Mayday Parade are paying it forward

Spinning Sunnyland for the hundredth time, it’s clear that this is some of Mayday Parade’s best work. The sixth studio album from the alt-rock outfit, Sunnyland is very much an album of nostalgia for Mayday Parade – for their youthful antics and for exploring love and loss. Naturally fans will ascribe their own experiences to the music and remember their own past, with vocalist Derek Sanders already having heard a few of fan stories himself.

“What’s kind of crazy is we’ve been a band for so long – 13 years – that now when we go on a tour, we see people we’ve known for ten years or more, who’ve been with us many, many years,” he says. “A lot of people have grown up with us. A lot of people have talked about how this album is looking back on the last 13 years of this band, [on] everything we’ve done, and it’s been amazing to hear people’s stories, ‘I heard this band 11 years ago, all this stuff has changed in my life since then,’ how we’ve helped them get through tough times. It comes around full circle.

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Gibson reveals Alpine White B.B. King Lucille ES-355 signature guitar

Long Live the King

Gibson has debuted a new version of B.B. King’s Lucille ES-355 guitar, this time offering the signature instrument in a striking Alpine White finish.

The updated guitar was produced in collaboration with the B.B. King Family Trust and features a host of high-end appointments. A custom B.B. King “signature” is engraved on the bridge pickup cover, while brass truss rod covers feature an engraved “Lucille”.

 

Elsewhere, the design ensures the guitar remains an authentic tribute to B.B. King’s original specs and tone through a Stereo Varitone paired to Gibson 490R and 490T humbucking pickups, a TP-6 tailpiece, mother of pearl inlay fingerboard, and semi-hollow body.

 

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Reviewed: Adam Audio Studio Pro SP-5 Headphones

Federal Audio | federalaudio.com.au | Expect to Pay: $895

Berlin-based studio monitor company Adam Audio sports a fanatical commitment to audio utilitarianism. Their products rely less on aesthetic design, and instead stun with an unimpeachable high fidelity. The Studio-Pro 5 or SP-5, their latest offering in this vein, is a sets a new benchmark for consumer monitor headphones, albeit at an uncomfortably high price.

Out of the box, the SP-5 is a modest sight. Packed in a moulded hard-leather travel case, it has a simple black look that doesn’t aspire to let you know it retails for $895. The bare black isolated padding fits the closed-back circumaural headphones well and provides a comfortable fit that doesn’t constrict, although does give slight sound leakage. Impressively, the phones weigh just 290 grams – approximately the same as Audio- Technica MX-50’s – and have smooth folding joints to make them very travel-friendly.

Hits and Misses

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Near flawless sound-staging via the Ultrasone S-Logic Plus technology

Excellent subversion of ear fatigue

Secure but not constricting fit

True neutrality

Brilliant for house music

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$895 is far too much for most consumers

Dedication to neutrality is detrimental to some recreational listening

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Electro-Harmonix is bringing a trio of new effects to your pedalboard

The EHX Trifecta

Electro-Harmonix have opened the final month of 2018 with the announcement of not one, but three new pedals to join their ever-popular range: the Flatiron Fuzz, Nano Battalion Bass Preamp and Overdrive, and the Sovtek Deluxe Muff Pi.

Flatiron Fuzz

This versatile pedal is a powered fuzz/distortion unit offering a distinctive sound thanks to late ‘70s-style circuitry and symmetrical hard clipping. With three controls for volume, drive and filter, the Flatiron Fuzz is easy to operate and can produce everything from mild distortion to dense drive tones.

 

Nano Battalion Bass Preamp and Overdrive

 

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Sevendust announce 2019 Australian tour

In Support of All I See Is War

US hard rock five-piece Sevendust are set to return to Australia, announcing five huge headline shows scheduled for early next year.

Touring in support of their latest album All I See Is War, Sevendust will take their music on the road with stops in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

 

 

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Fender debuts nine new designs in American Performer series

Just In Time For Christmas

Fender has announced its latest stroke of genius, introducing nine new guitars and basses as part of the American Performer series.

The series boasts a selection of affordable instruments designed to offer a host of improvements while retaining the premium quality associated with the Fender name. The Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jazzmaster, Mustang, Precision Bass, Jazz Bass and Mustang Bass all feature in the new range.

 

Notable features include Yosemite single-coils, silver ‘70s logos, vintage-style ClassicGear tuners, and an impressive variety of new finish options, including Satin Sonic Blue and Aubergine.

 

American Performer Stratocaster

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The Used on maintaining the balance

Though he’s lived on the outskirts of Sydney for the better part of six years, Bert McCracken doesn’t view the land Down Under as much of a touring hotspot. “There’s a few places where Australia is lacking – you know, the unconscious racism of the people and the immigration policies – but other than that, I think that we’re almost in this kind of idyllic utopia,” he says.

Watching archival videos of McCracken lose every gram of his marbles in his earlier years, it’s hard to imagine such a visceral performer transition into this calm, otherwise ‘normal’ family man. Hell, when the 36-year-old emo icon finds out this scribe is running on three hours of sleep, he doesn’t hesitate in grilling them for going to bed too late.

 

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Labor promises $28 million funding support for the Australian music industry

Ahead of the Upcoming Election

In the lead-up to the next election, the Australian Labor Party (ALP) has announced plans to offer further support to the music industry if they are successfully elected.

The party reportedly promises to commit $28 million to live music, education and to support the wider music community if elected next year. Sectors expected to benefit from the funding include youth music, mental health and music, new recordings, and support for both music managers and music teachers.

 

"We want to inspire the next generation of Australian artists and to see more international success stories," Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said on Friday.

 

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Reviewed: Electro-Voice EVOLVE 50 Portable Powered Column System

Bosch | bosch.com.au | Expect to Pay: $1899

It can definitely be said that music equipment features and power have increased while size has reduced. This has resulted in compact gear that performs at much higher levels than ever before. Guitar and bass amps have been big winners, as have PA speakers and systems. Subs, line arrays and column design speakers have all added power and clarity in smaller setups. EV have long been a major player in the pro audio and sound reinforcement game, so it’s no surprise they are continuing to develop their lines with the EVOLVE 50 portable powered column system.

Rated at 1000 W, the EVOLVE 50 consists of three parts: the sub (which acts as the base of the unit), the pole (or speaker stand), and the column itself. These three items join together in a matter of minutes and only take up the footprint of a relatively small sub (i.e. not very big at all). The rear panel of the sub looks after controls and connectivity with two XLR/TRS combo jack inputs, a 3.5mm mini jack input, stereo RCA input, XLR thru output and XLR mix output. This I/O is rounded out with controls for aux level, line/mic inputs one and two, and master volume.

Hits and Misses

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Size, setup and sound

Sub and column technology really sounds good for its size

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Not quite as flexible as a traditional speaker setup in some applications

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Learn the Lingo: Studio Monitors

Electronic Music Production

Being a bedroom producer means learning about a heap of stuff in quite a lot of detail. Whether it’s how to use a synthesiser, microphone types and their placement, optimal bit rate and buffer for your computer or even just navigating the various software companies’ registration processes, each element comes with its own language of ridiculous jargon. This month, I’m going to explain some studio monitor lingo to help you understand a product group that comes with a fairly high learning curve.

Powered (active)/Unpowered (passive)

Powered means each speaker box contains its own amplifier (or two if it’s bi-amplified), whereas unpowered means you need an external amplifier to power your speakers. Most monitors in the bedroom-producer market are powered these days, but unpowered models are still around, particularly on the vintage market.

 

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