YOUR ONE-CLICK INDEX OF LAST WEEK’S REVIEWS
And there’s still more to read! Click the link to read the rest of this DV247 Blog weekly round-up for exclusive reviews, breaking news and the best in expert opinion!
THE BEST OF THE BLOG
Marc Noel Johnson put down his guitar and picked up his mouse on Monday and Tuesday of last week as he reviewed the new AmpliTube 3 modelling software from IK Multimedia. Declaring from the outset that the new version “offers more of just about everything than the previous version”, MNJ was impressed with the degree of choice that the software offers, concluding: “the possibilities for discovering new guitar sounds are literally endless”.
As the Frankfurt Musikmesse exhibition began to loom large over the week’s blogs, Thursday morning was rocked by the sudden release of Universal Audio’s Manley Massive Passive EQ plug-in for the UAD-2 platform. The internet quickly exploded as UAD-2 users sought out the plug-in, while Rob Sandall declared that the plug-in is ready “for even the most precise and proud producer going”.
THE BEST OF THE REST
The UAD-2 Manley Massive Passive EQ may have been launched officially on Thursday, but DV247 Blog was anticipating its imminent release as early as Monday, in the first of our ‘news and rumours’ articles documenting industry whispers in the run up to the 2010 Musikmesse – arguably the world’s biggest instrument exhibition. Other rumours included new amps from Engl, a mysterious release from Toontrack, and Mackie’s in-show plans.
He’s one of the greatest bass players in the world, and on Monday afternoon we revealed that he’s coming to DV East London. Victor Wooten was the focus of our final post of Monday, when we announced an exclusive in-store appearance by the virtuoso bassist in our Romford store on May 25th. Tickets, we pointed out, were selling fast…
On Tuesday morning Paul Dakeyne brought news of a contest for remix producers that will see a talented winner pick up €2000 worth of M-Audio and Pro Tools equipment plus a single release on the Flamingo record label. Co-organised by DJ and producer Funkerman, M-Audio and Avid Pro Tools, the competition is a “win-win for everyone”, Paul wrote.
Our second round-up of the rumours and news emanating from the lead up to Musikmesse 2010 presented a varied mix of whispers, including the possibility of Jazzmutant’s Mu controller being at the show, the launch of ART’s TubeOpto 8, possible additions to the Line 6 Variax range, and the confirmation that Opeth would appear with Gibson.
Marc Noel Johnson once again returned to the DV247 Blog reviews bench on Wednesday morning, with the Line 6 Backtrack digital recorder in hand. Noting that the recorder has been especially designed for guitarists, MNJ plugged in an electric guitar and pulled out some riffs to test the recording quality. He quickly declared himself impressed with the results, writing: “playing the recorded clip back through the amp, I was able to hear it all again with the exact same sound as I’d used”.
Fans of Novation keyboards were left celebrating on Wednesday afternoon when Paul Dakeyne revealed that “a much anticipated update to the company’s Automap control surface software” meant that the SL Mk II and Nocturn keyboards would soon boast full automation with Logic, Pro Tools and Ableton Live.
Concluding Wednesday with yet more breaking news, Paul Dakeyne was quick to announce the arrival of the Pioneer DJM-2000 mixer at Musikmesse, declaring that the new mixer represents “a quantum leap forward for dance music purveyors”. Paul enthusiastically ran through the features that DJs can expect from the mixer, and promised a full review as soon as possible.
The Boss ME-25 multi-effects unit was next on the review list for Marc Noel Johnson on Thursday morning, as the DV247 guitar guru thoroughly tested each and every preset in the box, including emulations of many famous Boss stomp boxes. “It may be seen as a cut down version of its siblings, but it’s a Boss product, which means it arrives with the benefit of a long legacy,” he explained.
Taking a break from his usual review schedule, Rob Sandall decided that the Tanglewood TB18DLX G banjo sure looked pretty when he reviewed it on Thursday afternoon. Despite never having played the banjo before, Rob found himself entranced by the instrument. “Maybe it’s time to put down the six-string for a while and push yourself to tackle something new…” he suggested.
Thursday afternoon found Paul Dakeyne in a reminiscent mood as he laid out the story of seminal hip hop track Planet Rock, and the Electro genre that it inspired. “The proliferation of Electro tracks that were spawned from this one monster became somewhat akin to a ‘Now That’s What I Call Electro 50′ kind of overdose…” he mused.
With the release on Thursday of the Manley Passive EQ plug-in from Universal Audio having taken the internet by storm, Friday saw the strength of the demand for the update that included it actually bring down the UA server. Barney Jameson explained what else besides the Manley plug-in was awaiting those who managed to download Powered Plug-ins v5.6.0.
On Friday afternoon we once again returned to the Musikmesse rumour mill, this time speculating on the possible launch of new Yamaha acoustic guitars boasting potentially game-changing modelling technology. New Zoom pedals were also hinted at, along with more artist-appearance confirmations.
Arguably one of the most anticipated product launches at Musikmesse 2010 is the likely arrival of the Gibson Slash Appetite for Destruction Les Paul, and this video starring Slash himself talking through the guitar’s features only served increase the excitement on Friday afternoon. Among the greatest revelations of the video was that the guitar was Slash’s own idea.
In part one of a new regular feature, DV247 Blog’s guitar expert Marc Noel Johnson began teaching readers how to maintain every part of a guitar without having to call in the experts. Here MNJ described the tools every guitarist should keep with them.
Ending a busy week with a review, Paul Dakeyne spent Sunday playing with the Tascam US-2000, finding himself impressed with its no-nonsense appearance. “The unit is rugged and solidly built using an aluminium casing. Tascam has certainly maintained substance over style as this device looks like it’s a contender,” he enthused.
THE WRITER’S BLOCK: OUR OPINIONS, YOUR COMMENTS
Lacking a TARDIS but in possession of decades of production experience, Paul Dakeyne travelled back in time in Tuesday Writer’s Block column, describing what working in a professional studio would have been like 20 years ago.
The sad and sobering news that some of his best friends had suffered the theft of their instruments during the preceding weekend caused Rob Sandall to write about the importance of insurance in his Wednesday column.
Bemoaning the soundalike culture so prevalent in the modern music industry, Marc Noel Johnson used his Thursday Writer’s Block column to argue for more originality among up and coming musicians.
Facing the challenge of rearranging his songs for a full band rather acoustic solo shows, Barney Jameson discussed the merits and drawbacks of writing songs instinctively rather than technically in his Friday column.