l2pnet.com http://www.l2pnet.com l2pnet.com Mon, 15 Aug 2016 21:35:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Over 500 new progressive, modern and technical metal grooves http://www.l2pnet.com/500-new-progressive-modern-technical-metal-grooves/ http://www.l2pnet.com/500-new-progressive-modern-technical-metal-grooves/#respond Mon, 15 Aug 2016 21:34:02 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2592 Submitted by FXpansion Audio software developer FXpansion and drummer Dan Foord (Sikth, Krokodil) have announced the availability of Dan Foord Polyrhythmic Metal, a BFD3 Groove Pack loaded with progressive, modern and technical metal grooves. Dan Foord Polyrhythmic Metal contains more than enough grooves and fills for any songwriter to quickly create fully authentic metal drum […]

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Submitted by FXpansion

Audio software developer FXpansion and drummer Dan Foord (Sikth, Krokodil) have announced the availability of Dan Foord Polyrhythmic Metal, a BFD3 Groove Pack loaded with progressive, modern and technical metal grooves. Dan Foord Polyrhythmic Metal contains more than enough grooves and fills for any songwriter to quickly create fully authentic metal drum tracks.

With over 500 grooves in total, each of the included 26 palettes contains related grooves and fills to help you construct drum tracks quickly and efficiently. Each groove features techniques Dan regularly uses, including:

● Beat displacement and modulation
● Related tempo and time signatures
● Varied orchestration
● Ghost note grooves
● Paradiddle and linear fills
● Single stroke rolls

“I wanted to create a BFD Groove Pack that would be instantly identifiable as modern tech metal.” Says Foord, who has been at the forefront of progressive metal drumming for more than a decade. “Polyrhythms in particular form the basis of this style and 3 over 4 most of all. I can honestly say you won’t find a more comprehensive set of 3 over 4 polyrhythmic grooves and fills anywhere.”

BFD3 is the third generation of FXpansion’s flagship software acoustic drum studio delivers new levels of detail and realism with stunning new kits, mix-ready presets and modeling technology for tom resonance and cymbal swells. The revamped interface has a new mixer and sound browser for the easiest BFD experience yet.

Dan Foord Polyrhythmic Metal is available to purchase and download directly from FXpansion for USD $39.00 here:
https://www.fxpansion.com/products/bfdx/bfdgroovepacks/dan-foord-polyrhythmic-metal

Note that Dan Foord Polyrhythmic Metal requires a registered copy of BFD3 which is available to purchase as a download or boxed USB version from FXpansion for USD $349.00 here: https://www.fxpansion.com/products/bfd3/

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Mitchell Debuts Line of Premium Electric Guitars and Basses http://www.l2pnet.com/mitchell-debuts-line-premium-electric-guitars-basses/ http://www.l2pnet.com/mitchell-debuts-line-premium-electric-guitars-basses/#respond Mon, 15 Aug 2016 20:16:24 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2587 These instruments introduce fresh designs, inspired by classic styles, for every type of player. Available in a variety of colors & finishes. The new Mitchell TD Series guitars offer a modern take on familiar double-cutaway electrics guitars and are a great choice for blues and rock traditionalists, while the MS Series feature a beautiful single-cutaway […]

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These instruments introduce fresh designs, inspired by classic styles, for every type of player. Available in a variety of colors & finishes.

The new Mitchell TD Series guitars offer a modern take on familiar double-cutaway electrics guitars and are a great choice for blues and rock traditionalists, while the MS Series feature a beautiful single-cutaway design, with a slim-tapered, set neck profile for rock, metal, blues, and jazz aficionados. For hard rock and jazz virtuosos, the HD Series guitars offer an offset double cutaway, floating tremolo, bolt-on neck, and an HSH pickup configuration. The Mitchell MD series features three 3 different lines, created for the modern rocker who seeks a contemporary look and aggressive sound. Choose from the flagship MD400 (set neck/carved top), the MD300 (bolt-on neck/carve top) and the MD200 (bolt-on, flat-top) series. There are also short-scale models, ideal for younger players or for use as travel guitars, called the MM Series.

The new Mitchell line also features three separate bass series, including the flagship FB Series, the more traditional TB line and the MB Series. Offering different finishes, pickup configurations and variety of price points, the Mitchell electric basses are truly premium instruments that will appeal to a variety of players.

The new Mitchell Electric Guitar line is ready to turn heads and deliver on the promise of exceptional construction, outstanding components and unsurpassed playability.

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News: She Rocks Awards Opening Act Contest http://www.l2pnet.com/news-rocks-awards-opening-act-contest/ http://www.l2pnet.com/news-rocks-awards-opening-act-contest/#respond Mon, 15 Aug 2016 19:39:22 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2583 The Women’s International Music Network (the WiMN), in partnership with #SaveAGuitar has announced the #SaveAGuitar and She Rocks Awards contest. The contest will award one winner the opening spot performing at the 5th annual She Rocks Awards on Friday, January 20, 2017, at the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, CA. The winner will also receive […]

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The Women’s International Music Network (the WiMN), in partnership with #SaveAGuitar has announced the #SaveAGuitar and She Rocks Awards contest. The contest will award one winner the opening spot performing at the 5th annual She Rocks Awards on Friday, January 20, 2017, at the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, CA.

The winner will also receive a Breedlove Pursuit Concert acoustic-electric guitar and feature profiles on the WiMN website and the #SaveAGuitar site. Also included in the prize pack is a pair of tickets to the awards, as well as a badge to attend the NAMM show. Ten lucky runners-up will receive a feature on the #SaveAGuitar site and socials, a feature on the WiMN socials, plus a Breedlove T-shirt.

Contestants can enter by submitting their bio, along with links to their favorite performance and social media links, plus a short narrative sharing why playing guitar is important to them and why they love the guitar before the September 30, 2016 deadline. Winners will be selected from among all eligible entries, and announced before November 1, 2016. For complete contest rules and to enter, visit www.thewimn.com/saveaguitar-contest/.

The WiMN Founder, Laura B. Whitmore, comments, “In addition to recognizing accomplished musicians, we’re also always on the lookout for bright, emerging talents, and so we’re thrilled to partner with #SaveAGuitar to offer this exciting opportunity for a deserving new musician to perform for their peers at the 5th annual She Rocks Awards.”

The She Rocks Awards pays tribute to women who display leadership and stand out within the music industry, and has become a standard at the NAMM Show. Previous award recipients include female industry leaders such as Jennifer Batten, Karmin, Colbie Caillat, Sheila E, The Bangles, Orianthi, Dinah Gretsch, Craigie Zildjian, Janie L. Hendrix, Amani Duncan, Mary Peavey, and more. The event brings together industry professionals, music icons, artists, fans and media to celebrate women in music.

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On Tour: Phil Rudd http://www.l2pnet.com/tour-phil-rudd/ http://www.l2pnet.com/tour-phil-rudd/#respond Mon, 15 Aug 2016 19:32:57 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2579 Described by Malcolm Young, co-founder of AC/DC, as “the real deal”, PHIL RUDD the band’s long term drummer, played in several Melbourne bands such as Buster Brown and The Coloured Balls before joining up with the rock giants in 1975. Rudd powered the band to superstardom with his dogged consistency and unshakeable backbeat on classics […]

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Described by Malcolm Young, co-founder of AC/DC, as “the real deal”, PHIL RUDD the band’s long term drummer, played in several Melbourne bands such as Buster Brown and The Coloured Balls before joining up with the rock giants in 1975.

Rudd powered the band to superstardom with his dogged consistency and unshakeable backbeat on classics like ‘It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Want To Rock ’N’ Roll)’ ‘TNT” and ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’, becoming an indelible part of AC/DC history.

To the untrained ear, Phil Rudd’s drumming may seem rudimentary, but his style and groove have earned him the adoration of generations of his peers. Rammstein’s Christoph Schneider said in the October 2010’s Modern Drummer, “AC/DC were my absolute heroes because they are simple and easy to copy, though soon you find they are not so easy to copy.” The magazine’s May 2010 issue also honoured the rocker with the feature ’50 Reasons To Love Phil Rudd’.

Rudd has appeared on all but three of AC/DC’s 18 studio albums, which have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide. When the blockbusting album ‘Highway to Hell’ went multi-platinum worldwide, Rudd said he ‘‘went straight down the road to buy my first Ferrari’’ sparking a lifelong love of luxury cars. Rudd showcased eleven of his luxury cars in Christchurch, New Zealand as part of an earthquake appeal fundraiser, his current collection includes a rare 1991 Ferrari F40, a brand new Ferrari 599, two Lamborghinis, a 2010 Rolls Royce Ghost, 2011 Bentley Mulsanne and Bentley super sport, Audi R8 V10, a 2011 Aston Martin DBS and 2010 Mercedes SLS AMG. The cars have a combined worth of approximately $3m. Rudd’s airport hangar is also home to his MD 520N helicopter.

With the lavish rock star lifestyle firmly in place, Phil Rudd recorded and released his first debut album ‘Head Job’ with Kiwi musicians Allan Badger and Geoffrey Martin in 2014. The album was released via Universal Music Group in Australia & New Zealand but further promotional plans were scuppered by well publicised legal problems in New Zealand.

Rudd served an eight month home detention sentence which thwarted the 2014 release of ‘Head Job’ but 2016 sees him determined to leave his problems in the past. He has embraced a more positive lifestyle and says his “hell raising days are over… I see a psychiatrist once a week and I’m closer than ever to my children. I still have all my flash cars but now I want to grow chillies”.

Phil Rudd has turned a corner, completely dedicating his life to the most important things in his life; family, friends and music. He will be visiting the UK and Europe at the end of September to promote the re-release of ‘Head Job’ and will be available for press, radio and television interviews.

Also see – http://m.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11638962

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Planet Guitar: Doing the Charity Thing http://www.l2pnet.com/doing-the-charity-thing/ http://www.l2pnet.com/doing-the-charity-thing/#respond Sat, 13 Aug 2016 00:35:42 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2574 BY RONNY NORTH Every year I try to do as many charity events as I reasonably can in my schedule. I firmly believe that it’s a great thing to be able to help great causes with your music if you can. Some of the charities I have been playing for I’ve been doing for more […]

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BY RONNY NORTH

Every year I try to do as many charity events as I reasonably can in my schedule. I firmly believe that it’s a great thing to be able to help great causes with your music if you can.

Some of the charities I have been playing for I’ve been doing for more than a decade. Some of my big charity events every year are the Special Olympics (I’ve done their event for the last 15 years) and various events for the US vets and troops. I have done events that are very lavish with many big stars on hand and the more common bare-bones affairs. Each has their pluses and minuses but both are equally important.

When doing charity events, there are a few things I have found over the years to consider. Let’s go over a few,

 

Rule #1 

Be Genuine

I will only perform at events for causes I truly believe in and understand. This is a big one and it ties directly into the next two rules.

One of the ways in which charity gigs are not that different from any other kind is that word gets around. In the “real”, non-charity world, people talk. Bookers and agents and talent buyers know each other and if you are doing gigs and doing well—which means bringing in people and making money for the people booking you—then it is not unusual to get the attention of a booker or buyer for another venue or festival. (That’s less true now than it was in the past. Today there are so many more bands and artists than there are good gigs that some agents etc just stick with the people/artists/bands they already have a relationship with and breaking through can be difficult, but it still happens.)

The charity world is like that but a little different. It’s more like when you do one charity event, word gets out to organizers of other events for other causes that you are someone who may be open to donating your time. Ask pretty much anyone who has ever done a charity gig and they will likely tell you that in the days/weeks/months after, they got calls from organizers of events for other charities noting they saw you at Charity A’s event and would you consider doing a show for Charity B.

Like most people who do regular charity gigs, I get quite a few more requests than I can accommodate. So I only do events for groups whose cause I know and understand and am trying to support. I do the Special Olympics events and the vet/troops events because those are causes I really believe in. More on this in Rule #3.

 

Rule #2

Be Smart

I also look into the organization if its someone I haven’t performed for before. Over the years there have only been a couple of times when I have had, let’s say, some “shady” dealings with certain charities and when I caught wind of the improprieties, I immediately terminated my relationship them.

There are many worthwhile causes these days. But, falling under the general heading of Sometimes People Just Suck, there is no shortage of “charities” that are either flat out phony or that exist more to pay salaries to the people who run the charity than to actually fund any cause.

As a general rule, no more than 35% of a charity’s revenue should go to administrative and fundraising costs. Those are exactly what they sound like. Administrative can include everything from salaries to renting office space and fundraising costs refer to how much the charity spends to bring in a dollar in new donations.

There has been a concerted effort in the past few years on the part of many charities to get out from under that 35% general rule and if you look online for what is an acceptable level of expense you’ll see whole sites dedicated to what they call the “Overhead Myth.”

Regardless, if the charity is a non-profit, they have to publish that info and you have every right to ask how much of each dollar they collect goes into programs and services for whoever—or whatever—the charity is supposed to be raising money for.

Or, if you are not comfortable asking that question, the info—like everything, pretty much—is online. Check out CharityNavigator.org where you can enter the name of the charity and get a score and a rating based on how the charity spends money and how open and accountable they are.

Bottom line. For better or worse, when you do charity gigs, YOU are associated with that charity and if it comes out later that they were ripping people off or only spending 10 cents of every dollar collected on programs while the other 90 cents were spent on lavish fundraising events and salaries, then it can reflect poorly on you, too. Do your homework on the charities you work with.

 

Rule #3

Be There For the Right Reason

What I have also found out as a happy accident is that charity events can be great networking opportunities and I have met many great people in the industry playing for charities.

But… And this is important. If you are doing the event because  you see it as a marketing opportunity and you don’t really have a connection or belief in what the charity is about, that is going to come through in 1000 tiny ways.

I mentioned earlier that I had done huge events with bunches of big stars there. And I can tell you for sure that charities putting on events like that don’t have a big problem booking acts for the big events. But if you are only “available” for the big ones and are not willing to spend a Sunday morning in a hot parking lot somewhere playing for a few dozen people because that event is part of what makes the big event possible… Well, let’s just say that the people involved in good charities are not dumb. And if you are only there because you think there is something in it for you in terms of other gigs or career advancement, they are gonna know. And you may find yourself getting nothing out of it while the artist who did those Sunday mornings get the attention and opportunities going forward.

If you are Kim and Kanye, you can get away with it because the charity is looking to your fame to bring more people in and by extension raise more money, But for the rest of the world, it just makes you look like a dick.

The bottom line is if you do charity gigs for the right reasons and you really believe in making a difference they are definitely worth your time.  They are also a great way to make a positive deposit in the Bank of Karma.

But this is why I really do charity gigs: I can’t even explain how gratifying it is to perform at these events when you meet the people after you get off stage and you see how much it means to them and that it gets their mind off whatever their issues are for a little while, Best of all, you’re helping a great cause with your music. It doesn’t get much better than that.

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Gear Review: Tech 21 RK5 FlyRig http://www.l2pnet.com/gear-review-tech-21-rk5-flyrig/ http://www.l2pnet.com/gear-review-tech-21-rk5-flyrig/#respond Fri, 15 Jul 2016 21:56:53 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2565 By Rev. Bill I had a size problem. It was too damn big. In November of last year I did the longest run of gigs I have ever done at one venue. We did 19 nights in a span of 25 days at the Aquarius in Laughlin, NV. And I had a epiphany about gear. […]

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By Rev. Bill

I had a size problem. It was too damn big.

In November of last year I did the longest run of gigs I have ever done at one venue. We did 19 nights in a span of 25 days at the Aquarius in Laughlin, NV. And I had a epiphany about gear. Well, to be more accurate about broken gear.

The run was five-days-on, two-days-off for four weeks and in the middle of the 2nd run, I had two guitars—out the three I was carrying—go down. Weird coincidence, but both my 335 and my Black Falcon had one of the wires that feed the output jack come loose. If you have ever tried working on semi-hollow or hollow-body electric guitars, you know they are not easy. All the work has to happen through the F-holes. I made a trip to the local Wal-Mart and bought some fishing line and paper clips for fishing wires out of the body and tying the parts off and grabbed the soldering iron out of the toolbox that I carry on every gig and sat in my room trying to fix ‘em. I succeeded with one and got through the week then headed back to Vegas and my guitar savior Neil Smith who fixed them properly.

But in the days off that week, I thought a lot about gear and gigs and being in a town where the nearest music store was 100 miles away. That is actually a fairly typical situation for us when we play out of town. “Away” gigs for us mean Laughlin and Mesquite. One is 100 miles south of Vegas and the other 100 miles north and neither have a music store.

The guitar situation was a drag but I carry three so I got through it. But I only carry one amp. And it is a 35-year-old-ish Mesa Boogie Mark III. A tube amp. Notoriously finicky. It sounds great but if it went down in mid-run, I was screwed. I needed some kind of backup.

I initially turned to a Line 6 POD HD400. A great piece of gear. I have used most of the same FX modeling that is in the HD400 for a while but I used it in the form of the M9 multi-FX unit from Line 6. But the HD400 added amp modeling and and onboard wha and direct XLR outs that could feed a PA. I tore apart the pedal board i had used for the past couple of years and put the HD400 and my Boogie channel switches and my talk box right on the floor of the stage and finished out the run like that.

It worked OK. I am used to the M9 with six switches for accessing specific effects and the HD400 is set up very differently with three FX slots and each of those fairly limited in what kind of FX they can produce. Ironically, I don’t use a ton of FX. An overdrive, a compressor, a tremolo , a phase shifter and a delay. Pretty meat and potatoes. But getting the combos I wanted on the HD400 was a bitch. The slots are basically setup as drive FX in slot 1, modulation FX in slot 2 and time FX in slot 3. All of that meant I had to set up four different banks to make the combos I wanted and I was still not able to get back to what I was used to.

So when time came to put together a new pedal board I changed my thinking. The HD400 was my backup. I needed it for amp modeling in case my tube amp went tits-up on a gig.So, I grabbed the M9 again and put it all on one board.

And it was enormous.

The Old Pedalboard From Hell. It barely fits into the photo frame.

The Old Pedalboard From Hell. It barely fits into the photo frame.

On the Line 6 tip, the HD400, the M9, a Relay G70 wireless and the non-Line 6, two channel switches, a Heil talk box with a little amp to drive it and an Aphex Xciter. It was more than 44 inches wide and weighed more than 50 lbs. I had no case so I built a frame inside of a giant duffel bag and put wheels on it. It took up so much space in my smallish car (a Chevy HHR)—in which I somehow manage to pack a full PA and my guitar gear—that I found myself in my driveway at 4AM pushing and shoving gear trying to make it all fit before leaving for another out of town run. And it took up a huge amount of stage space.By the time I had done a single run of gigs with it, I knew i had to make a change.

I have known about Tech 21 for a very long time. I first met the team at their HQ in Manhattan back in the ‘90s when I was doing GIG Magazine. Yes, they proudly and somewhat unbelievably manufactured their products in a building in NYC for a very long time. Up until 2002, when they expanded and moved 14 miles west to Clifton, NJ.

But I had never really used any of it. We did a lot of Tech 21 reviews over the years but I always assigned them to someone else. Up until less than a decade ago, I was a modeling amp guy—largely because I play the kinds of gigs where volume is a huge big deal and I need big tone at low volume. When the newer digital modeling offerings stopped offering models of the Mark Series Mesa Boogie combos—my preferred amp models—I tried to make due but could never get the tone I wanted and finally did what I had wanted to do since the ‘80s and bought a couple of Boogies. It was around 2008 and the financial meltdown and I was still making really good money as the editor of FOH Magazine and I checked Craigslist several times a day. I scored on some good gear deals.

About the time I was freaking out over the size of my Monster Pedalboard From Hell, the band went into the studio to record tracks for a new video promo. About eight 30-second song “sound bites.” Per the instructions of the agent who asked for this, no solos. Emphasis on vocals and the horn section. I was playing rhythm guitar and most of it clean so in the interest of simplicity, we ran the guitar direct. There was no way there was room for that board, so I used the rack-mount Tech 21 SansAmp that was in the studio. And I really liked it.

So I emailed the Tech 21 folks who, not being millennials, actually read and answer email. And I explained my situation and asked if they had a solution. I needed something that provided some kind of amp emulation (Tech 21 is NOT modeling but more on that in a bit…) that wasn’t huge but that had at least a good clean rhythm and high-gain lead sound. And they responded quickly saying that what I needed was the Richie Kotzen RK5 Signature Fly Rig. So I asked them to send one for a review and if I liked it I would sell the HD400 and buy it. (I shipped the HD400 to its new owner about a week ago…)

When it arrived I had no idea what the box was. I thought it looked like business cards but I knew I had not ordered new cards in months. I was astounded to open the box and see this little tiny pedal board. I fired it up and was pretty happy but was using it to drive a real amp (an early ‘60s Fender Princeton that I bought at a garage sale 30 years ago and that is in my office). The test would come at the next rehearsal where I planned to run it right into the PA.

WHAT IT IS

On the surface it’s like a three-slot mini pedal board. But there is hidden stuff.

Starting in the middle, there is the famous Tech 21 amp emulation. It can be overdriven but it is voiced for a clean sound. To the left is a very good delay section with a hidden setting that will give you a decent chorus-like sound and to the right is a section titled OMG. This is where the RK really comes in. It stands for Ritchie Kotzen—a hotshot guitar player best known for replacing C.C. DeVille in Poison and Paul Gilbert in Mr. Big and for the band The Winery Dogs with Mike Portnoy and Billy Sheehan. It stands officially as maybe the favorite distortion unit I have ever used. Ever. On it’s own, it’s pretty good. But in conjunction with the dirty rhythm channel on the Mark III it is magic. Getting the rhythm chunk of a 4×12 out of a combo amp is supposed to be impossible. But it just kind of magically happens when the OMG circuit is engaged. It has literally changed the way I play. I am substantially more aggressive when using it.

The RK5 is all-metal and powered by a standard wall-wart style power supply. Oh and I nearly forgot. There is a clean boost available in the OMG section, too.

The rubber really hit the road at the next full band rehearsal. I brought a guitar and the RK5 and two cables and nothing else. The output ran into the rehearsal PA. As mentioned earlier, the Tech 21 stuff is an all-analog emulation of a guitar amp. It is NOT digital modeling. And, I know I’m late to the party, but at this point I am liking it better. There are no weird artifacts and it just sounds chunky and REAL. I dialed in a sound that was pretty close to clean with the guitar volume dialed back and that broke up just a little when the guitar was maxed. The studio where we rehearse has a large selection of good guitar amps including Fenders and Marshalls. And I promise that not using them was not missed at all. It was nothing short of a revelation to be able to carry something so small and get through an entire night.

So, here is where we stand…

I wanted something to use as an emergency backup. What I got was a piece that has become an important part of my rig even when I am using an amp, The RK5 can do double duty and allow me to go direct if my rig bites the dust or if volume concerns demand a direct input. Plus, my board is WAY smaller now. The RK5 has made me more than a bit happier. It’s a keeper.

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The 2016 IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) kicks off. http://www.l2pnet.com/2016-iama-international-acoustic-music-awards-kicks-off/ http://www.l2pnet.com/2016-iama-international-acoustic-music-awards-kicks-off/#respond Thu, 14 Jul 2016 15:15:18 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2562 Established in 2004, IAMA promotes excellence in Acoustic Music performance and artistry. It is geared towards today’s best up-and-coming music acts. Acoustic artists in various genres can gain exciting radio and web exposure through this competition. Win a Top Prize of US$11,000 worth of Prizes. Past years’ winners include: Meghan Trainor, Jack Newsome (pictured), Carl […]

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Established in 2004, IAMA promotes excellence in Acoustic Music performance and artistry. It is geared towards today’s best up-and-coming music acts. Acoustic artists in various genres can gain exciting radio and web exposure through this competition. Win a Top Prize of US$11,000 worth of Prizes.

Past years’ winners include: Meghan Trainor, Jack Newsome (pictured), Carl Wockner, Kelley James, AJ Croce, Maddy Rodriguez(Canada), David Francey (Canada), Liz Longley, Charlie Dore (Hit Singer-Songwriter from UK), The Refugees (USA), Fertitta & McClintock, Kate Lush (Australia), Wayne Southards (USA), Larry Pattis (USA), Omega (Uganda), El McMeen, etc. Last year’s winner went to Jack Newsome (see pictured) who won the overall grand prize.

“I am absolutely floored to have won this award, it’s such an honor. As a Meghan Trainor fan it’s pretty surreal to me that we’re both been honored in the same competition” said an elated Jack Newsome, a Berklee College of Music student, who won the top award at IAMA this year.

“I am very excited and surprised to win”, said Meghan Trainor, 6th Annual IAMA Best Female Artist Winner, who stunned the music industry by hitting #1 with a debut single and album on the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200 Album charts respectively last year. Her debut single “All About That Bass” became a mega hit and Meghan has become an international household name, her hit single sold over 12 million copies in the first 6 months. She also won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

Judging is based on excellence in music performance, songwriting/composition/song choice, music production and originality/artistry. You can enter in a number of categories such as: Best Male Artist, Best Female Artist, Best Group, Folk, Alternative, AOG (Open Category), etc. Entrants come from all over the world: Australia, Canada, Japan, Brazil, Germany, USA, South Africa, etc.

Win prizes in 8 different categories: Best Male Artist, Best Female Artist, Best Group/Duo, Folk/Americana/Roots, AAA/Alternative, Instrumental, Open and Country/Bluegrass. There will also be an Overall Grand Prize winner awarded to the top winner worth over US$11,000, which includes radio promotion to over 250 radio stations in US and Canada. Winning songs will be heard on radio! Winners and runner-ups will be featured on our CD compilation. Also, we feature up to 10 different artists get featured and promoted on IAMA website every month, which provides a review, ratings, CD information and more.

Winners and finalists of the Awards will be featured in the IAMA website and e-newsletters, read by music press, talent buyers, promoters and other industry insiders. All songs submitted must be submitted must be original and submitted online or via CD, the artist may also perform original material not yet released and written by other songwriters or composers. Cover songs are permitted. Deadline to enter is November 10th.

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You can sound Good or you can sound Unique http://www.l2pnet.com/can-sound-good-can-sound-unique/ http://www.l2pnet.com/can-sound-good-can-sound-unique/#respond Thu, 07 Jul 2016 07:41:50 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2557 Over the past 6 months, I have really gotten into listening to podcasts on my commute. It’s probably no surprise that my preferred podcasts are gear-centric.  I have found that there’s no better way to start or end my day than to listen to a couple of guys talk about guitars, music, and recording. Recently, […]

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Over the past 6 months, I have really gotten into listening to podcasts on my commute. It’s probably no surprise that my preferred podcasts are gear-centric.  I have found that there’s no better way to start or end my day than to listen to a couple of guys talk about guitars, music, and recording.

Recently, I can across a newer guitar podcast called Guitar Knobs. As with any podcast, I gave them my 3 episode rule. If you haven’t caught my interest in 3 episodes, I’m done. While I’ve enjoyed all of the episodes I’ve listened to so far, episodes 3 & 4 are particularly good. These episodes are essentially a Q&A session with Mastering Engineer, Chris Graham.

While both episodes are definitely worth your time, especially if your primary venue for recording is your basement, near the end of Part II, Chris made a rather profound statement: “There’s two things you can do when you’re recording. You can sound good or you can sound unique. And very often, unique is better.” Over the next several minutes he elaborates on this statement and offers several classic examples. He discusses everything from the guitar tone on the Beatles’ Revolution (which by all accounts, isn’t a great tone) to Thom Yorke’s continual quest to sound weird.

While driving I thought of several other examples: Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon is amazing… and it’s totally bizarre.  Then there’s  U2’s Joshua Tree. It came out when hair metal was at its peak.  But, did the Edge go after soaring, finger-tapping-excessive solos? No, instead he used delay in ways no one else had even imagined. A few years later, Nirvana hit the scene and shifted mainstream music from the previously mentioned soaring solos to three chord, heavily distorted grunge. Near the end of that decade, Jack White showed up and launched an entire genre of lo-fi gritty rock. What’s next?

Now the point of today’s article isn’t to list all of the albums or artists that “changed everything”.  Instead, I want to focus on how this concept can be applied to home recording. We live in a world where many musicians obsess over boutique pedals, amps, mics, mic-pres, and so on, all in search of the “perfect tone”. But what is the perfect tone? Honestly, I think it’s different for everyone. What sounds good to you may not sound good to me (especially if you’re using metal distortion).

Moving forward, let’s say for a moment that you do nail your perfect tone. What’s the probability that your home recording rig is going to capture it the way it sounds live?

What if, instead of searching for that perfect tone on your next mix, you decided to go for a unique tone? Instead of trying sound like David Gilmour’s Comfortably Numb Solo, you decided to find a tone that is unique to you. How would the final product come out?
The answer is, I don’t know, but I can’t wait to try it out.  I’ve got a hunch that when I try to stop sounding like everyone else and start doing my own thing, my home recordings might actually turn into something special. I may not produce the next Sgt. Pepper’s in my basement, but I might actually create a recording of one of my songs that I can be truly proud of.

What do you think? We’d love to hear your feedback and your unique recordings.

Until next time,

-”GuitarGuy” Tim

You can find the Guitar Knobs Podcast here or on Google Play (which is hands down the best music/podcast service that you should be using).

You can learn more about Chris Graham’s Mastering here.

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Waves Infected Mushroom Pusher Plugin http://www.l2pnet.com/waves-infected-mushroom-pusher-plugin/ http://www.l2pnet.com/waves-infected-mushroom-pusher-plugin/#respond Wed, 06 Jul 2016 18:10:46 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2550 Waves Audio is now shipping the Waves Infected Mushroom Pusher plugin, created in collaboration with leading electronic music duo Infected Mushroom. Twice ranked among the world’s “10 Best DJs” by DJ Mag, Infected Mushroom are renowned for being the sonic innovators behind psychedelic trance, a subgenre of electronic music known for their hypnotic arrangements, complex […]

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Waves Audio is now shipping the Waves Infected Mushroom Pusher plugin, created in collaboration with leading electronic music duo Infected Mushroom.

Twice ranked among the world’s “10 Best DJs” by DJ Mag, Infected Mushroom are renowned for being the sonic innovators behind psychedelic trance, a subgenre of electronic music known for their hypnotic arrangements, complex layered melodies and synthetic rhythms. They have collaborated with the likes of Lady Gaga, Zedd and rock legends The Doors.

The Waves Infected Mushroom Pusher plugin is an innovative all-in-one multiband sonic enhancer and limiter/clipper that delivers Infected Mushroom’s “secret mixing sauce.” Bringing together high-end processing and Infected Mushroom’s decades of mixing experience, it gives users enormous possibilities for boosting frequencies, enhancing sounds and mastering full tracks for any genre or style. Whether preparing music for a release or to play out in clubs, users can employ Pusher to add grit to drums, add brightness to instruments or push the whole mix to the max – all in a matter of seconds. Pusher is also low-latency, so users can freely implement it in the studio or live on stage.

Pusher can be used on individual sounds, on busses/groups, or for mastering, using six easy-to-use controls:

Low – Enhance low frequencies and choose where the processing begins based on note or frequency. Perfect for getting kicks and bass instruments to drive through the mix.
Body and High – Enhance the mid and high frequencies.

Magic – Excite and boost the dynamics of all frequencies at once. Good on drum groups or full mixes.

Stereo Image – Widen the stereo image of higher frequencies.
Push – Push your mix to the max by clipping or limiting. Perfect when mastering.

Infected Mushroom comment on the Pusher plugin: “We wanted to combine our mixing and mastering tricks that we’ve been working on for 20 years into one plugin. Pusher will make almost anything sound better in a matter of seconds.”

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Audient Introduces New iD4 Compact Audio Interface http://www.l2pnet.com/audient-introduces-new-id4-compact-audio-interface/ http://www.l2pnet.com/audient-introduces-new-id4-compact-audio-interface/#respond Wed, 06 Jul 2016 13:32:58 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2547 Audient’s iD4 is a compact bus-powered audio interface for singer songwriters and on-the-go producers. Features include one renowned Audient console mic pre, pristine AD converters, a JFET D.I, dual headphone outputs, console-style monitor control and Audient’s virtual scroll wheel technology, ‘ScrollControl’, all housed in compact, ergonomic, solid steel and aluminium casing. “iD4 puts Audient’s renowned […]

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Audient’s iD4 is a compact bus-powered audio interface for singer songwriters and on-the-go producers. Features include one renowned Audient console mic pre, pristine AD converters, a JFET D.I, dual headphone outputs, console-style monitor control and Audient’s virtual scroll wheel technology, ‘ScrollControl’, all housed in compact, ergonomic, solid steel and aluminium casing.

“iD4 puts Audient’s renowned sound into the hands of budding producers as well as singer songwriters wanting release-quality recordings from the start,” says Audient’s technical director, Tom Waterman. “Even when you only need one mic pre, you still get to use the same Class-A mic pre technology found in our flagship ASP8024 Heritage Edition mixing console, so you know you’re getting an accurate translation of your source.

“You can just plug in and play too,” adds Waterman. The harmonically rich JFET instrument input is inspired by the input stage of a classic valve amp, allowing users to plug in their guitar, bass, keyboard or drum machine and start recording instantly with great tone. “Having both a mic pre and a D.I lets you lay down ideas quickly – whenever they come to you, wherever you happen to be.”

iD4 features a Class-A/B headphone amplifier with dual outputs. “This allows you to use them in a classroom as independent teacher – student outputs, share the music with a friend or bandmate, or just use either one depending on the last time you lost your large headphone jack adapter. Let’s face it, we’ve all been there!” he adds, great news for those who want to get creative together.

Describing the quality of components as well as its all-metal construction, Waterman concludes, “It might be the smallest audio interface we’ve made, but it’s definitely built to last.”

Feature overview:
1 x Class-A Audient Console Mic Preamplifier
High Performance AD/DA Converters
iD ScrollControl Mode
1 x Discrete JFET Instrument Input
Main Speaker Output
Independent Class-AB Headphone Output (dual outputs)
Monitor Control Functionality
USB2.0 Bus Powered
24bit/96khz
All-Metal Enclosure

iD4 retails at $199 MAP.

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Epiphone’s New Masterbilt Century Collection http://www.l2pnet.com/epiphones-new-masterbilt-century-collection/ http://www.l2pnet.com/epiphones-new-masterbilt-century-collection/#respond Wed, 06 Jul 2016 13:25:23 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2544 The Masterbilt Century Collection of archtop “acoustic/electric” guitars is designed to be played and amplified as true acoustic instruments. Epiphone’s original Masterbilt archtops from the 1930s were renowned for their wide tonal range, punchy volume and warm, woody tone. Following the invention of the electric guitar pickup, most archtop acoustic guitars were transformed into “electric” […]

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The Masterbilt Century Collection of archtop “acoustic/electric” guitars is designed to be played and amplified as true acoustic instruments.

Epiphone’s original Masterbilt archtops from the 1930s were renowned for their wide tonal range, punchy volume and warm, woody tone. Following the invention of the electric guitar pickup, most archtop acoustic guitars were transformed into “electric” guitars. The new Masterbilt Century Collection brings these worlds together with the eSonic HD preamp and Shadow NanoFlex HD Under-saddle pickup, allowing guitarists to plug in any Masterbilt Century archtop acoustic/electric into an amp or PA and hear the guitar’s true acoustic tone on any size stage. The Masterbilt Century archtop also creates a totally new experience for flattop guitarists.

With a selection of different sizes and styles, the new Masterbilt Century Collection features all Solid Spruce tops with classic longitudinal bracing that will sound better with continued play. The Collection also features a recreation of the historic Epiphone headstock with “mother of pearl” banner inlay, dual action truss rod, bone nut, historic aged nickel Epiphone 18:1 tuners, Ebony or Rosewood fretboards, and the cutting edge eSonic HD (High Definition) preamp system and Shadow NanoFlex HD Under-saddle pickup for true acoustic tone when plugged in.

The De Luxe and De Luxe Classic
The Masterbilt Century De Luxe (round hole) and De Luxe Classic (f-hole) recreate the legendary Epiphone full-body archtop tone. With a 17” lower bout, the De Luxe and De Luxe Classic are loud, full, and commanding.

Zenith and Zenith Classic
The Masterbilt Zenith (round hole) and Zenith Classic (f-hole) are medium-sized 16” archtops with an arched Solid Spruce top with traditional Longitudinal Bracing and a laminated Flame Maple body. Both are ideal rhythm instruments for singers and soloists.

Olympic (pictured above)
The Masterbilt Olympic Acoustic/Electric Guitar is a smaller-sized archtop perfect for soloists and solo singers with an arched Solid Spruce top with traditional Longitudinal Bracing, a Mahogany body, and classic
f-holes.

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Beat the Buzz: How To Shield Your Bass pickups http://www.l2pnet.com/beat-buzz-shield-bass-pickups/ http://www.l2pnet.com/beat-buzz-shield-bass-pickups/#respond Fri, 01 Jul 2016 07:43:46 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2539 BY SCOTT WOODWARD Well this is an area I’m not too familiar with but–par for the course–that didn’t stop me from just diving in. Let me start from the beginning… I bought a very inexpensive Fender Squire 5 string bass. Now, this bass costs around two hundred dollars. I got it to use as a spare […]

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BY SCOTT WOODWARD

Well this is an area I’m not too familiar with but–par for the course–that didn’t stop me from just diving in. Let me start from the beginning…

I bought a very inexpensive Fender Squire 5 string bass. Now, this bass costs around two hundred dollars. I got it to use as a spare to travel with. My thinking was if anything happened to it I could get another one fairly easy.

Well, I can never leave well enough alone. I tricked it out with an aluminum bridge from Hipshot, an active pre-amp from Audere and for vanity sake I got three different color custom pick guards for it. And of course the black Dunlop strap locks.

What was I thinking? This is a two hundred dollar spare bass.

Well to me this bass plays really good, it sounds way better than when I bought it and kind of looks cool.

Now the only thing is that I get that annoying hum from single-coil pickups. I thought by adding the active preamp that it would get rid of it, oh no, it did not. A friend asked me if I had thought about shielding the pickup cavities (the holes in the bass where the pickups sit), I replied with “I don’t have the slightest idea of what you’re talking about”

He proceeded to tell me what he meant. Basically you’re covering the holes in the body of the bass where the pickups sit with copper tape, and then soldering a ground wire from the copper tape to the ground wire in your bass. Now you need to make sure this wire goes over all the seams of the tape. I did not solder any additional ground wire on this one. I’m terrible at it and would have probably messed up the bass somehow.

One thing I will say is 97% of the time it’s silent, even without the ground wire. Once in a while when I use it in older venues or casinos with a lot of neon I get a little buzz. I plan on soldering the ground wire to the copper tape but that’s for next time.
Be sure to check out my video on this whole process. Till next time…

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