Dec 2007 | Vol. 78
December 2007 Issue | Vol. 78
SweetNotes
®
(800) 222-4700 | www.sweetwater.com
inside this issue
from the editor
Digidesign Mbox 2 Micro...........................1
Hands On: Propellerhead Reason 4.........11
AES 2007 Show Report ..........................2, 3
Groove Tubes ...........................................11
Novation ReMOTE SL Compact ..................2
Steinberg Nuendo 4 .................................11
Cakewalk SONAR 7 ....................................3
TechNotes ................................................12
Hands On: Toontrack EZdrummer .........3, 5
Taylor Solidbody Electric Guitars ............12
PRS Mira ....................................................4
Guitar 101 ................................................12
Paul Reed Smith visits Sweetwater ..........4
Inside the Sweetwater Difference...........13
Experience PRS 2007 .................................4
Hands On: Glyph GT 062 ..........................13
Welcome to the all-new SweetNotes! This issue marks a major
change in our bi-monthly publication — a shift to a new page
format, plus a graphic redesign. We hope you’re going to enjoy
the new SweetNotes. The entire team here at Sweetwater
worked hard to make this publication even better than it was
before. With the new format, we’ve got more room for articles
and profiles, the ability to work more creatively with the layout,
and more space for the kind of information you want and
need about the musical instruments, recording and live sound
equipment, and computers and software we all use and love.
Mitch Gallagher
Drop me an email and let me know what you think! Please
also let me know what we can do to make SweetNotes even more
valuable to you. We want this to be a useful resource for you to refer to
in all your music-making endeavors.
Ableton Live 7 ............................................5
Meet Brad Lyons ......................................13
Expert Center .............................................5
Studio Notebook ......................................14
Customer Studio ........................................5
Synth Tricks .............................................14
Speaking of Musical Endeavors…
Inside Sweetwater .....................................6
Hartke and Stuart Hamm .........................14
DeepRockDrive ..........................................6
Hands On: Apple Logic Studio .................15
Sweetwater Gift Guide ................. 7, 8, 9, 10
Hands On: Line 6 Pod X3 Live ..................15
Quite a few of you have responded to my editorial in the last issue of
SweetNotes by sending me examples of your music, web links to your
songs, and links to videos you’ve done of your songs and performances. Please keep them coming! It’s a real treat to see how you’re using
your equipment and to hear the music you’re creating.
Editorial Director
[email protected]
Portable
Pro Tools Power!
Big news for Pro Tools users on the go or those who want
to check out the power of Pro Tools at an entry-level price!
Introducing the Mbox 2 Micro. (It’s certainly ironic that
one of the biggest manufacturers is making huge news
with something so small!) Roughly the size of a USB flash
drive, the Micro is a direct response to requests from Pro
Tools users for a compact, highly portable audio interface
that offers the ability to edit, mix, and sequence with Pro
Tools LE anywhere your computer can go!
The design couldn’t be simpler: a tiny anodized aluminum casing with a
1/8" stereo output and a thumbwheel volume control. The USB 1.1 interface
acts as an output-only hardware dongle that — when coupled with a laptop
— provides a streamlined and completely portable Pro Tools LE rig. Anyone
who owns a Pro Tools system, from a full-blown HD professional setup to a
home hobbyist using Pro Tools M-Powered, will benefit from the Micro’s ability
to free you from the confines of the studio. On a plane, in a car, or even under
a tree at the park, you can mix and edit with 24-bit/48kHz quality anywhere!
If there were ever a gateway into the world of Pro Tools, it’s the Mbox 2 Micro.
If you haven’t yet taken the plunge and invested in a Pro Tools system, the
Micro is an incredibly affordable way to be able to open Pro Tools sessions
from other studios and musicians. That’s right, this flash drive-sized marvel
opens the door to the industry-standard production software for any non-Pro
Tools-equipped facility — and for less than $250! And for that price, the
Mbox 2 Micro ships with Pro Tools LE software and a suite of DigiRack and
Page 1.indd 1
I hope you enjoy this issue of the new and improved SweetNotes!
actual size
Bomb Factory plug-ins, as well
as Digidesign’s free soft synth,
Xpand!
Though the Mbox 2 Micro is an output-only
device, it excels as a Pro Tools interface for
editing, mixing, processing, composing, and
loop-based music creation. Simply open a
session created on another Pro Tools system
or import loops, audio files, and MIDI files
into Pro Tools LE and edit, sequence, and
mix your song. The Mbox 2 Micro supports
Music Production Toolkit and DV Toolkit
2 options, so you can even work on large
projects (up to 48 stereo tracks) while on
the road.
Despite its small size, the Mbox 2 Micro
is a huge deal! Finally you can access the
editing and mixing capabilities that so many studios and musicians rely on
daily where it’s convenient for you. No matter where you are, the Mbox 2
Micro offers Pro Tools power — to go!
> > Digidesign Mbox 2 Micro
Sweetwater price $249.97
www.sweetwater.com/mbox2micro
11/6/07 4:09:29 PM
SWEETNOTES | DECEMBER 2007 | PAGE 2
AES 2007
By Mitch Gallagher
Digidesign
C|24
A Designs
HM2EQ
time compression/expansion
algorithm, this new time-manipulation
tool simply must be heard to be believed. Digi also
debuted the C|24, their newest control surface. The
C|24 has 24 bankable channel strips, a complete 5.1capable control room monitoring section, and
built-in microphone preamps.
Every year the members of the Audio Engineering
Society gather in one of three cities (New York, San
Francisco, or Los Angeles) for an annual convention.
The event consists of a tradeshow where manufacturSony was turning heads with the
ers show their wares to the eagerly waiting public, as
new PCM-D50 stereo handheld
well as paper presentations, panel discussions, and
digital recorder. This model offers
seminars. This year’s show was held in the Big Apple
two built-in electret microphones
early in October, and as usual, Sweetwater was
adjustable for XY or
Sony PCM-D50
there in force, combing the show floor for
wide stereo recordthe latest and greatest new products.
ing.
And, as usual, the show didn’t
disappoint! Here are some of the
highlights of what we saw at the
convention and tradeshow.
nounced Live 7 and a whole range of optional
instruments and sound libraries. FXpansion also
introduced BFD 2.0, the much-anticipated update to
their highly respected virtual drum instrument.
Royer was showing a new line of ribbon mics, the
Live Series. Based on the company’s successful
R-121, R-122, and SF-24 models, the Live
series features increased
durability to withstand use
onstage under less-than-ideal
conditions.
It was upgrade
city in the Big
Apple Logic Studio
Apple! Not only
was Apple showing Logic Studio
in the Apogee booth (paired with
the wonderfully cool Duet compact
2-channel audio interface), but Cakewalk had SONAR 7 on exhibit, Sony
Apogee
had Vegas Pro 8, Magix displayed
Duet
Samplitude 9 Classic, Steinberg
was
showing
Nuendo 4,
Cycling ’74
unveiled
Max 5, and
Ableton an-
A Designs was showing the
“Hammer,” aka the HM2EQ, a 2channel tube equalizer. We had
a chance to hear the Hammer
in a private listening session
prior to the show, and to say we
were impressed is an understatement! This is one smooth,
musical equalizer.
Digidesign made a big splash at
the show with two products: Pro
Tools v7.4, which introduces
the amazing new “Elastic Time”
feature. More than just a simple
On the live mixer front, Allen
& Heath showed the ZED
Series of compact mixers, which feature DuoPre
preamps, 3-band EQs, USB
connectivity, and more.
Focusrite showed the
8-channel ISA-828, a
2-space unit based
on the popular
ISA preamps.
Selectable
input imped-
ance and eight line inputs and four instrument inputs
add flexibility. An optional 8-channel A/D converter
can be added for DAW connectivity. Focusrite also
debuted the Liquid Pre4, which offers 40 emulations of sought-after preamps at 192kHz resolution.
The classic Focusrite analog high-pass filter, variable
impedance, and phase reverse are included, as is
Liquid4Control software.
IK Multimedia was showing the ARC (Advanced Room
Correction) system, a combination of a measurement
microphone, measurement software, and a plug-in for
optimizing the acoustic performance of your room.
Genelec showed the SET (Small Environment) DSP
monitoring system, which combines a 10-inch DSP
subwoofer with two active monitors with 5-inch woofers and 3/4-inch tweeters. GLM (Genelec Loudspeaker
Manager) software provides control over the system.
The PCM 96 from Lexicon offers analog and digital
I/O with word clock, and Ethernet and FireWire connectivity. A VST plug-in provides audio interfacing and
automation for the unit from within a DAW. Twenty-
Focusrite Liquid 4Pre
ReMOTE Control
Novation’s auto-mapping technology was certainly
ground-breaking. Suddenly the often complex ordeal
of setting up a MIDI controller was a snap — it was
already done for you! Now Novation is releasing a new
version of their hugely popular ReMOTE SL series, the
ReMOTE SL Compact. This little gem offers a streamlined feature set, but still includes the auto-mapping
technology, and incorporates the same stunningly nice
semi-weighted keyboard with aftertouch.
The ReMOTE SL Compact 25- and 49-key controllers put a whole lot of control at your fingertips. With
a DAW or a virtual instrument program like Reason,
you’ve got hands-on control over everything that can
be tweaked. Transport controls are provided, as well
as knobs and buttons for mouse-free manipulation
of parameters. In a move that can only be described
as genius, the ReMOTE SL Compact boasts a “Speed
Dial” that automatically puts that knob in control of
whichever parameter your computer mouse is currently pointing to — just press the Speed Dial, and it’s
mapped and ready to go!
Take into account the ways in which the ReMOTE
SL Compact reduces the need for mousing around,
and you’ve got a controller that intuitively lets you
concentrate on making music and avoid the time-sink
of setting up and using conventional MIDI controllers.
No matter what you’re doing in the studio, the ReMOTE
SL Compact will fit right in. MIDI I/O lets the Compact
take charge of external hardware synths or add an
additional control surface.
The ReMOTE SL Compact is
class-compliant with both
Windows XP and Mac OS X,
so there’s no need to install
drivers. For portable music
production, power can be
provided via USB bus power — no wall-wart needed!
Each ReMOTE SL Compact ships with the Xcite!
bundle, which includes Ableton Live Lite 6, virtual
instruments, effects, and nearly 2GB of loops and
samples to kick-start your creativity.
It’s clear that Novation has a firm handle on the needs
of modern music production, as their controllers have
simultaneously revolutionized the industry and raised
the bar for what we expect from technology.
> > Novation ReMOTE SL Compact 49
Sweetwater price $399.99
www.sweetwater.com/ReMOTEslCo49
> > Novation ReMOTE SL Compact 25
Sweetwater price $299.99
www.sweetwater.com/ReMOTEslCo25
Moving? Moved? Want more than one copy? Call, fax, or email us your new address and don’t miss an issue of SweetNotes!
Page 2-3.indd 2
11/14/07 11:45:01 AM
SWEETNOTES | DECEMBER 2007 | PAGE 3
Cakewalk Announces SONAR 7!
bag. The Snowflake is a unique microphone that
fits on your desktop or laptop. It offers plug ‘n’ play
The PianoMic system from Earthworks includes a
connection to a Mac or PC using USB, and
pair of compact microphones and a convenient Allen & Heath
is aimed at podcasters, narration, and
mounting bar that slips inside the body
ZED
music production.
of the piano for ideal
The new Chandler Germaplacement every
nium 500 comprestime you use it.
sor uses (oddly
The microphones
enough) gerare designed for
manium
maximum gain with
transisminimum feedback and
tors, and
bleed.
features
PreSonus was showing a variety of
a unique “mix”
new products, including the FireStucontrol that allows for parallel
dio Project with eight XMAX preamps,
compression effects.
two instrument inputs, and eight analog line
JBL displayed the VRX Series of loudspeakouts, as well as S/PDIF digital I/O. Bundled software
includes Cubase LE 4. Also on display in the PreSonus ers, which bring an active, powered design to the
company’s line arrays. The speakers use DrivePack
booth was the Monitor Station, a compact solution
DPC-2 amplification system developed by Crown.
for controlling monitors
Neumann U87 Anniversary
and headphone
Neumann was turning heads with the U 87 Anmixes. Three
niversary Edition, which will only be available
stereo inputs can
for 12 months. The nickel-finished mic includes a
be switched among
custom shockmount and vintage-style case, as well
three stereo monitor
as a certificate of authenticity, dust cover with 40th
outs. A talkback mic
Anniversary logo, and white gloves.
and four headphone
Finally, Novation showed the ReMOTE SL Compact
amps are built-in.
controllers, scaled down versions of the powerful
Mic manufacturer
ReMOTE SL controllers. Novation also showed the
Blue was showing
nio 2|4, a 2-in/4-out mobile interface with real-time
two new
effects, including excellent guitar amp simulations,
models. Joe
monitor switching, dual headphone outs, and more.
is a largeThough we’re still recovering from the AES show,
diaphragm
we’re already looking forward to the year’s biggest
condenser with
show, Winter NAMM, which will be held in January.
a cardioid polar
Look for full coverage in SweetNotes! As always, for
pattern and Class
further information on the products introduced at the
A electronics. It
AES show, visit www.sweetwater.com or give your
comes with a
swivel mount and Sales Engineer a call!
SONAR, from EQ to compression
to reverb all the way to the mix
bus. Sixty-four-bit processing
reduces computational errors and
rounded-off bits, maintaining the
integrity of the audio.
eight Lexicon effects algorithms are included.
From streamlined home
studio packages to fullblown production suites,
there’s Cakewalk software
for every music production
need. SONAR is the cream
of the Cakewalk crop, and
the release of v7 introduces new
features designed to accelerate every step of the
production process, and even getting your tunes
online for the world to hear!
SONAR 7 places no limits on the number of tracks,
instruments, or effects — as long as your computer
can keep up, you’re in business. SONAR takes full
advantage of multi-core and multi-processor setups,
meaning that, with a properly equipped computer,
your SONAR sessions can grow to be massive,
complex projects. Plus, with a Boot Camp-equipped
Intel Mac running Windows, Apple users can take
advantage of the limitless power of SONAR 7. With
Vista now shipping with most new PCs, it’s important
to note that SONAR 7 is also fully Vista compatible.
Ever since the audio world largely switched from
analog to digital, there has been a constant effort
to capture and preserve the best signal quality
possible. SONAR offers 64-bit double-precision
audio processing, so your audio is being treated to
the industry’s highest-resolution signal path. This
64-bit purity extends to everything you do within
SONAR 7 is chock-full of
new features and workflow
enhancements. A few versions
back, SONAR introduced multilane tracks that greatly simplified
assembling the perfect take
from multiple passes; SONAR 7
extends this to controller editing
in Piano Roll view, allowing for viewing and moving
controller data across multiple lanes. On-board pitch
correction is provided by Roland’s V-Vocal 1.5, which
now offers pitch-to-MIDI conversion. Very cool!
For setups that utilize external hardware processing,
SONAR 7 boasts an External Insert Plug-in that
allows you to insert external hardware effects and
instruments into a SONAR channel with automatic
delay compensation — the perfect merging of the
analog and digital worlds! To polish your projects and
add a professional sheen, run your mix through the
LP-64 multiband linear-phase mastering compressor/
limiter and LP-64 EQ linear-phase mastering EQ. As
a final touch, the Boost 11 Peak Limiter musically
boosts the volume of your project without nasty
artifacts. There are plenty of other new plug-ins,
instruments, and features — far too many to cover in
the space we have available.
Needless to say, SONAR continues to be a groundbreaker in the area of PC-based audio production.
The new features added in SONAR 7 take an already
popular platform and move it up a notch, giving you
professional tools to take any project — regardless of
how big — from beginning to end!
> > Cakewalk SONAR 7 Pro
Sweetwater price $499.97
www.sweetwater.com/sonar7pro
velvet storage
Hands On
Toontrack EZdrummer & EZX Libraries
By Mitch Gallagher
Creating MIDI drum tracks can be a real pain in the
snare drum. While I’ve spent my share of time programming convincing drum parts, when you’re in the
heat of composing a new song, who wants to take the
time to try to come up with a realistic-sounding drum
track? Even though there are many companies making
great sampled drum instruments and drum libraries,
there’s more to creating a realistic drum track than
just step entering a few notes.
Toontrack has a solution to both aspects — the
sounds and the notes — of the drum track equation.
The EZdrummer plug-in comprises a sampled drum
virtual instrument and a MIDI file librarian/player
that runs under RTAS, VST, and AU on the Mac and
VST under Windows. The program comes with more
than 7,000 drum samples (equivalent to 5GB of
uncompressed WAV files) as well as thousands of MIDI
files. The drums were recorded by Pat Thrall (Glenn
Hughes, Pat Travers, Black Crowes) and Neil Dorfsman
(Springsteen, Kiss, Dire Straits, Sting) at the legendary
Avatar Studios in New York City.
The plug-in features an internal mixer that allows you
to add room ambience, overheads, mic bleed, and
more to the drum mix. You can save mixer configurations and recall them in other projects. Velocity Sweep
and Humanization allows you to adjust the feel of the
MIDI files. Both stereo and multiple output routings are
supported.
In a word, the drum sounds in EZdrummer are excel-
lent. But the really pleasant surprise is the realistic feel, quality, and variety of the MIDI files.
You can audition and play MIDI files within the
EZdrummer plug-in itself, and drag-and-drop
the files you choose into a MIDI track in your
DAW. It’s incredibly slick, allowing you to create
a drum track in a flash. Once the files are in
a DAW MIDI track, you can edit the parts as
much as you want to customize them for your
project — add cymbal crashes and breaks, add
or remove hits, or change instruments, it’s all
fair game.
EZdrummer comes with a great-sounding “pop/rock”
kit, and the free Cocktail drumkit. If you want more
kits, affordable “EZX” expanders are available, each of
which comes with a different drumkit and a ton of MIDI
files using that kit.
continued on pg. 5
Discover the Sweetwater Difference 1-800-222-4700 or www.sweetwater.com
Page 2-3.indd 3
11/14/07 2:21:27 PM
SWEETNOTES | DECEMBER 2007 | PAGE 4
A Star In the Sky
Paul Reed Smith
At Sweetwater
I’d say it was when I started making guitars for Ted
Nugent, Peter Frampton, Al DiMeola, Carlos Santana. I
would go to the big venues and try to hawk my wares.
I always made them a deal that if they didn’t fall in
love with the guitar, they wouldn’t have to pay for it.
When Paul Reed Smith made a day-long appearance
at Sweetwater recently, the energy level in an already
buzzing campus jumped up a couple of notches. After
checking out the Sweetwater facility and speaking to a
rapt audience of Sales Engineers, the PRS founder and
renowned luthier was kind enough to sit down with
us for a discussion. Easygoing, candid, and patient,
he punctuated his thoughtful answers with tasty licks
from the beautiful blue PRS Modern Eagle he held
throughout the interview (see video excerpts at www.
sweetwater.com).
Your first attempt at building a guitar was as a
class project.
It was the first time I made a neck. I think the first
time you make a guitar, you have to make a neck. The
teacher said, “If you can turn that bag of wood into
a guitar, I’ll have it graded by the guitar teacher, and
we’ll give you credit for it as an independent studies
project.” I got an “A” on it.
What do you consider your first “professional”
efforts at building guitars?
What makes PRS different from other brands?
I’m not trying to set it apart from other companies. I’m
trying to build something a musician can make a living
on, something they pick up, they play; it feels like an
old t-shirt. We’re trying to make instruments that are
tools for musicians to use.
How did the affordable SE line come about?
Carlos Santana was pressing us pretty hard to make a
student-edition model, and he wanted it to be of really
high quality. Our SE line is a really good guitar for the
money. We went over to Korea and we taught them
how to make guitars our way. They said, “Nobody
ever taught us how to do this.” And I said, “Well, it’s
important to us...really important to us.”
They’re good players’ guitars. There was a Sweetwater
employee here today who plays his SE two or three
hours a day.
You also have an impressive line of artist guitars.
There’s the Modern Eagle: that’s what I’m playing.
David Grissom’s DGT, the Johnny Hiland, the Chris
Henderson, Mark Tremonti and Tremonti SE, Paul
Allender, Carlos Santana 2 and 3 and SE models; Dave
Navarro. An artist guitar is exactly what the artist plays.
Exactly. It’s not a copy; it’s what he plays.
Where do you get the beautiful materials?
Most of the rosewood comes from India. The
mahogany comes from Africa and South America, the
curly maple comes from all over the U.S. (and some
from Canada). For inlay materials we use “Abalam,”
which is laminated abalone, it’s beautiful stuff.
The new Mira is very exciting.
The Mira [see sidebar] is the brainstorm of [Director of
R&D and Private Stock] Joe Knaggs and PRS president
Jack Higgenbotham. It’s less money than we normally
charge for a Maryland-built guitar. It’s not a carved-top
guitar, it’s flat with a pickguard, gorgeous-sounding
pickups, and all the great PRS hardware.
Your thoughts on the vintage guitar market?
What we’re doing at our company is making what we
hope will be “vintage” in 20 or 25 years. I don’t know
what’s going to happen. But nobody ever thought ’71
Strats were going to become collectors’ items. And
they are now. Nobody thought ’85 PRSs would become
collectors’ items, and they are now. If you have an
’85, you’re sitting on some money. If you found an old
PRS now — which I couldn’t give away — you’d have
some good money in your pocket.
Now that you’ve had a chance to visit Sweetwater
and see the operation, what do you think?
At the Experience PRS open house in Annapolis,
Maryland, Paul Reed Smith unveiled the latest
instrument in their lineup, the stellar Mira. Latin for
“wonderful” and also the name for a fast-moving
star, Mira definitely lives up to its name.
What this spectacular axe brings to the PRS table
is a definite “old-school” vibe, from its body shape
to its custom pickups. The Mira’s solid mahogany
body is slightly thinner than other PRS models, with
a distinctive tonality that enhances the versatile
Mira humbuckers. These open-coil humbuckers can
be coil-tapped to produce an astounding range of
tones, from sparkling clean to thick overdrive. The
addition of a PRS Stoptail bridge and locking tuners
give the Mira a stable and highly playable feel, while
a 3-way blade-style pickup selector and mini coiltap toggle give you effortless tonal control.
Sweetwater’s Mitch Gallagher said, “I saw and
played the Mira at the Experience PRS event
and immediately fell in love with it.” This is that
rare guitar you can easily put to work in any
environment, be it onstage or in the studio.
My assessment of Sweetwater is that it’s old-school
selling on the phone and Internet. What I mean by that
is, in an old store, you had your salesman. He knew
what was cool, and he’d tell you. If he sold you three
or four things that worked out, you’d trust him. That’s
what Sweetwater guys are doing. It’s very personal.
I get a huge sense of pride here about how much
people care about their customers. The team I met was
enthusiastic and smart; they knew what they were
talking about; they were experts in a lot of areas. They
wanted to know grounded truth.
It’s a powerful, classy place doing business the oldschool new way.
Experience PRS 2007
A few lucky Sweetwater staffers got an inside look at Paul Reed Smith’s operation when they attended the “Experience Paul Reed Smith 2007”
open house in early October. Not only did our intrepid crew get to see some great entertainment — including a semi-private concert with Al
DiMeola at Paul Reed Smith’s home and an all-star concert the next evening, there were clinics with PRS endorsers including Johnny Hiland
and David Grissom, special guitar-building seminars, plus our crew was able to personally hand-select incredible PRS guitars for Sweetwater’s
inventory!
A tour of the PRS manufacturing facility impressed Sweetwater Vice President of Sales Jeff Radke. “The fact that employees were there on their
day off to happily conduct the tours and explain the different stations shows dedication. The pride that the individuals took in their work and the standard
of excellence to which the shop was committed was impressive.” Added Sales Engineer Joseph Secu, “I came to the realization that PRS guitars are a labor of love.
They focus on attention to detail and making a quality instrument, and it really shows.”
Radke summed up the success of “Experience PRS,” saying, “Everybody attending felt like the folks at PRS really cared. It was obvious that the passion for making great instruments runs deep there.”
Page 4.indd 4
11/6/07 4:17:56 PM
SWEETNOTES | DECEMBER 2007 | PAGE 5
Ableton Live 7
now be exported as new files. REX files — a staple of groove-building and remixers
— can now be imported with drag-and-drop ease, allowing for more fluid and flexible spontaneous song crafting. Rounding out the user-requested features of Live 7
are time-based tools. Multiple time signatures can be used within a single Live Set
in the Arrangement View timeline and Session View Scenes. For live performance
situations, Live 7 sports a function called Tempo Nudge that allows you to temporarily speed up or slow down the tempo so live musicians can more easily sync up
with the recorded or sequenced tracks. This function can be mapped to any MIDI
controller for on-the-fly “tempo nudges.”
Every time a manufacturer releases an updated
version of their DAW, you can be certain the
workflow has been enhanced, there are cool
new features, new plug-ins, etc. Last year
Ableton Live — which had been largely a
niche product catering to the needs of DJs and
remixers — re-emerged as a DAW platform that
built on the power of Live while adding great new virtual
instruments. With Live 7, Ableton continues to improve upon their DAW, integrating
new features and introducing a boatload of new instruments and sample libraries.
First, we’ll dive into new operational features of Live 7. Ableton has engineered a
new audio engine, including 64-bit mix-summing. This equates to finer detail and
better resolution of the finished product along with POW-r dithering. To further
preserve audio integrity, devices such as Operator, Dynamic Tube, and Saturator are
now equipped with optional “high-quality” modes for anti-aliased processing, reducing nasty artifacts. Also new to Live is the inclusion of a real-time audio analyzer,
Spectrum. Spectrum offers visual feedback for any signal present in the session,
and can zoom in for an up-close and personal look at the audio.
Live 7 is loaded with the top user-requested features. New to the program is a
streamlined approach to editing automation, offering a look at each automated
parameter within its own lane. Plus, any videos edited or warped within Live can
Live 7 introduces Drum Rack, a breakthrough in the way sequenced drums are
handled within a DAW. Drum Rack is a drag-and-drop interface for loading samples,
and offers a trigger pad-style interface. Just drag samples, instruments, and effects
into Drum Rack, assign a key on your controller, and you’re off and running! Each
“pad” has its own signal chain and can be shown as a mixer channel in Session
View. Each Drum Rack has its own sends, returns, and sub-mixes. Sliced loops can
be used to fill Drum Rack with individual hits from REX or audio loops.
www.sweetwater.com/ptutility
A variety of optional virtual instruments are available for Live to further accelerate your creativity. Tension offers an assortment of realistic and synthesized string
sounds. Create anything from string beds to completely new hybrid concoctions.
Electric conjures images of Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder and lets users actually
modify the inner working of classic keyboards to shape the sound. Analog faithfully
mimics the tweakability of an analog synthesizer, complete with aliasing-free oscillators, multimode filters, syncable LFOs, looping envelope generators, and more.
Seven well-crafted optional sample libraries are designed to bring drums, drum
machines, and classical elements to your compositions.
Q: When I use an Audiosuite plug-in in Pro
Tools, I see the progress bars working, and the
audio files appear in the regions list, but the
waveform in the edit window doesn’t change,
and I don’t hear the effect.
Version 7 cements Live as a force to be reckoned with in the DAW world, and
the great new instruments and
sample libraries further expand the
> > Ableton Live 7
cross-genre appeal! Call your Sales
Sweetwater price $499.97
Engineer now for more information.
www.sweetwater.com/live7
Customer Studio: PlatinumOne Studios
gives you the best of both worlds; you’re working in a comfortable home environment without sacrificing the quality of a pro studio.” When he’s not busy tracking
Nashville’s finest, Woody holds down a second career as a structural engineer.
Woody remembers being involved in recording from a young age. “Back in high
school, I was the kid down the street with a Fostex recorder and some mics, and I
was able to get a good sound.” His knack for getting good sounds and working to
the artist’s strengths have led to an upcoming co-production effort for gospel/
bluegrass luminary Judy Marshall, who appreciated his approach. “Coming in with
a blank canvas approach rather than a preconceived formula really appealed to
her,” he notes.
Just a short drive down I-65 from Nashville, Tennessee, you’ll find the town of
Brentwood, home to the PlatinumOne Studios and its proud owner, Michael Erin
Woody. The studio’s close proximity to one of the country’s major musical hotbeds
gives Woody the opportunity to work with great artists, and the low-key, friendly
atmosphere is definitely a plus: “The talent pool in this area is second to none,” says
Woody, who relocated to the Nashville area about five years ago. “The songwriters
and performers who live here are really down-to-earth; there are so many talented
people here who lead modest, humble lives.”
A year in the making, PlatinumOne combines a pro-level studio environment with a
touch of home — literally. It’s built into the 1,400 square-foot basement of a Brentwood house. According to Woody, the availability of affordable pro-level recording
technology has created “more of a level playing field with the ‘big boys.’ This studio
With Digidesign Pro Tools 7.4 becoming available,
we’re focusing this edition of Expert Center on Pro
Tools. First up is a free downloadable utility that
handles much of the routine software maintenance and upkeep for your Pro Tools system. The
following URL will lead you to a Sweetwater Tech
Support webpage with information about this
software, including where to download it from:
The heart of the studio is a Mackie dXb board. (“Hands-down the best small-format digital board out there.”) Steinberg Nuendo DAW software and a Pro Tools HD
system are used, along with a host of processing plug-ins from TC Electronic, Antares, and Waves. Woody swears by his Neumann TLM 103 condenser microphones,
as well as Audio-Technica AT4060 tube mics for vocals. “I always let my ears be my
guide,” he says when explaining his gear choices. “Not necessarily what everyone
says ‘this is what you have to use.’” When he does seek advice on gear, he relies
on his Sweetwater Sales Engineer, Delvin Wolf, for solid information and informed
opinions. “I can talk to Delvin about any piece of equipment, and he always steers
me in the right direction,” says Woody. “Delvin truly knows what he’s talking about,
and he really understands the concept of cost-effectiveness. He never tries to oversell me on anything. If he worked in the Nashville area, I’d probably owe him about
20 dinners by now!”
You can reach Michael Erin Woody and PlatinumOne Studios at 615-335-2497.
It is recommended for all Pro Tools (HD, LE, or MPowered) systems on both Mac and PC.
Next up is a common AudioSuite-related question
for Pro Tools.
A: In Pro Tools, Audiosuite plug-ins have a button
that says “Use in Playlist.” When this button
is selected, the new file created (with effects)
replaces the old file on the playlist. If this button is
unchecked, the new file will only be placed in the
Regions list, and not actually put in the Playlist.
You’ll also want to be sure that the top-center button in any Audiosuite plug-in says “Playlist” and
not “Region List.”
EZdrummer continued from pg. 3
There are currently six EZX expanders in the Toontrack
lineup: Claustrophobic (recorded in a tiny dry room),
Twisted Kit (unusual percussion instruments and
sounds), Nashville (recorded by Chuck Ainlay and
Harry Stinson at the Sound Kitchen studio), Latin Percussion, Vintage Rock (brushes and sticks with a
Ludwig Keystone set), and Drumkit From Hell (taken
from the original Toontrack DFH library).
The quality of these EZX expanders is uniformly excellent. I installed all six, and found the variety of instruments covered just about any percussion need I might
have. The MIDI files included with each also provide a
broad range of options and a great deal of flexibility.
For fast, easy drum parts, it’s hard to beat EZdrummer. It’s convenient, efficient with computer resources,
and sounds great. But don’t assume these sounds and
MIDI files are just for composing and demos. They’re
so realistic there’s no reason you couldn’t use them in
your final tracks as well.
> > Toontrack EZdrummer
Sweetwater price $161.97
www.sweetwater.com/ezdrummer
Want to see your studio in SweetNotes? Email photos to Mitch Gallagher now! ([email protected])
Discover the Sweetwater Difference 1-800-222-4700 or www.sweetwater.com
Page 5.indd 5
11/6/07 4:20:07 PM
SWEETNOTES | DECEMBER 2007 | PAGE 6
Inside
Chuck Surack
We’re almost there! As I write this, our new campus
is approaching completion. It’s been a long journey
to get to this point — several years of hard work by
many, many people have been required to plan and
construct our new facility. After all that effort, I’m
proud to say that we’re just about finished.
By the time you read
this, our new restaurant/dining area
will be completed
and being enjoyed
by our employees,
their families, and
customers alike. The
employee health club
will be operational
— it’s very important
to me that everyone
who works here at
Sweetwater is as
healthy as possible, and we’re hoping that this facility
will be used a great deal, cutting down on absences
and medical costs for employees, and resulting in a
happier and healthier Sweetwater! Other amenities
will also be finished, such as our new in-house print
shop, DVD lending library, photography studio, lesson
rooms, and more.
About the time this issue of SweetNotes arrives in
your home, the final touches will be put on our amazing training theater and the last details will be finished
up on our new recording studios. These state-of-theart facilities were designed by world-renowned studio
designer Russ Berger, and offer world-class recording
and performance spaces, as well as a multitude of
features optimized for training our Sales Engineers
and other staff.
So far, the new Sweetwater campus has resulted in
an incredible boost in our efficiency and productivity
as a company. We expect that as the final facilities
come online, we’ll be able to serve you even better,
taking care of your needs even more quickly and efficiently. I hope that you’ll stop by if you’re in the area
— we’d love to give you a tour!
Thanks
On another topic, it’s always great to have your efforts
recognized by the industry and by your peers. I’m
proud to report that as this issue of SweetNotes was
going into production, we learned that the latest honor
bestowed on Sweetwater is a REX award for Overall
Excellence. The REX (Retail Excellence) Awards are
given out by Music Inc. magazine each year.
Being given awards is always an honor, and I’m
happy to share this one with the entire staff here at
Sweetwater. We all work incredibly hard to ensure
that we’re giving you the best possible service we
can. That’s because we know that the award that
really matters is your decision to do business with us,
and come back for future purchases. We can’t begin
to express how grateful we are to each and every one
of you for your support and for your business. Thank
you very much!
DeepRockDrive
Online Live
Music Revolution
www.deeprockdrive.com
The growing rumble you hear slowly building in the west is the sound of the live music
industry being set on its ear. And it’s already
starting to take hold wherever an Internet
connection can be made. DeepRockDrive
is an online music community that’s
jacked into a state-of-the-art performance,
broadcast, and performance facility. It’s a revolutionary approach to live
shows, streaming video and audio of bands’ performances via Internet to
fans that choose who they want to perform. The broadcast, monitoring,
and recording operations are based around primo Digidesign components
from right here at Sweetwater, and the combination of DeepRockDrive’s
innovative approach, their sonic savvy, and Sweetwater’s technical expertise has helped to get this great new service off the ground.
According to co-founder Danny Socolof, who has worked with major artists ranging from Led Zeppelin and Kanye West to Gwen Stefani and the
Who, “We’re trying to turn the live business upside-down. DeepRockDrive
was born out of a desire to connect artists and fans in a way that was
impossible just a couple of years ago.”
Just how is this connection possible? By joining the DeepRockDrive
online community (free of charge; go to www.deeprockdrive.com to sign
up), members are able to petition any artist in the world to perform live at
the performance/broadcast facility. When an artist or band gets more than
1,000 votes, they’re eligible to perform. Once that artist/band is lined
up, tickets are available globally online for a flat $6.99. “Artists get half,”
Socolof points out, adding that a portion of each ticket price is given to
charity as well. He says the approach came
about as a reaction to the alarming rise in
ticket prices, coupled with less and less
interactivity with artists. “I’ve been part of
the business since high school,” Socolof
says, “and, like many people, I’ve watched
the music industry change dramatically. The
real fans just can’t get access anymore. This is a chance for artists and
fans to really interact.”
video and audio transmission, and 64-channel recording capability meant
comprehensive, powerful tools would be needed.
As befits the engine that propels such a vehicle, the gear that powers
DeepRockDrive is suitably powerful and flexible. Engineer/producer CJ de
Villar (whose work includes sessions with Michael Jackson, Van Halen,
Ice Cube, P Diddy, Quincy Jones, and a host of other heavyweights) came
onboard to make the facility a reality, building a system from the ground
up that provides top-notch sound and connection capabilities with a
minimum of hassles. “I pretty much knew what they wanted, and what
I wanted to accomplish from the beginning,” he says. “Part of my job is
to keep the system so stealthy that it’s really easy to use, so I made sure
not to over-complicate the setup.” Though he stresses simplicity and
convenience, the reality of a system that bridges live performance, online
According to de Villar, Sweetwater Sales Engineer Mike Picotte was
instrumental in helping DeepRockDrive get the right tools for the job, and
more. “Mike was amazing,” he says. “He was a gem — he was there
for every question we had, and he understood what we were dealing
with right away.” Picotte points out that the initial challenge that arose
for outfitting DeepRockDrive was its unique nature. “They’re using a lot
of the gear that Sweetwater sells, but in a totally new way,” he says. “I
worked closely with CJ on the stage monitoring and in-house system,
making sure that we could integrate the system with their video — making sure that the audio would sync with the video, and stay synced. It’s
very interactive.”
CJ de Villar says it was “a pretty natural decision” to go with the
Digidesign D-Show console in the mix room. “And the monitor end of
the operation has a Digidesign Profile system.” He points out that the
functionality of the digital board’s setup allows for ultra-quick 5-minute
switchovers between bands — allowing DeepRockDrive to showcase
four to five bands per day. “It’s also very mobile.” he says. “This system
can be set up in a day.”
As DeepRockDrive gains membership and host more and more artists’
performances, Socolof is optimistic that this approach will not only flourish, but will continue to evolve. “It’s going to be a very interesting combination of live music and the web,” he says. “The artists and community
members who get into it now will be the pioneers who move it forward.”
View online versions of our print publications at sweetwater.com/publications/
Page 6.indd 6
11/6/07 4:21:42 PM
List $559.99
$ 559.99
$
List $2758
$ 2758.00
.00
$
$
.97
999
.97
1899
B
A
$
List $3098.00
$ 3098.00
List $1399.00
$1399.00
2299
List $3560.00
$ 3560.00
$
.97
2499.97
List $165.99
$165.99
$
D
399.99
H
99.99
E
C
List $1950.00
$1950.00
G
$
F
1399.97
List $493.32
$ 493.32
$
A. Gibson Les Paul Classic
Antique Mahogany Top
369.99
C. Paul Reed Smith SC 250
E. Squier Bullet
G. Vox AC15H1TV
This limited-run beauty is pure, classic Gibson, and
sports a mahogany top rather than the traditional
maple, as well as a vintage scroll logo.
With a mahogany body joined to a flame maple top and
accentuated by PRS 250 treble and bass pickups, the
SC 250 is both beautiful and elegantly functional — a
real player’s guitar!
A super-affordable version of one of the most famous
guitars of all time, the Bullet offers beginning guitarists
a solid instrument steeped in rock n’ roll history!
This handwired all-tube amp combines the EF86
preamp channel of 1958 with the Top Boost
channel from 1963 to transport you through the
golden age of Vox tone.
B. Martin D-16GT
D. Taylor GS8e
F. Fender G-DEC 30
H. Line 6 Pod X3
This affordable example of Martin worksmanship
incorporates solid wood construction with a spruce
top and mahogany back and sides.
With a solid Sitka spruce top and Indian rosewood
back and sides, this Taylor is famous for deep, pianolike bass and a warm, balanced midrange.
A one-of-a-kind practice amp, the G-DEC 30 provides
a slew of tonal choices and backing tracks to make
practice more inspirational!
This desktop processor packs every model Line 6
makes plus two discrete signal paths to create one
of the most flexible tone-shaping tools ever.
No Payments for 12 Months
No Cards. No Wait. No Worries.
Get What You Really Want!
The Planet’s Best Free Shipping
With thousands of
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headphones, cables, mixers, and more qualifying
for FREE SHIPPING at
Sweetwater, why would
you shop anywhere else?
Page 7.indd 7
Apply today for your Musician’s All Access card and
get the gear you want today
with NO Payments and NO
Interest for 12 months on
purchases made between 11/13/07 and 12/24/07.
Bill Me Later is the fast,
simple, and secure way
to buy online or over the
phone! Incredibly convenient, it’s the best way to
get credit, without the card!
Give the gift of choice
this season! A gift
certificate will never
get returned, “fits”
just right, and won’t
sit collecting dust in the garage like the Chia Pet from
last year!
11/9/07 11:24:05 AM
SWEETNOTES | DECEMBER 2007 | PAGE 8
A
B
List $3000
$ 3000.00
.00
$
List $699.00
$ 699.00
$
2499.97
599.99
C
List $2
$ 2199.00
$
1999.97
D
List $699.00
$ 699.00
$
595.97
E
List $399.99
$ 399.99
$
229.99
F
List $149.95
$149.95
$
119.97
Create your
own wish list!
Find more gift ideas!
Log on to sweetwater.com/giftguide
A. Korg M3-61
With features distilled from the flagship OASYS, the
M3-61 features 61 semi-weighted keys and
512 patches of amazing sounds!
C. Dave Smith Instruments
Prophet ‘08
A product of evolution rather than nostalgia, this
Prophet boasts all the pure analog circuitry that made
the classic so amazing and updates it for the 21st
century.
E. Yamaha PSR-E403
Aimed at beginners but still feature rich, the
PSR-E403 offers an easy-to-navigate user interface
with cool extras such as a pitchbend wheel and
6-track sequencer.
B. Yamaha MM6
D. Roland SH-201
F. M-Audio Oxygen 8 v2
Combining sounds from the MOTIF with grooves from
around the world, the MM6 is great for experts and
beginners alike!
If you’re new to the world of synthesis, the SH-201 is
an extremely user-friendly way to learn, and seasoned
synth pros will love it, too!
An updated version of the portable controller that
started the mobile music revolution, the affordable
and compact 25-key Oxygen 8 v2 is perfect for music
creation at home or on the road.
Page 8.indd 8
11/8/07 8:05:42 AM
SWEETNOTES | DECEMBER 2007 | PAGE 9
B
A
D
C
List $499.00
$ 499.00
List $369.00
$ 369.00
$
$
299.97
399.97
List $579
$ 579.00
.00
$
499.00
$
499.97
A. Cakwalk SONAR 7 Studio Edition
B. Propellerhead Reason 4
C. Apple Logic Studio
D. Native Instruments Guitar Rig 3
With 64-bit end-to-end processing, SONAR 7 Studio
Edition is a powerhouse of Windows-based music
production, and it’s Vista compatible!
The Reason soft synth workstation provides
limitless creative possibilities with its virtual rack of
groundbreaking instruments and loops.
The latest version of Apple Logic features a
streamlined user interface, new effects/instruments,
plus live performance and post-production tools.
Build your ultimate guitar setup from a myriad of
amps, cabinets, effects, and mics. The included
footswitch enables “toe-tip” control.
Create your
own wish list!
Find more gift ideas!
A
Log on to sweetwater.com/giftguide
STARTING AT
$
.97
999
List $279.00
$ 279.00
$
A
D
.97
249
Sweetwater Custom Computing
A. Dual Tower
B. Dual Rack
The Creation Station Tower is plenty powerful for
the biggest desktop music productions while being
extremely quiet for use in the studio.
In the studio or on the road, the Creation Station
Rack provides stable, PC-based power for your
recording rig!
449.97
List $329.00
$ 329.00
$
295.97
C
STARTING AT
1099.00
Apple MacBook
Whether it’s part of a portable system or the
centerpiece of a home recording rig, the MacBook
boasts speeds of up to four times that of the
PowerBook G4.
Page 9.indd 9
$
B
B
$
List $495.00
$ 495.00
List $799.00
$799.00
$
699.97
A. Digidesign Mbox 2 Micro
C. Digidesign Mbox 2 Pro
Every Pro Tools user needs one of these! The Mbox
2 Micro and a laptop lets you mix Pro Tools sessions
in a car, on a plane, literally anywhere you go!
The most feature-rich member of the Mbox 2
family, the Mbox 2 Pro offers FireWire connectivity,
word clock, and a pair of XLR inputs.
B. Digidesign Mbox 2 Mini
D. Digidesign Mbox 2
Great for singer/songwriters, the Mbox 2 Mini gives
you an affordable and streamlined way to record
and mix in Pro Tools.
The Mbox 2 is a big step forward over the original
Mbox with redesigned preamps and the addition of
MIDI I/O.
11/8/07 9:12:21 AM
SWEETNOTES | DECEMBER 2007 | PAGE 10
Sennheiser HD 280 PRO
B
Live or in the studio, the HD 280 PRO
provide natural sound and excellent
isolation from external sound sources.
$
.97
129
List $1999.00
$1999.00
List $199.95
$199.95
$
List $15
$159.
9.95
95
$
99.99
1499.97
A
List $158.00
$158.00
$
M-Audio AV 30
Compact and affordable, the AV 30 speakers are
great for space-challenged studios or desktop
gaming and music enjoyment.
.97
99
List $169.00
$169.00
$
C
.97
99
A. Shure SM57
B. Audio Technica AT 2020
C. Neumann TLM 49
A studio standard for over four decades!
The SM57 is responsible for the sound
of more recorded guitar amps and snare
drums than any other mic. A must have!
The ultra-affordable AT 2020 is a great
fit for any studio, pro or project.
An excellent choice for vocals or
acoustic instruments.
The cardioid TLM 49 builds on the
legacy of the Neumann U 47 and
M 49 to create a modern
masterpiece of a vocal mic.
Create your
own wish list!
Find more gift ideas!
Log on to sweetwater.com/giftguide
Zoom H2
$
.99
34
List $334.99
$ 334.99
$
199.97
This revolutionary
handheld recorder is
great for capturing
practices, gigs,
lectures, and much
more with its
four internal mic
capsules and 360˚
polar pattern.
List $56.00
$ 56.00
$
List $149.50
$149.50
$
99.97
The Boss TU-2 is a staple in the
live sound world, seen beneath the
feet of the world’s greatest guitarists and bassists.
List $139.00
$139.00
$
.99
89
.97
99
Gibson Audio
Les Paul Standard
Flash Drive
A sure-fire hit with Les Paul
fans, this 1GB flash drive is
modeled after a classic 1959
Les Paul. USB cable included.
Page 10.indd 10
The classic sound of an AC30
in a pocket-sized headphone
amp! Just plug it in and be
instantly transported to the
British Invasion!
CEntrance MicPort Pro
List $149.95
$149.95
$
Vox amPlug AC30
Boss TU-2
Mastering Music at Home
Sweetwater’s Mitch Gallagher gives you
the inside scoop on mastering your audio
projects in a home studio environment.
39.99
$
Instant computer recording! Plug the
MicPort Pro into your computer and
turn any mic into a USB audio interface!
124.97
STARTING AT
$
79.00
BLUE Snowball
The epitome of plug-andplay simplicity, the Snowball
is great for podcasts or
capturing song ideas.
Apple iPods
iPodTouch®
iPod®
iPod nano®
iPod shuffle®
The latest generation of iPods boasts a redesigned outer shell
and user interface — not to mention the addition of touch
screen models to the line.
11/14/07 11:35:26 AM
SWEETNOTES | DECEMBER 2007 | PAGE 11
Hands On
Propellerhead: Reason 4
By Mitch Gallagher
On the sonic front, the big news in Reason 4 is the addition of the
mighty Thor, what Propellerheads call a “polysonic” synthesizer.
With four filter types (ladder, state variable, formant, comb), six
forms of synthesis (analog, wave table, phase modulation, FM pair,
multi-oscillator, noise oscillator), onboard effects, and extensive
modulation capabilities. There’s also a built-in 16-step pattern sequencer that can be used for modulation, phrase triggering, or good
ol’ arpeggiation. Thor can crank out an amazing range of sounds.
What Is Reason?
Propellerhead Software’s
Reason is a virtual studio
rack for your Mac or PC
that can be loaded with
instruments, effects,
and other tools to create
music — samplers, synths,
EQ, reverb, delay, drum
machines, vocoders, REX
file players, mastering processors…the list is long.
All of this can be controlled
from a built-in sequencer,
a MIDI keyboard, or you
can “ReWire” Reason to
your DAW to send audio
and MIDI information back
and forth.
I think Propellerhead Reason
is one of the coolest music
programs going. I love it
for sketching out ideas, for
creating new sounds, and for
putting together final tracks
— it’s a complete studio
in a box, short of recording
external audio tracks. Even though I have hard drives full of the best
sounds and virtual instruments available, I turn to Reason again and
again as a multitimbral sound source for my DAWs; I’ve loaded it
up with a variety of ReFills, including Propellerheads Abbey Road
Keyboards, Reason Drum Kits, Reason Pianos, Electromechanical, and Strings, which offer plenty of sound capabilities. It’s
just so CPU-efficient and flexible — plus it’s just plain fun!
I had few complaints about Reason, but with Reason 4, the
Propellerheads have addressed those complaints and taken things
to the next level. A big shortcoming to previous versions of Reason
was the sequencer. Not that it didn’t function well, it was just lacking in features. In most instances, I used my DAW’s MIDI sequencer
capabilities to drive the instrument rack in Reason. But with version
4, Reason’s sequencer has been nicely beefed up. There are now
lanes for displaying and editing automation, vector and tempo
automation, a count-in, and the new floating Tool Window includes
a variety of detailed MIDI editing commands and processes (it also
allows you to drag-and-drop instrument and effect modules into
Reason’s rack, and set groove parameters). Despite these additions,
the sequencer actually seems cleaner and less cluttered to me. I
like the way you can “open” and hide the lanes to keep things clear.
Thor isn’t the only source of new sounds — the included Reason
Factory Sound Bank has been updated with new Combinator
patches, arpeggiator-driven sounds, groove files, ReDrum patches,
and signature patches from some of the world’s leading synthesists
and sound designers.
Speaking of arpeggiators, Reason 4 adds the RPG-8 Monophonic
Arpeggiator to the module line-up. The RPG-8 goes beyond the ordinary, of course. It has a wide range of control and mode selectors,
as well as the ability to mute selected notes in an arpeggio. You
can set the RPG-8 to engage only when two or more notes are held
down, and there’s a manual mode for real-time control.
Groove Tubes has been manufacturing, importing, and matching tubes for two decades, and founder Aspen Pittman manages to remain on the cutting edge of a technology that is at
once moving forward and simultaneously reaching back to
the “old school” for manufacturing techniques and tonal bliss.
No stranger to Sweetwater, Pittman has visited us several
times, bringing an energetic, entertaining and always informative
approach to all things “tube.”
When Cubase 4 was released in 2006, it became
Steinberg’s flagship music-production program. So
what was to become of Nuendo, you might have
asked. The answer is, it was being re-tooled to fulfill
its destiny as Steinberg’s premier post-production
software for film, video, and broadcast.
A fascinating addition to Reason 4 is the ReGroove Mixer, what
Propellerheads call a “groove management” device. The ReGroove
Mixer allows you to change the timing of a Reason track in real
time, nondestructively. You can use this to lock all your tracks
together for a super-tight feel, or slide and shuffle the grooves of
individual tracks for different feels and effects. Reason includes a
wide selection of groove patches, many of which were created by
analyzing recordings of real musicians and classic tracks.
Nuendo has always boasted an impressive feature
set, and as you can imagine, Nuendo 4 is packed
to the brim with everything that made the program
so great to begin with, plus new enhancements that
make it the ideal platform for post-production. On the
editing side of things, Nuendo sports no less than 20
new editing commands and tool modifiers for efficient
maneuvering through arduous tasks. There are also
key modifiers for aligning events with other events.
There’s so much to talk about with Reason 4; you could easily fill a
small book just discussing the new Thor synthesizer! If you’re new
to Reason, don’t hesitate to jump in and join the party. Despite its
power, Reason is easy to operate whether you’re a novice or a pro.
If you’re already a Reason user, order your update now! You won’t
be disappointed by the new features and improvements.
New plug-ins are plentiful, with 38 all-new surroundcapable VST3 plug-ins at your disposal to handle a
multitude of tasks. (Nuendo 4 sports a whopping total
of 60 new or revamped plug-ins, all of which are surround-ready.) These include a new batch of dynamics
processors along with sound design tools to handle
virtually any task you might encounter.
> > Propellerheads Reason 4
Sweetwater price $399.97
www.sweetwater.com/reason4
Tubes For Tone
It’s no secret that Groove Tubes are renowned as some of the
very best tubes out there, with great build quality, consistency,
and a matching system that lets you get the most out of your
amplifier or other gear. Now Sweetwater is proud to offer a
wide array of Groove Tubes replacement tubes for preamps,
power amps, as well as rectifier and reverb circuits.
Steinberg
Nuendo 4
If you’re looking for a testament to the quality and
reliability you get from Groove Tubes, consider that
Fender now features Groove Tubes high-quality tubes
as standard equipment in a majority of their tube amps.
Need to add an edge to your Vox AC15 or AC30’s tone?
Groove Tubes has an EL84 for you. Marshall-style amps
benefit from a range of 6L6 and EL34 tubes that let you
go from classic, rich tone to sizzling sustain, depending
on the model and the grade. From 12AX7 preamp tubes
to graded 6L6 models, you’ll find the Groove Tubes
replacement tube you want from Sweetwater. And the company’s
matching system ensures that you get a pair or quartet of tubes
that complement each other perfectly.
Contact your Sales Engineer for information on which Groove Tubes
replacement tubes will enhance your gear the best.
Steinberg has also reengineered the automation
process with the release of Nuendo 4. This new
approach to automation merges analog thinking and
digital convenience to create an incredibly intuitive
way to create envelopes. A floating automation menu
keeps all the controls a click away for easy access.
We’ve only touched on a fraction of the new features
— of which there are many — but it’s important to
mention that Nuendo 4 is now compatible with Intel
Macs and Windows Vista.
As the recording industry changes and evolves and
video continues to become more and more of a
driving force in our daily lives, post-production is
emerging as one of the most important venues for pro
audio. Nuendo was designed for this fact years ago
and has been taking steps toward becoming a total
post-production audio environment with each new
release. But Nuendo can do more than just post-production. With version 4, the program has arrived as
an outstanding pro audio production platform for any
application, music to high-end post-production.
> > Steinberg Nuendo
Sweetwater price $1,799.99
www.sweetwater.com/nuendo4
Exlcusive videos, features, and hands-on reviews at sweetwater.com/expert-center
Page 11.indd 11
11/6/07 4:27:00 PM
SWEETNOTES | DECEMBER 2007 | PAGE 12
Taylor Goes Solid
Jim Miller
The doorbell rang. I peeked cautiously through the
blinds to see who was there and spotted a blue uniform with a gold badge. I ducked down, then thought,
“That’s dumb, you haven’t done anything wrong!” I
whipped open the door and realized it was my nextdoor neighbor. He parks a police car in front of his
house, but I’d never seen him in uniform.
He handed me a box that had been delivered to him
by mistake, then waved as he cut across to his house.
When I had the box open, I saw it contained Native Instruments KONTAKT 3 and GUITAR RIG 3. Installation
of both Kontakt and Guitar Rig was painless, though
transferring Kontakt’s 32+ gigabytes of sampled instruments from DVD took up a chunk of the afternoon.
I won’t keep you in suspense. Version 3 of Kontakt is
even more sleek and powerful, with a beautifully redesigned user interface that’s a quantum leap over v2.
Hats off to the software people at Native Instruments;
they put everything into one big, easy-to-use program
that literally does it all.
Custom
Electric
Guitar
How do you innovate and add to an instrument
design that’s been around for more than 50 years,
while staying true to the spirit of the instrument at
the same time? That’s a neat trick. But leave it to
Taylor to pull it off — on their first try, no less! The
three new Taylor solidbody electric guitar models are both instantly
recognizable and utterly new; they carry on the tradition of venerable electric guitar design while offering the sort of distinctive design
features that have made the Taylor name synonymous with quality,
dependability, and great tone.
It’s no secret that Bob Taylor has been inundated with requests for a
solidbody electric model for years. But given Taylor’s commitment to
building innovation into all his guitars, he was hesitant to dive into an
arena full of copycat designs and played-out features…until he heard
the Pickup.
According to Brian Swerdfeger, Taylor’s Director of Product Marketing, the design team was experimenting with a new pickup, initially
mounted in a small-bodied version of a Taylor T-5 guitar. It caught
Bob’s ear immediately. “Bob said that the pickup sounded so great
that it deserved its own guitar design,” recalls Swerdfeger. It was time for a serious look at a solidbody
design. “We realized that the new pickup sounded
great on everything: hollowbodies, chambered bodies,
and solidbodies. After the pickup was designed, we had
the permission to look at everything with fresh eyes.”
Soon, the team was hard at work on a dedicated
solidbody design, in conjunction with the development of a sleek new milled aluminum bridge.
The challenge, says Swerdfeger, was to create
a guitar that was “all-new, but it also had to
have that romance of electric guitars past. It
had to be ‘strangely familiar’ — we wanted
you to be able to pick it up and have it feel like
an old friend.”
In two full days, I barely scratched the surface of
what’s under the hood. Just listening to some of
the sweet convolution reverbs required a pleasant
afternoon. Kontakt 3 also allows you to create absolutely stunning 3-D soundscapes with its new
surround sound capabilities. Sound designers
working in post-production will be in heaven!
But let’s not forget that Kontakt 3 wasn’t the only
software that arrived that day. While I have been
quite happy with the modeling capabilities of my kidney-shaped guitar module, you can never have enough
sounds. Now, with the addition of Guitar Rig 3, my cup
runneth over! Although I find myself coming back to
programs I’ve tweaked to perfection for most of my
solos, I really love using different amp and speaker
combinations for the rhythm parts, because that’s really where the main course is in most recordings.
At your Sweetwater price of just $299.97, Guitar Rig 3
is more fun than is actually legal in three states (you
can probably guess which ones). If you love the whole
concept of an unlimited palette of sounds you can
use to enhance your favorite guitar or bass (Guitar Rig
includes several bass amp models), you can’t pass
this up. In truth, even if you spent a year coming up
with amp, speaker, mic, and effects combinations,
you’d never come close to hearing them all! How cool
is that?
I’m already at work on a much more detailed review
of both Kontakt 3 and Guitar Rig 3 for my Tech Notes
Online column (www.sweetwater.com/feature/technotes). Just listing all the features is a pretty daunting
task, but I’m looking forward to many late nights spent
in my studio, with my sweet Border Collie/Corgi/Lab
mix, Abby, curled up beside my chair.
that offer a classic, integrated feel. Says
Swerdfeger, “All the components feel like
they’re meant to be together. There’s a unity
of design that all Taylors have, and these
guitars reflect that.” The striking Classic
model (below right) features a mahogany
body, 3/4-sized Style 1 humbucking
pickups, a comfortable mahogany
neck, and a cool crushed-pearl
pickguard. The Standard model
(right) sports open-coil Style 2
humbuckers, a contoured body,
and flamed maple top, while the
beautiful walnut-topped Custom
(left, loaded with 3/4-size Style 1
humbuckers) represents the top of the Solid
Body line.
By Mitch Gallagher and Jim Miller
Let’s take a slight detour this issue to answer a reader
question: “I’m thinking of changing the pickups in my
guitar. Is there anything I need to be aware of?”
Changing the pickups in a guitar is probably the most
common thing players do to customize their instruments. While it should be said that you’re generally
best off to choose an instrument that has great pickups from the start, and also that guitar manufacturers
these days do a great job of providing pickups that
match well with their instruments, most guitar players
admit to being insatiable gear hounds, always wanting
to tweak the maximum amount of tone and performance from their instruments. Changing the pickups
is a simple way to make a change or improvement.
There are several reasons to change guitar pickups.
These include reducing hum and noise, improving
tone, increasing or decreasing gain, adding capabili-
Classic
Electric
Guitar
The Custom has all the appointments
you’d expect from a premium electric:
classy binding and inlays, an ebony fingerboard, and a stunning, figured, bound top.
All three models are single-cutaway designs
and share the same sleek and functional aluminum bridge for great
intonation and tuning stability. They also share the aforementioned
‘strangely familiar’ feel, complementary components, and, above all,
incredible tone
and easy playabil> > Taylor Custom Electric Guitar
ity. Taylor’s longSweetwater price $2,299.97
awaited first effort
www.sweetwater.com/customwnt
goes straight
> > Taylor Standard Electric Guitar
to the front of a
Sweetwater price $1,799.97
crowded field, and
www.sweetwater.com/standardvsb
as always, does
> > Taylor Classic Electric Guitar
so with class and
Sweetwater price $1,299.97
distinction.
The result of these efforts is three guitar models
GUITAR
Standard
Electric
Guitar
www.sweetwater.com/classicwht
Changing Pickups
ties such as coil-tapping or series/parallel wiring
options, and more.
and even route out a larger hole in the body of the
guitar to accommodate the larger double-coil unit.
Fortunately, swapping out new pickups usually doesn’t
require specialized skills or major guitar surgery. If
you know which end of a soldering iron to hang onto,
you’ll probably be just fine! The only other tools you’ll
generally need are screwdrivers and perhaps a pair of
needle-nose pliers.
If this sounds like a lot of scary work on your precious
instrument, check your guitar before you give up.
Some guitars have “swimming pool” or universal
routes under their pickguards — basically big empty
holes that will accommodate any pickup size or
combination. Or, you could consider installing a singlecoil-sized humbucking pickup that will fit right in the
hole vacated by your guitar’s old single-coil pickup.
If you’re dropping in a new pickup that’s similar to
the old one, then the swap may be as simple as
un-soldering the old pickup, removing the pickup
mounting ring or pickguard and pulling out the pickup,
then mounting the new pickup in place of the old and
soldering it into place.
Some pickup swaps can be much more involved,
though. For example, if you want to replace a singlecoil pickup with a humbucker, you may need to cut a
new hole or expand a hole in your guitar’s pickguard,
If you do decide to replace the pickup(s) in your guitar,
be sure to keep all the old parts around. You may
decide you want to return to the original configuration, or that you need to restore the instrument to its
original condition in order to sell it. This is particularly
important with a vintage, limited edition, or especially
valuable instrument, but it’s valid for other instruments as well.
See hi-res photos of nearly every guitar we have in stock at Sweetwater.com/guitargallery
Page 12.indd 12
11/8/07 8:10:26 AM
SWEETNOTES | DECEMBER 2007 | PAGE 13
Inside the
Hands On
Glyph: GT 062
By Mitch Gallagher
If you’re using a computer, then you’ve faced the issue of data storage,
backup, and archiving. These days, the gigabytes of data add up quickly, and
you need a reliable system for storing that data and keeping it safe.
Let’s discuss
relationships. I know
that “relationship” is
a word that strikes
fear into the hearts of
many, but our context isn’t of the romance advice column variety. As a retailer,
we’re in the middle of the distribution chain that starts with the manufacturer
and finishes with the end user.
Jeff Radke
It’s easy to understand why we work so hard for our customers, but why have
we invested so much time and effort to build strong relationships with our
manufacturers? I remember when I was a regional manager with AKG back in
the mid ‘80s and visited Chuck’s house (actually, house/studio/retail operation)
and he worked with me as a partner instead of an adversary. His goal from Day
One was to be an honorable business partner with the manufacturers he dealt
with, and let me tell you, the credibility he earned went a long way. When he
needed a favor, I was inclined to do all I could to help him out. Chuck (correctly)
figured if he did his best to represent manufacturers in a professional way,
they’d likewise support him.
Frankly, this philosophy probably held Sweetwater back at times. The commitment to support those manufacturers who support us meant we really couldn’t
carry every product line. As we’ve grown, we’ve been able to add more and
more brands and today carry literally thousands of products…but we only add
brands and products that are a good fit and when we’re sure we can give them
a consistently high level of knowledgeable support.
The relationships we maintain with manufacturers help us serve you in many
ways. First, the training we receive is second to none. When a manufacturer
comes in (as they do multiple times each week), we’re very fortunate to get
the “A” team. For instance, in addition to the training and support of a factory
rep, we might have the top-flight product specialist, product designer/engineer,
or even the company owner come in to do training for our staff. One recent
example was Paul Smith (as in Paul Reed Smith of PRS Guitars, see page 4
of this issue) spending a full day at Sweetwater. George Massenberg has also
been in, as has Jim Odom (founder of PreSonus), and many killer clinicians
like Nick Bowcott from Marshall and Tony Levin with Ampeg. (Bass star Stuart
Hamm was a recent clinician/visitor; see page 14.) Our sales team has access
to the best and brightest minds in the industry on a daily basis and that means
you have the most accurate and up-to-date information available.
With its latest feature updates, the Glyph GT 062 is a perfect choice for data preservation and any other storage
needs. The GT062 is housed in Glyph’s standard-sized drive enclosure (approximately a half-rack space; optional
rackmount kits are available). It comes in a very nice hard-shell plastic carrying case, and has a 3-year warranty, with two years of free basic
data recovery in the event of a drive failure. Glyph also includes overnight advance replacement of the drive.
The GT series features dual FireWire 400 and FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 connections. Inside the enclosure are two 7,200 RPM Seagate SATA hard
drives — that’s where things start getting interesting. Several drive capacities are offered, ranging from 500GB (dual 250GB drives) to 2TB (dual
1TB drives). In addition to standard hard drive modes, the unit can be used as a RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Devices). Apple OS 8.6,
9.x, and 10.x are supported, as are Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, and Vista, and Linux, and more.
The drives can be configured in four software-selectable ways:
• JBOD — Just a Bunch Of Drives, where each drive serves as a separate volume.
• Spanning — where the two drives serve as one large volume.
• RAID 0 — aka “striping” mode, where the data is spread across the two volumes, increasing the speed and performance of the system for
demanding applications such as video and heavily edited, high track count audio.
• RAID 1 — where the same data is automatically written to both drives simultaneously. This data redundancy provides an immediate backup.
Should one of the drives fail, the data is still safe and available on the second drive. (Note that RAID 1 mode is brand-new to the GT 062. If
you have an older GT 062, it can be upgraded to support RAID 1. If the unit is less than a year old, the upgrade is free.)
The GT 062 drive comes with Glyph Manager software. This application provides status information, such as the drive configuration, connection type, and whether the two drives are “healthy”
or not. It also allows you to change the drive configurations to one of the four types listed above.
(Note that when you do this, all data is erased from the drives — be careful!)
I used the GT 062 on three computers; it performed flawlessly on each, no matter what challenges
I threw at it. I tried all four drive modes. For high performance, RAID 0 is perfect. For data-intensive
projects like live recording, the high-capacity spanning mode is ideal. If you need several independent drives, but want a compact enclosure, JBOD is the ticket. For long-term storage, backup, and
archiving, the new RAID 1 configuration works great. I’ve used a FireWire drive as a quick backup
solution for several years, but using a RAID for that backup provides a real feeling of security, not
to mention time saved not having to make a second copy — the second copy is already there.
The performance and security provided by the Glyph GT 062 makes it a no-brainer for the studio
and for live recording applications, or just as a backup/archiving solution for all your data storage
needs. Highly recommended.
Great business is based on great relationships. For us, that means doing all we
can to be a great partner with both our manufacturers and our valued customers. It’s the only way to ensure that we’ll really be able to provide the highest
level of service.
Rock and Roll!
Jeff (VP of Sales)
Page 13.indd 13
> > Glyph GT 062 800B
Sweetwater price $609.97
www.sweetwater.com/GT062800
> >Glyph GT 062 1TB
Sweetwater price $709.97
www.sweetwater.com/GT0621000
> > Glyph GT 062 1.5TB
Sweetwater price $1159.97
www.sweetwater.com/GT0621500
BradLyons
Why did you apply for a job at
Sweetwater? I felt I had a lot of experience to offer the company and was limited in growth at my previous employer.
This leads me to my next point. Over the years, we have developed incredible
“ins” with the service and tech support departments of the manufacturers we
carry. This access gives us the ability to provide you with the answers, solutions, and fixes faster and more completely than any other retailer.
Finally, the relationships we have with our manufacturers ensures we’re on
top of the latest developments and product releases. It’s not unusual for us to
know about new products and even have training on them long before they’ve
been debuted in the press or on line.
> > Glyph GT 062 500GB
Sweetwater price $449.97
www.sweetwater.com/GT062500
Technical Strengths: Recording, live
sound, keyboards/MIDI, computer audio.
Position at Sweetwater: Sr. Sales Engineer
Favorite Music-related Website(s):
www.audioandmidi.com (my site), www.
unicornation.com, www.vsplanet.com.
Start Date: 10/23/2000
Instruments you play: Keyboards. drums.
Education: Composition and Theory at Bowling Green State University, Composition with
a double minor in Business Management and
Accounting at Spring Arbor University.
Gear you own: Creation Station Rack,
Digidesign Pro Tools HD3 Accel, Control24, and
192I/O; PreSonus ADL600 (2), MP20; Focusrite
Liquid Channel, Red8, Liquid4Pre (soon); ADAM
Audio S1A monitors and Sub10, Royer R121,
Earthworks TC30 (pair), and mics from Blue,
AKG, and Shure; tons of TDM plug-ins.
Name: Brad Lyons
Where are you from? New London, CT
What was your occupation before coming
to Sweetwater? Sales for a competitor of
Sweetwater. I was also in studio engineering
and broadcast production.
Family Info: Alison (fiance) and soon-to-be
step-sons Devin and Michael.
Other stuff we should know about you:
I’m a big sports fan. I do TV audio production
for my church and record local concerts.
Real-life Hero: My mom, she sacrificed so
much to help me get where I am today.
Guilty pleasure of choice: The Food Network, re-runs of Cops, I’m addicted to Lockup.
What did you dream about doing when
you were growing up? Playing pro baseball
(I almost made it), fighter pilot for the Air Force.
What best prepared you for the work you
do at Sweetwater? Years of music production, touring, and experience in the business.
What do you enjoy most about being part
of the Sweetwater Team? My clients, many
of whom I consider friends.
What’s the most important thing you’ve
learned at Sweetwater? Trust! It takes much
work to earn it, but it can be lost instantly.
11/8/07 8:12:06 AM
SWEETNOTES | DECEMBER 2007 | PAGE 14
Studio Notebook:
OS Updates
By Mitch Gallagher
As I write this, Apple’s latest incarnation of OS X,
version 10.5, is just hitting the streets. I admit it, I
love to be on the cutting edge of technology, and
knowing that there are cool features out there that I
can’t use until I upgrade is a tough thing to bear!
It’s cool to be on the leading edge, but caution is
always a good policy when making a change to a
computer system that’s currently functioning well.
With that in mind, there are several things to
remember as you make the move to a new version
of your computer’s operating system (whether
Windows or Mac):
• First and foremost, make sure you back up everything before you make any changes. On my Mac,
I use a shareware program called “SuperDuper!”
(www.shirt-pocket.com), a backup utility that
allows you to create a perfect image copy of your
computer’s hard drive onto a second drive. I make
image copies before I make any major changes
to the computer, as well as for occasional backup
of the entire machine. (I do daily backups of
changed data to external FireWire drives. ) There
are other similar applications available for Mac
and PC; this one has worked well for me, and the
price is right — if you only use it to create disc
images, it’s free!
• Learn to groove with just a kick,
a snare, and a very simple closed
hi-hat part. Every time I watch
someone experimenting with
virtual drums on keys or pads
it’s always the same problem:
They’re grooving along for a few
measures and then inevitably try
to get fancy with toms, cymbals,
cowbells, or complicated kick
patterns. As soon as they do, the
groove gets lost and it all comes
crashing down. Instead, try playing along with a recording or your musician friends
and concentrate on keeping it simple and supportive
of the groove. Don’t worry about fills or variations for
now. You’ll be surprised how much the other musicians appreciate your consistency.
and which are doing snares (mostly beats 2 and 4).
How are you doing rolls and fills? Once you’re aware
of your natural tendencies try assigning drums on
keys or pads in an order that lets you do what you
do naturally. Keep refining it and add more drums as
you go. It will be so natural to groove that you’ll feel
like you’re cheating. Don’t be afraid to place several
versions of the same drum near each other for easier
rolls, flams, and double kicks.
• Put the drums where they’re right for you. Sure,
there’s the GM standard drum layout, and several
keyboards and drum instruments have their own
unique layouts, but that doesn’t mean you’re restricted to those layouts. Try tapping various grooves
on a tabletop with just your fingers. Don’t worry which
finger does what; just go for it. After a while, notice
which fingers are doing kicks (mostly beats 1 and 3)
• Just drum. Once you’ve made a kit you need to use
it until it’s second nature. Play with musician friends
and jam with your iPod. There are lots of opportunities where people want to jam but there’s no space
for a drum kit, or there are volume limitations. In time
you may find yourself thinking of this as your primary
instrument. It really can be that much fun.
SYNTH
TRICKS
By Daniel Fisher
Here at Sweetwater we carry all of the best virtual
drum instruments the industry has to offer, including Native Instruments Battery 3, Toontrack dfh
Superior and EZdrummer, Digidesign Strike, XLN
Audio Addictive Drums, and FXpansion BFD, just to
name a few.
Although many of these drum plug-ins come with a
generous selection of sequenced grooves, there are
times when you need to play some or all of the drum
parts by hand. If you’ve never done it before, it can
seem difficult. But I promise you’ll get better every
time you try it.
Here are some tricks I’ve learned over the years for
playing convincing drums on a keyboard:
• Make fills easier for yourself. If you’re using a MIDI
keyboard you’ve got lots of extra keys if you stop worrying about timbales, cuicas, guiros, triangles, claves,
etc. Instead, use a different section of the keyboard to
put a bunch of toms, snares, and kicks close together
so you can drum your fingers in one area and get
amazing fills. If you’re using drum pads, learn how to
quickly switch to an alternate layout that’s designed
just for stunt fills.
Hartke and Stuart Hamm
Once you have made a copy of your system drive
and stored it safely away, you can take comfort in
the fact that you can always get back to where you
started if there’s a problem with the upgrade or an
incompatibility with the new OS.
• Speaking of compatibility, there’s usually a bit of
a lag between when the new OS comes out and
when all the music and audio applications support
the new version. Some programs will be updated
quickly — usually DAWs are made fully compatible fairly soon after the OS release. But keep in
mind that any third-party processing and virtual
instrument plug-ins you use with your DAW may
also have to be updated. It can take some time for
plug-in manufacturers to catch up to the upgrade
curve. Be sure every component of your DAW you
need is compatible before you make the move.
• Compatibility extends beyond software — any
hardware that you’re using will also need to be
completely compatible. Usually this is a matter
of new driver software being supplied by the
manufacturer; often a free downloadable upgrade
is offered. Fortunately, updated drivers tend to
appear quickly for the hardware from larger
manufacturers, so by the time your software is
compatible, your hardware will be ready to roll.
It’s exciting to install a new operating system and
to explore the capabilities it offers. Take your time,
back up, and ensure compatibility before you install,
the transition should be a smooth, painless one.
Sweetwater Sales Engineers settled into an earlymorning meeting recently, only to be pleasantly
shocked by a surprise performance by none other than
bass ace Stuart Hamm. Demonstrating the great sound
of the new Hartke HyDrive bass speaker, Hamm kicked
off the day by launching into an amazing rendition
of “The Star-spangled Banner.” A flurry of hammerons and simultaneous bass and melody lines made
the tune sound like it was being played by multiple
musicians. Needless to say, a roomful of appreciative
Sweetwater employees voiced their approval.
Hamm, who rose to prominence backing such rock
luminaries as Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Frank Gambale, has long been a sought-after player for recording
sessions and tours. His solo performances are entertaining, jaw-dropping clinics on how expressive the
bass guitar can be. Hamm’s ability to meld rock, jazz,
classical, and even country styles into complementary
parts of a whole were on full display at Sweetwater; he
breezed through Led Zeppelin’s “Going to California,”
mashed up Beethoven with the Beatles, and finished
up with a jazz-inflected version of the Peanuts theme
song — only to segue into a spot-on theme from Star
Trek. It was a masterful performance that was by turns
eye-popping and humorous: after one particularly
impressive string bend, Hamm stopped mid-song to
comment, “I stole that from Billy Sheehan — don’t
tell anybody!” Hamm filled the spellbound room with
earthy lows and articulate highs from his rig, which
included the brand-new Hartke HyDrive 410 cabinet.
Well-known for their aluminum-cone speakers and
powerful bass amps, Hartke gave Sweetwater an
exclusive unveiling of their innovative HyDrive hybrid
driver, which combines the punchy tone of aluminum
with the warm, sweet midrange of paper in the speaker cone for the best of both worlds. Other advantages
of the hybrid design are light weight (5lbs. for the 10"
version, 7lbs. for the 15" driver) and the ability of the
aluminum inner portion of the cone to help dissipate
heat. A cast aluminum frame also keeps weight down
while providing solid support. Configurations include
the 500-watt 1 x 15" 115, the 410 model showcased
by Hamm (with 1,000-watt power handling), and the
impressive 8 x 10" 810 cabinet, which handles 2,000
watts. All three cabinets include a 1" titanium compression driver with adjustable level control.
There is also a new line of HyDrive-equipped bass
combo amps. The 210c pumps 250 watts into two
10" speakers, while the 112c pushes 250 watts into
a compact 1x12" design. Hamm pointed out that the
115c, a 1 x 15" 250-watt combo, can hold its own on
a crowded stage: “It’s got enough juice to keep up with
a full-sized band,” he said, adding that Hartke “took an
awesome product and made it even better.”
> > Hartke HyDrive HX410
Sweetwater price $599.97
www.sweetwater.com/hydrivehx410
> > Hartke HyDrive 115C
Sweetwater price $649.97
www.sweetwater.com/hydrive115c
Tech Support 24/7 at sweetwater.com/sweetcare
Page 14.indd 14
11/6/07 4:36:03 PM
SWEETNOTES | DECEMBER 2007 | PAGE 15
Hands On
Apple Logic Studio
By Mitch Gallagher
The Ultimate Box Set
Various incarnations of Logic software have been
leading the DAW pack for many years — I started
with Logic’s Atari 1040ST-based ancestor Creator
way back in the dark ages when there was no
audio support on computers, just MIDI. When Apple
purchased Emagic (parent company of Logic) a few
years back, expectations were high that the software
would get a major makeover in the easy-to-use
image of Apple’s other flagship production software.
Now with Logic Studio and Logic Pro 8, those
expectations have been met!
Logic Studio includes more than Logic Pro 8.
There are several powerful applications included
as well, such as MainStage, a virtual instrument
host designed for live performance, Soundtrack
Pro 2, for creating audio-for-video and for loopbased composing, Waveburner for creating audio CDs from your tracks, an Impulse Response
Utility for making your own convolution reverbs,
and Compressor for encoding and previewing
surround sound files. In addition, you’ll get some
40 virtual instruments, 80 effects plug-ins, and
18,000 Apple Loops (yes, 18,000), 2,400 channel strip settings, and 1,300 sampled instruments. You’ll need around 46GB free on your
hard drive to install the entire package
Logic Pro 8 has been redesigned with a new user
interface. The Arrange window has a single-window
design that consolidates music and audio functions into
a single workspace. This one change has far-reaching
implications for experienced Logic users, as things are
now even faster and more streamlined. For those who
are new to Logic, the learning curve has been significantly reduced.
The Apogee
Connection
Another big change is that you can now perform
sample-accurate audio editing in the Arrange window.
Other new audio editing features include snap-to-transient navigation and selection, graphical time stretching,
and more.
Logic Studio will work with any Core Audiocompatible hardware, or you can even run it
using just the built-in audio support on your
Mac. For the ultimate hardware/software
synergy, take a look at Apogee’s Mac-based
audio interfaces (Ensemble, Symphony, and
Duet). Support for these devices is built right
into Logic Studio, allowing very low latency and
direct access to the features on the hardware
from within Logic.
Hands On
Other features are also designed to streamline common
tasks. For example, Logic Pro now has easier track
setup and channel strip creation, and improved ReWire
support. In fact, you may find you never have to visit the
Environment at all! (The Environment is the background
area in the program where all of Logic’s setup and
routing takes place — it could be an intimidating world
to visit!) But fear not, if you’re an Environment junky, it’s
still there in all its glory.
New region-based take management features speed up
overdubbing and recording multiple takes for a track.
An expandable take folder keeps things organized and
makes it easy to recall and listen to different takes.
Once you have all your takes recorded and you want to
edit them down to create the ultimate comped track,
you have to check out the new Quick Swipe Comping
feature. Just drag the computer cursor over the portion
of a take that you want, and Logic Pro will automatically
create a seamless comp, with everything smoothed
out with automatic crossfades. In practice this works
extremely well — it’s one of the fastest and most effective schemes I’ve seen for comping tracks. If you do
much of this kind of work, Logic Studio is worth it just
for this feature!
Other new features include extensive surround mixing
and processing support, with true surround tracks as
well as multi-mono support so any stereo or mono
plug-in can be used in surround. Optimized mixer
views allow you to only see the channel strips and as-
sociated buses that you want to see. Built-in browsers
make it easy to access all the instrument, sample, and
loop content you want to use in your project. An Apple
Remote can be used to control Logic Pro from across
the room if you’re tracking yourself.
There’s so much more to discuss, but two final features
deserve mentioning. Number one is that Logic Studio
no longer requires an XSkey dongle — all you need
is a serial number! Let the rejoicing begin! Speaking
of rejoicing, the final feature is the price: Logic Studio
costs just $499 — an amazing bargain given how much
you get in the package.
There’s no question, if you’re a Logic user, upgrade right
now. If you’ve been thinking about getting into Logic,
this is the time to do it. With all the new features, the
simplified user interface, streamlined operation, and
outstanding pricing, Logic Studio is an incredible value
for a world-class DAW.
> > Apple Logic Studio
Sweetwater price $499.97
www.sweetwater.com/logicstudio
Line6 Pod X3 Live
By Mitch Gallagher
It’s nearly midnight. I’ve been playing with this thing
for hours. It’s astounding the number of tones it can
produce. Yet it’s as simple as stepping on a button
or twisting a knob to make an adjustment. Is this the
ultimate guitar tone modeling machine?
I’m talking, of course, about the Line 6 Pod X3 Live.
Unlike the familiar “bean”-shaped Pods of the past,
the X3 Live is a pedalboard-style unit. It has a multitude of controls and connections — XLR outputs for
studio or direct-to-PA feed, 1/4-inch outs for feeding
a guitar amp, S/PDIF digital output, a CD/MP3 player
input, headphones out, aux input for a second guitar,
mic input, even an external effects loop for incorporating stompboxes or rack effects. Naturally there’s the
obligatory MIDI and USB I//O, as well as a jack for
connecting a Line 6 Variax.
The front panel features an array of controls. There
are footswitches for selecting presets and for turning
effects on and off, a volume/wah pedal, and knobs for
adjusting drive (gain), bass, mid, and treble EQ, pres-
ence, ‘verb level, and output volume. An LCD shows
patch names, effects routing, and parameters, and
there are four “soft” knobs for editing settings, plus
switches for navigating menus.
But the nice thing is that aside from some basic setup,
most of what you need to accomplish can be done
using the footswitches and knobs. It’s all very intuitive
and straightforward.
Under the hood, the X3 Live is loaded. Each patch
can have two independent Tones. These can be two
layered amps and effects setups, or you could run a
mic through one Tone and your guitar through another,
or even two guitars simultaneously with separate
Tones for each.
There are 350 presets onboard. These range from
clean electric to completely over-the-top distorto-effect-o-rama. There are also acoustic guitar presets,
bass presets, vocal presets, Blends (two layered
Tones), and Duals (two independent inputs with
separate Tones). These presets also include 128 User
Locations for storing your own sounds.
So what about the modeled
sounds used to create the
presets? There are 78 guitar
amps, 24 guitar cabs, four
guitar mics, 28 bass amps,
22 bass cabs, four bass mics, six preamps, and 98
effect models. These range from vintage units to
state-of-the-art modern units to Line 6’s proprietary
hybrid units. The number of possible combinations is
nearly overwhelming — if you can’t find the amp or
effect you want here, it may not exist!
I used the Pod X3 Live both through my amplifiers and
through my studio monitors, and Sweetwater’s Director of Marketing, Mike Ross, used the X3 Live direct
through the PA at his church. The range of sounds
and the accuracy of the models leaves nothing to be
desired. I plugged the Pod X3 Live into my amp, and
switched back and forth between it and my regular
“analog” pedalboard. I selected the same effects and
dialed in similar settings. I was able to come amazingly close to duplicating the pedalboard sounds with
the X3 — in fact, I can’t imagine any listener could
tell the difference, certainly not in the context of a mix.
We both found the usability to be exemplary. And the
flexibility — whether you’re running a mic, a bass, an
acoustic guitar, an electric, or a combination, the X3
does the job. When you combine that with the CD/MP3
input, which could also be used to run a mix back
through X3 for monitoring live or in the studio, you
have a processor that truly does just about everything.
Convenience, ease of use, portability, flexibility, power,
and great sounds. The Pod X3 Live rocks!
> > Line6 Pod X3 Live
Sweetwater price $499.99
www.sweetwater.com/podx3live
Discover the Sweetwater Difference 1-800-222-4700 or www.sweetwater.com
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Sweetwater Gift Guide
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SweetNotes
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(800) 222-4700 | www sweetwater.com
Inside This Issue:
Mbox 2 Micro: Pro Tools
Goes Ultra-portable!
page 1
AES 2007
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Paul Reed Smith
Visits Sweetwater!
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EXCLUSIVE
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pages 7-10
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