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Jon Chappell_1

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  1. Creating DAW templates whose filenames include the hardware setup will increase your recording efficiency and spare you annoying start-up errors By Jon Chappell As interfaces get cheaper and smaller, and more recording setups take on mobile roles, it’s not uncommon to find yourself mixing and matching your computer (desktop vs. laptop), DAW (Pro Tools, Live, Cubase, etc.), and your front end (interface or audio converter) in various combinations. I’ve even gone to aggregating two smaller interfaces rather than using a single, large, multi-input unit, as it gives me a similar experie
  2. Know the Specs and the Symbols of Your Wall Warts and Line Lumps By Jon Chappell Tons of electronic gizmos made for musicians, from interfaces to effects, use external power supplies—those cube-like enclosures that plug into the wall or power strip and then deliver electricity to the device via a cord and a plug. We have to put up with the external versions, because internal power supplies are both more expensive (meaning more expensive for the maker to implement, who would then pass the expense on to you, the consumer) and bulkier (meaning some smaller effects would have to
  3. The noted British amp maker offers three pedals that combine tube and digital technology to produce reverb, delay, and modulation HT-Reverb - $375.99 MSRP, $299.99 Street HT-Delay - $375.99 MSRP, $299.99 Street HT-Modulation - $375.99 MSRP, $299.99 Street http://www.blackstaramps.co.uk/ by Jon Chappell The trio of Blackstar's HT effects pedals; the HT-Reverb, HT-Delay, and HT-Modulation. (Click images to enlarge.) Blackstar is a British manufacturer that specializes in high-quality tube amps, and has carved out a niche for itself serving gain-cranking guitarists of many g
  4. A straightforward singlecut solidbody built for comfort, quality, and tone, but which doesn’t forsake aesthetics, either By Jon Chappell MSRP: $4,138.00; Street: $2,466 prsguitars.com/stripped58 To me, when someone uses the word “stripped” to mean or “pared down to the bone,” it conjures visions of naked-wood furniture with its finish chemically removed, or perhaps a car up on cinderblocks and forcibly deprived of its wheels, stereo system, and hood ornament. “Stripped” ain’t pretty. But apparently PRS Guitars and I have different definitions of the word, because their “Stripped” 58,
  5. Using a Volume Pedal for that Violin Technique — without the Fancy Footwork by Jon Chappell Many guitarists, from Eddie Van Halen to Adrian Belew, are masters at dipping and raising their volume pot as the play lead lines, which buries, or masks, the notes’ attack, resulting in a violin-like articulation. In this technique, the lowered-and-raised volume control allows only the sustained portion of the struck note to come through, along with a slight swell. Stratocasters are especially good for this effect, because the volume knob is so close to the treble side of the bridge, where
  6. For video recording, use a handheld audio recorder whenever possible by Jon Chappell When recording video involving anything to do with music—whether recording a concert from row ZZZ, or capturing your buddy’s acoustic fingerpicking patterns at close range—always use a handheld recorder, and don’t use the camcorder’s onboard mic for anything except synching the tracks later. Even the most basic video-editing programs—iMovie for the Mac and Windows Movie Maker for Windows—allow you to fly in added or alternate soundtrack. If you import your handheld’s audio into the your movie pro
  7. Two solutions—one wet, one dry—for when you have to supply your own juice In the summer months, musicians can find themselves outside as easily as inside. Most clients who hire musicians for a picnic, wedding, or other event realize they have to supply AC power for the band’s equipment (P.A., amps, lighting, etc.). But sometimes the client can’t, and, not being experts in such matters, they will often turn to the musician for answers. So it helps to know how to bring your AC with you, when necessary. Basically, there are two solutions: 1) a portable gas generator; and 2) a 12V
  8. When acquiring a supplemental battery for your iPhone/iPad/iPod, be aware of the different types by Jon Chappell One advantage Android mobile phones has over Apple’s mobile devices (including Apple’s popular non-phone/WiFi-enabled iPod touch) is that Android models allow what’s called “user serviceable” batteries. This is not only more environmentally conscious (you don’t replace the unit just because the battery gives out), it has a practical side, too: you can pop in a spare battery when the onboard one goes kaput. These are no bulkier than a pack of sugarless gum, and so are easy to
  9. Use your digital delay to produce many more effects than just echo—including flanging, chorus, doubling, and reverb By Jon Chappell The Deja Vu, by Seymour Duncan, is an example of a delay pedal that includes modulation control, and can therefore be pressed into service providing effects like flanger and chorus, in addition to conventional delay-based effects. (Click images to enlarge.) The two most important effects in a guitarist’s signal chain are distortion and delay. And if you derive your tone strictly from the amp—whether it’s squeaky clean or buzzsaw nasty—then the digita
  10. The latest in Korg’s miniature multi-effects makes all the right moves by delivering both better sound quality and a smaller footprint $225.00 MSRP, $99.99 Street www.korg.com/pandoramini By Jon Chappell The latest in Korg’s miniature multieffects for guitar and bass makes all the right moves by delivering both better sound quality and a smaller footprint. At just over 3-3/8” wide and 2-1/8” inches high, the Korg Pandora Mini’s silhouette is almost exactly that of a credit card, about as thick as a tin of Altoids, and is available in either black or white. It is impressively m
  11. A DAW offers two different ways to apply effects momentarily: plug-in automation and track-adding by Jon Chappell The great thing about working with a DAW is that there is often more than one way to get a desired result. Take the example of “spot processing,” which is applying an effect or modification to a single sound, or “sound incident” within a track, rather than to the whole track itself. This comes up all the time in sound design and scoring work, but it can provide a nice point of punctuation in a purely musical context as well. And you can accomplish the task in two principal w
  12. A Versatile and Compact High-Speed MIDI Interface for Mobile Devices and Computers $199.99 MSRP; $179.99 street by Jon Chappell www.iconnectivity.com More and more music production is being performed on Apple mobile devices. But because the iPad, iPod touch, and iPhone don’t come with a USB port, or any other direct accommodation for standard music gear, a cottage industry for specialized peripherals and interfaces has flourished. Many audio interfaces have already surfaced, but the field for MIDI devices has been relatively unpopulated. Until now, that is. Enter iConnectivity’s iConnec
  13. Blue Book of Electric Guitars - $39.95 MSRP, $35.96 street Blue Book of Acoustic Guitars - $29.95 MSRP, $25.45 street By Zachary R. Fjestad The bible for the used electric and acoustic guitar aficionado—in two volumes and now in their 13th editions Bluebook Publications, Inc. www.bluebookinc.com by Jon Chappell Blue Book Publications has made a name for themselves by publishing comprehensive and respected guides for used guitars, both acoustic and electric. Now in its 13th edition, the Blue Book of Electric Guitars weighs in at a whopping 1,300+ pages. Its unplugged counterpart, Blue Bo
  14. Modeling power combined with classic Vox tone $900.00 MSRP, $549.99 street http://www.voxamps.com By Jon Chappell The Vox VT120+ is a 2x12 combo sporting Valve Reactor technology and a complete effects section. (Click images to englarge.) Vox Amplification has always done a great job of melding their classic design, appeal and core sound with modern features of the day, including modeling technology and digital effects. In their latest line-up, the Valvetronix VT+ series, Vox serves up the best of both worlds: modeling versatility backed by a 100-percent analog power-amp stage
  15. DSP tuning not only lets you play in tune, it provides you with alternate tunings by Jon Chappell The Antares Auto-Tune circuitry (inset photo) fits on a board no larger than a business card and comes installed on the new Peavey AT-200. Antares is the leader in the technology referred to as auto-tuning, also known as pitch-correction, and famously abused in T-Pain and Cher songs, but which is an indispensable production tool when used sparingly, to correct the intonation of a slightly out-of-tune note in an otherwise perfect take. Recently, Antares introduced Auto-Tune for Guitar
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