Mixdown's Pedal Special: Distortion
Here at Mixdown we wholeheartedly believe that there’s a pedal out there for every guitarist. A stompbox soul mate, if you will. That’s why we have fought tooth and nail – day in and day out – to put to together the most comprehensive, toe-tingling and tone rich pedal effects special for this month’s issue. From pummeling distortion that leaves you gasping for air, to the purest of sweet delays, our writers have sourced the cream of the crop. So go forth, find your perfect match, and head down to your local distributor.
Reviewed: Sterling by Music Man John Petrucci Majesty MAJ100
For better or worse, at some stage or another any guitarist who’s ever seen, let alone bothered practising, their scales and modes has heard of the king of progressive shredding, the one and only, Mr. John Petrucci. As the lightning fast, melodic brain behind Dream Theater, he has been object of so many ‘woah’s over the course of his career that he puts even Keanu Reeves to shame. His long standing tenure as one of Ernie Ball Music Man’s most revered signature artists shows no sign of slowing down and as such it stands to reason that Sterling bring out their very own version of his Excalibur, The Majesty MAJ100.
Reviewed: PreSonus Studio 26 USB Audio Interface
PreSonus offer a range of products to cater for different needs, but they are mostly known for their audio interfaces, in particular the AudioBox. PreSonus have taken the simplicity of that unit and delivered a new USB audio interface that offers quality audio and a very workable hardware interface that will certainly feel right at home with so many compact recording setups looking for style and sound quality. The new Studio 26 USB is here to offer that little bit extra in the same compact housing.
Reviewed: Sterling By Music Man St Vincent STV60
Traditionally the word Sterling refers to a particular grade of silver. A silver medal is bestowed upon second place finishers in Olympic events which, in turn, unfurls ideas of mediocrity and diminished quality upon most audiences. This last part is where the synonymy ends for Ernie Ball’s faithful subsidiary, the Sterling range. As opposed to using this arm of the empire to churn out sub-par variations on a theme, Orange County’s favourite modern guitar manufacturer clearly sees it as an opportunity to put more guitars in more hands without sacrificing any of the unmitigated finesse that players have come to expect from them. Almost every EB branded signature model has a parallel at Sterling whose price tag is rendered more wallet-friendly by several clever design adjustments and a simple shift in factories.
Reviewed: Blue SL Microphone Range
The new SL range of microphones from Blue takes a very distinct look at three sounds of condenser microphones. The three models in the range are the Spark SL, Bluebird SL and Baby Bottle SL. Each has a particular price point covered as well as capturing a certain sound and style. Ultimately - for those of you able to do so - owning all three would be an ideal solution for a plethora of vocal and instrument applications, and would certainly make a very solid foundation for a serious microphone collection to cover a range of genres, styles and recording applications.
Reviewed: Strauss Street Box Busker Amplifier
Back on the scene for the last few years, Strauss have released a range of heads and combos, mostly in classic low wattage valve type configurations, resurrecting a part of Australian music heritage. Branching off to cater for some additional musical situations, they have recently announced the arrival of the Street Box rechargeable busker amp. With portability in mind, this little fella could be a grab and go for outdoor work or interesting logistical setups where power and typical arrangements aren’t possible.
Reviewed: Fender Brad Paisley Road Worn Telecaster
A flash guitar designed for flashy players? Yep, that’s exactly what you’re in for with Fender’s Brad Paisley signature Telecaster. While clearly this isn’t a guitar for everyone, those who are after a Tele built for fast licks and one-of-a-kind appointments that’ll have you standing out from every other guitar player in the country have hit the jackpot.
Reviewed: Lewitt Audio DTP 640 REX Kick Drum Microphone
The Lewitt DTP 640 REX is one microphone that many live and studio engineers are going to want to get a look at and, more importantly, a listen to. Packaging two microphones in one? Well, why not?