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Jon Chappell

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About Jon Chappell

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  1. Creating Environmentally Unfriendly Effects By Jon Chappell Too often we think of ambience as a set-and-forget parameter. You choose an acoustical environment (large room, concert hall, etc.) for your music, blend the wet/dry ratio to get it just right, and then you don't think about it any more. But there are many situations where you can use reverb effectively as a sort of "post-note" event - one where you don't try to simulate ambience so much as give the listener an added dimension to the sound that comes after they hear the normal acoustic envelope (attack, sustain, decay/release).
  2. It’s not that hard to get started—there’s even an inexpensive, reversible guitar mod that makes it easier By Jon Chappell Ry Cooder. Daniel Lanois. Bruce Kaphan. These guitarists have all used slide guitar to create ethereal, ambient textures that have been found in film music and their own musical contemplations. Slide is a great way to expand your sonic palette and approach the guitar in new and challenging ways—and produce new and challenging music in the process. But how do you get started in slide if all you've ever really done is press strings all the way to the fingerboard with
  3. Physical Cabs and Electronic Amps Make a Sweet Combination by Jon Chappell Amp sims are sounding better and better, and the convenience of carrying around a bunch of amps and effects in a laptop is pretty compelling. Although a lot of guitar players still want to feel an amp, not just hear it, there’s an easy answer: Combine the physical and virtual versions. Fig. 1: No law says you have to use an amp sim's cabient, and most sims let you bypass it. To take the cabinet out of your amp sim, either bypass it (see Fig. 1), use a “DI” setting instead of a cabinet, or with some pr
  4. Tips for Getting Your Mic Stand to Help Out in the Studio By Jon Chappell Trying to get a clean recording in many home studios can be about as easy as losing weight on a diet of Boston cream pies. Even if your gear is in pristine condition and your signal path is as pure as an audiophile’s ear canal, you’re likely to be working in an environment full of ambient noise, poor isolation, and other acoustical distractions. One of the advantages of professional facilities is that, in addition to having floating floors, soundproof rooms, isolation booths, and acoustical treatment, they also
  5. Follow these steps to protect your wooden instruments from the low-humidity conditions that prevail during the winter months by Jon Chappell The "pain points" of a guitar that are most susceptible to changes in relative humidity. Diagram courtesy Taylor Guitars. The winter months usually spell wet misery for many of us in the northern hemisphere, except if you're indoors, where the problem is excessive dryness. That’s because our climate control systems counteract the cold mushy weather outside by cranking up the dry heat, which more often than not sucks moisture out of the air
  6. How to turn your complex floor controller into a simple bunch of stomps By Jon Chappell You don't have to choose between a multieffects and a collection of stompboxes if you configure your multi-effects to run in "stombox mode." A multieffects processor can be a great thing. It organizes all your effects into one efficient layout, without bothersome connecting cables and assorted power supplies. You can create entire programs, where the press of one button changes your entire effects selection--including the role of the expression pedal on the right. What's not to love? Well, a multi
  7. Strap-On Tools for Your Fingers Increase Picking Power By Jon Chappell As a multi-style guitarist, I face an immediate dilemma whenever I pick up the guitar: pick or fingers? That is, do I play rhythm and lead gripping my trusty heavy-gauge plastic triangle between my right-hand thumb and forefinger? Or do I approach the strings with my unadorned right-hand fingers to play classical, Travis picking, and arpeggio stuff? To guitarists who play both with fingers and a pick, it seems like having two jobs. You have to keep two totally different techniques constantly up to snuff. But havin
  8. Re-Examining a Critical Process By Jon Chappell I never really had a cohesive computer backup strategy plan until recently. I decided to get serious once a friend had a catastrophic hard disk failure (actually both of his internal disks failed irretrievably due to a lightning strike and power surge), and had to spend hundreds of dollars at a specialized facility to get only part of his valuable data back. And even with many of his documents retrieved, he still faced weeks of reconstruction work ahead of him. “We Can Rebuild It, We Have the Technology”—Sure, at a Price It was the “r
  9. Use your eyes to start mic placement, but use your ears to finish the process by Jon Chappell When listening to a source before miking it, a lot of people will stand comfortable “social” distance—say four to six feet—in front of the performer and listen carefully before putting a microphone two feet away (and often at a vertical position different from where they were standing). If you really want to find the best mic position, make sure you listen to the source from various distances, including the exact location (however intimate) you plan to place the mic. First listen with both e
  10. Edmeston, NY - June 25, 2013 - The journey from being a musician to becoming a mastering engineer began with Nate Wood making his own album and preferring the approach of recording and mixing the music himself, compared to going to a studio and trying to get someone else to make his music sound the way he was hearing it. After mixing his own album and projects for friends he found a new companion career to his live performances in mastering other people's projects. Based in New York, Wood has outfitted his studio with the Dangerous Music D-Box for monitor control, reference D/A conversion, and
  11. Major update unveiled to offer new speaker management, loudness metering and processing, plug-ins from iZotope and Voxengo plus many more features and enhancements HAMBURG, Germany — Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH today announced the release of its highly acclaimed audio editing and mastering suite, WaveLab 8, alongside the smaller derivative, WaveLab Elements 8. WaveLab 8 features a brand-new speaker management system, loudness metering and processing, single-window plug-in management, a master control panel, iZotope’s MBIT+ master dither, Voxengo’s CurveEQ, brickwall limiter and tube com
  12. June 4, 2013 For Immediate Release: Bill Kelliher the guitar player for the group Mastodon, has been a Lace endorser for some time. It is fitting that his new Signature Gibson Explorer guitar, the “Golden Axe” uses some of Bill’s favorite pickups to get his tone. Finished with Gold plated covers to match the rest of his Gibson guitar, these pickups were specially built for this run of “Golden Axe” guitars. Lace® Nitro-Hemi™ pickups were designed for rock and heavy metal players. It is a serious modern humbucker, which can be split for a single coil tones. Bold and aggressive, it w
  13. — IK Multimedia, a leader in mobile music creation apps and accessories, is proud to announce that iRig® HD, the highly anticipated guitar and bass premium digital interface for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac, is now available from electronic and music retailers worldwide. Guitar players around the globe can now plug into their iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac, and rock out with studio quality sound. The new iRig HD also comes with IK’s AmpliTube App and software for a complete “out of the box” playing experience. iRig HD is a high-quality, compact digital interface designed so that gui
  14. EHX HQ, New York, NY, May 23rd, 2013 – EHX has created a convenient, secure way to mount any of their innovative Next Step Effects pedals to a pedalboard. The new Pedalboard Cradle is custom-designed of a lightweight, durable polymer. Measuring 8.875 x 4.375 x 0.625 inches, it adheres to a pedalboard with hook and loop fastener and the pedal rocks freely and securely within the cradle. When the musician is ready to pack up their pedalboard, a security strap locks down the Next Step Effect for transport. The Electro-Harmonix line of Next Step Effects consists of the Crying Tone Wah, Express
  15. Andover, MA––In support of Nashville Audio Engineer Week, Asterope and Fishman sponsored the 4th annual Nashville Recording Workshop + Expo 2013, held recently at the Rocketown Event Center. The event included many of the industry’s most notable audio engineers and producers and introduced the attendees to Asterope’s game-changing technology. To help attendees hear the “Asterope difference,” the company created a listening environment at the event where attendees compared Asterope with competitive products in a one-on-one demonstration, using an electric guitar, acoustic guitar, or a vocal
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