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Chris Loeffler

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Everything posted by Chris Loeffler

  1. There are few things more important to a guitar performance than being in tune and having control of your volume. Unfortunately, these are so built-in to what players do that they don’t quite raise the spirits like a new dirt pedal or delay station will and are often under-represented due to price and real estate. Ernie Ball, one of the most prolific makes of treadle-controlled effects (think volume, wah, and even their recent Expression series) believes they’ve found the perfect solution for players that combines tuning and volume into a single pedal with enhancements based on decades of play
  2. Did you know that Harmony Central has published over 1,100 articles in the last ten years? Compared to the typical music instrument print magazine, that’s the equivalent of 55 issues or over five years’ of monthly subscriptions, all for free. Harmony Central authors have included industry legends Craig Anderton, Jon Chappell and Brian Hardgroove, as well as award-winning recording engineers (Phil O’Keefe), music foundation directors (Dendy Jarrett), and a slew of contributors from both within and outside the core team. Harmony Central’s editorial focus began a decade ago, during a failed
  3. By Robert Calabrese Burnout has unfortunately become a very common occurrence in today’s modern world. It is usually associated with professional burnout. But it can also impact other aspects of your life like hobbies and even parenting. When it comes to creative pursuits like music, the impact can be devastating. In this article we’ll cover what causes burnout and how you can both prevent and overcome it. What Causes Musical Burnout? Many things can lead to musical burnout. It can be one major issue or a combination of issues that can lead you to feel tired, uninspired a
  4. Could these be the sweet spot? PreSonus released the Eris series studio monitors in 2013 to grab ahold of the mid-priced studio monitor market, focusing on audio quality and listening environment flexibility. The series (originally offered in 8” and 5.25” configurations) quickly became a best-seller for most retailers due to the PreSonus pedigree and quality-to-cost ratio. Six years later and they are refreshing the line, rebranding it PreSonus Eris XT (although as of this review the original Eris 5 is still available through retailers and listed on the PreSonus website).
  5. Our friends at GuitarSumo reached out recently with a roundup of VST plugins they'd been enjoying recently, and we wanted to share them with Harmony Central! Author Credit- Erica Mays Want to step up your producing and introduce new sounds to your mix? Here is our list of what we consider to be the current 30 best VST plugins available that every producer should try. 1. Audio Damage Eos 2 The Audio Damage Eos 2 is simple but highly effective. It features three algorithms that create a great sounding reverb. The hardware is ideal for those looking to use
  6. Music festivals are likely the apex of participation of music as entertainment and contributing to cultural moments. Whether wrapping up a genre (Aftershock), an ethos (Warped), or a broader movement (Coachella), music festivals create an opportunity to immerse oneself into something larger than any single concert. Whether looking for an excuse to drop out of normal life for a couple of days, discover new music, or just check a few favorites off your list, the reasons that bring a person to these events are less important than how they participate (or don’t) in the event. I recentl
  7. https://www.ehx.com/products/bass9 Is there more to this than the bass frequency spectrum it produces? Guitar players of heavier music (not to be confused with “heavier guitar players”) have always been envious of the low-end space bass and synths get to occupy, dropping to D, C, and even entire octaves down with the help of pitch shifters. While much of this is in the service of sounding “darker” or accommodating a vocalist, I’ve seen quite a few players go low to fill in bass parts (either while their keyboard player was occupying the higher registers, to throw down dueling
  8. When you need to be ready to battle! Electro-Harmonix released the Operation Overlord Allied Overdrive two years ago, providing a unique, mostly uncolored overdrive option with multi-instrument applications thanks to its variable input level selector and took things even further with true stereo ins/outs, active three-band EQ, and an integrated Boost section. While I found it a great option for a different type of OD sound and enjoyed the stereo I/O for keyboards and synthesizers, I wondered at the time how many guitar players would take advantage of these options. Enter the Nano O
  9. Is this an "underrated gem"? Harmony Music Company began as a US-based Ukulele manufacturer in 1892 and rose to prominence in the 1920’s after its transfer to Sears and Roebuck in 1916 as a play to get into the music instrument world. Thanks to this distribution Harmony (and its Sears brand Silvertone) became one of the most widely sold stringed instrument brands in the US through the mid-70’s. Equally famous for their nostalgic vibe as they are for having spotty quality control, Harmony is a brand that was due to be revived with the White Stripes/Black Keys radio overtake of the l
  10. She's a smaller jumbo coupe...you don't know what I got... While there are hundreds of options for acoustic guitar brands and styles (806 acoustic-electric guitars on Sweetwater alone, as of the writing of this article), but there are really three iconic brands out there that lead the pack in high-end sound- Gibson, Martin, and Taylor. Gibson and Martin hold the torch for longevity, with Gibson owning the space for Jumbo styles, Martin owning Dreadnoughts, and Taylor owning Auditoriums. While these are the instruments most players aspire to own, the low-to-mid four figure price tag
  11. Everyone needs a little color in their life! 'What kind of guitar should I buy for a new player?” is a question most players have been asked by friends and family, whether for themselves or their kids. There are typically dozens of follow-up questions you may want to ask, but the most critical considerations are likely the accessibility of price and playability. For decades, “learner” guitars walked the gamut from unplayable to “has potential”, but improvements in the quality and oversight of affordable construction have made most entry-level guitars at least worthy of the f
  12. Can it truly elevate your sound game? I'm going to take the rare TL;DR approach to this review and start with my conclusions first, as everything after this into is purely qualitative; unless you have a specific need unorthodox routing, you will likely not do better than the Mackie ProFX12v3 analog mixer I reviewed without spending 3x its street price. It does carry the legacy "Mackie" sound, which has its detractors, but much like the iPhone camera lens, the handful of purists who decry it are dwarfed by the masses (i.e. audiences), who view it as the sound of live music.
  13. Would you mind sharing your decision to switch from a music program to Philosophy in college? How did that shift adjust your entry and tenure in music? I changed my major when I realized that my applied piano professor did not approve of me playing anything other than classical music in the practice rooms. After four years of college as a piano major and feeling like my entire musical soul wasn’t being addressed, or even considered, I decided to change my major to one that would allow me to graduate in two semesters! Fortunately, changing my major made space for me to explore the music th
  14. Could this amp be smooth as ...? I first spoke with Charles Henry years ago when he asked me to review his Silktone instrument cables. During my fact-check call with him to dive into the science vs. mojo of a “directional” cable (FWIW, the science behind double conductor cables and single-path shielding made me a believer it is more than marketing hype), he mentioned he had been working on an amp for a few years and would likely release it at some point in the future. As he walked through his design philosophy and approach, I left the call thinking two things; this guy REALLY cares
  15. By Russ Loeffler I was an early adopter of PreSonus Studio One Professional 10 years ago. I was introduced to PreSonus with the purchase of my first Presonus product, the Firepod audio interface. At the time, I was looking for additional audio inputs as I was expanding my home studio from a Roland desktop DAW (digital audio workstation) to a computer based system. The Firepod came with a copy of Cubase LE which was a great introduction to a computer based DAW. When I considered an upgrade of Cubase, I auditioned Logic and Pro Tools before I found that PreSonus had
  16. The NAMM (North American Music Merchants) association publishes their annual list of the top communities and schools for music education every Spring (the 2019 list can be found here). The criteria for nomination include outstanding instructors, curriculum, and more, but the amalgamation of these various factors sum to “How important in the emphasis in music education in this school/community education program overall?” As September has crept up on us and school is now in session across the country, we wanted to take a look at some of the more inspiring (and not so inspiring) things happening
  17. No guts no glory! Epiphone (by way of Gibson) has turned out a steady stream of artist signature guitars for decades now that has always been a mix of guitar legends (Slash, John Lee Hooker) and players they believe will be the heroes of tomorrow (Lee Malia, James Bay). It only makes sense that they’d eventually land a deal with Jared James Nicols, winner of the Les Paul Tribute Contest (he was born in the same town as Les Paul), blues/rock virtuoso, and wielder of an iconic, single-P90 equipped Gibson Les Paul “Old Glory”. The Epiphone Jared James Nichols “Old Glory” Les Paul
  18. The Peavey Invective line was developed in collaboration with Misha Mansoor, guitarist for prog-metal Periphery and solo projects like Bulb, with a focus on providing players with a pedal-friendly clean channel and a high-gain channel voiced to nail modern heavy sounds. The original Invective release was in the form of a 120 watt, ear-crushing head powered by a quad of 6L6 power tubes and was met with wide praise, but the output volume and sheer weight of the iron made it a hard sell for small gigs and coy spinal cords. Peavey’s 2019 addition to that line comes in the form of a 20 watt amplifi
  19. Wattage is irrelevant to ohms. Given the amp only puts out 15 watts, you're not at risk of damaging your speakers. As long as you are running on the correct resistance (ohms) you will be fine. Since you are running in serial, figuring out your maximum ratings for both is simple addition. Two alnico blues rated at 15 watts with 8 ohms in serial would be 30 watts power handling at 16 ohms. If you ran them in serial, you would have a 4 ohm load and 15 watts.You wouldn't need to solder if you are just swapping speakers. the speaker wiring includes socketed tips that connect with your amp. :-)
  20. From JPATT- Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I think I'm going to swap out my G12M's for two Alnico Blues then as it would be nice to be true to the original Vox sound and I play a lot of U2. Who knows, maybe I should declare 2017 the "year of Vox" and learn mostly songs played on the amp. Two final q's:1. If I do swap out my G12M's for two Blues, do I get the 8 ohm or 16 ohm Blue? My current G12M's say 8 ohm and I think they are connected serially at a total resistance of 16 ohm, so I think 8 ohms. But the Watts rating is throwing me off, maybe it is irrelevant. I have never swappe
  21. You certainly could. The Blue is louder than the Greenback, though (more efficient). As such, I don't think you'd get as much of a difference (or Greenback flavor) as you'd like, since the Blue will overpower it. I've played a Blue Alnico / G12H combo in a 2x12 cabinet and it sounded fantastic... actually better than two Blues... they seemed to compliment each other and fill in gaps. I think the G12H is a better match for the Blue if you wanted to go that route.
  22. The Reply function, for some reason, isn't posting (only Post Comment is), so I'm pasting Tonic2000's response- Hey, Chris, thanks for being so responsive to my suggestions. As you mention, guitar setup can be contentious, but the article is now a good introduction. Kudos to Harmony Central for being on the ball.
  23. Thanks to Tonic2000 for the feedback! This article was written based on an interview with one local setup person and independently reviewed be a second for accuracy, but we knew this could be a contentious one! We've vetted several points brought up by Tonic2000 and integrated his recommended changes into the article (with attribution in two instances). As stated in the article, this article was intended more in the spirit of "How it Works", not "Go Out and Do It with No Further Research"!
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