that favorite piece of hardware dies, or software doesn’t work any more, it may be a sign that you can do better—because much of the time, you can.
by Craig Anderton
On paper, this may seem like an idea that falls somewhere between insane and brilliant. But in practice, it's a very different story—as you'll find out from this in-depth, no-nonsense, and often surprising review.
by Jon Chappell
by Jon Chappell
Here's how to solve two common guitar recording problems with direct boxes
It’s bound to stir up strong opinions and hearty debate: What is THE best rock and roll album of all time? The folks in the Effects forum have some strong contenders—is your favorite on the list?
|Are We Going to See Any More Innovation in the Effects World?
With so many different effects on the market today, you could be excused for thinking we’ve invented everything that could possibly mangle sound—but have we? Is innovation dead, and if not, what might the future hold?
|Baked Maple Fingerboards: To Oil, Or Not to Oil—That Is the Question
Baked maple fingerboards are fairly new to the guitar world. Darker than traditional maple finishes, baked maple fingerboards are usually not as dark as ebony or rosewood. How should they be cleaned and conditioned? Do they need occasional mineral oil or other treatments? The Electric Guitar forum has the answers.
|Reverb Plug-Ins and Hardware—What Are You Using?
The Studio Trenches forum discusses some of their current reverb favorites. Algorithmic, convolution, real springs and rooms, and yes, even hardware units are all put under the real-world microscope.
|Gut Instinct vs. Brain
Both are important to the creative process, but to what degree? Do you rely more on instinct when creating parts and songwriting, or do you go for a more intellectual and thought-out approach?
|Why Are 4x12 Cabinets so Popular?
The classic stack is an icon of rock—just look at bands in clubs and small venues everywhere. But is it really necessary in those sorts of venues when a 2x12 or 1x12 is often more than capable of delivering the goods? What makes the 4x12 so popular? The Amps forum weighs in.
|Propellerhead Expands the Sonic Universe of the Reason Rack with PX7
Propellerhead today announced the immediate availability of PX7 FM Synthesizer, a new six-operator FM synth for Propellerhead’s Rack Extension format. As a recreation of the popular DX series keyboards, PX7 provides a wealth of new sounds to the Reason rack, ranging from classic 80's bass and brass to modern textures, leads and growls.
|New T-RackS Custom Shop Available from IK Multimedia
T-RackS Custom Shop, the updated version 4.0 of IK Multimedia's mixing/mastering suite for Mac and PC, offers five brand-new analog-modeled and digital processors; it also integrates the Custom Shop, IK’s exclusive online gear shop, which allows users to purchase gear models à la carte from within the T-RackS software itself.
|Studio Devil releases Virtual Tube Preamp Plug-In for VST/AU/RTAS
Studio Devil Virtual Tube Preamp faithfully replicates the analog circuitry of a discrete, class-A biased, 12AX7A vacuum tube preamplifier. All of the associated analog circuitry, including the vacuum tube itself and the effects of biasing resistors and capacitors, are simulated in painstaking detail.
|Waves Audio Teams with Abbey Road Studios to Unveil REDD Console Plugins
Waves Audio has teamed with London’s legendaryAbbey Road Studios to introduce the new REDD Console plugins. These custom-designed consoles, built by and named after Abbey Road Studios' in-house Record Engineering Development Department (REDD), were renowned for their silky smooth EQ curves, extraordinary warmth, and lush stereo imagery.
|PreSonus Updates Studio One Pro to Version 2.5
This free (to Studio One 2 users) update adds nearly 100 enhancements and features, as well as many bug fixes. All versions of Studio One 2 have been updated, including Studio One Artist, Producer, Professional, and Free.
|Radial introduces the SixPack 500 Series Power Rack
The SixPack is a 6-slot power rack designed to accommodate all 500 series modules including older ones made by API. It features a hefty 1600 milliamps of current for more than 265 milliamps average power per slot. This lets you mix and match solid state and tube modules without concern about powering.
At Harmony Central, we are committed to protecting the privacy
© 1995—2012 Harmony Central®.
Advertise with HC
HarmonyCentral.com is the leading Internet resource for musicians, supplying valuable information from news and product reviews, to classified ads and chat rooms.