Early Summer 2000 Issue

Early Summer 2000 Issue
KURZWEIL’S AMAZING PC2 See Page 6
MUSIC TECHNOLOGY DIRECT
EARLY SUMMER 2000 ISSUE
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
HOT NEW E-MU MODULES
No other company has been building samplers as long as
E-MU. They were also the very first manufacturer to introduce the sample playback module. In fact, E-MU has a
long list of industry firsts. But we think their latest innovations are some of their finest, from the sophisticated
Virtuoso 2000 Symphonic Module to the outrageous
Mo’Phatt Urban Dance Synth. — SEE PAGE 3
TAKAMINE LTD2000
An outstanding combination of craftsmanship, stunning
appearance and playability makes Takamine’s latest
Limited Edition acoustic, the LTD2000, a real winner and
a guitar player’s dream come true. — SEE PAGE 4
Let’s see a show of hands: How many of you out there
would love to have a digital project studio at home but
think it might be too expensive? Okay, let’s see those hands
. . . wow! That many! Gee, have I got great news for you.
Now you can have the studio you have always wanted,
and with capabilities you never thought you could afford
thanks to the new BOSS BR-8!
Carrying a list price of just $845, the BR-8 is a sophisticated 8-track digital recording workstation for guitar players and other musicians seeking a simple, yet high-powered alternative to tape-based recorders. Its acclaimed VStudio technology — including Virtual Tracks, COSM effects processing and true non-destructive operation — is
enhanced with unique features specially designed for gui-
tarists including a Rhythm Guide, Phrase Trainer, and a
built-in chromatic tuner. But you don’t have to be a guitar player to want one (or to make great recordings).
What Roland learned through engineering the bestselling VS-Series digital workstations (and that’s quite a
lot), they put to good use in designing the BOSS BR-8.
Imagine a self-contained 8-track digital recording studio with 64 Virtual Tracks; a built-in Zip drive for recording to convenient, inexpensive 100MB Zip disks; a simplified user interface with graphic LCD that makes digital recording almost effortless (no steep learning curve
on this baby) and a wide range of superior quality effects including COSM guitar and bass amp models and
— Continued on Page 2
ROLAND XV-88
Is the new 128-Note Expandable Performance
Synthesizer their best ever? — See Page 2 — Continued on Page 2
LINE 6 FLEXTONE II AMPS
The very first digital modeling amp ever made was the
Line 6 AxSys 212. Now guitarists in search of the perfect
tone have even more choices thanks to the incredible
Flextone II Series and its TubeTone technology . What’s
so special about these amplifiers? — SEE PAGE 7
PLUS: MOTU 2408mkII, Cakewalk Pro Suite,
Yamaha PSR9000, Manley Labs and more!
Sweet Notes
Early Summer 2000
Page 2
ROLAND
XV-88
128-VOICE EXPANDABLE PERFORMANCE SYNTH
Just take a look in the latest Sweetwater Equipment
Directory (or any industry
magazine, for that matter) and
you’ll quickly see that there’s
a mountain of synthesizers
available these days for every
possible need and in every
price range.
I remember when I decided to buy my first synth.
There were maybe three or
four models available that
anyone could consider “pro” quality. But today, you get
so much power and performance for your money that
it’s almost mind-boggling (I’ll admit my mind is easily
boggled). Here’s just one example . . .
The XV-88 128-Voice Expandable Synthesizer is,
according to the manufacturer, Roland’s finest performance synthesizer to date, featuring powerful XV-3080
synthesis, an 88-note precision hammer-action keyboard and other expressive features like the infrared
light-sensing D-Beam controller. This synth offers a
full 128 voices (no more dropped notes in performance), true stereo waveforms per tone, expressive
Matrix Control, expandability via new 64MB (in 16-bit
linear format) SRX- and popular SR-JV80-Series wave
expansion boards, and a host of new studio-quality effects, marking the XV-88 as performance synth of the
highest order.
Let’s take a look at the XV-88 in detail. First of all,
there’s the feel of the instrument. You get a full 88note precision hammer-action keyboard that’s modeled
BR-8
— Continued from front page acoustic / bass guitar simulators. The BR-8 also includes a truly innovative
Rhythm Guide with various built-in patterns for building a rhythm track, plus an integral chromatic tuner and
dedicated Hi-Z guitar input, and even a Phrase Trainer that actually slows down recordings to half-speed for
learning guitar licks. You even get an optical digital output for connecting to digital devices such as DAT or MD.
But what really sets the BR-8 apart is simplicity. Yeah, you can spend months learning a whole new system
for recording on an expensive digital machine, and that’s perfect for some people, particularly those that use it
almost every day. But for me, I want a machine that I can use when inspiration hits me. I don’t want to have to
yank all my cables, reconfigure my patchbay, reassign channels on my mixer, take a refresher course on how to
use the recorder . . . no, I want plug and play!
What about some digital effects? Yes, today’s
outboard units are incredibly sophisticated and
infinitely powerful, but what if I don’t have to deal
with external units, patchbays and running those
annoying wires all over the place. Not to worry:
The BR-8 comes with onboard effects, and let me
say up front that they sound great.
Essentially, the BR-8 looks and works just like
a portable tape recorder — maybe very much like
that multitrack cassette unit you just decided to retire. All the functions are clearly labeled, and it’s very clear
exactly what does what. There’s not even a Shift key, just plainly marked controls like the Play button and eight
track faders for the digital mixer.
At first, you might be tempted to think the BR-8 is just an 8-track recorder, but it’s really a 64-track thanks to
what BOSS calls “V-Tracks.” True, you end up with eight “final” tracks, but saying it’s an 8-track is like saying a
24-track digital recording studio is really a 2-track because you end up with a 2-track master. With the BR-8’s 64
recording tracks, you’ll probably run out of ideas before you run out of tracks.
On the back you’ll find a clearly labeled guitar input, as well as two mic inputs, and a stereo line in for a
keyboard, another recorder or whatever. With a BR-8, you could just plug your guitar into the input and start
playing. Also on the back is a headphone jack with a volume control. This lets you work late at night without
bothering anybody (I don’t know about you, but I get inspired at about 2 AM).
If you plug your guitar in and it’s out of tune, with one press of the button marked “TUNER ON/OFF”, you can
tune up using the BR-8’s backlit LCD. Press it again, and just like advertised, the tuner goes off and the BR-8 (as
well as your now-in-tune guitar) is ready to go. Brilliant.
How’s this for simple and logical: For example, if you want to record your guitar and a vocal at the same time,
all you have to do is plug a guitar into the guitar input, a mic into the mic input, and press the two Input Select
— Continued on Page 14
after the most popular piano keyboard in the world
(like the letter on Superman’s cape, it starts with an
“S”). When you play the XV-88, it feels like you are
playing a $10,000 piano, with silky smooth action that’s
been maintained by the best piano technician around!
Call up a piano preset and you’ll feel like you’re pounding the keys of a true concert grand. But unlike any
grand on the planet, this one comes with full aftertouch
capability, an arpeggiator and more!
Roland’s new 128-voice synth engine allows for
extensive layering and multitimbral applications. Some
“pro” synths are still limping around with 64-note polyphony or less. If you’ve ever played back a sequence
or been in the middle of a piano performance and heard
those notes dropping out, you know how important this
feature is. The Roland XV-88 obtains its 128-Voice polyphony through a single, powerful sound engine, which
means even the most complex multitimbral arrangements and layers can be created using just one XVSeries synthesizer.
Besides its excellent polyphony, the Roland XV-88
offers the world’s most advanced digital synthesis technology, which translates, first and foremost, into incredibly expressive sound — and it doesn’t matter how
much polyphony you have if you can’t get sounds that
inspire you. The XV-88’s internal wave memory, on par
with many of today’s high end samplers, comes with
64MB of ROM sounds standard — or four times that of
the best-selling JV-2080. There are 424 new waveforms, each painstakingly sampled to achieve a level
of realism never before possible. These new waves include everything from sonically rich stereo grand pianos to sophisticated sampled guitars capable of reproducing slide and harmonic performances. In addition, there are new expressive Rhodes pianos, rock
organs, saxophone, orchestra unisons, and analog synthesizer waves — plus all new drum sets that must be
heard to be believed.
In addition to these new waveforms, the XV-88
includes all of the waveforms of the JV-2080, ensuring
backward compatibility with all XP/JV-Series synths.
Roland even mined the archives to include 112 waveforms from the legendary JD-990. These waveforms
are perfect for sound designing and offer a variety of
analog waves, attack transients and spectrum loops.
Continuing Roland’s commitment to expandability,
the XV-88 can use a combination of new quality-intensive SRX-Series 64MB wave expansion boards and any
of the current SR-JV80-Series boards. The next generation SRX-Series boards boast more memory than
any other expansion card currently available, yielding
— Continued on Page 14
WE ACCEPT EVERY MAJOR CREDIT CARD! We make it easy to get the gear you need! Call us at (219) 432-8176
Sweet Notes
Early Summer 2000
Page 3
When the history of sampling is written, you can bet that
notes from all the instruments of the entire orchestra. Then evand 512 user presets, 64 voice polyphony (expandable to 128
the first chapter will be devoted to the accomplishments (and
erything needs to be looped . . . Yikes! It’s truly enough to make
with the Turbo upgrade), outstanding rotary speaker simulainnovations) of E-MU. Few people remember that E-MU started
your head spin.
tion, 12 assignable real-time front panel controls, dual outputs
out building analog synthesizers in about 1971. These were
But the good news is that the end result was totally worth
(expandable to six plus S/PDIF w/Turbo upgrade) and a builthuge, modular instruments that practically took up a whole wall
the monumental effort. Everything is here in meticulous detail,
in 24-bit dual stereo effects processor. Like the Virtuoso, the
in the studio. Few musicians were actually able to afford one;
from solo and section strings to brass, woodwinds and perB-3 plays back Flash ROMs authored on E4 Ultra samplers.
fewer still understood how to program it.
cussion — all sampled from the same symphony under absoUpgrade kits include all of the upgrades for the Virtuoso, plus
But the real reason E-MU (then known as E-mu Systems)
lutely ideal recording conditions.
9085 Orchestral Sessions Vol. 1 (32 MB) and 9086 Orachieved its current lofty position in the music world is thanks
With its massive polyphony, 32 MIDI channels, 24-bit dual
chestral Sessions Vol. 2 (32 MB), which together add all
to the introduction of the original Emulator sampler in about
stereo effects processor, two expansion slots, six balanced anathe sounds of the Virtuoso to your B-3 module! The 9190 Turbo
1981. The instrument listed at $7,900 and only about 500 were
log outs, lightning-fast processor and versatile I/O, the VirModule Upgrade adds four additional analog outputs, S/PDIF
built (the first one went to Stevie Wonder!). By 1984, the imtuoso 2000 is sure to please even the most demanding comI/O, 128 voice polyphony, 16 additional MIDI channels and two
mensely popular Emulator II was introduced and the rest, as
poser — like you and I. It will even play back Flash ROMs that
additional ROM slots.
they say, is history. The company went on to build the first 16have been authored on E4 Ultra samplers, meaning you can
The aptly-named Xtreme Lead-1 ($895 list) is E-MU’s
bit sampler (the EIII), the first truly affordable drum machine
add your own custom samples to the Virtuoso 2000 and take it
new techno / electronica BPM synthesizer that gives you an
with real drum sounds (the Drumulator), the first rackmount
on the road and leave all of your expensive gear at the studio
incredibly diverse dance soundset, powerful filters and unparsample playback module (the Proteus) and many more.
where it’s safe.
alleled rhythmic capabilities in one rackspace. The XL-1 also
Still, we’re not here to take a history lesson — we’re here
You want upgrades? The Virtuoso 2000 will accept the
introduces E-MU’s new SuperBEATS Mode, which allows you
to learn about some truly amazing new modules that may be
following upgrade kits: 9081 Holy Grail Piano (16 MB), 9082
to effortlessly trigger, latch and unlatch synced loops and
every bit as groundbreaking as anything E-MU has done up
Protozoa (16 MB Sounds of the Proteus 1, 2 and 3), 9083
grooves from separate keys on your keyboard. Add to this up
until now. So sit back and relax as we take you on a tour of EDefinitive B-3 (32 MB), 9084 Techno Synth Constructo 16 simultaneously synced arpeggiators, and you have an
MU’s latest and greatest instruments.
To this writer, nothing is more
exciting than the new Virtuoso 2000
128-Voice Virtual Orchestra ($1395
list). The Virtuoso 2000 ships fully
loaded with 64 megabytes of all new
orchestral instrument (and section)
samples, all of which were recorded
in the same acoustic space by the
same symphony orchestra and soloists. What this means is that you get
a super consistent sound across all
the instrument groups.
In the past, you might have an
oboe recorded up close in a dry studio, while the English horn was re- They may not match your decor, but E-MU’s new tone modules are simply awesome: B-3 (top), Mo'Phatt (middle) and Xtreme Lead-1 (bottom)
corded from six feet away in a hall. Put them together and you
tion Yard (32 MB), 9087 Sounds of the Ensoniq ZR (32
all-in-one dance module that buries the competition. And the
had a totally unnatural sound. Most listeners probably wouldn’t
MB) and 9088 Planet Earth Vol. 1 (32 MB)
XL-1 has an additional internal ROM expansion slot (or more
know why the sound was, well, a bit weird, but it was easy to
E-MU’s new B-3 sound module ($895 list) delivers the
with the Turbo upgrade), that allows you to expand your sound
tell that the resultant mix was not natural. And when you added
magical B-3 tonewheel organ sound in one rack space. Mearsenal with the many Proteus expansion ROMs available, or
other instruments recorded in other acoustic environments —
ticulously sampled, E-MU’s B-3 offers you an exhaustive paleven create your own custom ROMs using E-MU’s E4 Ultra
from dry studios to ultra live halls — it would all end up soundette of authentic drawbar settings, distortion and tremendous
samplers. Take the lead with E-MU’s XL-1 and don’t look back.
ing totally wrong — murky and unfocused.
rotary speaker control via the B-3’s real-time controls. The B-3
Features include 32 MB sound ROM with 512 ROM and
Which is why E-MU finally decided it was time for the
even offers you percussive features that play just like the real
512 user presets, 64-voice polyphony (expandable to 128 with
ultimate sampling session. They started negotiations with a
thing — no other module can touch it! And the B-3 is expandthe Turbo upgrade), 12 assignable real-time front panel conprestigious, world class orchestra in a major city (which, we’re
able with an additional ROM slot (for up to 128 MB with the
trols, Rhythmic Pattern Generator / Arpeggiator, 12th order filsorry, but we cannot name for a number of reasons) and finally
Turbo upgrade), letting you fit even more power and sounds
ters, dual outputs (expandable to six plus S/PDIF with the Turbo
the session was set. I’ve personally been present at many saminto this amazing one rackspace unit. Experience the magic of
upgrade), a super clean 24-bit dual stereo effects processor,
pling sessions, and I know they can be grueling. Plus, you go
E-MU’s B-3 module for yourself – nothing else sounds closer
one additional internal ROM expansion slot (expandable to
back to the studio with dozens of hours of digital information,
to the real thing.
three) and 16 MIDI channels (expandable to 32). As you might
faced with the task of finding each of the best, most consistent
Features include 32 MB of sound ROM with 384 ROM
— Continued on Page 10
(219) 432-8176 5335 BASS RD., FT. WAYNE, IN 46808
FAX: (219) 432-1758 [email protected] www.sweetwater.com
(800) 222-4700
Sweet Notes
Early Summer 2000
Some of you may look at the guitar on this page and think,
“Gee, that’s a gorgeous instrument.” Well, you’d certainly be
right about that, but there’s more to the story behind the creation of Takamine’s Limited Edition 2000 guitar than
meets the eye — a lot more.
While many of you are aware that Takamine builds a new
Limited Edition acoustic each year, you might be surprised
that this is actually the 14th year the company has undertaken such an ambitious project. And arguably, this may indeed be their finest work to date. Previous Limited Edition models have gone on to become true collector’s items, as much for their
beauty and design as for their playability and outstanding tone, not to
mention the fact that very few of these guitars are built each year,
making them highly prized among those who appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into building such an exquisite guitar.
For the Year 2000, Takamine went all out. I’ve seen this guitar
and played it and let me say that no picture can possibly do it justice,
nor will my words be adequate to describe what it’s like to hold one in
your hands. Never before has any manufacturer designed an instrument where the peghead, fretboard and rosette were all one integral
piece of art. Nor has any manufacturer put together so many materials to create such a stunning design: From choice woods like black
jacaranda, padauk, maple and walnut, to polished brass, aluminum
and even acrylic mirror.
A single, continuous stellar cascade illuminates the entire neck
of the guitar. This richly inlaid design delicately weaves itself from
the top of the headstock, down the full length of the fingerboard and
ultimately ends up spilling its stars into the rosette, where a stunning acrylic mirror comet streaks across the night sky of January 1,
2000. If you look closely, you’ll see that the constellations of Orion
the Hunter and the Big Dipper (part of the constellation Ursa Major,
the Great Bear) are actually positioned exactly as they were in the
southwestern and northeastern skies respectively at midnight on
the dawning of the brand new century. Tastefully selected woods actually form olive branches at the
base of the rosette which are a traditional
sign of peace around the world.
As great as this all might sound, you
cannot begin to imagine what all these
hand selected materials look like up on
stage. The acrylic mirror stars and
comet literally appear as if they are illuminated by a laser when seen under the
bright stage lights, creating an effect that’s
visually compelling (to put it mildly). Trust
me — nobody seeing you play this guitar on
stage will forget the experience for quite
a while.
Still, as gorgeous as this instrument is, it had better play well and
sound fantastic. And it does! The
traditional Takamine minijumbo sized NEX cutaway body
shape has now been used for
11 years, and its combination
of comfort, balance and
playability are as good as it
gets. A bone saddle and bone
nut guarantee warmth and
clarity with just the right
amount of attack and sustain.
Destined to be a Classic, the
Takamine Limited Edition 2000
celebrates the dawn of our new
century as an instrument of unparalleled artistry and workmanship. With
a top made of choice solid Spruce with Xbracing, a fine Mahogany neck and Rosewood
Page 4
Art and Music Come Together
to Celebrate the Dawn of a
Brand New Century
back, sides and fingerboard, this is an instrument of uncompromising quality.
As if all that weren’t enough, the Limited Edition 2000 features Takamine’s
finest electronics, the Graph-EX preamp with bass, mid and treble controls plus an
onboard exciter. Did I say exciter? You bet, but this isn’t one of those pedestrian
exciters that atificially add highs (and to my ears sound like fingernails on a blackboard). For this guitar, Takamine employs an exciter that actually adds clarity and
glossy harmonics while taming the sharp edge that many preamps deliver when
plugged in (if you’ve ever played a guitar with inferior electronics, you know exactly what I mean). It’s a smooth, natural acoustic sound that floats right through
your mix with well-defined bass and mids and those sweet highs you crave.
Another cool feature is that the entire
preamp is interchangeable! That’s right: If
Takamine unveils a newer, better sounding set
of electronics somewhere down the road, you
simply pop out the existing preamp and drop in
the new one. It’s that simple. So simple, in fact,
that you wonder why other manufacturers didn’t
think of it before now — though you can bet
they’ll start adding that feature to their high
end models soon.
As for playability, well, I have to say that
the neck feels darn near perfect, with just
enough chunkiness so you can really grab hold
of those big chords, but also
with just a hint of that
slinkiness that we
electric guitar players
like in our acoustics. In
short, it’s a terrific compromise that will have
you playing long into the
night without the typical,
painful hand and finger fatigue that you suffer
with a guitar that sports a poorly-designed neck.
Finally, a smooth gloss polyurethane coating is
applied giving it a finish that perfectly complements
all the other elements. For my taste, a gloss finish
is perfect. I know that satin finishes are getting
popular because they don’t show those unsightly
fingerprints. But a guitar with this much gloss
and sparkle just screams out for a slick gloss
finish, and I’m glad they did it here.
Hey, don’t just take my word on this. You
really owe it to yourself to check out this magnificent instrument. If you’ve dreamed of playing
a guitar that just feels right in your hands — one
that is as gorgeous as it is great-sounding, this is
the one. And considering just how limited the Limited Edition 2000 is, you’d best call right now. Believe
me, your Sales Engineer will tell you exactly how much
magic is in this guitar. What’s more, he or she will also be
happy to give you your special Sweetwater pricing on what is a
once-in-a-lifetime investment. So call now.
— Jim Miller
FACTORY AUTHORIZED! WE FIX YOUR GEAR RIGHT AND ON TIME WITH NO EXCUSES!
Sweet Notes
Early Summer 2000
matter how wonderful the rest
of the people there might be.
That’s why we go to such extraordinary lengths to recruit
the very best sales people (and
tech support, service, shipping, marketing, etc.) in the
entire music industry. In fact,
we have a full slate of interviews set up for the Summer
NAMM Show. But even if we
were to hire every single person we interview, we will still
I hope you’ll take the time to read this issue’s col- need additional people to join our team — that’s how
umn because it’s about you! Yes, you personally, our fast our company is growing.
Naturally, our main focus is on qualified sales
valued customer. I’d be kidding myself if I thought that
everyone read “Inside Sweetwater” in each issue of people, but we also have openings in every department
Sweet Notes, but as you’ll see, there’s a good reason for (just ask the graphics/marketing people how much
they’d like another talented person or two to help out
wanting you to read this one.
If you’re in business — any kind of business, from with the huge list of upcoming projects). For more speretail sales to running a studio — you know how criti- cifics regarding our openings in the sales department, I
cal it is to really know your customers. Here at suggest you check out Jeff Radke’s column on Page 12.
Sweetwater, we go to great lengths to find out what There you’ll find the whole story on just how you can
equipment you have, what kind of music you play, become a Sweetwater Sales Engineer. Or call (800) 222whether you’re a professional or have a home project 4700 and ask for our Career Center. I know I tend to go a
studio, etc. We spend a lot of time in getting to know bit overboard on this subject, so I’ll put on the brakes
you as a person. We also spend a lot of time trying to here and just have you read Jeff’s column.
One final bit of news: Our Web site will be getting a
get up-to-date information in your hands about new
complete redesign soon
products, special sales
— actually, it will proband so forth.
ably be up and running
So here’s the deal:
by the time you have this
Do we have your most
issue of Sweet Notes in
current information?
your hands.
Do we have your
Keeping the site uppresent address? Do we
to-date and making it
have your name
easy to find the informaspelled correctly? Are
tion you’re looking for is,
you getting more than
naturally, a full time job.
one copy of the newsIt’s also a learning proletter? I would really
cess for everyone, since
appreciate it if each of
the Web is still fairly new,
you checks this copy of
particularly when you
Sweet Notes and
compare it to printed
makes sure we have
media. Many of you
your name spelled corprobably still remember
rectly and the right
street address, zip code, Here’s a sneak peek at what our new Home Page will look like. when Sweet Notes was a
etc. If not, please call You’ll find it easier than ever to find what you’re looking for! 4-page black and white
us and give us the correct information — it’s a toll publication. Compare that with what you are holding in
free number and the call will only take a minute or your hands right now! That same evolution is occurring
two. If it’s more convenient, you can even e-mail us at all over the Web these days as companies learn how to
“[email protected] ” the next time you’re online take advantage of all the latest software available, as well
as having talented people on staff who really know how
and get us the information that way.
Now if you’re still with us, I want to bring up a to put together an effective electronic document.
Essentially, this Web site “facelift” will be geared to
subject that I have talked about many times before,
and one that I’m sure I’ll discuss again. As you are help our customers go more directly to the products and
probably aware by now, Sweetwater is growing at an information they are interested in. It also builds a strong
unprecedented rate. As we grow, so too does our ability and flexible framework that will allow us to make many
to negotiate great deals with manufacturers on their additional improvements in the coming months — and
hottest products, meaning we pay less, then pass the there will be lots of them, you can be sure!
We’re always looking for ways to help you make
savings along to you.
I’m the first to admit our great success has been informed decisions regarding your purchases. An enbecause of two things: The basic Sweetwater philoso- hanced Web site is just one way we can make sure you
phy and the quality of our Sales Engineers. You and I get the information you need in a timely manner.
Meanwhile, I think we have another terrific issue of
know that if you call up and get an indifferent person
on the phone with little or no product knowledge, odds Sweet Notes for you, so enjoy! And I’ll see you here again
are slim that you’ll be buying from that company, no next issue.
Page 5
Q: Why does Pro Tools LE 5.0 say “not enough disk
space available” when I try to “Bounce to Disk” and I know
I have plenty of free space available?
A: Sometimes a bounce error message will appear
if you have Automation running and you don’t select the
region before you bounce. This will cause Pro Tools LE to
think the region is the entire song, and if there is a “Break’
in the automation, Pro Tools LE thinks the song is infinitely long — so you would never have enough hard drive
space. Just use the region tool and select all the Tracks
from beginning to end and then select “Bounce to Disk”
and the message should go away. If not, you may want to
Defragment your hard drive, as there may not be a large
enough “Block” (contiguous free space) available.
Q: I boot up Logic and all I see is four audio tracks
and they only show an “M” next to them. The “R” is missing. What’s more, there's no sound! What’s wrong?
A: Your audio driver is not being recognized in Logic.
You must do two things: First, check in your Audio (audio
hardware and drivers) and make sure you have "PCAV"
checked. If this is not checked, Logic will go into a default
“no audio” mode and will just act as a MIDI sequencer.
Secondly, go out of Logic and go to the Logic Audio
Device Setup and do a “full rescan” of audio devices. This
is where Logic sets up all of the possible audio drivers
that Logic can use. At this point, your driver should show
up on the left side, which is the “virtual devices” side. If it
only shows up on the right, which is the “system devices”
side, this means it is only showing up in Windows and
NOT in Logic and you must Rescan.
Q: Why does my MOTU Parallel Port MIDI interface
not get recognized when installing into a Windows operating system?
A: There are two main issues that will cause this
parallel port device to not be recognized by Windows. One
is the parallel port mode setting in the BIOS operating
chipset on the motherboard. To get there, you must restart your computer and depending on what type of computer you have, hit Del, F2, F3 or maybe even F10. Most of
the times you will see it written on the bottom of the screen
when your computer monitor first turns on. Once you have
gotten into the CMOS settings (which we call the BIOS
setup), you will look for Integrated Peripherals or PCI Configuration within the options menu and within that you
will see a Parallel Port Mode. Make sure the mode is set to
either EPP (Enhanced Parallel Port) or Bi-Directional. We
recommend EPP because it is a more reliable mode for
the MIDI interface. Once that is set up you will Exit with
“Saving Changes.”
The next step is to determine whether or not you have
a general sound card such as the Sound Blaster series.
Sound Blaster cards have a function that will share the
Interrupt Request for the parallel port, causing the MIDI
device not to be detected. To find this, you will go to the
System Icon within the Windows Control Panel. Once you
have opened the System Icon you will see a Device Manager tab and down below you will see a heading labeled
— Continued on page 14
MOVING? MOVED? Call, fax or e-mail us your new address and don’t miss an issue of Sweet Notes!
Sweet Notes
Early Summer 2000
Page 6
Unparalleled audio and technical dominance...again!
Here at Sweetwater, we have sold so many Kurzweil
PC88s that we‘ve literally lost track. When a company designs an instrument this good, word gets out fast and we
often had a hard time keeping up with the demand. But now
Kurzweil has introduced what it’s calling “the next generation Performance Controller,” the PC2.
Building upon the already advanced design of their award
winning PC88, the PC2 features outstanding sound and impressive master controller capabilities. A new Easy Split and
Layer feature makes it both fast and easy to quickly create
layers and splits. The PC2 series comes in both the PC2 76note ($2,650 list) and PC2X 88-note ($3,150 list) keyboard
configurations.
The PC2 features many incredible sounds not found on
any previous Kurzweil instruments, including a triple strike
stereo grand piano, lush stereo strings,
newly recorded multis t r i ke
The PC2: a
performance
controller
loaded with
great sounds
classic electric pianos
(both Fender Rhodes
and Wurlitzer), brass sections, acoustic and electric guitars and
basses, drums, percussion, voices (featuring Kurzweil's outstanding Take 6 vocal samples), and more. It also features
Kurzweil's KB-3 modelled tone wheel organ mode, giving you
ultra-realistic tone wheel organ programs. Additional sounds
include mallet percussion, clavinet, harpsichord, synths and
yes, much more.
The PC2 comes with 144 fantastic sounding preset programs (128 regular programs and 16 KB3 programs). All programs can be edited, allowing for changes to timbre, envelopes, and LFOs. They can then be stored to any of the 256
user locations (128 for regular programs and 128 for KB3
programs).Two additional ROM blocks can be added to the
PC2 (to be released in the future), each of which will add 128
more preset programs. And with 64 voices of polyphony, expandable to 128 voices, you'll never run out of polyphony for
playing all of the marvelous sounds.
Of course, every keyboard worth owning these days
comes with some exceptional digital effects. The PC2 includes
“I'm amazed! (My Sales Engineer)
was very helpful and knowledgeable. He took the time to make sure
it was the right equipment for me
and my needs.”
— Dave Ammerman
dual effects processors which feature preset effects of the same
quality as found in their highly regarded KDFX for the K2500/
K2600 series instruments. Multiple bus architecture allows
separate send levels per MIDI channel for an effect level and
a reverb level. Effects include reverb, chorus, delays, distortion, rotary, phaser, flanging, dynamics processing, and more.
But while it’s loaded with great sounds, the PC2 will make
a great master controller for your entire studio or performing
rig. Hmm, is it a controller with terrific built-in sounds or a
synth that also makes a terrific controller? Umm, who cares?
What’s important is that this is truly a killer instrument!
Any PC2 MIDI Setup can have up to
four zones, sending on up
to four
different
MIDI channels. A
large number of physical
controllers can be programmed on
a per zone basis, allowing you to send any
MIDI controller message on any zone. Physical controllers include: four sliders, two wheels, three footswitch
pedal inputs, two CC pedal inputs, a Breath Controller input,
600 mm Ribbon Input (for use with Kurzweil's Ribbon Controller), Mono-pressure and 5 programmable panel switches.
Each zone can be set to play the PC2's own sounds or an
external MIDI device or both. Of course, you can set the note
range for each zone to create splits and layers, as well as
customizing velocity response per zone. All controllers can be
scaled both positively and negatively and can have offset
values as well as entry and exit values to set their “state”
upon program or setup selection.
Remember the first time you heard an arpeggiator? Wow,
what a great effect! Then everyone suddenly decided that
arpeggiators were somehow “cheating” and companies
stopped building them into their instruments. But today, they
are hot again (thank goodness!) and the PC2’s full-featured
arpeggiator can be synced to an external MIDI clock and includes many different latch modes and play orders. This flexibility allows for the creation of endless varieties of arpeggios
and percussion patterns.
The PC2 comes
with 32 great sounding
Setups and has room for 128
user-created Setups. Each of the additional ROM blocks will add more preset Setups.
What’s more, the PC2 gives you pristine quality audio, with
both analog and digital audio output. Digital audio is sent at
a rate of 48kHz. It can be switched between Pro (AES/EBU)
and Consumer (S/PDIF) formats and can be switched between
16, 18, 20, and 24 bit resolution. Optional Accessories include the KFP-2M Double Piano Style Footswitch, CC-1 Continuous Control Pedal and the PCMDS Music Rack.
If you’re looking for a great keyboard for studio or stage
that has incredible sounds and effects built-in and is also a
fantastic MIDI controller, you’re bound to fall in love with the
PC2. With its combination of a great-feeling weighted keyboard and all those Kurzweil quality sounds — and expansion capabilities — odds are good that you’re going to want
a PC2 or PC2X of your own. And who could blame you? Either would be a great instrument to build an entire studio or
stage setup around. And wait until you talk to your Sales Engineer and get your special low Sweetwater pricing. Well, don’t
wait another minute: Call Sweetwater right now for more information and pricing on the incredible Kurzweil PC2.
WE FIX IT FAST AND FIX IT RIGHT!
Got some gear that’s giving you a headache? Busted, broken or
just plain misbehaving? Then call our “new and improved” service department! We have a lot of new people, policies and equipment in place to speed up service. Things are so efficient that we
actually look at products the same day they arrive at Sweetwater.
Other dealers need to ship equipment back to the manufacturer,
but not us — our staff is trained to replace parts right down to the
component level. Hey, things just keep getting better around here:
Not only is our Service Department functioning much more efficiently, but even our Shipping and Technical Support are better
and faster. And thanks to about a gazillion bucks worth of new
phone equipment and faster server systems, your phone calls and
e-mail get answered in record time! So give us a call — we’ll be
there to fix what ails you (or at least your equipment!).
NEED IT TOMORROW? We can ship FedEx for next day delivery! (800) 222-4700
Sweet Notes
Early Summer 2000
A lot of you may be too young to remember the ‘70s,
SoundDiver POD software, you've got instant access to hunbut you know most of the great songs (like “Stairway to
dreds of great tones.
Uh oh . . . Inspiration striking you at 3 AM? Tired of the
Heaven” and others), all of which were driven by strong
neighbors leaving flaming packages on your doorstep? Have
guitar work — even if there was an occasional B-3 or elecno fear! Flextone's headphone out automatically silences
tric piano thrown in at times. But then came the ‘80s with
the internal speakers and gives you full, rich guitar tone detheir synth-heavy tracks and guitarists . . . well, guitarists
were often relegated to backing up the synth player.
livered direct to your ears.
Fortunately, the ‘90s brought us back to reality and a
Flextone II allows you do customize almost every aspect of your sound, including replacing the default amp and
peaceful co-existence between great guitar sounds and
effect settings with your own. It has more control options
synths. And the best thing about the ‘90s — particularly
than ever before over effects parameters, as well.
the last few years of that decade — was the fact that it
became easier than ever to get a terrific guitar tone without taking out a huge loan or winning the lottery. And
the amp that started this tone revolution was the
AxSys 212 from Line 6.
Today, classic guitar sounds are within
everyone’s reach. True, you still need a good
guitar, but a superb amp that will give you all
the sounds you’ll probably ever need is more affordable than ever.
So if you’re a gigging (or even a “hope to be
gigging real soon”) guitarist who needs (or just
wants) a variety of great vintage tones, the
Flextone II Series from Line 6 may just be the
amp you need, regardless of whether you’re looking for a 1x12, or 2x12 combo, or 2x12 mini
The latest offerings from Line 6 give you monster
stack.The best part is, if you’re already familiar with
tone capabilities without breaking the bank
vintage amps (and what guitar player worthy of
toting a cool ax isn’t?), dialing up a sound on the
Flextone II is amazingly simple, and there’s a lot
less to haul out to the gig.
All Flextone II amplifiers feature: 32 great
sounding Amp Models (24 legendary amplifiers,
plus eight killer Line 6 originals) and 16 digital effects, along with 16 selectable cabinet models to
mix and match (try, for example, the Modern
Hi Gain amp model through the 1x8
Small Tweed cabinet — yikes!).
Thanks to Line 6’s patented
TubeTone modeling, all the Flextone II
series include a truly incredible collection of guitar tones, modeled from a
group of specific, much sought-after amplifiers. The TubeTone Amp models were
actually developed from in-depth studies of over two dozen different amplifiers, including: a 1952 Fender Deluxe;
1959 Fender Bassman; 1964 Blackface
Fender Deluxe; 1964 Vox AC15; 1964/
65 Marshall JTM45; 1968 Marshall
You get simple
"Plexi"; 1986 Marshall JCM800; 1994 Mesa
“grab-and-go”
Boogie Dual Rectifier; 1989 Soldano SLO; 1987 Roland
operation: There’s
JC120; 1996 Matchless Chieftain; a classic 1960s Arbiter
Fuzz Face fuzz box; and eight custom, don’t-exist-anywhereno menus, no parameter screens, no cheat sheets needed to
else-on-this-planet amp models created by Line 6 that are
remember functions — just grab a control and dial it up.
great additions to any guitarist’s tonal palette.
It’s as plain as the . . . uhh, knob on your amp.
All Flextone II XL and Plus combo amps feature Live/
Straight out of the box, Flextone II gives you 4 chanStudio Mode switching/Balanced XLR Outs. It's an amp! No,
nels of fully programmable sounds, plus another 32 chanit's a direct box! Wait. You're both right. In live mode, it's a
nels with the addition of the optional Floor Board foot controller. This enables you to keep a full array of sounds imgreat sounding guitar amp with the bonus of balanced mic
mediately available. And thanks to enhanced power amp
level XLR outs to feed the mixing board. In studio mode,
dynamics (that most other “modeling amps” can’t deliver),
you get the advantage of all the ground breaking A.I.R. technology of the award winning Line 6 POD through those same
you get more of the spongy, sparkly and spanky dynamic
balanced outs running at pro +4dBu levels.
goodness you crave.
From studio to stage, bedroom to ballroom, and from
What’s more, brand new Line 6 ToneTransfer capabilities lets you design your sounds on a POD and transfer them
the garage to the Grammy's - your Flextone II will let you
directly to your Flextone II via the built-in MIDI ports. Or,
rehearse, record and gig without any second thoughts about
you can transfer tones the other direction (cool, huh?). Comgetting your sound, no matter what.
Flextone II (60w mono / 1x12" / $899.99 list). The
bined with their ToneTransfer Web Library and the included
Page 7
most economical of the new Flextone series. It’s powerful
enough for rehearsals and live gigs, compact enough for
small studios and use as a practice amp while offering a full
range of classic amp tones. Both your ears and your back
will thank you.
Flextone II XL (100w stereo / 2x12 / $1199.99 list).
Want a little extra oomph in a combo? The XL has the power,
it has the speakers, and it has the will to use them. This
baby will fill a hall with great Line 6 sounds — and still
won’t clean out your bank account!
Flextone II Plus (60w mono /100w stereo / 1x12 /
$1049.99 list). With a "dual mode" power amp section
that delivers 60 watts mono through a 1x12" custom
designed speaker and kicks out 100 watts stereo when the extension cab is plugged in,
the Plus, allows the capability to bring only
the amp itself to smaller gigs, jams, and recording sessions, while being able to take
along that Flextone Cab to larger venues
(Flextone II Plus with Cab is about 6db louder —
or more than twice as loud for those of you who
left your sliderule at home — than the Flextone II
by itself. Stack the Plus and Cab for extra low end
response or separate the two for a wide stereo
image (not to mention the fact that your other band
members will be able to hear you a lot better and be much
more likely to notice your amazingly incredible playing.
For those of you looking for a head only (as in
the amp without any speakers), you can easily rule
the world with the stadium-ready, 300-Watt, 40pound Stereo Flextone HD head ($1199.99 list).
It’s just the thing for when absolutely deafening isn't
quite enough! The HD includes a series / parallel switchable effects loop, plus groovy built-in
panel light so you see every
control on a darkened stage.
While we’re on the subject
of Line 6, I also want to mention that the company just released their latest version of the
best-selling POD. It’s called, aptly
enough, POD 2.0 ($449.99 list).
If you’ve been frustrated trying
to get great guitar tones running
direct, either live or in the studio,
and you want a wide variety of
classic and modern guitar tones
with convenient effects built in, then
you want a POD 2.0.
Line 6's revolutionary A.I.R.
(Acoustically Integrated Recording) Modeling accurately captures the tone and feel of speaker cabinets, microphones, and even studio room characteristics for
an amazing recorded sound on everything from the most
prestigious pro setup to a multitrack cassette. It sounds like
a great amp miked by a great engineer in a great studio.
All POD family products feature award winning Line 6
Amp Models that emulate an all-star collection of legendary amplifiers. There are 36 user memory locations so you
can create your own customized collection of killer sounds.
Organize them to match your set list, your session needs, or
any doggone thing you want. After all, geez, it's your POD!
There are stereo Balanced or Unbalanced +4/-10 TRS outputs, so you can plug it into anything from your home stereo to a really expensive mixing board. A separate stereo
headphone output will keep your neighbors (or your spouse,
for that matter) from staging a counterattack when you're
writing that first big hit in your apartment in the middle of
— Continued on Page 10
Access our 3,000+ page Web site day or night at “www.sweetwater.com”
Sweet Notes
Early Summer 2000
Page 8
MANLEY LABS: Neo-Classic All-Tube Gear
As you long-time customers know, we are always on the
lookout for interesting products. Sometimes these come from
new startup companies that you’ve never heard of before, while
other times it might be an established line that we discover has
some pretty nifty items to offer. In this instance, we’re going to
take a look at some offerings from a very intriguing company
called Manley Laboratories, Inc.
One look at the photo that appears on this page and you
can guess that this isn’t your normal, everyday manufacturer (the
ones with the straight-on product shots . . . yawn). So what’s the
story? Well, in recent years Manley has expanded and thrived
under EveAnna Manley’s leadership (that’s her in the photo with
the big stack of Manley gear). They now
occupy an 11,000 sq. ft. building, which
houses its own machine shop, printed circuit board manufacturing, audio transformer winding, engraving and silkscreening facilities. All custom design,
R&D, assembly, testing, and quality control processes are performed right at the
Manley factory, located just 35 miles east
of picturesque Los Angeles.
The company takes a purist approach
to everything they build; refining, executing, and expanding upon Manley’s legacy
of vacuum tube design philosophies,
which have been proven over many years
of real-world experience, using high quality modern components, many of which
are fabricated in-house (most other small
companies — and some large ones —
will outsource much of this work). This
attention to detail delivers the rich,
present, and natural sound that vacuum
tube designs are renowned for. Beyond
this, Manley stresses reliability, real technical support and a company attitude that
professionals can depend on.
Currently, the company offers so
many products that it would be impossible
to do more than quickly touch on a few of them, so don’t expect
any of the products to be described completely here — we’ll be
leaving the details to your Sweetwater Sales Engineer.
It looks awesome, but what is it? It’s the Manley Voxbox
($4000 list), poised right at the top of that big stack of gear. Primarily, it is a mic preamp and voice processor, which in itself is
not a novel idea, but the company felt the time had come to pull
out all the stops and make a truly professional high-end statement. One that covered the needs of the project songwriters and
big-time major studios alike. One whose all-tube signal path
could bring every single instrument and overdub to life. One that,
plain and simple, sounded unquestionably better than the rest,
provided flexibility, simplicity, and well thought-out ergonomics
— full of features, timeless style and robust build quality.
While Manley was designing the Voxbox, they couldn't help
but notice how well it worked on other instruments besides voice.
There are some great settings for drums, bass, guitar, and keys
and the two separate sections can be used together or independently. Stereo using two Voxboxes? They couldn't resist planning for that as well, so there are Stereo Links for both the compressor and the De-Ess / Limiter sections, special compression
settings and super-sweet EQ frequencies for your mix or premastering. So don't just use it for voice.
The preamplifier is a clone of a highly regarded and popular mic pre: the Manley 40 dB Microphone Preamplifier. The mic
input transformer is of their own design, wound in-house in the
Manley Labs factory. High current 48V Phantom power is switchable from the front panel. The Gain switch is actually a clever
variable feedback control that changes not only the gain, but the
slew rate and flavor of the circuit. With it you can choose how
laid back and mellow or how up-front and aggressive you want it
to get. Headroom is a strong point in this circuit:+31dBu capable. This is 5 to 10dB better than almost all other pro gear.
The new compressor design is the result of blending the
control ideas in their best selling Variable MU Compressor Limiter with the opto-isolator approach of the Manley Electro-Optical Limiter. They figured out how to compress the signal before
it hit the tubes with
no detrimental effect on distortion or
frequency response. This way, it
can prevent mic-pre clipping and
eliminate whole
stages of electronics. This cuts the
typical path of mic to
tape in half! As for EQ, they extended it to 33 frequencies in three
bands with six new frequencies from 20 Hz to 150 Hz, and six
more in the highs from 6.4 KHz to 20 KHz.
The Voxbox also includes a de-esser and peak limiter based
on their own proprietary design with an added passive LC network to handle the de-essing — four carefully chosen notch
frequencies from 3KHz to 12KHz. The fifth position gives you a
limiter which totally mimics the famous LA-2A. This means you
can both compress pre-EQ then limit here post-EQ. Another cool
feature is the ability to insert this de-esser silently and smoothly
as the music plays, using it as needed.
The Manley Massive Passive Stereo Tube EQ ($4800
list) is a two channel, four band equalizer, with additional high
pass and low pass filters. “Passive” refers to the tone shaping
part of this clever new EQ design which doesn’t use any active
circuitry. Only metal film resistors, film capacitors and handwound inductors sculpt the sound. This processor uses simple
passive components and exploits their natural qualities rather
than forcing a complex circuit to meet an arbitrary clinical or
scientific goal.
The Massive Passive is intended both for the most radical
EQ sometimes needed for tracking, as well as the most subtle
shadings for vocals and mastering. It is designed to be a fundamentally different EQ but with the best strengths of choice con-
sole EQs, both parametrics and graphics. The difference is that
this EQ allows twice as much EQ with half the coloration. It allows massive HF boosts without sibilance problems and unbelievable fatness without mud.
If you’re just looking for a superior quality mic preamp, the
Manley All-Tube Microphone Preamplifiers are available
in both two-channel ($2400 list) or single channel ($1600 list)
versions and are primarily intended for use with modern condenser mics. Tube complements are common to both models:
One military five-star 6072A is hand-selected for lowest noise,
and one 6414 for each high-current output stage. Each unit is
painstakingly hand wired using silver solder and audiophilegrade componentry. Double shielded custom-built power transformers and custom-built high capacity reservoir capacitors demonstrate Manley’s modern power supply design approach. 40 to
50 dBs of gain are selectable in precise 2.5dB steps by varying
the amount of overall negative feedback on
the Gain switch. This is a very interesting feature, allowing you to change the slew rate
(speed), placement and tonal balance of the
sound from mellow tube warmth and richness,
through to faster, punchier and more aggressive timbres.
The front panel 1/4" Direct Input jack makes
these preamplifiers serve double duty as a pure
tube line stage for instruments such as bass, drum machines, and keyboards when you need to get your music through
some tubes before hitting a sterile digital recorder. Total gain in
this mode becomes 20dB less than indicated on the Gain switch.
Both transformer-coupled balanced and direct (via humongous
metalized film MultiCaps) capacitor-coupled unbalanced outputs
are provided giving you the choice of audiophile-purist or big
iron sounds. Perennial shoot-out winners, Manley’s single-ended
preamp designs have become favorites among top engineers and
home recordists alike looking for "that rich sound with tight bass
and a top end that goes on forever.” This is sound that begs to
go direct to tape or hard drive!
The Manley Variable Mu Limiter / Compressor Amplifier ($4000 list) has actually been their best selling product
for several years now. Although the Variable Mu is not a clone of
one, the Fairchild 670 series used a similar limiting principle
and those who are familiar with that wonderful piece know how
special the sound is. In fact, Manley is the only company in the
world currently manufacturing a true Variable Mu limiter. (BTW,
"mu" is tube-speak for gain or amplification factor.) How's it work?
The unique 5670 variable mu dual triode is at the center of the
peak-reducing and compression action constantly being re-biased by the vacuum tube rectified side-chain control voltages
which cause this tube to smoothly change its gain.
The Compress mode is soft-knee 1.5:1 ratio while the
sharper knee Limit mode starts at 4:1 and moves to a more dramatic ratio of 20:1 when limiting over 12dB. Interestingly, the
knee actually softens as more limiting is used. Distortion can be
— Continued on Page 10
“Love the inSync newsletter, the
product catalog, etc., etc., and the
great staff and friendly service . . . it
seems too, I have finally found a
place that has integrity in what they
tell you about gear and when it will
arrive, etc.”
— Dan Helmintoller
“Thanks for taking care of everything,
(my Sales Engineer) did an exceptional job and handled everything
like a professional.” — Keith Justice
Great Jobs! Great People! Great Pay! Careers available on the Sweetwater Team! (800) 222-4700
Sweet Notes
Early Summer 2000
Page 9
UNVEILS ITS NEWEST SURPRISE!
When Mark of the Unicorn (now pretty much universally known as MOTU)
first showed us their 2408 behind closed doors back in early 1998 and then told
us the price, our jaws dropped on the floor. (A few of us are still applying facial
cream to heal the stretch marks.) No computer-based recording system had ever
come close to this much input and output anywhere near this price.
The truly amazing thing is this: Now, more than two years later, the 2408 still
remains unchallenged in price-to-performance, bang-for-the-buck or what we simply call “outstanding value” here at Sweetwater. The 2408 is still one of our most
popular products, surpassing even the success of the ADAT and other music technology hall-of-famers. And that’s a truly remarkable position to hold in an area of
music technology that has been absolutely exploding.
The birth of an entire product line. In fact, MOTU has been doing some
“exploding” of their own this past year. They’ve extended the 2408 into an entire
line of recording systems to fit just about
every budget and operating scenario,
starting with the 1224, with its stunning
balanced 24-bit analog I/O and AES/EBU.
Then they added the 24i with 24 balanced 24-bit analog inputs in a single
rack space (yikes!)— it’s the perfect system for you if you’re interested in consolidating your entire studio onto your
computer desktop. Just get all your audio into the computer and then record,
edit, mix, process and master it in the
“virtual studio”on your computer screen.
MOTU then followed up with the
308, the “all digital I/O” that provides 8
channels each of S/PDIF, TOSLink (optical S/PDIF), and AES/EBU. Finally, we’ve
been told that MOTU will soon ship the most ambitious, high-end system yet: the
1296. (More on this exciting development later in this article.)
As you can see, MOTU has not been content to sit on their laurels and the
phenomenal success of the 2408. Instead, they’ve been busting their — ahem! —
“you-know-whats” to release five new systems in the span of about 18 months. If
you’re recording audio with a computer — Mac or PC — at least one of these new
MOTU systems is most likely to fit your needs like a glove — at a fantastic price.
The “stealth update” we’ll never forget. Amidst all of these fast and furious product releases, MOTU then pulled one of the most memorable “stealth” updates we’ve ever encountered in our long, illustrious history here at Sweetwater. A
short while ago, yet another massive shipment of 2408s arrived at our bustling
warehouse, but we soon noticed that the labels on the boxes were a wee bit different: They all had the familiar 2408 logo, but there was this small, inconspicuous
“mkII” at the end. Hmmm . . .
“Mark
II?” we asked. A few
quick calls and sure
enough, MOTU confirmed that they
have replaced the original 2408 with the incredible new 2408mkII — at the same incredible old price! And with no fanfare.
No lavish tradeshow release parties. No trips in corporate jets to secluded South
Pacific Islands (oh darn). The new 2408mkIIs just quietly appeared on our loading dock. Ho hum, just another great technological advance at no extra charge.
More features for the same price! So you want to know: Why is the new
2408mkII even better? First of all, it has all of the original 2408’s great features,
including three banks of ADAT optical, three banks of TASCAM TDIF, 8 channels
of analog, S/PDIF, 24-bit recording capability, sample-accurate sync, the ability to
expand, industry wide compatibility, etcetera, etcetera.
But the 2408mkII has an updated
analog section. The A/D and D/A converters have all been upgraded from
clean 20-bit to super clean, incredibly detailed 24-bit converters for full 24-bit analog recording. MOTU says that they were
able to pull this off and still maintain the
same price point because of significant
price-to-performance advancements in
converter technology in the short period
of time since the 2408’s original release.
The signal-to-noise ratio of the 2408mkII’s
analog ins and outs is now an astounding 105dB — more than good enough for album-quality, broadcast-ready audio.
But in their own typical fashion, MOTU didn’t stop there. They also upgraded
the analog connectors from unbalanced RCA connectors to fully balanced, +4dB
quarter-inch TRS connectors for fully professional operation. And the 2408mkII is
more flexible, too, because you can configure the inputs to be either +4 or -10dB
for unbalanced input sources, such as synths, sound modules, and other common unbalanced studio signals. You can even configure each input individually
to suit your exact needs. If you need further gain, you can boost input levels via
the 2408mkII’s (included) CueMix console software, which can add 6 or 12 dB of
boost per channel via software.
MOTU also added another small, but crucial feature: The headphone volume
knob on the front panel now also controls the 2408mkII’s quarter-inch main outputs on the rear panel. In our view, this is the final feature that allows you to build
a completely “mixerless” studio. Just connect your main studio monitors to the
— Continued on Page 10
We have all the hottest products from all major manufacturers — IN STOCK!
Sweet Notes
Early Summer 2000
Page 10
MOTU’S NEWEST SURPRISE MANLEY LABS
— Continued from previous page
main outs of the 2408mkII and you still have a volume knob to grab quickly when the
phone rings. Connect all the rest of your gear to the other ins and outs and do all your
mixing in Digital Performer or AudioDesk. Very slick!
Sneak Preview: The MOTU 1296. We’re already reserving space in a future issue
of Sweet Notes to give you a thorough run-down of MOTU’s “Next Big Thing,” the 1296
System. But we’re so excited about it, we just had to give you a quick peek here. The
1296 is MOTU’s foray into 24-bit / 96 kHz audio recording. It’s a two-rack space interface clearly designed for the demanding high-end professional. Even if you’re one of
those hardened skeptics who scoffs at the idea of doing multitrack recording at 96K,
the 1296 is just
as appealing at
44.1 or 48 kHz.
As you
might already
have figured
out, the “96”
in the name
“1296” stands
for 96kHz recording. The
“12” stands for
12 channels
each of balanced 24-bit analog input and output on XLR connectors. MOTU equipped
the 1296’s isolated analog I/O circuit board with the latest generation state-of-the-art
24-bit “enhanced multi-bit” 128x oversampling 96 kHz A/D and D/A converters. The Aweighted dynamic range is an astounding 117 dB for the 12 inputs and 116 dB for the
12 outputs. the audio workstation software included with every MOTU core system.
And the 1296’s ASIO and Wave drivers ensure full compatibility with any ASIO/Wave
compatible audio software that supports 96kHz recording.
Add 96kHz recording to your MOTU system. But here’s perhaps the coolest
and most significant feature of the 1296: It plugs right in to MOTU’s current systems. If
you own a 2408, for example, you can connect a 1296 interface directly to one of the
three AudioWire sockets on the PCI-324 card. Unlike some other manufacturers, MOTU
has given us the opportunity to go 96K without trading in or retiring even one cent of
our initial MOTU investment!
Even if you’re still just thinking about going 96kHz, you don’t have to buy the 1296
right now. You can purchase a 2408mkII, 1224, 24i or 308 today and make the jump to
96kHz later on when the time is right for you. It’s always nice to go with a system that
gives you a sense of flexibility and peace of mind, rather than buying into a closed
system that has no expansion — or sticks you with a costly upgrade path. And MOTU
interfaces are tried and true, bullet-proof solutions. We’ve sold countless systems to
people just like you. So call your Sweetwater Sales Engineer now to discuss how the
1296 system (or any other MOTU product) will probably fit your specific needs.
— Continued from Page 8 creatively used by turning up the Input and turning down the
Outputs while using very little or no compression. The audio signal passes only through superclean high-current vacuum tube line amplifiers and internal gain adjust is factory preset for 10 dB.
The Bypass controls disable the limiting circuitry, leaving only the line amplifiers. Each channel
can be run separately or switched to “stereo-link,” enabling an innovative channel balance control
for exact image centering. The meters can be switched to read output or gain-reduction.
Working on an entirely different principle, Manley’s popular Electro-Optical Limiter ($2500
list) has its own special uses and sound colors, too. The principle of operation is based around
using a rectified sample of the audio to shine an LED (Light Emitting Diode) onto an LDR (Light
Dependent Resistor). The photo-resistor in combination with a fixed resistor simply act as a changing
voltage divider to attenuate the signal. A similar principle was found in the older Teletronix LA-2A,
LA-3, and LA-4 units which used a slower electro-luminescent panel-light on a conventional LDR
encased in a light-tight enclosure. The Manley unit uses modern Vactrol technology (but with a
trick!) for exact sample-to-sample similarity and no high frequency loss.
The Manley Gold Reference Multi-Pattern Mic ($8000 list) is, according to the company (and they should know), one of the finest microphones that money can buy in the pursuit of
truly accurate musical recordings. The Gold Reference Series employs their own design of large
capsules which are executed to precise tolerances made possible by modern micro-milling machinery. The capsule rings and back-plates are milled from solid brass and are mounted on Teflon
insulator rings. The 3 micron gold diaphragm film comes from Germany and is tensioned using
proprietary techniques which ensures capsule-to-capsule constancy, combined with the speed,
"air" and superb ultra-high frequency response you dream about. The polar pattern control is continuously variable between the Omni, Cardioid, and Figure 8 positions. The company chose a very
open weave stainless-steel grille for the capsule window for zero-loss acoustical transmission.
For those who want a mono version of this mic, but wonder if they are sacrificing quality, you
should know that the stereo version of the Gold Reference microphone is identical in every respect
to the Mono Gold ($5500 list), but with two complete systems installed in one case with the upper
capsule being fixed and the lower capsule being continuously rotatable through 90° for X-Y BlumleinStyle coincident pair recording technique. The Reference Cardioid Microphone ($3000 list)
shares the same electronic attributes as the Gold Reference Series, but has a fixed cardioid-only
capsule with a thicker gauge (6 micron) gold sputtered diaphragm. With the similar film thickness
and construction, similar high frequency resonance (a little edge), similar proximity effect and
pretty good immunity from pops and sibilance problems, the Reference Cardioid more closely
recalls how many of the vintage European tube mics (such as the beloved U47) sounded like when
they were new. It's rich tonal balance and liquid character is consistently admired for instruments
such as guitars, drum overheads, saxophone and especially vocals.
If you find yourself leaning on your compressors and boosting the 5 to 10kHz range at the
mixer to score just a little bit more testosterone with your present microphone, then the Reference
Cardioid just might be the mic you're looking for. If you seem to be constantly boosting 12 to
18kHz and trying to get a clean, intimate sound, then probably the Reference Gold would be your
safest bet. One thing’s for sure, at these prices, you know these babies will perform superbly!
There are many other innovative products available from Manley Labs, but as usual, we’re out
of space. So call your Sweetwater Sales Engineer for additional information and special pricing on
the entire range of products from this impressive company!
E-MU SOUND MODULES
LINE 6 PRODUCTS
— Continued from Page 3
expect, the Xtreme Lead-1 will accept any of the upgrades available for either the Virtuoso 2000
or the B-3 module, so you’ll always have access to fresh, new sounds!
The new Mo’Phatt Urban Dance Synth ($895 list) takes over where E-MU’s legendary
Planet Phatt left off. Mo’Phatt has it all: 32 MB of fresh new urban sounds, SuperBEATs Mode, up
to 16 syncable arpeggiators and a powerful processor to deliver all of your grooves and loops
with the tightest timing possible. And you can modify / warp your sounds into anything imaginable using Mo’Phatt’s advanced synthesis architecture and effects processor. Need more sounds?
E-MU knows you do. You can expand your soundset with the many expansion ROMs available
for the other E-MU modules, or you can create your own custom ROMs using E-MU’s E4 Ultra
samplers. Mo’Phatt has got it all – mo’sounds, mo’beats, mo’ways to get down.
Other features include 64-voice polyphony (expandable to 128 with the Turbo upgrade), 12
assignable real-time front panel controls, 12th order filters, dual outputs (expandable to six plus
S/PDIF), a 24-bit dual stereo effects processor, one additional internal ROM expansion slot (expandable to three) and 16 MIDI channels (expandable to 32).
Want to know more about any of these great E-MU modules? Then pick up the phone and
call your Sweetwater Sales Engineer right now for additional information, features, specs and
special low pricing on the expandable modules from the people who started it all!
— B.H.
because playing out of tune just isn't cool. An Amp / Direct switch allows POD to be optimized for different applications: Select Direct when running POD directly into a mixer or
recorder. Select Amp when using POD as a tone-shaping front end for another amp. There’s
also Line 6's ToneTransfer Web Library, which is constantly expanding. The sounds you collect transfer seamlessly between POD, POD Pro, and Flextone II series amps, so wherever
you go, all your sounds can make the trip. As if all this wasn't enough, Line 6 also includes a
CD which contains Emagic’s SoundDiver software (for PC or Mac — a $199 value) for
expanded feature access via MIDI. You can get at additional effects parameters, do strange
things with the wah functions and lots of other fun stuff.
There’s also a new POD Pro rackmount package ($799.99 list) with all the connectivity
today’s demanding recording professionals need, like 24-Bit AES/EBU and S/PDIF digital
outs, as well as dual-mode analog XLR connectors.
One thing I want to say before I’m out of space is that the folks at Line 6 are always
looking for new ways to deliver the sounds that today’s guitar and bass players want and
need. This is not a company that’s happy to turn out a great product and then take the rest
of the year off. Nope, they are constantly looking for new and better ways to get you the
tone you need at a price you can actually afford. So call your Sweetwater Sales Engineer
today for information and special pricing on the Flextone Series, POD 2.0 and POD Pro, plus
all the other great Line 6 products like their ultra-cool Stomp Box Modelers! — Jim Miller
— Continued from Page 7 the night. As a bonus, you also get a built-in chromatic tuner,
FRUSTRATED? NEED HELP? Our Tech Support Team is just a phone call away: (800) 222-4700
Sweet Notes
Early Summer 2000
Page 11
PSR9000
It used to be easy to tell the difference between professional keyboards and those that
were meant for “at home” entertainment. The pro gear sounded great, but the player had
to do all the work to actually make any music, while the portable keyboard had funny little
Bossa Nova rhythms and thin sound playing through tiny speakers.
But that was yesterday. Today, the line between pro and personal keyboards has blurred
to the point that it’s darn near impossible sometimes to tell the difference. Standing at the
top of an impressive array of Yamaha production and performance-oriented keyboards is
the new PSR9000 ($3495 list). Sporting an incredible feature set that we’ll get to in a
minute, the PSR9000 is a versatile arranging workstation for the professional musician, an
ideal live performance instrument, or the perfect keyboard for anyone who, well, just loves
to sing and play.
The PSR9000 has a combination of professional features that don’t exist on any other
keyboard on the planet, making it the perfect choice for performing musicians or professionals to use as a writing tool. However, even with all this sophisticated music-making
power, its user interface and auto-arranger functions are still perfect for beginners or hobbyists. Like its predecessor, the PSR8000, the PSR9000 is a 61-key, portable keyboard complete with microphone input, a digital mixer, vocal harmonizer, built-in audio system, and
professional features like aftertouch, pitch bend and mod wheels. Designed for users at
every level, the unit can be connected directly to a computer without requiring a MIDI
interface, and offers full GM (and Yamaha XG) compatibility, along with sophisticated auto
accompaniment features. A dedicated onboard 16-track sequencer is standard, with two
record modes (Quick and Multitrack) and a huge recording capacity of 38,000 notes. In
addition, the PSR9000 is fully compatible with all the software available for the PSR8000.
The stunning sound quality is some of the best ever produced by Yamaha. Sporting a
full 126 notes of polyphony, the PSR9000 is also loaded with 32 MB of incredible voices
that reproduce all the timbres and nuances of just about any acoustic or amplified instrument you care to name. Innovative live drum sounds contain six layers of samples which
crossfade based on velocity. What’s more, they have been recorded in full stereo, resulting
in detail and realism that’s absolutely stunning.
Though it has a full complement of “bells and whistles,” a lot of attention has been
paid to ease of use. The PSR9000 contains a large music database, and all interfaces have
been simplified through the direct access function, one-touch settings, and on-screen guidance — a virtual necessity for any performing musician who needs to change settings
quickly. In addition, a PS-2 PC keyboard input allows you to enter alphanumeric data, taking the PSR9000 to a new level of user-friendliness.
How’s this for innovation: A video output allows the PSR9000 to display lyrics from a
MIDI song file through a projector or directly into any television monitor. This is an attractive
feature for churches that display lyrics, or for home users as a karaoke device. The list of
professional features continues with 16-bit sampling capabilities, an optional hard drive
(up to 8 gigabytes!), expandable RAM (up to 65 MB), MIDI in/out for external tone generators, and a SCSI port which can connect to an external storage device like a Zip drive. Four
individual outputs, 12 blocks of DSP effects (including a truly convincing dual rotary speaker
simulation that will blow you away), an onboard sequencer and automated mixer are ideal
for recording professionals. The PSR9000 even contains a Flash ROM operating system,
which enables software upgrades to be loaded from disk or directly from the Web.
Let’s talk about the auto accompaniment — and we’re not talking about those rinky-
dink polkas and sambas that were a trademark of yesterday’s portables. We’re talking about
everything from tight jazz to loose blues and beyond — and yes, there are still polkas and
marches available, but they actually sound like real musicians playing in a real band, not the
old cardboard cutout stuff. In fact, no matter what kind of music you enjoy, the PSR9000
has the perfect accompaniment onboard. Over 100 styles are provided, and all of them
have been arranged by living, breathing professional musicians. Each style has its own
unique four Main Variations, three Intros, three Endings, four Fill-ins and one Break Fill. Four
“One-Touch Settings,” any of which can be freely customized, are provided for each style.
The answer to every vocalist's dream, the PSR9000's exclusive Vocal Harmony function
perfectly harmonizes your voice, adding breathtaking enhancement to your singing. Have a
backup chorus provide more depth and emotion to your next ballad. Expand your vocal
range with the unique Gender function (yes ladies, now you can sound like Barry White!). In
addition to the digital reverbs and choruses, an abundance of dedicated vocal effects are
provided, including 84 types of insert effects, noise gate, compressor and 3-band EQ. Innovations continue with a fully redesigned sound system. A pair of built-in two-way speakers
offer incredibly rich, natural sound reproduction. Each speaker is actually mounted inside a
wooden cabinet with a large bass port, and is powered by a 56-watt amplifier. Let’s face it:
Most people don’t own stereo systems that are this good!
If you want to know more about the sleek, powerful (and darn good looking) PSR9000,
just call your Sweetwater Sales Engineer. They’ll be glad to fill in any blanks I might have
missed and give you a surprisingly low Sweetwater price that’s guaranteed to make you
— J.S.W.
smile. So call now and ask about the astounding new Yamaha PSR9000.
CDR1000
Recording direct to CD is now just as easy as recording direct to tape! Destined to
become the “must-have” stand-alone recorder for any professional recording facility, the
state-of-the-art Yamaha CDR1000 ($1799 list) is capable of recording on both CDR and
CDRW. Other features include a sample rate converter and word clock input. Perhaps best
of all, the CDR1000 includes a world-renowned Apogee Electronics UV22 Super CD Encoder, which allows 16-bit encoding of sources originally recorded at higher bit rates,
even 24-bit, without additional equipment. This process is used in major recording studios all over the world, and means your 16-bit CD can sound as full and detailed as 20 or
24-bit recordings. The CDR1000's flexible recording and editing features ensure a professional take every time, while the wordclock input allows the CDR1000 to be professionally
connected into the digital studio. And of course, the sound quality is superb. Call your
Sales Engineer right now for complete details and your special low Sweetwater price.
SWEETWATER PROTECTS YOU WITH THE INDUSTRY’S FIRST AND ONLY 100% BEST VALUE GUARANTEE!
Sweet Notes
Early Summer 2000
I’m going to take a slightly different approach in my column this month. In previous issues
of Sweet Notes, you’ve hopefully gained a real insight as to what our goals are and what
makes us tick as a company. You’ve read about all kinds of service-oriented topics and the
things that help define what we like to call “The Sweetwater Difference.”
The primary face of this difference / added value / superior service / etc. is, of course,
the sales staff (I will once again admit that I’m a wee bit biased, because these are my
people, after all). But in reality, these are the folks who you work with most closely at
Sweetwater, from initial consultation to final shipment of your order.
When I first arrived, we had a relatively small sales staff numbering less than 20 Sales
Engineers. However, we already had a great reputation for knowledge and service and a strong
training ethic. In the nearly four years since I
joined the company, we’ve grown dramatically.
We should have more than three times the sales
volume this year and we have also grown as a
sales staff during this time frame. To say the least,
this has been a very challenging task for us, in
that we are looking for the cream of the crop in
the entire industry. In previous issues I’ve described the kind of person a Sales Engineer here
is and the expectations that we (and you, our
valued customers) have for them in terms of business professionalism and product knowledge.
Most of you have seen our employment ads
and probably understand that the majority of
Sales Engineers are “imports” (there are only so
many audio/MIDI experts available for us to hire in Fort Wayne). Some of our competitors
have even tried to start rumors about us having a high turnover rate because of all the
employment ads we run. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Unlike many of our competitors — some of whom have stated in public documents that they have 200% turnover
— we enjoy one of the lowest turnover rates for salespeople in the industry. Why is this?
It’s because, first and foremost, we are very selective in hiring Sales Engineers. Of the
thousands of resumes, e-mail inquiries and phone calls we receive, only a handful make it
through the several “cuts” to become Sweetwater employees. Here’s how the process works:
First, we review the resumes for depth of experience and employment potential in this
environment (what kind of gear the potential employee is familiar with, employment history, written communication skills, educational background, etc.). Next, if the prospective
employee looks good on paper, we schedule a phone interview. Kristine Haas, our Director
of Human Resources (or, as we call her inside the company, the “Director of Bringing in
Really Cool People”) calls them and takes them through a brief phone interview. At this
time, she also answers any questions they might have about the job and the hiring process
overall. This initial phone interview gives us a better feel for how well the prospect can
handle himself or herself verbally over the phone (this is critical since the vast majority of
our business is done over the phone).
If all goes well here and Kristine sees real potential, we schedule a face-to-face interview and bring the prospective Sales Engineer to our facility in Fort Wayne (to the best of
my knowledge, we are the only music retailer that will fly Sales Engineer candidates to our
location for an interview). Here, they interview with Kristine and me and are given an inside
view as to how the company works, including core philosophies, selling methods, expectations, etc. The fact is that it’s important for us to be very open with how we operate so that
our interviewee can make an informed decision.
We also give the prospect several aptitude tests including a technical exam to gauge
real product and application knowledge. It’s important to note that this isn’t a “pass/fail”
kind of test — it simply validates real knowledge and lets us know where additional training
is needed before we can roll the individual out as a Sales Engineer. Finally, we make sure
our interviewee has the opportunity to observe our Sales Engineers in action so he/she can
get an even better feel for what the job is like.
Throughout the interview process, we encourage the prospective employee to ask questions they might have about the company. The interview is, after all, a two-way process:
We’re asking folks to uproot families, sell houses, move away from friends and other family
members and start a very demanding job. I take it as my personal responsibility to make
sure that it is the right decision for both parties. I would never want to disrupt somebody’s
life and throw them into a sink or swim situation. By the time I get to the point of making an
offer for employment, I am very confident that we have a good match and that the prospective employee has the tools to succeed in our environment.
When a new Sales Engineer arrives, we invest a lot of time and effort training them
before turning them loose on our customers. They will go through a very thorough twoweek training session with our Technical Training Coordinator (who also plans the curriculum for Sweetwater University) learning all about our systems and how to best use the
tools they have at hand here to better serve our customers.
What can a Sales Engineer anticipate here at Sweetwater? Put simply, high expectations. I personally believe that we have the best trained, most knowledgeable and most
professional sales staff in the entire industry. In my previous positions with manufacturers
(most recently, as the Director of Sales for the United States and Mexico for AKG Acous-
Page 12
tics, Inc.), I had the opportunity to work with all of the major retail players in our industry.
Based on this experience, I made the move to Sweetwater because I believe it’s the most
customer oriented and forward-thinking company in our industry and has a sales staff
without peer (wow, I am so biased . . . but I warned you!).
Our Sales Engineers are the best in the business, but they work hard for this recognition and success. Each of them has passed a Technical Exam and gone through extensive
training before even being allowed to work with customers as a Sales Engineer. They’ve
spent at least three months working with and learning from our senior people. During this
period, they are paid a “guarantee” that is commensurate with their experience and allows
them to focus on learning how to do the job right
instead of trying to sell gear so they can put food
on the table. We want professionals here, not
desperate, overly aggressive and slick salespeople. Our reputation and success if built on a
foundation of repeat business and long-term customer relationships.
I won’t pull any punches: Being a Sales Engineer at Sweetwater is hard and demanding work.
We don’t want the warm bodies other retailers
hire. No clerks need apply. We want quality, goal
oriented people who understand that we are offering them the opportunity for a career, not just
a job or a “day gig.” They have to be able to think
quickly on their feet and be passionate about customer service. They have to be able to work in an
extremely fast paced environment and bring a
positive attitude and high level of enthusiasm to work every day. They have to be gearheads and technology geeks.
You might wonder why I’ve made this my subject in this issue’s column. It’s because a
majority of our Sales Engineers were once customers (me too). They came here because
they really understood what we’re all about and wanted to join a winning team where they
could do work they were proud of every day. If you’ve ever considered a job change and
want to be well compensated for your integrity, work ethic, and product knowledge, we'd
love to hear from you.
I could write for pages about the Sweetwater environment. I’ve never been around
such an extraordinary group of people. I marvel every day at all of the talented and motivated folks who work here. It’s a gas for me to work with so many like-minded, yet diverse
people. The crew here hangs out together outside work, as well. We play volleyball on the
sand court behind our facility every Saturday in the summer. We play basketball on the
court in our parking lot every Wednesday night. There are lots of bands and recording
projects going on at any given time (imagine a company with over 200 employees, most of
whom play one or more instruments really well and own all kinds of gear!).
I’ve also never worked in a company that does so much for its employees. A quick
example is a company trip we’re taking to Cedar Point (a major amusement park in Ohio).
We are taking employees and their families to the park, paying the entrance fees and having lunch there. It’s a great opportunity for all of us to spend some time together and get to
know each other’s families while further strengthening our team orientation.
Finally, our Sales Staff is arguably the best compensated in the industry. Sadly, in our
industry, the typical salesperson makes high teens to maybe just under $30,000 for their
work, regardless of how smart and good they are. This is why the quality of the typical
music store salesperson is so poor; it’s hard to make a living just selling gear in most
places. I’ve learned that in life you generally get exactly what you pay for.
We bring in really good people and give them the best tools. If you give good people
the tools they need to succeed and allow them to do their job without gobs of rules and
restrictions, amazing things can happen. Again, our expectations for them are very high
and they work very hard every day. Success doesn’t come without effort and dedication.
If you are a talented and motivated individual with exceptional people skills, have a
great work ethic and think you have what it takes to be a Sales Engineer at this level, we’d
love to hear from you! The opportunities here are amazing. Do you want to work in an
environment where excellence is the standard? Do you actually want to have fun at work
instead of dreading the everyday grind? Do you want to make a great living, buy a house,
drive a nice car, and own cool gear? Do you want to work with a group of people who share
the same passion for the people, the process and the technology involved in making music? If so, Sweetwater could be exactly the place you’ve been searching for your whole life!
I’ve found that doing work you love and believe in is the key to success and happiness.
Please call Kristine Haas at (800) 222-4700, ext. 1050. Tell her you're calling because
of the article in Sweet Notes. I hope to see some of you become part of the Sweetwater
Difference and join our team soon! Rock and Roll! Jeff Radke is Vice-President of Sales
“Price, selection, support, speed . . . all of you are great.”
— Lawrence Greene
“Service is as advertised. It’s fun to deal with a (retailer)
who has the products and knows what’s up . . .”
— Richard Ford
Stay informed and inSync with our Web daily. Go to “insync.sweetwater.com”
Sweet Notes
Early Summer 2000
Page 13
Are you ready for the big league?
Cakewalk just upped the ante for professional
musicians with Pro Suite ($829 list), a powerful PC-based music workstation that combines multitrack audio and MIDI with a full-featured
digital sampler residing right on your hard drive. And that's not all. Pro Suite is loaded with some
truly unmatched new features like an onboard drum machine that lets you create and edit loops
in real time, physical modeling for making unbelievable reverb effects, and StudioWare for custom panel control of all your outboard gear.
Imagine: All your MIDI gear centrally controlled by one music workstation! Oh, and did we
mention Pro Suite can export audio to Internet delivery formats like MP3, RealSystem G2 and
Windows Media? It can.
At the heart of it all is Cakewalk's flagship multitrack music software, Pro Audio 9. Designed from the ground up exclusively for the Windows platform, Pro Audio 9 offers such rocksolid stability and seamless integration of digital audio MIDI, it has become the #1 selling music
software for Windows in the U.S. One reason for its success is the
"views" menu, a powerful navigation system that functions and
feels like it was designed by musicians, not programmers. In fact,
views are a great way to get to know Pro Audio 9 without reading the manual. Easily accessible from small desktop icons, views
include piano roll, MIDI events, staff notation, audio editing, lyrics, mix console, tempo, video and more. There's even a new
multitrack piano roll that lets you edit MIDI notes, draw volume
changes and edit controller data for multiple tracks simultaneously.
Pro Audio 9 handles more tracks than you'll probably ever
use — 256 to be exact. That's 256 combined digital audio and
MIDI, and 256 real-time effects. Wow, anyone recording a symphony with individual mics on each instrument?
Okay, let's be realistic for a minute. You're under the gun to
record and mix a fully produced song by Monday. First task: Lay
down a killer groove. First choice? Cakewalk's new Session Drummer, a full-featured drum machine that lets you select or create a
loop and modify it in real time. After checking its generous library
of professionally recorded MIDI drum grooves, you find some
great-sounding Latin and Hip-Hop you combine for a main beat.
You slow down a dance groove for the intro, modify a jazz loop
for the bridge, make some chaos for the end and drag and drop
it into a song arrangement window. Trial and error goes a long
way here, and real-time editing helps you zero in on exactly the
grooves you want. Once you hear it in the whole mix, a second
edit is just as simple as the first.
The MIDI bass track goes down next, then vintage synths,
funky percussion hits and some way-out sound effects. Next you record
lead and rhythm guitar, lead and background vocals (all in stereo, of course) and start experimenting with some of your soundcard's DSP effects, patching and aux bus controls, and SMPTE
options. By providing advanced support for AudioX, the industry standard, Pro Audio 9 gives you
simplified, direct control over all the latest features in audio hardware.
Time for editing: Setting and labeling markers for overdubs, song sections, and whatever else
suits your fancy is not something you need to skimp on, since you've got 256 of them at your
disposal. Pro Audio 9's powerful navigational tools include unlimited color and text labeling of
audio and MIDI tracks, or sections of tracks. For example, you could assign a different color to
each instrument if you're dragging a lot from track to track. Or each song section if you're
moving parts between song sections. Or frequency range if you're trying to balance your mix. You
get the idea — It's flexible enough to work however you choose.
Okay, you make some mistakes when playing and editing. Experiment without fear! Pro
Audio 9 lets you undo as much or little as you want, so if you made a mistake an hour ago, you
can scroll down and rewind your editing session to that or any other editing point in the session.
You think you've got style? Now you've got more: Introducing the industry's first Style Enhancer. This MIDI plug-in's advanced performance-modeling algorithms do far more than change
the feel of a groove with velocity and timing. The Style Enhancer actually adds and subtracts MIDI
“(My Sales Engineer) is a personable salesman. Things he
wasn't sure about, he would take the time to research and
find the answers! I've been buying gear for 15 years and
I've never come across that. (Other retailers) usually fake
that they know what I'm asking and I get stuck with gear.”
— Marc Battaglia
events and notes to morph your song into a wild range of styles and genres. Like what you hear?
Keep it, edit it-the creative time you save is all yours.
Pro Audio 9's audio section has been thoroughly revitalized for robust realtime playback,
mixing and effects processing. A key part of the upgrade is Cakewalk's WavePipe technology,
which optimizes the performance of Windows audio cards for extremely low latency. This means
when you move an onscreen fader there's no annoying time delay, an essential for real-time
editing of your effects and mix parameters.
Pro Audio 9 provides StudioWare panels for direct control over your synths, sound modules,
drum machines and more. For example, you can play or record vocal or guitar tracks on a Roland
VS-880 using a functional onscreen faceplate that looks just like — you guessed it — the VS880. Same for the Line 6 Pod guitar effects unit, Roland GR-30, E-MU Orbit and a growing
collection of old and new gear. You can even improve on the manufacturer's design by changing
or rearranging the faceplate buttons and knobs to better serve your needs.
Pro Suite comes packaged with all of Cakewalk's renowned library of 32-bit, floating-point audio effects: Audio FX 1, 2, and 3. It also
seamlessly incorporates those of other manufacturers
by supporting industry-standard DirectX audio and MFX
MIDI plug-ins. So are you ready to mix that tune yet?
Expanding the low-level vocal intro, compressing and
chorusing your rhythm guitar and limiting your background vocals is a breeze with Audio FX1: Dynamics
Processing. Just right-click on a track and audition the
full range of dynamics effects using friendly graphical
controls that are often easier to use than the outboard
units. Remember that lead guitar riff you fixed? Listen
to it now with FX2: Vintage Tape and Amp Simulation.
Try amps like British Crunch and American Lead, or see
if a single 12" best fits your mix, or maybe four 10"
speakers with some presence and EQ. Still too digital?
Simulate what it would sound like on an analog tape
recorder at a tape speed of 7.5, 15 or 30 IPS; add
warmth (saturation) and even hiss to taste.
Audio FX3: Soundstage Design for Custom Reverb
is about to change the world of reverb forever. When
you first open FX3. it looks like something out of Star
Wars, with a 3D room simulator you easily manipulate
and view from any angle. Raise the roof 50 feet, add
high frequency damping, move the mic position, move
the performer, change how the room absorbs sound.
The only thing that can match the FX3's exciting new
reverb sounds is the cool way you get to zero in on them.
Pro Audio 9 comes with a full notation program ready to print out scores with up to 24
staves on a page, complete with lyrics, chord symbols, dynamics markings and more. Guitarists
will love the new onboard guitar tuner and full-featured guitar tablature and notation. Print your
songs in tab or record and edit them by clicking onscreen strings. For practicing or teaching, just
load any MIDI file and watch the fingering and tablature together in real time. To learn new parts,
just slow down the tempo.
Last, and certainly not least, Pro Suite users are sure to be impressed by its built-in NemeSys
GigaSampler LE. Yes, it handles gigabyte samples. Yes, it's easy to use. And yes, it integrates with
Pro Audio 9 for real-time sampler/synthesizer playback, a critical feature not provided by any
competing synthesizer plug-in. No more racks of outboard equipment, long waits while samples
load or strict limits on sample size. This full-featured sampler and editor loads huge samples in
seconds, not minutes, and sounds better than most outboard units. At the heart of the GigaSampler
revolution is the GSIF (GigaSampler Interface), the fastest PC audio hardware interface on the
market. Other software-based synthesizers rely on loops and patterns because of latency problems. Not GigaSampler. It bypasses RAM and streams samples in real time directly from your hard
drive. A single sample voice can be as large as 4.3 GB, while 48-voice polyphony and full looping
capability are standard. Supported formats include .WAV, Giga, and Akai, the latter of which can
be imported with all its performance parameters.
With Cakewalk's new Pro Suite, your PC becomes a complete Windows workstation for
multitrack recording, real-time mixing with effects, and hard-disk sampling. All the top standards,
including 24bit/96khz sampling, are included as standard features — there's no tiered offering
to get you to spend extra money. With so many extras surrounding its flagship Pro Audio 9,
Cakewalk's Pro Suite has clearly set the new standard for music on the PC. By now, you’re
probably ready to own Pro Suite, so call your Sales Engineer for additional information and (of
course) your special low Sweetwater pricing!
TALK TO AN EXPERT! Our Sales Engineers know their stuff and can help you select exactly the right gear!
Sweet Notes
Early Summer 2000
BOSS BR-8 DIGITAL RECORDING STUDIO
— Continued from Page 2 buttons at the same time. The BR-8 will automatically assign
both of these inputs to whatever open tracks are available—no routing, no buss assignments,
no hassles. The available tracks light up, and you’re ready to rock. Even better, it has effects set
up for just this circumstance — a guitar and vocal multi which can add just the right guitar
effects on the guitar track while creating excellent vocal effects on the vocal track.
Now that you have your guitar plugged in and have pressed the Input Select button,
you’re ready to record the first guitar part. The BR-8 has already assigned the guitar to Track
One. Suppose you want to record a guitar solo, but want to hear what it would sound like with
different effects. As already mentioned, the BR-8’s built-in effects are top-notch. Many of the
algorithms use Roland’s sophisticated COSM (Composite Object Sound Modeling) technology
to model and simulate some of the greatest guitar, acoustic guitar and bass amps in the world.
It also gives you a slew of digital and analog effects for guitars and vocals. In short, everything
you need to make a great-sounding digital recording. You can even set it up so that you can
hear the effects while you record, but have the BR-8 print the track dry (i.e. with no effects),
then add the effects later, changing COSM amps or really doing whatever you want with the
track, and you still only have to record the part once. For that matter, you don’t even have to
play it once. With all those V-Tracks, you can record different solos, or different parts of solos,
and assemble them into one complete part later, and then set up just the right effect sound for
the completed part. This is too cool!
Since you don’t have a complete song composed yet, you’re going to start by simply laying
down some ideas. This brings us to yet another unique feature on the BR-8: the Rhythm Guide.
The Rhythm Guide is a (believe it or don’t) built-in beat box with 80 different rhythms—everything from rock to reggae to house and much more. You can chain these rhythms together to
use as a song, or just loop one of the rhythms to use as a guide while recording your parts,
without having to use up a track for recorded drums. It’s like a built-in click track that actually
sounds like drums, has lots of different feels programmed in, and is a blast to play along with.
You might select a pattern called “Rock 10”, which has the perfect feel. On the BR-8 is a
button under the Rhythm Guide which is labeled, logically enough, ON/OFF. Press this, and it
starts to flash, telling you it’s armed and dangerous, and ready to go. Next to the On/Off button
is another one labeled Pattern Temp (Don’t you love single buttons for single purposes?). When
you press this, a screen comes up in the display showing you the tempo, the time signature and
the pattern name. Select your pattern, press the ON button, set the tempo and get set to rock.
Okay, now that you’ve recorded a basic rhythm guitar on Track One, you want to play it
ROLAND XV-88
— Continued from Page 2
absolutely stunning sound quality to again put the XVSeries in the running with high-end samplers. And navigating through Patches and bookmarking your favorites
for instant recall is a breeze thanks to a Patch Finder
button and new Favorite List function. Put simply,
Roland’s XV-Series synthesizers, combined with SRX-Series expansion boards, are the most powerful instruments
in Roland’s impressive history.
The new XV-Series also comes with enhanced Roland
tonal architecture, and all XV-Series synths can play back
two waveforms per Tone. Since a Patch can use up to
four Tones, this makes for some incredible four-stage
velocity switching or four-zone keyboard splits, each
using a stereo waveform within a single Patch. A Lock
Legato function even allows precise legato performance
of the waveforms. So now, for the first time, even the
most delicate expressions can be reproduced at the Patch
level without running out of polyphony.
Oh, did I mention all the powerful DSP effects
onboard, incorporating independent reverb, chorus, and
studio quality multi-effects processors? The lush, ambient reverb algorithms are derived from Roland’s top-ofthe-line SRV-3030 24-bit Digital Reverb Processor (one
of my favorite processors, as a matter of fact). The chorus section produces a rich, thick modulation perfect for
fattening up leads and pads. The new M-FX section contains all of the JV-2080’s EFX algorithms, plus popular
V-Studio effects, RSS, and unique algorithms like 3-D
Delay, Slicer, formant filter, Isolator, and a triplet-based
Shuffle Delay. Most importantly, all of this massive DSP
processing is heard through 24-bit D/A converters, ensuring crystal-clear sound reproduction.
The XV-88 is truly a “Future-Proof” Instrument:
Page 14
back to hear what you’ve come up with. Here’s yet another cool feature of the BR-8: You can set
the Rhythm Guide to automatically start when you press PLAY, so your tracks are always synchronized with the Rhythm Guide even though you didn’t really record its audio.
Now back to the subject of dry tracks. As we discussed, you recorded the basic track
without effects (simply by setting the effects to Bypass ON). What you want to do now is hear
the track played back and audition a variety of different effect sounds. This is easy, as the BOSS
BR-8 is positively loaded with modeled guitar amps, bass amps, acoustic guitar amps and tons
of insane effects — it’s even got an expression pedal input so you can use wah or dive bomb
effects while playing your guitar. There’s a Bass Simulator, so you can record the bass parts right
from your favorite guitar, as well as an Acoustic Guitar Simulator, so you don’t have to mic your
old acoustic. The BR-8 is called a Digital Recording Studio, and now you know why. Everything
you would ever use in a “real” digital recording studio is right here in this box.
Here’s another reason why the BR-8 is so cool. You can record five or six takes of a guitar
solo onto the BR-8’s Virtual Tracks (or V-Tracks), then slice and dice and come up with the
ultimate solo — even one you could never have played in real life. Another dedicated button,
this one labeled V-Track, gets you into the V-Track display. You can then select a specific V-Track
via the Value dial. You can name the tracks if you want, or you can have the BR-8 do this for you.
After you’ve selected the track, you can start laying down a ripping solo; and then another
one to a different V-Track, with a completely different set of effects and different name so you
can remember which solo is which. Best of all, you can keep doing this over and over long into
the night. Tomorrow, you might be meeting with your singer, bringing your BR-8 along to do the
vocals — all you need are a mic, headphones and an electric socket. There are (naturally) plenty
of vocal effects in the BR-8 — like an enhancer, a doubler, a de-esser, a compressor/limiter, and
lots more — so the vocals will come out great. And just like your guitar solo, there are plenty of
V-Tracks available, allowing you to keep different lead takes, or assemble one incredible final
take if that’s the way you decide to go.
Finally, you might just be wondering exactly what media the BR-8 uses to record your
music. In fact, it features a built-in Zip100 drive which uses (the now incredibly cheap) 100MB
Zip cartridges. These Zips are removable, so when you’re finished with a project you can just pop
in a new one.
Is there more? You bet, but space (as usual) doesn’t allow me to give you a complete
rundown of everything this awesome (and affordable) machine can do, so please call your
Sweetwater Sales Engineer for the complete story and your incredibly low Sweetwater pricing.
Hey, do it now and you can be making music tomorrow!
— Michael Rief with considerable help from BOSS Product Manager Peter Swiadon
Roland’s support of expandable synthesis is evidenced
by the wealth of SR-JV80-Series expansion boards currently available. With over 15 titles to choose from, no
other synth expansion library even comes close. Keeping this in mind, Roland designed the new XV-88 to be
compatible with both SR-JV80-Series and the next-generation SRX-Series wave expansion boards. The credit
card-sized SRX-Series boards hold an amazing 64MB of
wave data—four times that of the SR-JV80-Series boards.
Designed with a critical focus on sound quality, the SRX
boards provide instant access to its exceptional sounds
without hassles or long loading time.
The first two titles in the SRX-Series are the SRX01 Dynamic Drum Kits and SRX-02 Concert Piano, with
many more SRX titles to follow. I’m particularly impressed with the SRX-02 Concert Piano Expander. While
other manufacturers would probably have have tried to
load up the 64MB of ROM with as many pianos as possible, Roland took the opposite approach: The SRX-02
dedicates its entire 64MB of wave memory to one purpose, which is reproducing the most exquisite stereosampled piano sound ever.
Still, it’s not enough to be a great synth, so the XV88 is also Roland’s first synthesizer to feature an 88note precision hammer-action keyboard with velocity and
aftertouch sensitivity. Perfect for use as a master keyboard, the XV-88’s hammer-action is identical to the acclaimed A-90EX Expandable Controller, invoking the feel
of a fine acoustic piano.
Knowing all this (and we haven’t even covered everything here — yes, there’s lots more we don’t have
room for), wouldn’t you want an XV-88 for yourself? I’ll
admit I do. Considering that a fully-loaded XV-88 could
hold 512MB of waveform data, you would have an incredible amount of music-making potential at your fingertips. So call your Sweetwater Sales Engineer for all
the facts, complete information, specs and, oh yes, your
— Bill Hoover
special low Sweetwater pricing.
— Continued from Page 5
“Sound Video and Game Controllers”. Expand that
header by clicking the “+” sign and you will see Sound Blaster Synth or Live or other
sound card items. Within one of these items you will find a settings tab that may include a
setting labeled “Allow LPT Interrupt Sharing”. Make sure this is deselected and then restart your PC and do the Auto Setup that is shown in the installation setup procedure from
the MOTU product. Sometimes the Sound Blaster card will not show this setting within the
Sound Video and Game Controllers heading. Sometimes it will create a heading labeled
“Creative Misc Drivers” and here you will again click the “+” sign and go into the properties of any sub-headings and find the “LPT Interrupt Sharing” setting.
If these two things do not work, the next thing to do is determine again if you indeed have a general sound card and to shut the
MIDI features off on that card. To do this, go to the Multimedia Icon in the Control Panel. Once you have opened Multimedia, go to
the Devices tab (the last tab on the right), click the “+” sign next to MIDI Devices and locate the sound card, then go into the
properties of that card and you should see “Do Not Use MIDI Features on This Card”. Select that and again restart your PC for these
settings to take effect. Once that is done, again go to the Auto Setup documented within the MOTU installation instructions.
With these three things, you should have no problem installing the device or getting it to be recognized thru Auto Setup.
Our huge warehouse is home to thousands of the hottest new products. Call us at (800) 222-4700
Sweet Notes
Early Summer 2000
Before I get onto any other topic, I have
to say that after my comments in the last
issue of Sweet Notes regarding PCs, I thought
I’d be getting at least a few responses from
owners of “Wintel” machines. But no, not a
word. It has been quiet . . . maybe too quiet.
Makes me nervous. Been staring over my
shoulder a lot lately.
All kidding aside, I have to wonder that
none of our readers (about 200,000 of them)
took exception to what I wrote. Am I that
persuasive? Do all of you really, secretly wish
you had bought a Mac? Considering the
amount of e-mail I normally get on other
topics, this one should have lit at least a
couple of fuses out there. Very strange . . .
Well, on to other subjects. I get an awful lot of e-mail on digital guitar amplifier
modeling. It’s powerful new technology, but there’s a lot of information out there and
sifting through it all can get confusing. Here are some of my thoughts and experiences.
Many of you know from my past articles that I have been using Roland’s VG-8 with
the EX upgrade along with a Godin LGX-SA for my recording work for about four years
now. When the VG-8 was released, it was truly a dream come true. While
I used to have to tote several guitars and a number of
amplifiers to sessions, I now needed only one
guitar and the VG-8. And by simply
stepping through the
presets,
I could get
everything from a Strat
through a small Fender amp to a Les Paul
plugged into a full Marshall stack and everything in
between. Talk about slick! However, the VG-8 had one drawback
(aside from the originally high price tag — well over $2,000), which is the
fact that you needed a Roland GK-2A divided pickup on your guitar to drive it. Which
meant that if you wanted to play your favorite Les Paul or G&L or whatever, you had to
“deface” it by mounting the GK-2A right between the rear pickup and the bridge.
What’s more, the GK-2A came attached to a small plastic connector box that had to
get fastened onto the front of your guitar. The result was that you had a functional, but
very inelegant interface — really, to be honest, the whole thing spoiled the looks of your
guitar. For that reason, Fender released a Strat that came complete with a GK-2A pickup
and top mounted controls, while Godin’s LGX-SA kept all the electronics hidden and used
the piezos to drive the VG-8.
Now Roland didn’t get to be the giant company it is by sitting still. So when they
went to design the successor to the VG-8, the new VG-88 ($1295 list — hundreds less
than the VG-8EX). The VG-88 still uses advanced COSM technology to model the most
popular guitars, amps, speaker configurations and even mic placement, but here’s the
interesting part: You can actually access all the COSM amps, mic placements and killer
effects with your existing guitar by simply plugging it into the 1/4-inch input jack.
However (and this is a big however), despite rumors to the contrary, you cannot access
the guitar and pickup modeling via this input, nor can you take advantage of the VG-88’s
alternate tunings and the ability to pan each string to a different position across the
stereo field. I’m afraid that you’ll still need a GK-2A or a Godin for that.
In any case, the VG-88 is still, to my knowledge, the only box out there that can turn
a Strat into a “virtual” Les Paul (or a hollowbody jazz guitar, acoustic or a Rickenbacker
12-string and on and on). So here’s my advice: Get yourself an inexpensive new (or
beatup old) electric and do the GK-2A thing on that instrument. There are tons of greatplaying guitars being built today that are remarkably inexpensive. A perfect example is
the Godin Radiator, which retails at just $449 and is a great instrument in its own right,
Page 15
one you’ll actually find yourself playing
regardless of whether it has a GK-2A pickup
on it or not. Moreover, if you shop around
on the Net — on eBay or at the Sweetwater
Trading Post ( www.sweetwater.com/
tradingpost/home.tpl ) — you can find
some great deals on used guitars.
Before I move on to some other guitar
innovations, I should mention that the VG88 has some exceptional new guitar and
amp models, a stunning selection of “guitar
meets synth” patches and some wonderful
brass sounds. There’s even a nifty new
nylon string guitar patch. Add to that a
built-in foot pedal (to access things like the
excellent wah effect) and new insert effects
derived from the Boss cutting edge GT-Series of effects processors.
As far as affordable modelers that can provide you with tons of amp and speaker
cabinet models along with a wealth of digital effects, I don’t think you can beat Line 6’s
POD 2.0, which is a small, kidney-shaped module that lets you record your guitar direct,
while providing excellent digital models of — what else — real guitar amps, plus some
outstanding effects. There’s more information on this red hot unit on Page 7, but I just
used one on a sampling project and I have to say I am quite impressed, particularly given
the POD’s affordable price. I actually ended up using a modeled sound because when I
miked up the real amp POD was modeling and plugged in my Les Paul, I just couldn’t get
the beefiness I wanted without cranking up to ear shattering levels (which my neighbors
really don’t appreciate).
A couple if issues ago I talked about Line 6’s Stomp Box Modelers. If you’ll
recall, I was hugely impressed. So it shouldn’t have surprised me that the latest
version of their POD is so mind-blowing. And all you original POD owners take note:
You can easily upgrade to 2.0! (Call your Sales Engineer for details.) I love it when
a manufacturer cares this much about its customers and doesn’t leave them high
and dry and forced to buy a new product to get the new features. Other
manufacturers take note: I could name names, but I won’t (and next time I
won’t let you off the hook so easy).
Meanwhile, if you’re a gigging guitarist, up there on stage, night after
night, shredding your fingers, you probably want to know about amplifiers
that can do all the sophisticated digital modeling, and there sure are some
terrific ones out there these days, starting with the full line of amps built
by the same people who make the POD: Line 6. Another company who has gotten an
excellent reputation for their outstanding modeling amplifiers is Digitech, who offer up
the Johnson Millennium line of amps. I have heard their 150-watt, 2x12 JM150 Combo
(though I haven’t played one myself) and have to admit it sounded pretty darn sweet.
You can get into one of the Johnson amps for just $649 (list) for the JT50 Combo.
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the modeling amp that I personally use,
which is the Tech 21 Trademark 60. It doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of some
of the other amps, but I personally find it to be the perfect blend of old and new: There
are no presets — you have to dial up
the sound you want on either of
the two channels, which is
more like the amps I grew up
with. But if you want to
know how good it sounds,
well, I sold my Mesa
Boogie after I used this
amp for a few weeks.
The bottom line is
that there are a lot of
options available for great
guitar tone. Yes, you can spend
a small fortune on a real vintage
amp or one of the new boutique models available from several companies. There’s no
argument from me, they do sound fabulous. But they are inherently limited in terms of
tone. If all you play is blues or country, well they might do just fine. I have to play in a
number of styles on most of my sessions, so it’s great to have the luxury to be able to call
up a specific sound with the touch of a button or turn of a knob.
Sweetwater stocks just about every digital modeling device on the planet. Better
still, they have these amps and modules at great Sweetwater prices and every one of
them comes with that famous “no hype/no hassles” money back guarantee: If you’re not
happy, send it back, no questions asked (call your Sales Engineer for full details, please).
Whoa! I had planned on talking about guitars a bit this issue, but I see my space is
all but gone, so I’ll try to get into that next issue. See you then.
24-Hour Convenience! Same great Sweetwater prices! “www.sweetwater.com/store”
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it’s time you took a long, hard look at where your career is heading.
Here at Sweetwater, we can offer you an outstanding salary (with no
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just like you in the most dynamic environment possible. We won’t kid
you, though: Everyone at Sweetwater works hard every day to provide
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Do you have what it takes? Do you want to live in a community with all
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