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Gear Check: November 2019

Jazzed Magazine • GearcheckNovember/December 2019 • November 22, 2019

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Print & Digital

Crowdfunding for Musicians from Berklee Press

In the latest book from Berklee Press, Crowdfunding for Musicians, crowdfunding expert Laser Malena-Webber outlines how to become a successful independent artist through crowdfunding platforms. It outlines effective strategies and components of successful campaigns, including networking, press relations, reward levels, and more. Topics covered in the book include: choosing the right crowdfunding site that supports your needs; developing and mobilizing a fan base; structuring reward levels to inspire fan participation; promoting campaigns through press strategies and social media; avoiding common crowdfunding mistakes; building online infrastructure for cross-platform integration; understanding business considerations; creating music videos; and more.

Hal Leonard’s The Drummer’s Fake Book

The Drummer’s Fake Book from Hal Leonard provides a virtual mental warehouse of songs that drummers need to know. With over 250 songs, The Drummer’s Fake Book features easy-to-use drum charts with kit legends and lyric cues, making it simple for drummers to learn tons of new songs in a quick amount of time. The book also boasts songs from a large variety of genre and artists, giving players a well-rounded lineup of songs to add to their repertoire. Songs featured include: “Give It Away” (Red Hot Chili Peppers); “Jump” (Van Halen); “Rock and Roll” (Led Zeppelin); “Seven Nation Army” (The White Stripes); “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana); “Take Five” (The Dave Brubeck Quartet); “The Girl from Ipanema” (Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberta); and hundreds more. $29.99.

New Jazz Books from Lee Evans

Lee Evans’ latest intermediate/upper-intermediate level book, Jazz Baroque: Vivaldi/Bach, is now available only in an interactive digital format in SuperScore Music on the iPad. It consists of 13 jazz-tinged piano solo arrangements of music from the Baroque era. Intermediate and late intermediate level classical and jazz players will enjoy new musical insights into these venerable works.

Also available in SuperScore is A Razzle Dazzle Christmas, a set of Christmas tunes arranged in easy-to-play 5-finger patterns. These eight pieces include optional accompaniments for the teacher or any pianist who is slightly more advanced than elementary level ($5.99).

The Expanded Excelcia Ensemble Series from Excelcia Music

Excelcia Music Publishing expands its popular Excelcia Ensemble Series with new sets of trios, quartets and quintets for woodwind and brasswind chamber ensembles. With nine new additions, including the introduction of trios, ranging in grade from 1.5 to 3, the series continues to provide small-group resources for the modern-day classroom. Each work has been composed or arranged by well-known writers for winds, including Tyler Arcari, Dale Bloodwoth, Jon Bubbett, and Larry Clark. Beautifully engraved, these hard-cover sets are perfect for use for performance or festival adjudication. Trios are available for $10.99, quartets for $12.99, and quintets for $14.99.

Brass & Woodwind

960 Grid System:

HOB6449WJG Oboe from Hunter Musical Instruments

Hunter’s HOB6449WJG Oboe is designed for professional oboists. Musicians who plays it can produce a warm, reedy, and rich tone, and feel the prominent ease of blowing. The oboe also features gold-plated keys and a special outward shape.

TP614 Professional Silver Plated Trumpet from RS Berkeley

The TP614 Professional Silver Plated Trumpet from RS Berkeley is a BH trumpet with double bracing, two water keys, and Monel valves. Bore .443” and bell 4.25”. The trumpet comes with a mouthpiece, valve oil, and a deluxe fabric covered backpack style case.

Yamaha’s Alto Venova Wind Instrument

Yamaha’s Alto Venova blends the simplicity of a recorder with the rich tone of a saxophone in an ABS resin body that is smaller, lighter and more durable than conventional wind instruments. Like the original Venova introduced in 2017, the new Alto Venova features a unique branched-pipe structure that gives rich timbre with plenty of volume. Easy, recorder-style fingering makes it ideal for inexperienced musicians experimenting with a reed instrument, as compared to traditional wind instruments. Designed with a larger body, the new model is given a lower sound range with darker, richer tones than the original Venova. When the session ends, the instrument is easily cleaned with water. The Alto Venova comes with a mouthpiece, ligature, synthetic reed, mouthpiece cap, and a durable carrying case with a strap.


Key Leaves’ Spit Sponge Pad Dryers

The new Spit Sponge pad dryers from Key Leaves remove the moisture left on pads and tone holes that swabs miss – extending pad life and keeping instruments clean. The Spit Sponge is a unique dual-texture pad dryer with an ultra-absorbent top to clean delicate pads, while the bottom has micro-texture grooves to trap and remove gunk that grows on tone holes. These pad dryers have a laser-fused edge that never frays, and are washable for years of use and re-use. The woodwind size is priced similar to single pad dryers but includes two pieces for a double value. The universal woodwind size Spit Sponge can clean your flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, or whatever woodwind you play. The saxophone size has an easy-fit shape to care for large sax pads and those hard-to-reach places like G# or between key guards.

RockBoard Step Up Accessories and Power Ace 25

The high-quality RockBoard Step Up accessories increase the accessibility of effect pedals on the upper rows of RockBoard pedalboards. RockBoard Step Up pedal raisers are available in three different version and as a set: Step Up 1 Pedal Raiser, narrow, 14 x 8 x 2 cm, Step Up 2 Pedal Raiser, wide, 14 x 17 x 2 cm, Step Up 3 Pedal Raiser, extra-wide, 14 x 25 x 2 cm, and Step Up Set Pedal Raiser (1 + 2 +3), 14 x 25 x 2 cm. These pedal raisers are angled, made of metal, and designed for professional use.

The RockBoard Power Ace 25 is a high-powered DC power adapter for feeding your power-hungry effects pedals the current they need. Equipped with multi-regional plug adapters and a switching design, it can be used virtually all around the globe. Its angled flat 2.1 x 5.5 mm barrel plug is mounted to a 3-meter long cable for extra reach. The Power Ace 25 provides you with a whopping 2.500 mA of hum- and high frequency noise-free at 9V DC, center negative power.

The 5-String Ray Ross Bass Bridge

Inventor Aaron Ross and AP International have released a 5-string version of the acclaimed Ray Ross Bass Bridge featuring his proprietary saddle-less tone pin design. Rather than utilizing a traditional saddle to provide a string break, the Ray Ross tone pin keeps the string completely straight from the bridge to the nut. This concept removes the “kink” from the string, providing increased vibrational energy through the strings and into the body of the instrument. The tone pin feature allows maximum transference to the instrument, so you can get the most of the bass itself, not solely the “color” of the bridge. Comprised of solid naval brass, the ensuing sound is articulate, resonant, and full-bodied. It is available in both narrow 17 mm and wide 19 mm string spacings to fit a variety of popular basses on the market.

MasterTint Open Stock Tints from GluBoost

MasterTint Open Stock Tints from GluBoost offer complete, spot-on color control for all your repairs and restorations. MasterTint additives make color matching fast and easy, and long-lasting concentrated formulas with the purest, deepest hues allow the natural grain to show through (or not, depending on how they are used). Easy-to-use formulas dissolve right in with no solvent needed.

Vandoren’s Profile Mouthpieces

Vandoren’s new Profile mouthpiece for classical saxophone is currently available in a single facing for soprano (SP3) and alto saxophone (AP3). The Profile features an elegant exterior design and tapered beak that allows for increased comfort and enhanced flexibility. These attributes combine to create a mouthpiece that boasts dynamic response, powerful projection, and an expansive color spectrum that enables classical saxophonists to shape their sound to fit the music of any era.

RS Berkeley’s Ultimate Reed Sculpting Tool

The Ultimate from RS Berkeley is a reed-friendly tool that allows you to sculpt and balance your reeds for maximum vibration and performance. A shaped curved blade allows the ultimate access to the fine-tuning of your reed, and the wood handle comfortably fits in palm of your hand.

Pro Audio

New iRig Microphones from IK Multimedia

The iRig Mic Cast 2 and iRig Mic Cast HD microphones from IK Multimedia offer featherweight, pocket-sized portability and crystal-clear voice recording using an iPad, iPhone or Android device. The ultra-compact, travel-friendly, iRig Mic Cast 2 offers an affordable solution for crisp, clear voice recording for YouTube videos, Instagram, live streams, or audio for Skype and FaceTime calls. This mic mounts securely onto an iPad or smartphone. Its innovative magnetic design lets users snap it into place on their device in seconds (even with a case). The iRig Mic Cast HD offers all the core features of iRig Mic Cast 2, along with enhancements for professional use. It adds gold-sputtered capsules for superior sound, a 40 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response, and 24-bit, 96 kHz converters for crystal clear audio via Lightning, Micro-USB and USB-C cables, all included. iRig Mic Cast HD also offers front and rear selectable recording plus a bi-directional, figure 8 pickup pattern that’s ideal for conducting interviews while rejecting off-axis noise.


Silverline Digital Amp Series from Blackstar

Blackstar’s boutique-styled Silverline Series of digital amps offer valve-like tone and response, effortless control, and Blackstar’s most potent DSP to date. The high-performance SHARC DSP platform runs algorithms that recreate analogue circuit parameters with supreme accuracy right down to component level. Silverline amps provide boutique “valve tone” on a highly powerful and flexible digital platform.Pick from a set of six amplifier voices; dial it in with volume, EQ, and ISF control; pair your tone with one of six emulated power amp (Response) sections – including KT88, 6L6, KT66, EL34, 6V6, or EL84; then adjust a few controls to add studio-grade, boutique effects.

HyperFocal: 0

Yamaha’s THR-II Series Amplifiers

Yamaha’s new THR-II series of amplifiers includes the THR10II, THR10II Wireless, and THR30II Wireless desktop guitar amplifiers. Upon the introduction of the original THR series in 2011, Yamaha established the desktop amp as an entirely new category of guitar amplifier. Neither a performance amp nor strictly a practice amp, THR represented a third amp category offering guitarists features they need when they aren’t on stage or rehearsing, in addition to exceptional sound and responsiveness at any volume.

The THR-II series expands upon this concept by delivering three times as many realistically modeled tube-amp sounds as the original THR10, new wireless features, more power, and a refreshed, stylish design that complements any home décor. The THR30II Wireless also includes stereo ¼” line outputs for additional flexibility.

THR-II amplifiers employ Virtual Circuitry Modeling (VCM) technology to deliver the tone, feel, and expressive nuances characteristic of boutique tube amplifiers. The new amps provide 15 different amp tones, three modeled microphone sounds for acoustic-electric guitars, three bass amp models, and three flat voicings for use with other instruments. Stompbox-style modulation effects and studio-quality reverbs and delays allow players to further enhance their tones.


SE Custom 24 Roasted Maple Limited from PRS Guitars

Building off of a limited edition that was originally only offered outside of the United States, PRS Guitars has announced the SE Custom 24 Roasted Maple Limited is now shipping in the USA. The SE Custom 24 Roasted Maple offers a roasted (or torrefied) maple neck and fretboard. mahogany back, and dual 85/15 “S” pickups with a 3-way blade switch and push/pull tone control for coil tapping. The maple neck and fretboard have been roasted, which not only looks striking (the maple turns a beautiful golden color), but it further stabilizes the already strong maple for a neck that helps the guitar ring out.

D’Angelico Guitars’ Premier Brandon Niederauer Atlantic Signature Model

The Premier Brandon Niederauer Atlantic signature model boasts high output in both sound and aesthetic. Imbued with the energy of one of music’s most electrifying young players, the Niederauer Atlantic features double Duncan Designed humbuckers for searing vintage tone while prioritizing comfort with a slim neck shape and deep cutaway. A sonic blue finish, tortoise f-hole pickguard, and satin chrome hardware come together to create an irresistible aesthetic.

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