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May 2009

Jazzed Magazine • GearcheckJune 2009 • June 9, 2009

Hal Leonard’s New Releases from Bobby Owsinski and Dennis Moody
In his new book, How to Make Your Band Sound Great, musician, producer, and engineer, Bobby Owsinski focuses on both the band as a whole and each individual player, and he offers information essential to bands in any genre of music. Owsinski covers everything from playing more dynamically, playing at different volume levels while still achieving the same intensity, and improving your stage presence to writing better songs, building your set for maximum impact, playing with backing tracks, stage lighting tips, builds and turnaround, and eliminating feedback. The book also includes a 60-minute DVD where Owsinski gives in-depth analysis and step-by-step guidance to an actual working band.

Also newly released from Hal Leonard is The Drum Recording Handbook. With decades of experience between them, authors Bobby Owsinski and Dennis Moody reveal the secrets of great drum sound in this one-stop, step-by-step manual. The Drum Recording Handbook uncovers the secrets of amazing drum sounds that you can record yourself, even with inexpensive gear. Before even setting up a microphone, the authors tackle the ins and outs of drum construction and tuning and give you advice on what to do to make the kit sound better. Mic-ing techniques, room treatments, and the best ways to avoid phase cancellation are addressed. The book also includes exclusive interviews with Bernie Dresel, Johnny Hernandez, Ricky Lawson, Brian MacLeod, and Dave Weckl, who offer expert session advice. The Drum Recording Handbook includes an instructional DVD with tips on mic placement for every piece of the kit, as well as a tutorial on proper mixing techniques, and an interview on tuning with Mike White, one of Los Angeles’s top session drummers.

Evans’ Corps Clear Tenor Heads
The Corps Clear Tenor Heads from Evans are a 2-ply design with 6.5 mil top-ply and 10 mil bottom-ply. The extra thickness (16.5 mil total) compared to standard tenor heads (14-15 mil total) make the Corps Clear more durable. This added durability is said to not only prolong the life of the head but keep them in tune longer. Evans tenor heads are able to withstand high tension and the impact of heavy sticks and mallets.

Recording Software from Superscope
Superscope Technologies introduces Elevation, music practice and recording software, designed for musicians, students, and educators. The software features Elevation Library, which allows the user to import music from a PC or Mac, or from an SD card, USB stick, or CD. Elevation handles common file formats – WAV, AIFF, MP3, and WMA.

Superscope uses tempo and key control provided by iZotope, Inc., with DSP settings including modifications to key, tempo, fine tune, voice reduction, EQ, and balance. Play any file at a different key while preserving the tempo of the original recording, or adjust a file’s tempo without affecting the key. Seamlessly loop any section of audio in the Library and slow down, or change the key of the loop, or create a practice loop (by ear or waveform interface), and save the changes as a new file. Save a playlist and burn a custom CD with changes or backing tracks.

For educators, files can be sent to students via e-mail or placed on a Web site as an MP3. Record vocals or instruments using any file or snapshot in the Library as accompaniment, review performances, or adjust the mix between voice, instrument, and the accompaniment. Add performance notes, digital sheet music from scanned images, PDF’s, or notation programs into Elevation. Capture rehearsals or concerts with resolution up to 24-bit – equipped with iZotope’s precise sample rate conversion (SRC) and Mbit+, psychoacoustic word length reduction, Elevation transfers 24-bit recordings to CD.

Cecilio’s Sax Partner
The Sax Partner is a multifunctional silencer, designed to reduce the saxophone’s out flow volume while the player monitors his/her performance through earphones. The internal hi-fi pick-up microphone can cleanly collect each and every sound detail produced by the saxophone. Connect Sax Partner to CD’s or MP3’s for background accompaniment or computers and digital audio recorders for studio quality recording. Sax Partner’s built-in audio-exporting connection freely connects to output devices such as stage monitors, PA systems, or desktop speakers.

Groove Juice’s Stick Grip
Stick Grip from Groove Juice is a spray-on grip enhancing product that is said to allow drummers to fine tune their grip on the sticks giving them more control. Stick Grip is an aerosol spray-on product that is applied to the gripping portion of the drum stick. Simply spray a light coating of the product on the sticks, and wait about one minute for the formula to dry. Drummers can “tune” the tackiness of their sticks by spraying on successive thin coats until the desired level of tack is achieved. Once the formula dries on the drum stick, there will be no residue left on hands. Stick Grip is rubber based and holds up in sweaty, hot, or cold conditions. Stick Grip has a suggested retail price of $13.95 for a four ounce can (about 75-80 spray applications).

Gator’s New Guitar Amp Cases
Gator’s TSA ATA Guitar Case has taken the GPE ATA series to the next level. The exterior of the case features military-grade Polyethylene construction with black powder coated valance and hardware. Gator has incorporated a surface mounted impact diversion latch housing with a TSA approved locking center latch to make this case suitable for airline travel. An ergo-grip injection molded handle, extended reach protective neck cradle, crushed velvet luxury plush interior, and universal fit EPS protective foam have also been added to the open cavity design.

The Gator Roto Amp line of cases is specifically designed to fit most popular size amplifiers. This case is available in 1-12 and 2-12 sizes and allows the amp to sit safely and securely on top of the case during use. The open-top design provides access directly to the amplifier handle providing easy transport. The Gator Roto Amp line frame height expands from 16″ to 21″ for multiple heights and incorporates two wrap around straps with clips to secure the lid to the base along with 3″ heavy-duty casters providing protection during transit.

Gator’s Viper Series Guitar and Laptop Gig Bags protect the guitar inside the rigid sidewall. The quilted, padded gig bag has a reinforced headstock/bridge section and adjustable neck support system. The bag is available in a standard version with upper and lower accessory storage compartments or the laptop version complete with storage for your laptop. The pocket system of the laptop version has a built-in laptop pocket, business resource pocket, sheet music pocket, and multiple gear pockets for pedals, recording and midi interfaces, headphones, tuners, and general accessories. The dual textured, weather resistant nylon bag also features a reinforced firm-grip carry handle, and an ergo-fit air cushioned padded shoulder harness strap with adjustable sternum strap. The laptop version has a hideaway bungee waterproof weather cover.

Digidesign’s Pro Tools 8 Software
Pro Tools 8 is the latest version of the digital audio workstation from Digidesign. Pro Tools 8 offers an enhanced feature set, highlighted by a completely updated user interface, more than 70 bundled plug-ins and virtual instruments, fully-integrated MIDI and score editors, and an expanded array of editing features for both music and post production applications.

New music creation features include fully integrated MIDI and Score Editor windows for greatly enhanced MIDI editing functionality and professional score editing and printing. A new sizable collection of music creation and sound-processing plug-ins have been added including 20 new effects and five new virtual instruments, which include: mini grand piano; Boom drum machine; DB-33 tonewheel organ; vacuum tube-modeled synthesizer; and Xpand!2 sample player. Also included is amplifier simulation via Digidesign’s new guitar amp emulator Eleven Free as well as Tech21 SansAmp amplifier emulator.

Pro Tools HD 8 also enhances the extensive capabilities of Digidesign’s flagship Pro Tools HD audio hardware, with support for the new Satellite Link option, which allows users to control up to five Pro Tools|HD systems as one. Additionally, the Avid Media Composer based Video Satellite option brings Avid HD/SD video playback into the Pro Tools HD audio workflow, while the new Video Satellite LE option allows Pro Tools|HD editors to play QuickTime HD/SD video or Avid SD video from a separate but synced Pro Tools LE system, thereby preserving track count and processing power on the host Pro Tools HD system.

For project studio owners, Pro Tools LE 8 and Pro Tools M-Powered 8 support up to 48 simultaneous audio tracks out of the box. Adding the new Music Production Toolkit 2 or DV Toolkit 2 (Pro Tools LE only), gives users access to up to 64 audio tracks. And for serious Pro Tools LE users, the new Complete Production Toolkit (Pro Tools LE only) combines the content of both toolkits and offers up to 128 simultaneous audio tracks and 7.1 surround mixing.

Pro Tools 8 software is available for Windows Vista- (32-bit Business or Ultimate with Service Pack 1), Windows XP- (Home and Professional with XP Service Pack 3), and Mac OS X 10.5.5 (Leopard)-based Pro Tools HD, Pro Tools LE, and Pro Tools M-Powered systems. Customers who have purchased a new Pro Tools system or upgrade since October 3, 2008, are eligible for a free software upgrade. Customers purchasing new systems with old software are also be eligible for the free upgrade. Pro Tools 8 software is currently available through authorized Digidesign dealers and Digidesign’s Web site. Pricing is as follows: Pro Tools HD 8 Upgrade $249; Pro Tools LE/M-Powered Upgrade $149; Pro Tools M-Powered Full Version $299 US (available through authorized dealers only).

Sabian Buries Cymbals
In an undisclosed location near the Sabian Cymbal factory in Meductic, in eastern Canada, 100 cymbals are buried and are undergoing eight months of dry, wet, hot, and cold soil conditioning, as part of the company’s “One of 100” program. These buried Artisan Medium Ride cymbals are the result of hundreds of annual queries from drum enthusiasts regarding the aging of cymbals by burying them in the ground.

The cymbals in the “One of 100” collection will be available to the first 100 eligible buyers who submit a purchase submission form on the Sabian Web site. Once dug up, the cymbals will be sonically approved by the Sabian Vault Team and then individually packaged in a deluxe wood box, complete with official documentation of authenticity signed by master product specialist Mark Love.

These cymbals are now available for purchase on the Sabian Web site. The excavation date is June, 1, 2009. The purchase price is $800, with a portion of the proceeds will be donated to charity.

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