Feb 2007 | Vol. 73
February/March 2007 Issue | Vol. 73
Making music happen for over 27 years!
(800) 222-4700 • www.sweetwater.com
NAMM Show ’07 ........... 1,10,11,12,13
Akai DPS24mkII ............................ 2
Native Instruments Kontakt 2 ............ 3
M-Audio NRV-10 ........................... 4
Focusrite Liquid Mix ...................... 4
Guitar 101 ................................... 5
Customer Studio ........................... 5
Inside Sweetwater ......................... 6
Digitech RP Series ........................ 6
Mackie VLZ3 Series ....................... 7
Expert Center.. ............................. 7
Moog Little Phatty Stage Edition ........ 8
Rock n Roll Fantasy Winner ............. 8
Inside the Sweetwater Difference ....... 9
TechNotes .................................14
Sweetwater Disc Services ...............14
Studio Notebook ..........................15
By Mitch Gallagher
It might have been snowy and cold at Sweetwater’s headquarters in Fort Wayne, but it was
raining new gear at the recent Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, California! The annual
National Association of Music Merchants tradeshow is the biggest U.S. music industry show;
this is where manufacturers come to show the new pro audio and music products we’ll all be
lusting after this year. The 2007 show certainly didn’t disappoint — there were more product
introductions at this NAMM than at any I can remember in recent years. Here’s a small sampling
of some of the products the Sweetwater tradeshow crew came across; for a complete
listing, be sure to visit www.sweetwater.com/publications/reports and tune in to our daily
inSync® internet newsletter (www.sweetwater.com/insync) for ongoing coverage and
updates on all the new products introduced at NAMM.
The A-Designs EM-PEQ is an EQ module based on the classic Pultec EQ and using the class
AB amp from the Pacifica mic preamp for makeup gain. It fits in any 500 series-compatible rack,
including the new R52, a single-space dual module chassis also introduced at the show. A-Design’s popular REDDI DI box received a nice
enhancement based on customer requests, a 1/4" thru jack on the front panel.
Digidesign Pro Tools 7.3 and Velvet ...15
AKG was celebrating 60 years of microphone innovation at this show with the announcement of the C 414 LTD. This special
version of the venerable C 414 features hand-selected capsules and components for optimum sonic performance, plus a
nickel finish and brass grille — very sharp! The C 414 LTD comes in special packaging including a limited-edition black
soundtools case, windscreen, spider suspension, pop filter, and certificate of authenticity. Each mic is hand-assembled
and individually tested.
Alesis MasterControl
Alesis was showing two new control surfaces with built-in FireWire audio interface
capability, the MasterControl and the io|Control. The MasterControl provides up to 192kHz sample
rates, two phantom-powered XLR mic inputs, six TRS line inputs, S/PDIF and dual S/MUX ADAT lightpipe
inputs, nine faders, and a built-in talkback mic. The io|Control supports up to 12 channels of input to computer,
including two XLR and two balanced 1/4" as well as eight ADAT digital inputs. The io|Control also has a jog wheel, six
assignable buttons, and four endless knobs.
Apogee’s Symphony system is amazing; it offers 1.6-millisecond latency and tons of I/O
for native DAWs. But what if you’re on the go? Then you need the Symphony Mobile, an
ExpressCard for Apple’s MacBook Pro that delivers the same low latency as the PCIe version with
up to 32 channels of I/O from Apogee converters.
The Jupiter-8V from Arturia is a virtual synth modeled after Roland’s analog Jupiter 8.
It comes with 400 presets and has a step sequencer, analog and digital effects, and more. The
Origin is Arturia’s first venture into hardware — it’s a digital modular synth with 32-voice
polyphony, two ins, and 10 analog and stereo S/PDIF outs. The synth engine is loaded with
— continued on page 10
Page 01,10,11,12,13.indd 1
Arturia Jupiter-8V
— continued on page 10
2/2/07 8:25:25 AM
from the editor
NAMM Extravaganza!
It’s January, and that means NAMM — the National Association of Music Merchants’ big winter tradeshow. Each year, manufacturers gather
at the Convention Center in Anaheim, California to show their latest wares to the world’s retailers, the press, and a few lucky visitors (the
show is closed to the public). As I write this, I’ve just stepped off the plane, returning back to Fort Wayne. Despite being faced with snow on
the ground after sunny, warm California, and being exhausted from pounding the floor for four grueling days, I can’t help but feel excited.
Call it the osmotic effect of all that new gear, but I get really stoked at NAMM each year.
This year, in particular, was very exciting. There was more traffic, more noise, more people at the show than at any NAMM I can recall
for the past 10 years. And there was more gear. We’ve got well over 200 new products in our online show report (www.sweetwater.com/
publications/reports), and we’re still adding items as I type this. While I won’t say that there was any one item that dominated the show,
Mitch Gallagher
overall, there were tons of great new offerings and interesting news.
Editorial Director
Things just keep getting better. One example: MOTU was showing their Mac Pro computer running 1,000 simultaneous plug-ins in Digital
[email protected] Performer! Another: Apogee showed an ExpressCard interface for the MacBook Pro laptop that allows for 1.6-millisecond latency with
native DAWs. There was new software, new audio hardware, new keyboards and synths, and tons of great guitar and bass gear. I came away
seriously lusting after four or five new amplifiers and a bunch of virtual instruments!
I was pleased to see that many manufacturers had the focus squarely back on the music; there were numerous live performances in booths, lots of after-hours concerts and
musical get-togethers, and real interest in providing musicians with the tools they need to make better music, and to do it faster, cheaper, and more efficiently than ever before.
You’ll be seeing all the great new NAMM products hitting the market soon (if they haven’t already). Check in to Sweetwater.com and stay in touch with your Sales Engineer for
the latest availability info and news on all the NAMM show new product releases
Twelve Tracks of Pro Audio…To Go!
There are a ton of misconceptions in our industry. One example: When you hear the name AKAI, you might
think of MPC grooveboxes and hardware samplers. Another: Standalone studios-in-a-box are great as
scratchpads for song ideas, but not for serious studio-quality audio production. It’s true that some
of these units are built and priced to appeal to beginning recordists, and may have some
limitations for pro studio work. But with the brand-new DPS24 mkII, AKAI breaks
free of all these misperceptions! We’re talking one powerful studio
production center.
The DPS24 mkII is truly innovative in that it packs studio-quality sound with
most of the features you’d find on a good digital mixing board into a unit that
could easily fit on your kitchen table. Capable of recording and playing back 12 mono
tracks of uncompressed 24-bit audio at 88.2 or 96kHz (24 tracks at up to 48kHz), the DPS24
mkII is a mobile studio dream come true. In a single box, you get a very portable unit that’s loaded
with everything you need to make professional recordings. As you record, you can monitor the waveforms
on the LCD screen. The DPS24 is well equipped to handle audio for video as well, with word clock I/O and onscreen timecode display. Speaking of connectivity, you’ve got 12 XLR/line ins, 12 more 1/4" ins, hi-Z instrument in,
ADAT optical, MIDI, and more additional analog and digital options than we have room to discuss here.
This is really as close to a self-contained DAW as you can get. There’s no need for a laptop or an interface — just the DPS24 mkII and
your mics and instruments, and you’re ready to start tracking anytime, anywhere. The attention to detail is what elevates this unit above most other standalone recorders.
Have a certain preamp that you won’t record vocals without, but don’t want to send the signal through a second preamp circuit? Not a problem! The DPS24 mkII is equipped
with direct inputs that send signals from external pres directly to the converters, completely bypassing the on-board preamps. Another nifty feature that far surpasses what
we’ve come to expect from most standalone recorders is the inclusion of dedicated nearfield monitor outputs with talkback and mono switches, so you can communicate
with the talent or check for phase correctness even when recording on location.
The concept of integrating truly pro-oriented features in a box that’s so portable and affordable is a stroke of genius. Everything that makes standalone recorders practical,
the DPS24 mkII has it in spades.
> > Akai DPS24mkII • Sweetwater price $2799.97 • www.sweetwater.com/dps24mkii
Moving? Moved? Want more than one copy? Call, fax, or email us your new address and don’t miss an issue of SweetNotes!
Page 02.indd 2
2/2/07 11:15:54 AM
Sound Design: Making Kontakt
By Daniel Fisher
A recent sequencing project has required me to replicate instruments from various samplers
and synthesizers using Native Instrument’s Kontakt 2 on a Mac mini. In some cases, I
was able to import the sample libraries directly from CD-ROM right into Kontakt 2 using the
supplied Konverter. In other cases I had to sample the original instruments (like synthesizers
and ROM-based sample players). After sampling the instruments, it was surprisingly easy
to drag the WAV samples I had recorded directly into Kontakt 2. After I did this, Kontakt 2
created a new Instrument using the samples I had just dragged over. All I had to do was
properly align the samples across the keymap and create parameters that allowed the
instrument to respond to velocity, pitch bend, mod wheel, and aftertouch.
Again, Kontakt 2’s visual editing layout made this a pleasant task, but I found myself
repeating the same programming on each new instrument. Then I came
across a tip suggesting that I save my newly created instrument as a
default. The way to do this is to save your default instrument to the
following location: On a Mac, typically at Applications/Kontakt 2/default.
I suggest renaming the original (existing) default Instrument and Multi
to kontakt_def_ORIG.nki and kontak_def_ORIG.nkm. This way you can
always get those back simply by renaming them. Now you can save your
new customized Instrument as “kontakt_def.nki” and your custom Multi
as “kontakt_def.nkm.”
After saving your default Instrument and Multi, you’ll use it every time
you drag a new set of samples into Kontakt 2. It’s a great timesaver to
have your controllers and other parameters already set up just the way
you like them.
> > Native Instruments Kontakt • Sweetwater price $399.97 • www.sweetwater.com/kontakt
If you’re looking for the absolute cream of the crop in
pro studio hardware (or just want to enjoy the sensation
of seeing some of the world’s finest pieces of audio gear
assembled in one place), download our new 40-page
Sweetwater Select catalog today.
We’ve included the very best of the best in microphones,
preamps, signal processors, monitors and more. You’ll
see top products from legendary names such as Manley, GML, Neumann, Soundelux, Tube Tech,
Royer, Chandler, Dangerous Music, A Designs, Millennia Media — more than 40 high-end manufacturers in
all. In addition, you’ll find this directory packed with valuable information; to compile it, we consulted our own
experts, as well as experienced Nashville recording engineers and the manufacturers themselves.
We’ve spotlighted the kind of “boutique” gear we all admire and aspire to own — products of uncompromising
quality that have become indispensable tools for top-flight facilities everywhere. Download your free copy of the
Sweetwater Select directory from www.sweetwater.com/publications/select, and feast your eyes on
some of the finest gear on the planet!
Sweetwater Now
Accepts PayPal
It’s even easier to get the gear you need
from Sweetwater! We now accept online
and over-the-phone payment from the world
leader in secure payments, PayPal. When
you’re wrapping up your web order, simply
choose PayPal as your preferred payment
method, and you’ll be redirected to your
PayPal account page, where you can complete
your transaction. Over-the phone orders
are handled the same way. Once you’ve
conferred with your Sales Engineer, log in to
your PayPal account, and send an e-check
to the email address provided by your Sales
Engineer. Once your e-check has cleared, we’ll
ship your order. It’s really that easy. Making
secure online payments even easier and more
convenient — that’s the Sweetwater Difference!
(800) 222-4700 | www.sweetwater.com
Page 03.indd 3
2/2/07 8:14:26 AM
hands on: liquid mix
By Mitch Gallagher
You can never have too much DSP power in your studio — between all the great
virtual instruments and CPU-draining plug-ins, even the stoutest computer can be
made to cry “Uncle!” If your computer is coming up short, then a DSP booster may
be just what you need. I spent the past few weeks working with one such product, the
Focusrite Liquid Mix. In addition to bolstering your computer’s CPU, it provides a
great selection of modeled dynamics processors and EQs based on classic units.
The Liquid Mix has two parts: The hardware controller/DSP box and the
software. The box connects to your Mac (Audio Units, VST, RTAS) or PC (VST,
RTAS) via FireWire and can run up to 32 channels of dynamics and EQ. The
software comprises a control panel and a plug-in into which you load models of
compressors/limiters and EQs. There are 40 dynamics models and 20 EQs. The
models cover a very broad range, from vintage to modern, tube to solid-state.
M-Audio NRV-10
One of the biggest complaints regarding digital recording is that many control
surfaces lack the true functionality of a traditional analog board. Sure, they
have faders and knobs, but control surfaces generally lack the ability to integrate
external effects and the ease of routing things like monitor mixes — until now.
Not only does M-Audio’s NRV10 merge the familiar function and feel of an
analog mixer and digital effects with a FireWire computer interface, but also
adds the ability to integrate VST effects from your computer in a live setting.
The NRV10’s flexible I/O includes five XLR inputs, three pairs of stereo inputs,
two aux sends and returns, and FireWire connectivity that sends or returns eight
channels of audio to and from your computer. Since the NRV10 can send and
receive audio through the FireWire cable, it opens up all kinds of possibilities for
monitoring. Insert points on the four mono channels make patching in external
processors a snap, plus each channel has 3-band EQ.
A laptop turns the NRV10 into a powerful live tool. Your favorite VST effects
installed in your computer can be accessed via FireWire for real-time processing.
Imagine being able to take your favorite plug-ins along with your presets to
the gig, and then recording the show with crystal clear 24-bit/96kHz quality all
through the same unit. The NRV10 makes this a reality. The VST compatibility
even extends to virtual instruments with a MIDI controller connected, bringing
yet another level of functionality to the impressive feature set of the NRV10. The
NRV10 is compatible with virtually any DAW that’s currently available, and as an
added bonus, it’s also a Pro Tools M-Powered interface (and it ships with a demo
version of the industry-standard software).
Installation went smoothly on my MacBook. I used the Liquid Mix with Pro Tools
LE, Logic Pro, and Live. The Liquid Mix couldn’t be easier to use. First, you load the
Liquid Mix control panel, then open your DAW. From here, you can instantiate the
Liquid Mix plug-in. The DSP for the plug-in comes from the Liquid Mix hardware,
so your computer’s CPU remains free to run instruments or other plug-ins.
I was very pleased with the sound quality. I didn’t compare the models to hardware,
but there’s a real change in character as you switch from model to model. The
models are accurate; if there’s no attack control on the original compressor,
there’s none on the Liquid Mix . However, using the “Free” switch, you can access
parameters that aren’t in the original. Likewise, the EQ has whatever parameters
were available with the original hardware. For extra power, you can create “hybrid”
EQs, drawing bands from various models to create a 7-band EQ that never existed in
hardware. You can choose to place the compressor before or after the EQ.
The Liquid Mix definitely delivers. Whether you need the extra DSP or not, the EQ
and comp/limiter models are well worth having in your arsenal, and being able to
grab knobs on the hardware controller to tweak the sound is wonderful!
If you’re in the market for better EQs and comp/
limiters or more DSP power for your DAW, then the
Liquid Mix deserves serious consideration. I’m sold!
If you’re not tapping into your VST arsenal for effects, the built-in effects on the
MRV10 range from reverbs to modulation effects such as chorus, flanging, and
delay. You can modify effects parameters for both the built-in processors and
the VST plug-ins through the included interFX software, along with accessing
the built-in compression and gating for each channel. The interFX software
essentially turns your NRV10 into a portable and powerful multi-effects processor
for the stage or studio.
The NRV10 may well be the next logical step in the evolution of the audio
interface. Bringing the form and function of a traditional mixer to the digital
world with FireWire connectivity and the integration of real-time plug-in use is
a major leap forward for the studio, the performing musician, and the mobile
sound engineer.
> > M-Audio NRV10• Sweetwater price $699.97 •
> > Focusrite Liquid Mix• Sweetwater price $799.99 •
(800) 222-4700 | www.sweetwater.com
Page 04.indd 4
2/1/07 4:33:48 PM
GUITAR 101: Tailpieces
By Jim Miller
In the 1950s, the only “off-the-shelf” vibrato solution was the Bigsby. Almost all of the hollowbody Gretsch guitars had Bigsbys as
standard equipment, usually behind a simple metal bar bridge that would rock slightly as the pitch went up or down. Gibson used
Bigsbys on their Les Paul model, as well as on many of their archtops, including the ES-335. Bigsbys were also
found on many Guilds and Epiphones built in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Though the design was simple, it got the
job done and even today Bigsbys are found on some reissue guitars.
Leo Fender’s vibrato tailpiece, which he erroneously called a tremolo, was said to be his “pride and
joy,” and for good reason, as it was quite an engineering feat for its time. The concept of combining an adjustable bridge and vibrato tailpiece was pretty ambitious and though the first few tries
had to be scrapped, the original Fender Synchronized Tremolo is still in use today on reissue
Strats, as well as on Artist models including the Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, and Eric Johnson
signature Strats. An updated design with a 2-point pivot and pop-in arm is used
on the company’s newer models, like the American Standard Series.
Other companies have taken the original Fender design and made their own
modifications and enhancements. These include PRS, Ibanez, Brian Moore, and
Parker, while Floyd Rose came up with a locking design that allowed for dive-bombing
pitch bends that would lower the pitch until the strings went slack!
The final tailpiece that’s worth mentioning is the trapeze-style and its many variations. Here
the strings are not attached to the guitar’s top, but extended toward the rear of the instrument
near the back strap button. These are used almost exclusively on upscale archtops and jazz
guitars like the Gibson ES-175 and the Ibanez George Benson. They may be simple or very
ornate, as on the Gretsch White Falcon “Cadillac” tailpiece.
That’s it for this issue. Next time around we’ll talk about necks and fingerboards!
Customer Studio: Robert McNamara
Robert McNamara of Kenilworth, New Jersey has been using Sweetwater since day one, when he decided to
expand the drum practice space used by his two sons into a true studio. Now he has built his ROJO Sound
Studio into a pro facility that not only caters to musicians and producers, but also musical newcomers. You
could say it’s a pitch-perfect situation for McNamara.
Just minutes away from New York City, ROJO Sound Studio is actually housed within the Wayne Kratt Pitch
Pipe Company’s factory, which McNamara’s family owns. The factory is still churning out the famous
pitch pipes, while the studio churns out music and lessons. McNamara has been building up the client list
in the last year of operation while keeping his project options wide open. “I’ve been doing a lot of work
with the Sweet Adelines, an acappella group,” he says. “I’m really open to all types of projects right now.”
The heart of ROJO’s control room is a TASCAM DM3200 bolstered by a Manley VOXBOX tube channel
strip, JBL and Mackie monitors, and a mic locker full of Neumann, Sennheiser, Shure, and RODE
products. “I’d say 99 percent of the stuff that’s in this studio is from Sweetwater,” McNamara points
out. He learned about Sweetwater from a bandmate who “told me the service was really good.” ROJO
features a staff of three additional engineers and even doubles as “Robbie Mac’s Drum Studio,” an
instructional studio for the beginning musician on up to advanced players.
The studio took shape after McNamara allotted a corner of the factory space for his sons to hone their budding drumming skills.
Now in their mid-teens, Robbie and John McNamara have already become accomplished drummers — they’ve even been featured
in publications such as Drum magazine. “My kids are very gifted,” McNamara says proudly.
The studio owner also has kind words for his longtime Sweetwater connection, Sales Engineer Brandon McSwain: “Brandon wasn’t
pushy like most ‘typical’ sales people,” says McNamara. “His suggestions have been wonderful. I want to always put out the best
product I can here, and if I need anything I know I’ll be using Brandon and Sweetwater. That’s how strongly I feel about Sweetwater
— I’m going to use you guys for life!”
Learn more about ROJO Sound Studio at www.rojosound.com.
Want to see your studio in SweetNotes? Email photos to Mitch Gallagher now! ([email protected])
Moving? Moved? Want more than one copy? Call, fax, or email us your new address and don’t miss an issue of SweetNotes!
Page 05.indd 5
2/1/07 4:35:11 PM
dollars in inventory and hundreds of people from one location to another,
but the Sweetwater team pulled together and made it happen. It was
truly a thrill to watch the company spring into action and accomplish a
difficult job — and they did it with smiles on their faces. We talk a lot
about the Sweetwater Difference around here, but that’s really what it
comes down to: Each and every employee truly cares about the company,
loves what they do, and works their tail off to make sure every customer is
completely satisfied. Personally, I can’t tell you how inspiring — and fun
— it is to work with such a great crew.
Chuck Surack
Since this is the first issue of SweetNotes® for the year, I thought I’d spend a moment taking a quick look back at the year 2006. To begin, I have to express my
sincere gratitude to each and every one of you. Once again, we had a banner year
here at Sweetwater. We easily broke all our existing sales records, thanks to your
continuing support — we couldn’t do it without you!
We broke another record as well: We added more than 50 employees during the 2006
calendar year; this is phenomenal growth, and we don’t take it lightly. We bring
each person onboard for one very simple reason: In order to provide even better,
faster, more value-packed service to our expanding family of friends and customers.
Fortunately, in 2006 we also completed phase one of our new headquarters building,
so we actually had the space we needed to bring those new employees onboard, and
to reorganize ourselves so we could serve you more efficiently. I’m very proud to say
that we were able to move our warehouse/distribution center, sales/business staff,
and retail store over three successive weekends, without having to close down our
operation for a single minute. It was an unbelievable challenge to move millions of
As we enter 2007, we’re beginning phase two of our building’s construction. This phase will include the new recording studios, our state-of-theart training auditorium, and many customer/employee amenities. The
new building has been such an improvement over the old location; it’s
already difficult to remember (or imagine) how we managed to operate
from our old space. When the entire facility is finished, we’ll probably look back and
wonder how we ever got by with only phase one finished!
Since this is the NAMM issue, I wanted to share with you how great I thought this
year’s show was. There were new items introduced in all areas of the industry:
speakers, mics, plug-ins, cases, cables, strings, instruments…you name it! The
mood at the show was extremely positive, which should mean that we’re in for a
good year in 2007. I personally can’t wait to get those new toys into my own home
studio and into my live rig!
Once again, I’d like to personally thank you for your support in 2006, we very much
look forward to serving you even better in 2007. Please come to visit us and see our
new facility.
I hope that 2007 brings you and yours great health, happiness, and success — and
a lot of music!
Digitech RP Series
Remember the “good” old days, when
guitar tone-shaping was limited to
one-trick stomp boxes and EQ pedals?
Remember the “pedal dance” guitarists
had to perform to reconfigure their
tones mid-song while struggling to
concentrate on playing guitar? Digitech
took a huge step toward taming the
pedal board beast by pioneering multieffects processors for guitarists, and now we’re reaping the benefits of their labor via the amazing new RP Series processors.
Though all-in-one foot-controlled processors have been with us for some time, advances in modeling and power have allowed
Digitech to pack more firepower into their compact pedals than ever before. For instance, the new RP150 features 72 amplifier, cabinet,
and effects models, as well as real Lexicon reverb, USB connectivity, a Control In for an optional expression pedal, and a built-in drum machine
— complete with 60 patterns! How do they do this? It’s all in the RP’s DNA…or AudioDNA, to be exact.
Digitech’s AudioDNA processor is a proprietary ASIC that gives the RP pedals their muscle. The AudioDNA2 DSP found in the RP150 and its siblings is
reputed to be four times more powerful than the original AudioDNA chip. This translates to better tone and more accurate response, not to mention a
dazzling array of models and effects.
The RP250 ups the options, with 72 realistic models and an extra footswitch for more control. The USB connector allows easy 2-in/2-out recording and preset editing,
courtesy of the included X-Edit editor/librarian software (PC/Mac). The RP350 goes even further, packing in 118 amp, cab, and effects models, a third footswitch, and a
built-in expression pedal.
The RP Series pedals boast some great amp and stomp box models, and best of all, they’re interactive! Plug your axe into a great amp model, such as a vintage ’65 Twin or
Marshall Super Lead, with a virtual Big Muff Pi, Tube Screamer, or Small Stone in front of it. Or maybe you lean toward the crystalline tones of a classic AC30, or want to
create your own custom tones. You can dial up an astounding number of
> > Digitech RP150 • Sweetwater price $99.97 • www.sweetwater.com/rp150
combinations…and record the results straight to your favorite DAW! The RP > >
Digitech RP250 • Sweetwater price $149.97 • www.sweetwater.com/rp250
Series gives you tone heaven in one self-contained package.
Digitech RP350 • Sweetwater price $199.97 • www.sweetwater.com/rp350
Moving? Moved? Want more than one copy? Call, fax, or email us your new address and don’t miss an issue of SweetNotes!
Page 06.indd 6
2/1/07 4:36:31 PM
Mackie VLZ3 Series
What are you looking for in a compact mixer? Value is
certainly a big factor. A small footprint is extremely
important, especially for those of us recording
and mixing within tight confines. And it’s a
matter of course that any compact unit
worth its salt should be loaded with
lots of flexible input, output, and
signal-routing options. Mackie’s
new VLZ3 mixers address all these
needs in spades, and they’ve actually
managed to improve on the sound quality and
low-noise reputation that made the original VLZ Pro
series so popular.
So what’s new? Mackie engineers extracted even more
frequency response and headroom out of their already
successful XDR2 preamps. They also made
adjustments to the VLZ Pro’s channel EQ for
even better tone-shaping ability, and
built even better mix buses. In short,
Mackie took a product renowned
for its great sound and quiet
operation and made it even better.
Plus, a new voltage-selectable power supply
was added, so now you can use VLZ3 mixers
anywhere in the world!
This is the first SweetNotes® of the New Year, so we
decided this was a good time to unveil our newest
feature, “Expert Center,” which replaces Q&A. Like Q&A,
in Expert Center, you’ll find answers to your recording
and technology questions as well as news on the latest
developments in the tech support arena. Of course, you
can still send your tech support questions to mitch_
[email protected] and we’ll answer
them in future editions of Expert Center.
This is also a great time to point out that our SweetCare
(www.sweetwater.com/sweetcare) online tech support has
been revamped to include improved searches, links to the
most popular searches, and much, much more.
Disabling non-essential programs/services/
applications in Windows XP
Let’s take a look under the hood of the 12-channel
1202-VLZ3. More features are packed into
this easily affordable little mixer’s footprint
than any other unit in its class, such as
four studio-grade XDR2 (Extended
Dynamic Range) mic preamps,
active 3-band EQ circuitry, and
Mackie’s clever ALT 3-4 stereo
bus (which lets you route muted
signals to create additional sends). Mic
channels feature two aux sends, phantom power,
inserts, and pre-fader solo, and a Control Room Source
section provides routing options for tape outputs, headphone out,
and balanced XLR and TRS outputs. The 1202-VLZ3 has a big brother:
The 1642-VLZ3 adds four more channels and includes 4-band EQ on the stereo channels — perfect
for line-level devices such as drum machines and keyboards. Ten mic preamps grace the 1642-VLZ3,
which also features four aux sends.
The heavy hitter of the VLZ3 series is the 1604-VLZ3. You can get some serious work done live or in
the studio with this versatile mixer’s 16 studio-quality XDR2 preamps, eight direct outs, four group/bus
outputs, and 16 high-headroom line inputs. Not only is the 1604-VLZ3 optimized to handle a wide
range of input signals, it can also be physically reconfigured (via the cool Rotopod feature) for rackmounting or to make the jack field more accessible on your desktop.
The VLZ3 mixers are great examples of Mackie’s ability to improve on products we’ve come to rely on
in so many live and recording environments. If you’re looking for an affordable compact mixer with
unmatched features at a great price, you’d be well served to start with one of these.
> > Mackie 1604vlz3 • Sweetwater price $849.99 • www.sweetwater.com/1604vlz3
> > Mackie 1642vlz3 • Sweetwater price $599.99 • www.sweetwater.com/1642vlz3
> > Mackie 1202vlz3 • Sweetwater price $299.99 • www.sweetwater.com/1202vlz3
By default, Windows pre-loads applications and services
from installed programs and deposits icons in the system
tray. The goal is to decrease load times and provide easy
access to a variety of programs. While very helpful in
theory, these partially launched applications are a CPU
drain. Disabling them helps Windows allocate more
resources to running applications. Windows will also load
faster, since it isn’t pre-loading every application during
startup. To disable applications from loading on startup,
do the following.
CAUTION: Make sure you follow these directions exactly.
Startup configuration is powerful stuff, and if used carelessly, can cause problems. Follow the directions, do not
treat this section lightly, and you’ll be fine:
Go to Start > Run, type in “msconfig” (minus the “ ”
marks) and press OK. When the System Configuration
Utility comes up, click on the Startup tab. Press the button
to “Disable All.” Click on the Services tab. Check the
box at the bottom of the window to “Hide All Microsoft
Services.” Press the “Disable All” button, but only after
hiding the Microsoft services. Press OK, then Restart. When
Windows boots back up, check the box next to “Don’t
show this message...” and then press OK.
Pro Tools users: After pressing “Disable All,” re-check
“MMERefresh” in the Startup tab and “Digidesign MME
Refresh Service” in the Services tab.
GigaStudio users: Check “msg32” in the Startup tab, even
if GigaStudio was installed and then uninstalled later.
If there are applications that you would like pre-loaded
on startup (and thus back in your system tray), simply go
back to the utility and re-check them. Be advised, though,
that each application that’s checked (and loaded) will
draw CPU resources away from your audio applications.
The Sweetwater Difference — Experience it for yourself! Call, fax or email us today!
Page 07.indd 7
2/1/07 4:47:56 PM
Moog Little Phatty Stage Edition
When the Moog Little Phatty Tribute Edition analog synth was released
in limited quantities last year, the reception it received from critics
and consumers alike was ecstatic and loaded with sentiment — it
marked the last design of the legendary Bob Moog, who passed away in
2005. His final efforts were devoted to producing a new synth that was
affordable, but didn’t skimp on the quality and performance that made
the Moog name legendary. His legacy continues with the brand-new
Little Phatty Stage Edition, which carries the same features and
sound engine as the Tribute Edition, but adds a few new wrinkles that
live performers will definitely appreciate.
Like its older (and since sold-out) sibling, the Little Phatty Stage Edition uses a 100-percent analog signal path, tons of user-editable presets, and Real Analog Control
technology that lets you interface directly with the circuitry via the unit’s control panel, keeping that pristine analog signal chain intact. This lets you access two voltagecontrolled oscillators and one voltage-controlled filter, as well as an overload control for shaping pre- and post-filter distortion…you get complete command of the analog
sound engine, in classic Moog fashion. But the needs of the modern musician weren’t overlooked: the unit offers myriad interfacing options, including MIDI I/O, three
external CV inputs, and an external audio input.
So how do you improve on such a great package? Well, any live performer who has used analog synths has had to suffer the ups and downs of pitch drift as the units went
from cold to warmed-up to cooking under the stage lights. The Little Phatty Stage Edition’s updated software includes auto calibration and an auto-tune function that
ensures the instrument is tuned perfectly in any environment. The update also adds an asymmetric pitch wheel as well as arbitrary pot mapping; this allows you to assign
knobs to perform different functions. The Stage Edition sports the same body style as the Tribute Edition, but is now book-ended by durable, stylish, and functional charcoalcolored rubberized side panels.
It’s nice to know that Bob Moog will continue to live on through his pioneering designs, and that the products he originally envisioned will continue to evolve with the same
spirit of invention and attention to detail.
> > Moog Phatty Stage • Sweetwater price $1249.97 www.sweetwater.com/PhattyStage
It’s All Part of My Rock ’n Roll Fantasy
Let’s face it. We all started playing music for one simple reason: We wanted to be rock stars. The roar of the
crowd, the feeling of hearing your song being pumped through a PA, traveling the world, the girls (or guys)
— the list of reasons goes on and on. There probably isn’t a cooler job on the planet than being a rock star, and
one lucky Sweetwater customer got to find out exactly how cool it is to be a rock star, if only for a week.
At Sweetwater, we want you to achieve your dream. From helping you choose the best gear for your situation to
showing you how to get the most out of your gear, we take a “hands on” approach to customer satisfaction.
We love it when we can do something special for our customers, and one such occasion arose when we held
a contest to send a lucky person to the Rock ’n Roll Fantasy Camp in New York City. Our congratulations to
the winner, longtime Sweetwater customer John Huber.
John is an avid guitarist and recordist, with his interests spreading into video production and photography. A studio
owner (www.thespotstudio.com) as well as a successful sod farmer, John is no stranger to guitars and gear. On his
trip through Rock’n Roll Fantasy Camp, John had the chance to test his chops against some of the biggest names in
the last three decades of rock, play in a big battle of the bands, and cut a track at Sirius Satellite Studios.
John’s counselor at camp was Gary Burr from Pure Prairie League. The counselor helped the “band” prepare for
the Battle, which took place at B. B. King’s in New York City. Through the course of the week, campers were treated
to classes with teachers including Jeff “Skunk” Baxter and Max Weinberg, plus visits from George Thorogood and
Joe Satriani. Other counselors included Dee Snider, Mark Farner, Levon Helm, Dickie Betts, and many more. John’s
band took third place in the Battle of the Bands, which wrapped up the week’s festivities.
p Winner
John Huber, Fantasy Cam
According to Huber, “My week at Rock n’ Roll Fantasy Camp was an experience I’ll never forget. I made new
friends, and I was able to meet and perform with true rock legends. I learned a lot and I still get a grin on my face
whenever I look back on it.” We’re glad you had a good time — keep rocking, John!
Moving? Moved? Want more than one copy? Call, fax, or email us your new address and don’t miss an issue of SweetNotes!
Page 08.indd 8
2/1/07 4:39:12 PM
By Jeff Radke
Inside the
In my last column, we explored the inner
workings of our shipping department with
Brian Randol, our Warehouse Manager. In
this edition, I’m going to take you inside
our hard-working Purchasing Department
for a visit with John Grabowski, our Director
of Purchasing — the guy whose team keeps
our warehouse stocked with the products
you need and seeks out great deals to pass
along to you.
Tell us about your background
and what brought you to
I grew up playing piano, discovered
synthesizers in high school, and did some
electronic music coursework in college.
Then, after nearly a decade of single- and
multi-store retail management, I finally
got to merge my hobby and career when I started working at a music store chain.
During my 5+ years there, I worked both at store-level management and at
the corporate office. But even then, I spent plenty of time poring over the latest
Sweetwater directory and dreaming of working here.
How does your department fit into the
larger Sweetwater puzzle?
Nearly everything Sweetwater does is based on
relationships, and the Purchasing Department
directly supports our vendor relationships through
our purchases and promotion of their gear. We
also directly support our customers by having
the right gear in stock to fulfill orders as quickly
as possible. Every day I witness instances of the
Sweetwater Difference in my department, as we
find creative ways to get our customers the gear
they need.
How has your job grown since you’ve
I’ve been at Sweetwater for four years, and we’re
shipping 2-1/2 times as many customer orders
now as we were then — by the end of next year,
our sales will have doubled. Everything we sell
first has to be bought, so you can see how the
Purchasing Department’s job has grown. We’ve also added quite a few brands
during my tenure, like Taylor, SSL, Peavey, Ibanez, and others, and we launched
our hugely successful Creation Station line of computers. Surprisingly, we still do
things nearly the same as we always have, only we do much, much more.
Jeff Radke
What are your department’s responsibilities?
Since Sweetwater customers come to us for gear, and that gear is my department’s
responsibility, we’re really fueling the Sweetwater engine. We carefully select
what Sweetwater stocks, work closely with our vendors to ensure Sweetwater
is getting the best price and that our shipments are prioritized, and we order
products for stock and special orders. We also negotiate special deals, Sweetwater
exclusives, B-stock buys, and other offers that Sweetwater customers would find
exciting. Behind the scenes, we continually update product ETAs, provide product
information and pricing for the sales staff, coordinate product promotion with the
Marketing Department, and assist the Warehouse and Accounting Departments
with purchase order issues.
How will our new campus make your department even more
efficient and faster?
The new Purchasing Department environment is roomy and bright, and everyone
has more personal workspace, so they can stay focused and maximize productivity.
We have better proximity to Sales, Marketing, and other departments for improved
communication. Sweetwater has always been a special place to work, but our new
facility takes the “Sweetwater Difference” to an entirely different level.
How would you compare our quality of service to other retail
Having worked for several other retail organizations, I’d have to say that our level
of service isn’t even dreamed of at other places. Most stores just don’t have the
expertise or flexibility to do what we do. The standard set at Sweetwater for each
and every customer experience is extremely high, and nothing less than that is
Is there anything else you’d like us to know about your
We love what we do. Keeping Sweetwater stocked with the gear that our customers
use to make music is the best gig I’ve ever had.
John Grabowski,
rector of Purcha
The Sweetwater Purchasin
g team
The Sweetwater Difference — Experience it for yourself! Call, fax, or email us today!
Page 09.indd 9
2/1/07 4:40:08 PM
— NAMM continued from page 1
modules extracted from some of
the best synths of all time.
Blue introduced a new member
to its family of unique-looking
mics, the Woodpecker. The
new mic is an active ribbon
design, with a figure-8 pattern
and a stunning wood finish.
It comes with a custom-made
solid brass shockmount and
wood storage box. Frequency
response is said to be 20Hz to
20kHz, with 136dB max SPL.
There was more than a little
distortion in the Boss booth,
with the DN-2 highly expressive
distortion box, which responds
to your pick dynamics. The
FZ-5 uses COSM technology to
recreate the vintage fuzz box
sounds of the ‘60s and ‘70s,
and the ML-2 offers completely
over-the-top “ultra-distortion.”
If massive distortion and brutal
lows are your game, then this
is your
Boss also
teamed with
Fender to create
two new modeling
stompboxes, FBM-1
Blue Woodpecker and FDR-1. The
first creates the
sound of a 1959 Bassman, while the
second has the sound and feel of
a ’65 Deluxe Reverb. From what I
heard, they nailed these two pedals!
based on the note “C” and are spaced in half and
third octaves, resulting in a very musical sounding
The new Reel Tape suite of RTAS plug-ins from
Digidesign includes three processors for emulating
tape saturation, tape delay, and tape
flanging. Digi’s A.I.R. division made
Pro Tools users very happy with
Structure, an RTAS sampler that
includes a premium sample library
from East West. This plug-in offers so
much power and programmability,
it’s amazing — and it’s all wrapped
up in a very easy-to-use user
interface. I’m looking forward to
this one!
SONAR 6.2 is a free update that
brings numerous new features
to Cakewalk’s flagship DAW.
Improvements include Vista
Boss FBM-1
support, MIDI input quantize, X-ray
(turns plug-in windows “invisible”
to improve work flow), Bit Meter, AudioSnap and ACT
enhancements, and much more. SONAR Home
Studio 6 features ACT, new effects and instruments,
Vista compatibility, and much more.
Digitech unveiled the GSP1101,
a rackmount guitar processor with
120 amp, cabinet, preamp, and
effects models. Balanced XLR, 1/4",
and USB outs allow direct connection
in the studio or onstage. Vocalist
Live can generate 2-, 3-, or 4-part
vocal harmonies; it can even analyze a guitar signal
and generate the appropriate harmonies based on
the chord progression! Other processing includes
compression, reverb, and EQ, a guitar tuner, mic input
with phantom power, and more.
Chandler was showing all of their very cool
hardware EQs and dynamics processors, along with the
new TG Equalizer Mastering Pack, based on
the Abbey Road studio’s TG12410 Transfer (mastering)
desks. The 4-band EQ plug-in has five “shapes” per
band. An interesting feature is that all EQ points are
East West went to amazing lengths to create the
Fab Four virtual instrument,
which features the sounds
of the Beatles.
One million
dollars worth of
original vintage instruments and amps were recorded
to a vintage Studer 4-track tape machine using
authentic recording desks and preamps, and the
players included members of Wings. Other new East
West virtual instrument offerings included Ministry
Of Rock (18GB of rock drums, guitars, and basses),
Quantum Leap Gypsy (guitars, percussion,
violin, accordion, and more), Quantum Leap
Pianos (270GB featuring four pianos with three
mic positions each), Quantum Leap SD2 (10GB
sequel to Stormdrum, with amazing multisampled
percussion), Quantum Leap Voices Of Passion
(8GB of female vocalists from around the world).
ModFactor and TimeFactor represent
Eventide’s first foray into the world of stompboxes.
The first features 10 mono or stereo modulation
effects, while the latter focuses on delay effects and
includes a 12-second looper. Both offer MIDI sync, tap
tempo, and expression pedal input, and can accept
guitar or line level input.
Fender had a raft of new guitars and basses on
display, but my eye (and ears) were caught by the
’57 Deluxe, ’57 Ltd, and Champion 600
all-tube vintage reissue amps. We’re talking amazing
tone and vibe! If you’re after versatility, then the VG
Stratocaster Fender and Roland collaborated
to create is right up your alley. It offers onboard VG
processing, with 37 guitar models, five alternate
tunings, and, of course, all the usual great Strat
The new Saffire Pro 10 i/o from Focusrite
offers the same preamps and converters as the Saffire
Focusrite Saffire Pro 10 i/o
(800) 222-4700 | www.sweetwater.com
Page 01,10,11,12,13.indd 2
2/1/07 4:28:57 PM
Fender VG Stratocaster
The magic of the VG Stratocaster
lies within the Roland GK pickup,
which enables it to accurately model
different electric or acoustic guitars
and instantly switch tunings at the
turn of a knob.
Pro, with eight analog ins and outs, plus S/PDIF
digital I/O. There’s also MIDI I/O, high-pass filters on
every channel, two DI channels, assignable inserts,
and bundled VST/AU plug-ins.
Love the old analog string synths from the past? Then
you need the GForce Virtual String Machine,
which features over 3,200 samples of classic string
synths, layering, effects, and 500 factory presets. It
supports RTAS, VST, and AU formats.
Ibanez’s Steve Vai Anniversary guitar
is simply stunning. It features a clear body with
florescent paint and eight switchable LEDs.
The AmpliTube 2 Jimi Hendrix Edition from
IK Multimedia contains models of the rare and
vintage pedals, amps, cabinets, and mics that Jimi
used to create his distinctive tones. It’s available as an
add-on for AmpliTube 2, stand-alone, and as a VST,
RTAS, and AU plug-in for Mac or Windows.
Korg was showing tons of new
products. Some of the highlights
include the M3, a next-generation
workstation keyboard/module
drawing on the OASYS engine. It
offers 120-note polyphony, 256MB
ROM, thousands of samples, up to
1,664 programs, and 1,792 combinations, secondgeneration KARMA, and more. Like the Radias,
the sound module and keyboards (61-, 76-, and
88-note) are separate, allowing for configuration and
expansion. Speaking of the Radias, Korg also unveiled
the R3, which has the same MMT synth engine as the
Radias and the ultra low-aliasing modeling from the
OASYS. Vocoding is built-in, and audio inputs allow
the synth to process external signals. The Mini-KP is
the newest and smallest KAOSS PAD, with 100 effects,
filtering, audio “decimation,” delay/reverb, looping
and pitch-shifting, and synth sounds from the Radias.
The Zero Series digital mixers are aimed at live
performance artists, with FireWire connectivity, EQ
response selection per channel,
eight insert effects
per channel, master effects, loop sampler, KAOSS
effects with X/Y pad, and much more.
The Studiophile AV40 powered reference
speakers from M-Audio are designed to provide
high-performance accurate response in a compact
package — perfect for travel or cramped desktop
rigs. A 4" woofer and 3/4" tweeter are driven by 20
watts. M-Audio also showed the Torq Xponent,
a professional grade controller for DJs working with
digital material. It includes a digital mixer, controls
for two CD players, a 4-output USB interface, DJ-style
mixer, and more.
The Mackie booth was hopping with the introduction
of the Mackie Control Pro, a control surface
that builds on the legacy of the Mackie Control. The
new version is sleeker, and is expandable with units
including the Mackie Control C4 Pro knob
controller for plug-ins and virtual instruments. The
SRM150 is a 150-watt powered speaker with some
extras, including a built-in 3-channel mixer with 3band EQ, two mic preamps with phantom power, XLR
through for chaining units, and a mic stand mount.
It can serve as either a personal monitor or a compact
PA system. Tracktion 3 is the latest version of the
popular DAW software; new features include 64-bit
support, integrated Acid, Apple, and REX loop browser,
a comprehensive suite of instruments, plug-ins, and
loops, and much more. The VLZ 3 Series is the
latest in Mackie’s line of popular compact
mixers. Each features XDR2
Extended Dynamic Range
Korg M3
— continued on page 12
(800) 222-4700 | www.sweetwater.com
Page 01,10,11,12,13.indd 3
2/1/07 4:29:11 PM
— NAMM continued from page 11
insane! It uses the incoming
audio signal to modulate a
VCO (instead of the other way
around) to create an astounding
array of new sounds.
Peavey Windsor Studio
preamps, extended low-frequency response, phantom
power, 3-band EQ, and a rugged steel chassis. Three
models are available with 12, 14, and 16 channels.
Marshall had things cranking, with a new signature
Kerry King JCM 800 based on the Slayer
guitarist’s favorite amp, and a signature Zakk Wylde
Mini Stack. New series from Marshall included
the JVM, a 4-channel design with three modes per
channel for 12 different instantly accessible sounds
— very flexible! The Vintage Modern series is
based on the handwired JTM45 and Super 100 amps,
and adds digital reverb and Body and Detail gain
controls for tone-shaping. They sounded great!
David Royer at Mojave Audio was showing his
latest mic, the medium-diaphragm MA-100. The
MA-100 is a “pencil”-style mic, with tube electronics.
I think it’s going to be great for acoustic instruments,
overheads, and a variety of other applications.
Moog Music was showing the Little Phatty
Stage Edition, which includes all the features from
the Little Phatty Tribute Edition analog synth, but with
grey rubberized end panels for increased durability
on the road. The Moogerfooger FreqBox is
The Peavey booth was the
place to be with the unveiling
of a custom Peavey chopper
built by the gang at Orange
County Choppers (watch for the
upcoming episodes of American
Chopper on a TV near you). Joe
Satriani joined with Peavey to
create the Mini Colossal, a
compact, all-tube Class A 5-watt
amp with an 8" custom speaker
and tremolo. The Windsor
Studio is also an all-tube
Class A amp, but with 15 watts,
footswitchable boost, and an effects loop. Both amps
feature the Power Sponge output attenuator and an
XLR mic-simulated output for recording or DI to a
PA system.
Since I’m an acoustic guitar player, the Radial PZPre had my full attention. It’s designed to make piezo
pickups from any acoustic instrument sound like the
real thing on stage. And it works great! There’s 3-band
EQ, a tuner output with mute, Class A electronics,
notch and high-pass filters, and more. Phaser is
designed to phase align a DI signal with a mic signal.
It uses an all-analog signal path, with Class A
discrete design.
As usual, Roland had a major booth installation
at the show, with an array of new products. The
VG-99 is the latest guitar processor from Roland.
Like its predecessors in the VG line, it can model
loads of guitars, amps, effects, and more. This
model is designed for tabletop instead of floor use,
and includes D Beam and ribbon controllers for
added expression. The FC-300 is a new MIDI foot
controller, with nine footswitches, two programmable
expression pedals, and
integrated support for the
VG-99. The latest keyboard
synth from Roland is the
V-Synth GT, which
brings Articulative Phrase
Synthesis and even
more power to the
acclaimed V-Synth.
Roland VG99
G-Track from Samson is a large-diaphragm USB
condenser mic with a built-in audio interface. It has a
stereo input jack for instrument and line-level signals
with gain control, and a headphone out with level
control. It’s all right in the mic body — everything
you need to record and track!
SSL introduced their Eight Input Module for the
X-Rack modular system. It has eight line-level inputs
configured in stereo pairs, mono and on/off switching
for each pair, and complete integration with other
X-Rack components. Perfect for externally summing
DAW outputs!
Mac OS X native DAW users rejoiced in the news that
Sony and SoundToys each announced Audio
Units support for their premium plug-ins. This will
allow them to be used in applications such as Digital
Performer, Logic Pro, Live, and even video applications
such as Final Cut Pro.
Tapco announced the Link.FireWire 4x6
computer audio interface, an ultra-portable unit for
musicians on the go. It includes dual Mackie preamps
with phantom power, low-latency 24/96 operation,
and comes with Mackie Tracktion music production
software. Thump TH-15A is a 2-way active
loudspeaker with a ported design featuring a 15"
woofer, 180 watts on the lows, 60 watts on the highs,
3-band EQ, and XLR mic/line input and pass-through.
The folks at TASCAM were clearly busy creating
new products! Among the introductions was the
2488mkII, an enhanced version of the best-selling
24-track digital recorder/mixer. The new version
adds a larger hard drive,
an all-new LCD display, guitar effects,
and improved mastering capabilities. The FireOne
interface connects to your computer via FireWire, and
offers 2x2 analog audio and 1x1 MIDI connectivity.
The FireOne is designed to provide easy control using
its unique control surface and weighted wheel. For
musicians, the MP-GT1 looks to be a godsend. It’s
an MP3-based unit designed to help you learn songs
and parts quickly and easily. Features include 240
song memory, variable speed audition, pitch control,
looping functions, guitar input and multi-effects,
(800) 222-4700 | www.sweetwater.com
Page 01,10,11,12,13.indd 4
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Taylor T5 12-string
tuner, metronome, and more. For
pro-looking projects, you need printed
CDs or DVDs. The P11 thermal disc
printer is affordable, and offers free
design software and color printing. It’s
Windows-only right now, but will have
Mac support by Spring.
The Taylor room was
buzzing (strumming?) with
activity as guitarists checked
out all the new offerings. One
that jumped out at me
was the T5 12-string.
It’s equipped with
T5 electronics, has a
contoured body with
stylized f-holes and a
Grand Auditorium shape.
Standard and Custom models will be available.
Universal Audio made mobile musicians very
happy with the UAD-Xpander series. These
ExpressCard-based units bring the plug-in power
of the UAD-1 to laptops using a noiseless, fanless
AlumiCool chassis design, and come with a travel case
with compartments for all components. Bundles are
available with vouchers for $500, $1,000, and nearly
$3,000 in UAD plug-in software.
Vox was showing a nice selection of new
products including the ToneLab LE,
which features models of 16 sought-after
amps, 11 cabinets, and 50 effects, including
new metal, chorus, delay, echo and other
models. Also included is Valve Reactor
tube power-amp circuitry for authentic
tones, S/PDIF output, five EQ settings, and
assignable footswitches and expression
pedal. The new Classic Plus series of
amps take the existing Custom Classic amps
to an entirely new level! These 2-channel
Page 01,10,11,12,13.indd 5
Class AB all-tube amps use EL34
tubes and offer separate EQ for each
channel, footswitchable spring reverb,
effects loop, DI output, and more. They
sounded great — and are
extremely versatile. Among
my favorites at the show
were the AC15H1TV
Yamaha XS8
Yamaha XS7
Yamaha XS6
and AC15H1TVL amps. These are handwired Class
A all-tube amps, with the EF86 preamp channel from
1958 and the Top Boost preamp channel from 1963.
A Brilliance switch, Bass Shift, and interactive EQ add
versatility, while a 12" Celestion Alnico “Blue” speaker
cranks out gutsy tone. The AC15H1TV has a white
covering, while the AC15H1TVL is a limited edition
with a beautiful mahagony cabinet.
355MB of wave ROM, Virtual
Circuitry modeling effects,
studio-style mixing, large color
LCD, and tons more. Also new from Yamaha were the
MSP7 powered studio monitors, with 6.5" woofer,
1" dome tweeter, 80-watt low-frequency amp, 50-watt
high-frequency amp, and switches for adjusting the
response to your room.
Are you a fan of the classic ARP Axxe? If so, then Way
Out Ware is going to put a smile on your face with
the KikAxxe, a new virtual synth emulating the
vintage model. A 16-step sequencer, sample-based
drum machine, retro delay/echo effects, and MIDI
sync and mapping are included. RTAS, VST, and AU
are supported.
The MM6 from Yamaha is a synth
combining sounds from the Motif, grooves,
and a simple user interface in a portable
61-note keyboard. There’s an onboard
sequencer, or connect to your computer and
use the included Cubase software. Speaking
of the Motif, the family has a new flagship
in the Motif XS. There are 61-, 76-, and
88-key versions available, all featuring the
Xpanded Articulation Synth engine with
Zoom HD16CD
Our friends at Zoom debuted the HD16CD and
HD8CD live production recording tools. There’s
8-track simultaneous recording (two tracks on the
HD8CD), over 100 effects for recording, mixing, and
mastering, a built-in drum and bass machine with
touch-sensitive pads and 500 drum sounds, a built-in
CD-R/RW drive, computer DAW control surface
functionality, USB2.0 connectivity, and a great
meter bridge with 5-segment LED
level meters.
That’s all we have room for this year,
but there were lots more new products
at the show! Be sure to check out
Sweetwater.com, watch inSync®, and
keep your eye on future SweetNotes®
issues for more info. To get the very
latest on these and any products, just
call your Sales Engineer! They’ll be
happy to loop you in on availability,
pricing, and anything else you need
to know.
2/1/07 4:29:35 PM
Jim Miller
Can you believe it’s 2007 already? Weren’t we all just freaking out about the whole
Y2K “Millennium Bug?” (Which, obviously, never amounted to anything.) Since
we’re starting a New Year, I’d like to look back at some of my personal favorite
products from 2006.
One Cutaway: The PRS Singlecut is back after a lengthy legal battle over that
whole single cutaway issue. What’s more, it’s back in new incarnations that range
from the original Singlecut to satin-finished versions (including the Singlecut
Modern Eagle) and the Singlecut Trem (which would be my choice).
Tone Machine: Without question it’s the Taylor T5 Thinline Custom, preferably
with a figured maple or koa top. You just cannot believe that one guitar with one
visible pickup could deliver so many tones; from a high-end acoustic-electric to
warm jazzer, crisp country “spank” to classic hollowbody electric. Plus, this baby can
really scream!
What’s Old Is New: Lots of reissues last year, but the Gretsch Tennessean
just managed to edge out everything else because, well, it was my first real pro guitar
and thus close to my heart. From the dark burgundy stain to the Bigsby vibrato, all
the things I loved are there, but in this incarnation, Gretsch gave us back real f-holes
and added FilterTron pickups.
Top Amps: The Line 6 Vetta II is a winner with its seemingly inexhaustible array
of classic and modern amp models, awesome effects, and tons of cabinet and mic
models. For real tube purists, you just can’t beat the 40-watt, hand-wired Fender ‘57
Twin Amp with two 12-inch speakers and all the vintage vibe you could ever want.
Cool Factor: The Solid State Logic Duende. Who wouldn’t want one?
Hard-working Keyboard: The affordable Alesis Fusion 8HD has 88 weighted
keys, four synthesis engines, an internal 8-channel/24-bit hard disk recorder, tons
of onboard effects, and expandable RAM along with Compact Flash card reader,
all shipped to your door for the special price of $1499.97, including Sweetwater’s
exclusive Fusion Value pack!
Most Ambitious: Unquestionably the Vienna Instruments Symphonic Cube.
With over 550 gigabytes of data and more than 800,000 stereo 24-bit samples,
it’s worth every penny if you need real orchestral instruments and a wealth of
astounding articulations.
Grand Achievement: Recently one of the industry magazines had a “shoot-out”
of all the virtual grands. In my opinion, they totally missed the mark by not selecting
Synthogy’s stunning Ivory, which has the best grand pianos all created by Joe Ierardi,
the same man who shocked the world when he put the sound of a real grand into the
Kurzweil K250. If you were around then, you know how incredible that was. Check out the
audio files in my Tech Notes Online column at www.sweetwater.com/feature/technotes!
Best Music Retailer: Oh, you guessed this one! Well, I’m sure there are a few
items I’ve left out. But there’s always next issue!
By Chet Chambers, Sweetwater Studios Manager
Sweetwater is pleased to announce DiscServices — CD/DVD
replication and art design and packaging services specifically
designed for the artists and studios in our vast family of
retail customers.
Sweetwater is constantly searching for new benefits and services
to help our customers complete their musical vision. Many
home studio artists and studios who purchase their gear at
Sweetwater have told us they’ve had difficulty finding CD/DVD
replication resources where the quality and service were excellent at
a reasonable cost. That’s where Sweetwater DiscServices excels.
Our staff has diligently researched the replication marketplace and
sources, interviewed Sweetwater customers to get ideas, and created a
service driven by requests from our customers, all designed to provide
you with the best in CD and DVD replication.
Our DiscServices staff will assist you every step of the way; creating
unique art design and packaging; replicating CD and DVD
packages quickly and cost-effectively; and it will be done right
— the first time — exactly the level of service you’ve come to
expect from Sweetwater. No project is too big or too small…a
few discs or 100,000.
Now that you’ve put your time, money, effort, and
creativity into producing your project:
• It has to look incredible. Creative packaging and art
design make a big difference attracting attention.
We’ll help design and package your project so you
can look and sound your best!
• It must play and function correctly. Unreliable,
cheaply produced discs can create havoc for you. It’s
not worth the risk.
replication • art design & packaging • restoration
•The quality must be of the highest standards and yet be affordable.
• It needs to be on schedule. When you’re expecting it, it must be
there. Period.
It’s amazing how items such as custom professionally designed artwork,
bar coding, a customized logo, spine labels, and packaging variations
can help make your CDs and DVDs look better, attract more attention,
and sell better. Often these small details make the difference between
getting your product in stores or not.
Sweetwater DiscServices always offers the best value with the highest
quality standards. Most of our replication packages include bar coding,
poly wrap, and even ground shipping to anywhere in the lower 48
states. You’ll know exactly what your budget will be up front…no
hassles, no surprises. Your CDs or DVDs will be “retail ready” and you’ll
get “major label” look on a smaller budget.
The www.sweetwater.com/discservices website offers helpful
information, art samples, templates, and a DiscServices online quote
calculator to help determine the budget for your package. Or contact us
by e-mail ([email protected]) or phone 260-432-8176 ext
3830 to speak with a DiscServices specialist.
Sweetwater DiscServices is ready to help you, your band, and your studio
look better, sound better, and get your music out to more listeners at a
price that’s right for you! We’re eager to help!
(800) 222-4700 | www.sweetwater.com
Page 14.indd 14
2/2/07 11:19:47 AM
studio notebook: On The Go
By Mitch Gallagher
Last issue, we discussed studio hardware. I
had planned to discuss software this issue, but
received several reader questions about my
mobile rigs, so let’s go there first.
I have two mobile systems that are used for
very different applications. The first is a stereo
recording rig I use for capturing performances
on location (such as classical guitar). The
goal was to make the system compact and
portable. I started with the TASCAM HD-P2
CompactFlash recorder. This unit offers pro
features, good preamps, digital I/O,
and more. Its built-in mic is fine
for interviews or capturing song
ideas — the HD-P2 lives right
beside my chair in my practice room.
As the front end for this rig I use a Millennia HV3 or A Designs Pacifica preamp
feeding a Universal Audio 2192 or Benchmark ADC-1 converter connected
digitally to the recorder. These mount, along with a Furman power conditioner,
in a 3-space rack bag. Two compact mic stands, a stereo pair of mics (I use
Neumann, Earthworks, Royer, Microtech-Gefell, Rode, or Mojave Audio) and a pair
of headphones (mine are AKG, Audio-Technica, Ultrasone, and Sennheiser), and
you’ve got a rig that can be carried in one trip. Once the audio is recorded, I move it
to the main studio computer using a CompactFlash card reader.
The second mobile system is laptop-based, built around an Apple MacBook
with 2GB of RAM. The computer is loaded with Apple Logic Pro, Ableton
Live, Propellerhead Reason, Digidesign Pro Tools LE, Submersible Music
DrumCore, and virtual instruments and processing plug-ins. This rig serves
several purposes: composing on the road, as a test/review machine in my office, and
for editing and arranging sessions from the
main studio rig. The MacBook has built-in
audio I/O that’s okay for basic monitoring.
For higher quality, I use a TC Electronic
Konnekt 24D FireWire interface
— I love the built-in effects, latency-free
monitoring, and flexible I/O, and the
preamps are quite good. For Pro Tools,
there’s an 002 in my office, or an Mbox
2 in my laptop bag. For monitoring, I
keep AKG or Ultrasone folding phones
in my bag, or use compact M-Audio
StudioPro 3 monitors.
A small MIDI controller
keyboard completes the rig.
This laptop system is astounding powerful — though I’ve been using a Focusrite
Liquid Mix with it lately, and I’m enjoying that extra juice! (See page 4.)
I’ve been running up to 13 instances of Digidesign’s Xpand along with Native
Instruments FM8, Absynth, and Massive without problem. In Logic, I run 10 or
more of the bundled Logic instruments along with Native Instruments and Arturia
synths and Cakewalk Rapture. Reason serves as a versatile sound module via
ReWire. DrumCore is my loop librarian and sometimes is a ReWired drum module.
A mobile rig like this works on airplanes (the battery lasts 3-1/2 hours), in hotel
rooms, in the office, or even in front of the TV in the family room. I’m finding
myself using it more and more — in fact, lately I’m using it more than my main
studio rig. After seeing Apogee’s Symphony Mobile and Universal Audio
UAD-Xpander at the Winter NAMM show (see page 1), I’m even more excited
about the future of on-the-go rigs like this.
That’s it for this month; next time around: Choosing and using software!
Hands on: Digidesign Pro Tools 7.3 and Velvet
By Mitch Gallagher
Digidesign recently released version 7.3 of both Pro Tools HD and Pro Tools LE — a
major update to the industry-standard DAW software. I’ve been using PT 7.3 on both my
studio rig as well as on my mobile PT LE system (see above).
Many of the new features are designed to speed your work; a great example is the new
Windows Configuration feature, which allows you to save and recall 99 screen sets. There’s also a new Zoom
Toggle preference, which lets you zoom to a particular track height, track view, and edit grid resolution for
fast editing. Track heights are now continuously variable, and there’s a Micro track height for viewing many
tracks, and Fit To Window, which fills the Edit window completely with the selected track. Other workflow
enhancements include the ability to do a lot more without having to stop the transport. Add or remove
tracks, add, remove, or copy inserts and sends, change track I/O routing, and more, all “on the fly.”
New loop tools include the Dynamic Transport and Play Start marker, and Loop Preview, which lets you
audition Acid and REX files. Create Click Track instantly sets up a metronome. Send To Sibelius exports
tracks straight into the Sibelius notation software for editing or printing.
This just scratches the surface! I found the new tools really increased my efficiency with Pro Tools, especially
when writing music. I’m especially fond of the ability to accomplish more without having to stop playback;
what a time saver! There are lots of great improvements in PT 7.3.
Before I close, I have to mention the newest virtual instrument from Digidesign’s A.I.R. group, Velvet. This RTAS plug-in emulates vintage electric pianos: Rhodes Suitcase
and MK I and MK II stage pianos, and Wurlitzer A200. Three-band EQ, wah/filter, chorus, phaser, and tape delay effects are built-in. If you’re after authentic electric pianos,
then you’ll be thrilled with Velvet. It’s highly playable, CPU-efficient, and most important, it sounds great!
Moving? Moved? Want more than one copy? Call, fax, or email us your new address and don’t miss an issue of SweetNotes!
Page 15.indd 15
2/1/07 4:42:20 PM
Change Service Requested
5501 US Hwy 30 W., Fort Wayne, IN 46818
(800) 222-4700 • sweetwater.com
NAMM Show ’07 ......... 1,10,11,12,13
Akai DPS24mkII .......................... 2
Native Instruments Kontakt 2 .......... 3
M-Audio NRV-10 ......................... 4
Focusrite Liquid Mix .................... 4
Guitar 101 ................................. 5
Customer Studio ......................... 5
Inside Sweetwater ....................... 6
Digitech RP Series ...................... 6
Mackie VLZ3 Series ..................... 7
All contents © 2004 Sweetwater, Inc.
Expert Center.. ........................... 7
Moog Little Phatty Stage Edition ...... 8
Rock n Roll Fantasy Winner ........... 8
Inside the Sweetwater Difference ..... 9
TechNotes ............................... 14
Sweetwater Disc Services ............. 14
Studio Notebook ........................ 15
Digidesign Pro Tools 7.3 and Velvet ...15
©2007 Sweetwater Sound, Inc. All rights reserved. All trademarks are property of their respective owners.
Name: Brian VanDeKeere
Position at Sweetwater:
Sales Engineer
Start Date: 9/15/04
Hired as: Sales Engineer
Education: BA in telecommunications and two minors:
U.S. History and Women’s
Studies from Ball State
Where are you from originally? Born and raised in good old Fort Wayne,
Indiana. Yes, I do like the weather here.
Why did you first apply for a job at Sweetwater? I was a customer, and thought
this would be a great place to learn and grow.
Foreign Languages: Habla un poco de español.
Technical Strengths: Pro Tools, preamps, and live sound.
Favorite Music Related Website(s): DMBand.com, MySpace.com, AudioForums.com,
Instruments you play: I play guitar, but don’t stack up to the talent that we have here!
Gear you Own: Digidesign Pro Tools HD3 Accel, 96i; Focusrite ISA 428, Octopre; PreSonus
DigiMaxFS, Universal Audio 6176, Tannoy Ellipse10, Dynaudio BM5a, Taylor 514CE, Epiphone
Les Paul Standard, Waves Diamond bundle, Sony Oxford bundle, Fxpansion BFD, many plug-ins.
Other stuff we should know about you: I enjoy working on projects. It can be
working in the yard or remodeling a room. I have three regional Emmys I received
during college.
Page 16.indd 16
Personal Motto: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. (Horace 65-8 BC)
Favorite Magazine: Time
Real Life Hero: David Matthews — a person who has a very successful career and gives so
much back to the world.
Guilty pleasure of choice: A good Lowland scotch.
How would your boss describe you? Willing to work through problems. Works better
under pressure.
How would your best friend describe you? Someone with a goal who will find a
way to get to that goal.
What did you dream about doing for a living when you were growing up?
Film editor or director.
Describe the most dramatic situation in which you provided the
“Sweetwater Difference” for a customer: I had a customer that was moving from
analog into digital. He needed to learn the new programs quickly for a project. I had a client
in the same area with a similar setup and connected them; he was up and running a few days
later. They’ve since worked on a few projects together.
What best prepared you for the work you do here at Sweetwater? I worked
at one of the local television stations as a cameraman. If you want to know what stress is, work
in a newsroom for a day!
What do you enjoy most about being part of the Sweetwater Team? Being
able to help my clients with their needs and dreams, and finding that one product that fits.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned at Sweetwater? Every day is
different; what happened yesterday will not happen today.
2/1/07 4:43:22 PM
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