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GearCheck: April 2021

Jazzed Magazine • April/May 2021Gearcheck • April 20, 2021

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Eventide MicroPitch Delay Pedal

Eventide Audio announces the availability of its iconic MicroPitch Delay digital signal processing algorithm in a standalone pedal. The second pedal in Eventide’s dot9 family following the 2020 release of the Blackhole pedal, the MicroPitch Delay pedal is available now for preorder.The MicroPitch Delay pedal offers a unique combination of dual pitch-shifters with fine-resolution de-tuning, delay and modulation – including new positive envelope and negative envelope modulation sources. Its distinctive architecture yields a wide breadth of sonic applications ranging from subtle tone thickening to creating a rich stereo spread to a host of creative sound design special effects. The rugged, gig-ready red MicroPitch Delay pedal is not just for guitars – the pedal brings unparalleled dimension to any source from vocals to keyboards to drums, strings, brass and winds. Users can choose from dozens of Eventide presets to load via MIDI, which are also accessible in the preset list on the Eventide Device Manager (EDM – a Windows or Mac OS X application for software updates, system settings and creating/saving presets). Price: $279

Warwick Black Label Bass String Sets

Choosing the “right” set of strings might be the most important step for a bass player in the search for the perfect tone. The strings define the direction long before the pickups, the pots, or the amp come into play. Warwick Black Label Nickel-Plated Steel Strings offer a smooth tight feeling and a rich. warm sound. Six different sets are available. Specifications: strings for electric bass; nickel-plated steel; 34” long scale; roundwound; hexagonal core; smooth surface; warm, rich sound; made in USA. Price ranges from $24.50 to $37, depending on gauge and number of strings.

Hosa Digital Interfaces

The Hosa Digital Audio Interfaces allow simultaneous transfer between S/PDIF optical and AES/EBU digital audio formats. It is ideal for interconnecting digital audio workstations, recorders, and other digital audio gear regardless of I/O format. Features include:

• Two channels S/PDIF optical or coax to AES/EBU and vice versa

• Simultaneous conversion in both directions if required

• Support for 24-bit/96 kHz S/PDIF audio

One piece of digital audio gear may have only S/PDIF optical (Toslink) or coax (phono) connections while another may have only AES/EBU connections (XLR). With the Hosa Digital Audio Interfaces, transfer between the two formats remain in the digital realm. Serial Copy Management System is disabled when transferring from S/PDIF to AES/EBU. This unit is incompatible with the ADAT Optical Interface. Connectors: S/PDIF Optical to AES/EBU, or S/PDIF Coax to AES/EBU.

Levy’s Introduces a New Look to the Guitar Hanger and Expands its Strap Line

Levy’s has released a new line of forged metal guitar hangers, expanded its infamous Right Height™ strap line, and introduced new sublimation straps.The forged steel hangers by Levy’s safely support most stringed instruments, including electric, acoustic and bass guitars. The leather wrapped swivel yokes are constructed of solid steel and allow each hanger to properly cradle the instrument, while the matching leather wrapped standoff ensures the guitar sits far enough off the wall to accommodate both straight and angled headstocks. A matching leather disk covers the mounting plate and included screw hardware for a clean and stylish presentation. The series includes a variety of decorative colorways to match most wall and room styles, featuring three different metal colors (black, brass and smoke) and three different leather options (black, brown and tan). Overall, the series Includes nine different models.

The expansion to the Right Height line includes four best-selling designs – pin up, comic book, floral, and koi. Levy’s also added nine new models to its sublimation line to provide variety to players. The straps sport a dye-sublimation printed pattern motif and measure 2” in width. The straps also extend up to 65” with tri-glide sliding adjustment and are constructed of incredibly strong, lightweight one-ply polyester. Stitching on both leather ends of the straps prevent pin hole stretching to provide long-lasting security for one’s electric, acoustic guitar or bass.

Levy’s also expanded its unique vegan line with the addition of four hemp straps. The additional straps feature beautiful designs such as colored rose motifs and patterned taupe. The organic strap line is cruelty-free and is made of sustainable materials. The hemp strap’s natural webbing and durable two-ply cork ends safely supports one’s instrument and the pin hole stitching on both ends prevent stretching. The hemp straps also have a unique inside pocket to store picks.

Print & Digital

Hal Leonard’s ‘The Earl Scruggs Banjo Songbook’

Hal Leonard is proud to announce a new songbook authorized by the Scruggs’ estate that follows the same notation format of his renowned method book. The Earl Scruggs Banjo Songbook features 84 carefully selected and accurately transcribed songs spanning his entire recording career, many of which have never previously appeared in print. In addition to Scruggs’ standards, it includes tablature for many songs not available on any of the Flatt & Scruggs commercial recordings, but that they often performed live. The collection contains tab for Earl’s banjo breaks, intros, and tags, plus complete banjo instrumental transcriptions. It also includes recording references and tuning and capo info for each piece. Grammy Award-winning banjo player Jim Mills provides the foreword. Price: $29.99.

Pro Audio

Marantz Professional Debuts MPM-4000U Podcast Mic

Marantz Professional has announced the introduction of the MPM-4000U Podcast Mic, a no-nonsense, studio-grade USB microphone designed to make podcasting easy. Engineered for any digital broadcasting application where hassle-free, pristine sound capture is required, the MPM-4000U also comes with recording software so aspiring podcasters are ready to create, right out of the box. The control functions you need for complete command of your next recording are conveniently located right on the MPM-4000U Podcast Mic. With dedicated controls for headphone monitoring, Mic Gain, and Mute – plus a 1/8-inch headphone output – total control of your next stream or broadcast is exactly where you need it. At the heart of the MPM-4000U Podcast Mic is a 14mm pure-aluminum-plated condenser capsule with a directional cardioid polar pattern. The result? Exquisite capture of every subtle nuance of the source audio, all with minimal interference from unwanted ambient noise. The mic eliminates setup headaches with its built-in audio interface and super-fast USB-C connectivity for rapid plug-and-play USB performance. Price: $99.

Avantone Pro’s Bonzo Bundle

Avantone Pro is proud to announce availability of Bonzo Bundle – bundling Kick, an aptly-named sub-frequency kick drum microphone that effectively brings back to life a well-known extinct example by utilizing the affordable high-quality audio products producer’s own reproduction “white cone” low-frequency driver to capture lower frequencies than a standard dynamic microphone, giving kick drum sounds that still-sought-after subsonic signature, with MONDO, representing the very finest kick drum microphone available, both for live clubs and concerts, as well as serious studio recording projects, offering a very aggressive frequency contour that sounds huge right out of the box, so most engineers will find little need for EQ. Price: $399


PRS Guitars Announces Limited Edition Antique White SE Parlor Acoustics

PRS Guitars has announced a Limited Edition SE parlor acoustic in Antique White. This Limited Edition maintains all the original appointments of the PRS SE P20E with the addition of an Antique White solid-mahogany top paired with natural mahogany back and sides. The Antique White PRS SE P20E is limited to 3,500 pieces worldwide.

The Limited Edition PRS SE P20E Antique White also comes standard with a Fishman GT1 pickups system. Plug in, and this system delivers dynamic, organic tone. Whether writing, recording, or performing, the SE P20E is sure to impress. Parlor-sized acoustics can be miscategorized because of their size, but this electronics system features an undersaddle pickup and soundhole mounted preamp with easy-to-access volume and tone controls, which transforms what some may consider a “couch-only guitar” into a workhorse stage instrument. Price: $579

mxmtoon Partners with Kala Brand Music on New Signature Ukulele

Songwriting maven mxmtoon has teamed up with Kala to create her very own signature ukulele. The instrument, featuring a hand-drawn design by mxmtoon, is available for pre-order now, directly through mxmtoonKala Brand Music, and music stores nationwide. This ukulele delivers a one-of-a kind design atop the foundation of Kala’s most trusted flagship instrument design. This instrument features a satin spruce top adorned with an original etched design, supported by a traditional satin mahogany back, sides, and neck. Hand drawn by mxmtoon, the ukulele’s astro-infused artwork is as modern, textured, and captivating as it is personal to the artist herself.

Luna Unveils High-End Vineyard Series Ukuleles

Available in concert and tenor sizes, the Vineyard Series represents a unique new level of high-end Luna ukuleles, complete with eye-catching craftsmanship including a bevel, slotted headstock, and solid koa top with intricate designs. Vineyard Series ukuleles feature Fishman’s Kula Ukulele Onboard Preamp System with onboard tuner, so players can be ready to dial in their sound quickly, plug into an amp, and hit the stage. Whether the player has a solid musical foundation or is simply looking to make an artistic impression, Luna’s Vineyard Series ukuleles are designed for creative growth. Symbolically, each Vineyard Series ukulele offers a pearl vine inlay design on the rosette and along the 18-fret rosewood fingerboard, presenting the evolving thirst for growth and perseverance.

The Uke Vineyard Koa Bevel Tenor has a 17-inch scale length and traditional tenor cutaway body, while the Uke Vineyard Koa Bevel Concert offers a 15-inch scale length and traditional concert cutaway body. On both models, the solid koa A-grade flat top, along with koa back and sides, offer a warm tone and an ergonomic bevel that provides rest for the picking arm. Single-ply rosewood binding adds a finishing touch of sophistication, while gloss natural finish allows the tonewoods to shine both aesthetically and sonically.

Both ukuleles in the Vineyard Series are designed with a comfortable C-shape mahogany neck and set-neck construction that helps transfer the resonance between neck and body more freely. The 1 3/8-inch nut width offers ample string spacing for comfortable chord formation and fingerpicking. The genuine bone nut and rosewood bridge further enhance the sonic quality and sustain. Each nuance is relayed by the Fishman Kula Onboard Preamp System designed specifically for the size, shape, and sound of the ukulele, and complete with 3-band EQ (bass, middle, and treble) and a built-in digital chromatic tuner. For an extra elegant touch, the open gear tuners rest on the slotted headstock with chrome tuning pegs that help ensure tuning success and reliable performance from the specialized Aquila Super Nylgut ukulele strings.

The Uke Vineyard Koa Bevel Tenor is available at MSRP $499, while the Uke Vineyard Koa Bevel Concert is available at MSRP $449. An included padded gig bag will help protect these fine instruments for years to come.

Brass & Woodwind

Student-Friendly Oboe Comes with Rebate Offer for May

The Buffet Crampon Prodige performance oboe (BC4062-2-0P), first introduced in 2016 to replace the 4052 performance oboe, features important technical, aesthetic and acoustic improvements that promise to help beginning and intermediate students, as well as experienced enthusiasts, progress quickly. Along with a long list of unique features, this oboe comes with a $100 instant rebate offer for the month of May.

B&S Announces $200 Rebates for MBX Heritage Trumpets

For the month of May 2021, B&S is offering customers $200 off their purchase of the newest innovation among the X-line, the B&S MBX Heritage Bb trumpet. Inspired by renowned French commercial player and B&S performing artist Christian Martinez, the MBXH design promises many new facets of sound, identity, harmonics, body, and ease.

New Clarinets from Buffet Crampon

The Buffet Crampon E12F semi-professional clarinet has firmly established itself as a go-to step-up, semi-professional clarinet. It gives clarinetists an excellent option to upgrade from a student clarinet while still remaining affordable, with many of the features found on Buffet Crampon professional clarinets.

E12F clarinets feature unstained African blackwood bodies with silver-plated keys, as well as leather pads. The E12F has a polished bore similar to the legendary R13, as well as a key layout close in placement to the R13 family of professional clarinets. Because of these shared features, the E12F also enables the player to be well-prepared for the move to a Buffet Crampon professional clarinet in the future. It has a durable, adjustable thumb rest for the right hand that features a neck strap hook. A backpack case with lots of storage and convenience, as well as reinforced backpack strap hooks, completes the outfit.

Buffet Crampon is pleased to introduce the newest additions to its professional clarinet family: The GALA B-flat and A clarinets.  These clarinets offer a stained African blackwood body, silver-plated keywork, leather pads, two barrels, and a compact pochette-style case, and is outfitted with an upgraded HB France ligature and cap set, with a unique mix of silver-plating (ligature) and black nickel-plating (cap). Its most distinctive features are the black nickel-plated tenon rings and GALA upper joint medallion, providing an absolutely stunning instrument that plays as well as it looks.

Piano & Keyboard

Roland Announces JD-800 Model Expansion

Roland announces the JD-800 Model Expansion, the latest addition to the ZEN-Core Model Expansion lineup available through Roland Cloud. Based on Roland’s influential JD-800 hardware synthesizer released in 1991, the JD-800 Model Expansion celebrates the 30th anniversary of this vintage digital icon by bringing it to modern players through the ZENOLOGY Software Synthesizer and select Roland hardware instruments with the ZEN-Core Synthesis System.

Combining the original JD-800 waveforms with advanced modeling techniques, the JD-800 Model Expansion captures the sonic behavior of its vintage counterpart with 100-percent authenticity, coupled with deep sound-shaping potential through a full recreation of the JD-800’s vast control architecture.

The JD-800 Model Expansion is currently supported with Roland’s ZENOLOGY and ZENOLOGY Pro software instruments and JUPITER-X and JUPITER-Xm hardware instruments.

Model Expansions transform the ZENOLOGY Software Synthesizer and compatible Roland ZEN-Core hardware into entirely different instruments with their own sonic personalities, features, and preset tones. From rare and sought-after classics to the designs of tomorrow, Model Expansions give musicians and producers unprecedented access to the historic and ever-evolving world of Roland synthesizers.

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