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Archive for December, 2007

Digitech Vocalist Live 4

I know what you’re thinking… this isn’t really guitar gear… BUT it only works by analyzing guitar chords, so it falls squarely in the guitarist’s tool bag. So… what is it? Put simply, the Vocalist Live is a vocal harmonizer. It’s unique in that the processor doesn’t analyze only the notes you sing, it analyzes the chords you play. This makes for much more accurate harmonization. For instance, harmonizing to a Bb in F major, is going to be a lot different from Bb when sung with a G minor.

I do a lot of solo gigs with just me and my guitar. I sing a wide range of songs from all sorts of genres, and a lot of the songs (like songs from the Beatles) sound a lot better with harmony. Now, with a press of switch, I can insert harmonies – live – without backup singers!

The Vocalist Live comes in two versions: Vocalist Live 2 and Vocalist Live 4. I picked the Vocalist Live 4 because it can do 3- and 4-part harmonies, whereas the Vocalist Live 2 does two-part harmonies. In addition, the Vocalist Live 4 can act as a mixer, which eliminates a piece of equipment, which is also a good thing for a solo musician. Not that the 2 isn’t good; it is, and would be appropriate in a band situation. But I myself prefer the more full-featured Vocalist Live 4. Plus, you can interactively activate more or less harmony parts on the fly. Oh so cool..

The vocalist live also has built-in vocal and guitar effects, plus a tuner. The guitar effects will never replace dedicated boxes, but they’re adequate for what they do, and hey, you can always output the guitar dry and still hook up your pedal board (which is what I do).

So if you’re a gigging musician in search of good harmonies, and whether or not you’re solo, the Vocalist Live 4 could be a solution for you!

View the demo!

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New Song: Que Cosa

I wrote this song in my head yesterday while I was driving home from work. Amazing how stuff just gets into your head. I named it “Que Cosa” because of my wife asking me, “What’s wrong?” while I was working out the arrangement. She said I had this concerned expression on my face. Anyway, give it a listen and let me know what you think!

http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=80200

BTW, the drums and bass were all loops in GarageBand, and I used “Rusty,” my beloved ES-335 for the guitars.

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Top Dawg: Frank Marino

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Before the days of the Internet, the world of “known” guitarists was limited to what you heard on the radio or saw on MTV or by word of mouth. But today, we’ve got all sorts of sources for discovering great musicians. The Dawg often trolls the Internet in search of guitarists, and he’s found some great talent. In an effort to help spread the word about these guys and gals, I’ve decided to create a new section on the site to showcase some of the incredible guitar work that I’ve discovered.

The first guitarist I want to showcase is a guy from Mexico, named Cesar Huesca. I found him on YouTube when I was looking for Steve Vai videos, and this guy covered one of Vai’s songs. His technique is nothing short of incredible, and he’s got great expressiveness on the fretboard. I would call his style “melodic shred,” similar to Vai and Satch and Vinnie Moore. This dude absolutely ROCKS!!! Here are a couple of videos:

Cover of Steve Vai’s Tender Surrender

One of Cesar’s Own Songs – Rockin’ Red Carpet (This Totally Rocks!)

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