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Archive for April, 2016

I was going to update my original post on Prince, but realized I had enough to say to write a whole new article…

Bob Lefsetz of “The Lefsetz Letter” blog is fond of saying that the true artists know that it’s about the music; that what gets remembered is the music; what penetrates through the masses is the music. Most of that is a cut against today’s music personalities who are known, not because of their music, but because of their image or how much money they make. But I’m not going to open that can of worms…

While I agree with Mr. Lefsetz on a lot of what he says, with respect to Prince, I don’t think even Bob’s arguments can really apply. Prince was an anachronism on so many levels. He gained fame from pop music, but his sound was so different from pop at the time. On the surface, he seemed part of the system, but his years-long battle against Warner proved that he didn’t buy into it. He was considered a pop star, but his musicianship transcended any definition of a pop star.

And he could play guitar.

Talk about the understatement of the year! When he played the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, et al, you could see Tom Petty in the background not at all pleased with Prince. George Harrison’s son loved it, but old, cool, BORING Tom Petty couldn’t deal with it. It was Prince’s anachronism at play, front and center. It was clear to me that Tom Petty probably saw Prince as a mere girlie pop star of yesteryear. But watching him – and listening to him – demonstrate his complete mastery over his instrument, and his depth of understanding of music in general, and his innate ability to connect with an audience, that it probably evoked massive internal conflict with Tom, which expressed itself in the reaction, “I hate this guy!”

Apparently, the backstory that I learned by watching a recent documentary on Prince was that in rehearsal he was a lot more tame. But when he got in front of an audience, all bets were off. He went for it with a vigor and a devil-may-care attitude that defied the reverence that the other rockers were attempting to convey by covering George Harrison’s song.

But that was what Prince could do. To me, he was the epitome of a Rock Star. He didn’t so much rebel against the mainstream as he walked his own path. So many people made the mistake of trying to pigeonhole him into a specific style of music. He played what he played, wrote what he wrote. Check out Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL, “She’s Always In My Hair:”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyyS0FSztKc][/youtube]

Can you say SHRED? Definitely elements of power funk in the song itself, but there’s no way you can call that guitar playing “funky.” The phrasing in his solo at around 2:06 in the video is decidedly rock, with what sounds like a mix of different modes. The song itself is an anachronism. You see Prince, and you expect funk, but here he is playing rock, and just rippin’ it up! And his final solo? It’s simply a work of rock and roll magic! So it’s not a surprise why ol’ Tom Petty might’ve appeared to dislike Prince. He wasn’t supposed to be able to do that!

And comparing his guitar playing back in 1985  to 2014 when the video above was released, he developed and evolved his playing where it transcended genres. Simply amazing!

Prince’s RRHF appearance brought me back to my early church band days when old conservatives would get on my case about being irreverent while playing. I used to say to them, “What’s the face of reverence? For you, it’s someone down on their knees, eyes closed, head pointed to the ground. That’s perfectly valid. But for me, it’s a loud, screaming electric guitar cranked up loud enough so God and the heavenly host can see how much I love my God. After all, what’s reverence.” That never went over too well with them… 🙂 But they couldn’t argue with the number of people who’d attend our service so they could rock out for God.

Circling back to Bob Lefsetz, I think what set Prince apart and those people who have lived on in our memories like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Alice Cooper, KISS, AC/DC, The Who, The Beatles was not just the music. These people were true entertainers. This is in contrast to what you see today in pop. It’s all about “look at me” and “look at the money I make.” For the true entertainers, it is certainly about their music but it is also about how they presented it and touched the hearts of so many people.

Back in my old, much lighter days as a ballet dancer, the artistic director of my college dance company once told me, “You know, you started late, so technically, you’ll never be as good as the other guys. But you have natural stage presence which they don’t have. You just have to kick it up a notch, and make love to your audience.”

I laughed at the statement at the time, but I did get what he meant. As a performer, when you “make love” to your audience, it’s much like making love; that is, you’re fully present, in the moment, and willing to give all of yourself to your partner – body, mind, and soul – to form an intimate connection. And to me, that’s what sets true entertainers like Prince apart: They make love to their audience. When you watch Prince perform, he’s fully committed to his audience, giving everything he has. Even in “Purple Rain” all those years ago, I dug the performance scenes. While yes, it was acted out and part of the script, the execution of that script was all Prince making love to his audience. To me at least, it didn’t feel contrived, and was completely believable.

In any case, as opposed to lament the loss of Prince, I want to celebrate the influence he’s had on music, and quite honestly, the influence he has had on my own approach to performing. I’ll always remember him with a smile on my face!

 

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replicaHere’s the Craigslist posting: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/msg/5555910088.html

This was a pretty tough decision to make, but I realized I needed to thin my stock, as I’ve been wanting to get a Gretsch Brian Setzer for awhile, and the only way I could do that was to sell off some gear. Not that I don’t have a lot as it is… 🙂

I have to admit that it’s a little bittersweet for me. “Ox” has been a mainstay for me for the last few years, but I have to face the reality that I’m probably at the limit of the guitars I can have, and if I want to add another to my stable, I need to trade out duplicates. You see, I’m NOT a guitar collector. I gig and record with all the guitars I have – with the exception of some pretty old, crappy ones – and frankly, am not in the financial position yet where I can have thousands of dollars worth of guitars sitting around. Besides, my wife, God love her, being the pragmatic sort, would question not using my instruments. 🙂

So… life goes on, and I need to do some stock rotation… Check out the Craigslist posting. My contact info is there if you have questions.

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Katie May and the Aracom VRX18

Katie May and the Aracom VRX18

I’m in a waking dream right now; caught in the solace after a night spent in the presence of pure beauty; her siren-song resonating into the deepest recesses of my soul. Closing my eyes, I see the visage of her elegant curves. I can feel the smoothness of her golden-brown skin. I can hear the dulcet tones she sings from my ministrations as I gently caress her smooth body and run my fingers up and down her neck. She is Katie May, and she is my lover.

Dirty mind… Katie May is my custom guitar made by Perry Riggs, good friend and luthier of Slash L Guitars. I have had her for a few years now, and every time I play this guitar, I’m transported to Never Land, and start waxing poetically; such is the effect she has on me. It’s visceral, sensual. I’m completely transported to another world when I hear the sounds she produces. When I play this guitar it’s the musical equivalent of making love. While there’s not an exchange of body fluids, there is certainly an exchange of energy; a connection that is too difficult to describe and would only be diminished by mere words. It’s like I’m having an affair!

To be honest, I’ve kept her at home and played her mostly in my studio because she’s so precious to me that I don’t want to even leave the possibility of her getting dinged or – God forbid – stolen at a gig. But last night, I decided to take her with me to band rehearsal. Don’t know why, but I felt she was calling to me. Felt this little voice in my head saying, “You need to play me… I want to sing…” So I packed her up in a gig bag, and went to rehearsal.

From the very first notes I played, I knew it was going to be a magical night for me. Clean or dirty, Katie May’s voice rang sweet and clear; never too deep, never too shrill. Just pure musical tones that just set my heart on fire. I had only played out with her with my old church band. But as both primary guitarist but also pianist, she didn’t get much play time. But with my new band, where I’m the lead guitarist, any guitar will get a workout, and Katie May proved her worthiness as a workhorse. So I’ve made the decision that for my new band, she will be Guitar Numero Uno.

Here’s a quick clip that – at least to me – demonstrates her incredible voice. In this song, she was plugged directly into my trusty Aracom VRX18 Plexi.

Last night, I played her though a Fender DRRI Limited Edition. Talk about a divine pairing! But truth be told, the real test for her will be this coming Saturday when the band plays a benefit concert. I’m SO looking forward to showing her off!

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spearheadI’ve had several offers for reviews from manufacturers over the past year or so, but since I wasn’t in a band at the time and only doing solo gigs, I’d turn them down. You see, from the outset of writing this blog, I didn’t want to be a “me too” review site and review everything under the sun. The main reason was that since this blog is essentially a labor of love and done when I had available time, I had to be very choosy about what I’d review. To narrow down the list, I decided I’d only write about gear that I would personally use, or had real potential of being used in the studio or playing out. And that usage mainly revolved around gigging with my band.

But since I’ve joined a new band, my GAS has been ignited, so to say, so that I’m now much more inclined to look at gear and write about it. And it’s funny how energy works… As soon as I started thinking about getting and writing about gear, I started getting contacted by gear makers. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. But regardless of that, a recent contact I got was from a company called “Iron Age Guitar Accessories,” asking me if I’d take a look at their bone and horn picks.
jazzrtI have to admit that I’m a bit of a sucker for picks made with natural material. I still use my Red Bear Trading picks regularly, and the fact that the Iron Age picks are made from actual bone and horn – materials I’ve never played with before – intrigued me enough to accept the offer.

I asked to review the Spearhead (shown above on the left) and the Jazz RT picks (shown to the right). They have two other sets: Jazz XL and Jazz3, but I only asked for the picks that I thought would fit my usage. Let me share my first impressions. I’ll go over my general impressions then talk about each individually.

General

Before I received the picks, I was a little concerned that because they’re a natural material, they might not be very durable or have that much longevity. But once I got them, it’s hard to believe they’re made of a natural material. They’re absolutely solid.

As for how they feel while holding them, they feel awesome! There’s nothing like the feel of a natural material; they feel “grippier” to me. For my solo acoustic work, I’ve been using Wegen picks “Twins.” These are great-feeling guitar picks, but my only beef with them is that despite the grip ridges etched into the picks, they slip. I don’t have that problem with my Red Bear Trading picks even though they don’t have any grip etchings. The Iron Age picks, on the other hand, are etched with cool designs that doubly serve as grip ridges. But the material itself is more grippy to me as compared to my Wegen picks, and that bore itself out on my Saturday-night gig where I used the Jazz RT.

All in all, I’m very excited about these picks! So now, onto my impression of the individual picks…

The Spearhead

Iron Age states on their site that this is a shredder’s pick. I can see that. It’s smaller than a standard pick (though bigger than a Jazz 3). It’s sharp and pointy for pinpoint accuracy while picking out notes and it’s a dream for pinch harmonics. It’s nice and thick without being too beefy, so movement over the strings is nice. But having said all that, this is just a great pick for playing electric guitar. The point brings out the highs, while the bevel makes it easy to move over the strings. The notches are actually cool, and make a nice guide for sliding the length of the string for a dramatic slide move before a power chord. 🙂

But I’m not a shredder, and love this pick! For playing solos, I prefer a pointy end because I want the highs to help cut through the mix. Plus the pointy-end provides much better note clarity. So for even one who plays at a much slower pace, this is a great pick! I’ll be using it this week at band rehearsal. I can’t wait!

The Jazz RT

As I mentioned above, I played with the Jazz RT this past Saturday evening. For me, this is the perfect pick for acoustic guitar. Its slightly larger diameter and round, beveled point produce a nice, balanced tone, and for leads (I solo over looped phrases), I got this incredible hollow-body tone out of my Yamaha APX900. This pick has just become my go-to pick for my solo acoustic work. And that’s saying a lot because I do roughly 150 solo acoustic gigs a year, so this will be a true test of the pick’s durability. Luckily you get two in a set, so I think I’m set for at least the next several months, if not the next year. It will depend on the wear.

I also love the pick’s tapered bevel. The beveling starts at about the midway point (lengthwise), then tapers to a nice edge at the point. That’s not apparent in the pictures, but what it amounts to is making it VERY nice for strumming. I strum with the pick angled at about 30-45 degrees, and the beveling really helps in this. I have to say that Iron Age really thought through the design of the Jazz RT.

Would I use it for electric? I’m not really sure. Perhaps. I see this pick as a great strumming pick. The point certainly has a nice edge to it, but the notes will come off much more warm. I prefer my electric notes to sit in the higher frequencies.

In any case, these picks arrived at just the right time because my Wegen Twins are finally showing their age after two years of regular use. Thee Wegen’s are still great, but there’s a lot to be said about these Jazz RT picks!

Overall Impression

I think Iron Age is onto something with this material. The feel and tone of these picks are perfectly suited to my style of play. I’m looking to be using these picks for a long time!

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VERY Cool Storage Rack

Like many, I tend to ignore ads when I’m surfing the Web, especially on Facebook. But this morning, I saw a picture on a Facebook ad that really intrigued me, so I clicked on it. It just so happens that I had been considering adding some kind of storage rack for my guitars to my living room, but the solutions I had seen, while certainly serviceable, weren’t furniture-quality. Wouldn’t make a big difference to me, but the boss-lady would not like it at all. Enter DRS Racks, modular, furniture-grade guitar and bass racks.

Now THAT’s totally cool. The racks come in two styles: Alpha and Bravo. Both can be stacked (Alpha on top of Bravo) to form a single unit (they call it A/B, duh 🙂 ), so you can store up to 14 guitars in a single unit, and from what I can see, it doesn’t take up much space at all. Here are features of the Alpha rack:

  • Built from solid, environmentally sustainable Bamboo
  • Holds 7 instruments (Bass, Guitar, Acoustic / Hollowbody and Electric)
  • Replaceable finish safe padded inserts are designed to allow easy access while keeping your instrument from falling out of the rack.
  • The padded base can be assembled in two directions to help accommodate oddly shaped instruments.
  • Pre-drilled to stack on Bravo rack
  • 38″ w X 33″ h x 18″ d
  • Designed to fit in the most compact flat box, these racks ship anywhere in the world and assemble with a single (provided) 4mm Allen wrench.

Made from Bamboo? I LOVE things made from Bamboo! As an amateur gourmet cook, I’ve had several cutting boards made from bamboo, and I won’t use any other kind. The reason? Even if bamboo gets wet and warps, it’ll return to its original shape when it dries. Bamboo is also lightweight, but extremely durable. You can gouge bamboo, but it won’t chip because it’s a fibrous grain.

From what I could see from the pictures, these are beautifully finished. So, problem solved! A utilitarian piece that looks like furniture! For more information, check DRS Racks’ site: http://www.drsracks.com/.

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fender_drriOkay… so I’m in a band… again… And I’ve got GAS… again…

BUT having reviewed literally hundreds of different kinds of gear of over the life of this blog (has it really been 9 years?), I’ve developed the discipline to not give into my initial urges and force myself to test gear thoroughly and in a variety of settings before I make a decision about getting something.

I tell you, that guilty-before-proven-innocent attitude has literally saved me thousands of dollars as I would discover that many things I’ve tested may sound great in one or two settings, but just fail horribly in other areas. Not that something has to perform well in all areas, but it must perform well in the area in which I will be using it the most.

Such is the case with the Fender Deluxe Reverb Limited Edition amp that I borrowed from a friend with the intent to buy it if I really liked it. My first sound tests were great, as they focused almost entirely on the clean tone. We all know that you just can’t go wrong with Fender cleans. But then I hooked it up to an attenuator so I could crank it up without bursting my eardrums.

Talk about a deflating experience. The custom speaker sounded like crap, so I bypassed the internal speaker and hooked up the amp to my custom Aracom 1 X 12 with the Jensen Jet Nighthawk, and the skies parted, and manna rained down from heaven. So I resolved to swap out the speaker before my band rehearsal and see how it would perform.

But life happens, and I just couldn’t find the time to do a speaker swap. But I wanted to test the amp in a band environment, and so I took it to my rehearsal as-is; no attenuator, just the stock configuration. When I got to rehearsal, I hooked up my gear, and set the amp to about 5, so I could get a little breakup with the volume knob on my guitar set to dead-center. That way, I could clean up the signal or dirty it up more with just some volume sweep. But I also took an overdrive pedal with me for some extra oomph when it was time for me to do a solo.

Dammit! I couldn’t believe my ears when we started going through our songs. The tone was absolutely marvelous! So much so that about a half hour into rehearsal, I made up my mind: I was going to keep the amp. What I realized was that the stock speaker, which I hadn’t been all that impressed with needed to be pushing air for me to really get a feel for what it was capable. And when it was able to gets the SPLs up, my mind was blown. This truly was one of the best-sounding amps I’ve ever heard, and that’s saying a lot, as I’ve heard some GREAT amps. It was right on par with the quality of my Aracom amps’ tone. Some people had mentioned that the amp produced a bit of an ice-picky sound. I didn’t get that impression whatsoever. It might very well be that up close you’d get that kind of artifact. But standing 8-10 feet away from the amp, I just got a very nice, rich tone that didn’t have any noticeable high-frequency artifacts. For me at least, I was in tone heaven!

So here’s my dilemma: I dig no, LOVE this amp. But unlike my previous experience with other gear where I loved the tone right away, only to be disappointed when I used it in the environment that I was going to be primarily using it, with the Deluxe, it was the exact opposite experience. I had mixed feelings initially, but when I used it where I’d normally be using it, it was #mind-blown!!! That was NOT supposed to happen. Rehearsal was supposed to confirm my initial findings. Instead, it turned my world upside-down! And instead of my GAS being relieved, I’ve got it stronger than ever!

Another thing that really appealed to me was the amp’s simplicity. With just a single volume knob with no master, you just set it where you’re comfortable, and just go. I know, a lot of people like to have a master volume. Almost all my amps besides this one have a master volume. BUT, with this amp, I look to it as being more of a platform for pedals. It doesn’t have enough overdrive to do it on its own; that is, if you don’t want to make your eardrums bleed or completely step on the band. So I’ve been using it with overdrive and distortion pedals, and it rocks with those! So the setup for me, is set the EQ’s to the guitar I’m playing, then set the volume level where it’s comfortable.

I’m actually quite impressed that I don’t see any modifications that I have to make – yet. Just for shits and giggles, I may replace the pre-amp 12AX7’s with some 1959 RCA Mil-spec tubes that are just wonderful workhorse tubes and sound great to boot. I may even bias the power tubes just a tad cooler to add a smidgen of clean headroom. But frankly, I’m in no rush to do either. The amp is freakin’ awesome as-is!

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BeatBuddyAt first blush, this idea sounds funny, but it’s not, because it can potentially train you for the real thing. Okay, okay… I’ll let you in on it. Imagine practicing to the drunkenness level of your drummer, with the variations of playing that that implies. Funny, right? But it’s also a bit on the serious side. A drunk drummer is unpredictable, and it’s incredibly difficult to prepare for playing with a drummer who’s inebriated. Well the guys at Singular Sound who make the awesome BeatBuddy drum machine pedal are releasing a firmware update today that does just that. Here’s a snippet Moshe from Singular Sound sent me:

This April 1, we are going to release a Sobriety Function for the BeatBuddy, as part of our new Firmware 1.83 update. Musicians will now be able to practice with a drummer of varying levels of sobriety, dialing the setting from sober to tipsy to drunk to wasted. Talk about a tool that prepares you for real life situations!

Though we’re releasing this on April 1, this is actually not a joke. We are just trying to get the BeatBuddy users to download the new firmware update, which will also include tons of amazing new features with a wide variety of practical uses.

Besides the Sobriety function, the firmware update includes A LOT of fixes and improvements. Here’s a list of what to expect if you already have the pedal:

Sobriety function: Control how drunk your BeatBuddy is!  One of the things BeatBuddy fans always tell us is that they love how their BeatBuddy never gets drunk (or shows up late, or drinks your beer, the list goes on…), but sometimes it’s kinda fun to jam with a drunk drummer!  So we’ve included a Sobriety setting (just press the Drum Set and Tempo knob at the same time to enter Settings – it’s the fourth option down).  When Sober, BeatBuddy plays perfectly as always.  When Tipsy, BeatBuddy’s had a few beers and starts drifting on the tempo a bit.  When Drunk, BeatBuddy has had way too many beers and a few shots and starts drifting on the tempo A LOT as well as throwing in some random fills. When Wasted, BeatBuddy is probably a danger to himself and to others, especially your musical sanity — he’ll be all over the place tempo wise, throwing in random drum fills, transitioning to other song parts when he’s not supposed to and just banging on the cymbals in the most annoying way.  Luckily, unlike your human drummer, BeatBuddy sobers up instantly.  Just change his setting 🙂

Sleep Mode:  You may have noticed that like most guitar pedals, the BeatBuddy does not come with a power button.  The only way to turn it off is to unplug it.  So we created a sleep mode that puts the BeatBuddy in a low power state.  Just press the Drum Set and Tempo Knobs at the same time to enter Settings and select Sleep Mode.  This will put your BeatBuddy to sleep until you’re ready to jam with him again.  Don’t worry, unlike most heavily-sleeping drummers, the BeatBuddy can be woken up with a touch of any button or knob.

Visual Metronome while stopped:  Many players have told us that they begin some songs by playing alone and then bringing in the drums after an intro — but it’s hard to play that intro to the right tempo without the drum going.  So we made the visual metronome active while in stopped mode so you have a visual cue of the tempo of the drums when you bring them in.  And since some intro fills aren’t full bar fills (they may start on the second or third beat of the bar, instead of the first), the beat where the intro fill starts is darker than the rest.  But if you like the way your BeatBuddy was without the visual metronome active while stopped, you can adjust it in Settings > Main Pedal > Visual Metronome.

Hands free folder navigation: You can set your footswitch to go to the next song or to the last song in a folder, but until now there was no way to use the footswitch to enter or exit the folders themselves.  So we added the capability that when a footswitch is set to Song Advance or Song Back, holding the footswitch down enters or exits a folder.  Please note that this will only work with Momentary (unlocked) type footswitches, not latching (locked) ones. We changed Official BeatBuddy Footswitch from latching to momentary around 1 year ago.  To test the type of footswitch you have go to Settings > Footswitch > Footswitch detector.

Complete MIDI Control:  One of the most common requests we have gotten is for full MIDI support so that the BeatBuddy can be integrated with other systems, programs and devices.  We have worked extensively to map practically every function of the BeatBuddy to MIDI(with MIDI CC Controls) so that you guys can have the most powerful possible tool and use it in creative ways.  You can control the Volume or Tempo with an app like MIDI Designer.  Or you can set a MIDI footswitch to trigger an outro fill with a single press or to skip from song part 1 to song part 3 and then back to song part 2 — you can skip to any part at will!  This is especially useful for Keyboard Players who would like the BeatBuddy to sit next to them on the keyboard instead of on the floor so they can see the BeatBuddy’s screen.  For full details on MIDI Mapping, see the User Manual.

Autopilot Mode: Because of the BeatBuddy’s new capability to respond to CC commands, it is possible  have the CC commands programmed into them so fills and transitions are played automatically.  We will be releasing new versions of the Most Popular Cover Songs packages in the BeatBuddy Library which the BeatBuddy will play the way the original song was played — but you will still have the capability to improvise using all of the BeatBuddy’s live control functions. Stay tuned for the announcement regarding this new content.

Instant song selection with Bank Select / Program Change: Now you can use Onsong or other apps to instantly go to a certain beat when selecting a song — this is especially useful for musicians who have hundreds, if not thousands, of songs in their repertoire and don’t want the hassle of search for that one beat on their BeatBuddy when the audience requests a random song.  Just select the song in Onsong, and your BeatBuddy will instantly go to the beat you have set to that song! 

Technical Detail:  To select a song, set your app to MSB 0 (make sure this value is always 0), LSB (0-127) selects the BeatBuddy song folder where 0 is the first folder, 1 is the second folder, etc. — we know this is confusing, but that is how the MIDI standard works, beginning at 0, not at 1.  And Program Change selects the song in the folder, where Program Change 0 is the first song, Program Change 1 is the seconds, etc.

MIDI Merge:  The BeatBuddy now has the capability to merge MIDI commands it receives with the MIDI commands the BeatBuddy generates and output the merged commands through the MIDI Out port.  This allows you to use a tablet to control the settings on your BeatBuddy and other devices in your MIDI chain while at the same time using the BeatBuddy as a source of MIDI clock and other MIDI commands.  The MIDI Merge protocol we developed has the lowest possible latency.  To Enable this feature, select:  Settings > Main Pedal > MIDI Messages > MIDI Out > Output Type > MIDI-Merge

Added additional settings:  

 –  Settings > Main Pedal > MIDI Messages > MIDI Out > Sync > Always On / While Playing / Disable: You can now set when the MIDI Clock signal is sent out by the BeatBuddy.  This is useful for if you want to play with your MIDI connected device (like your looper or effects), but one of your songs doesn’t include the drums, so you don’t want the BeatBuddy’s tempo affecting your other device.  

 –  Settings > Main Pedal > MIDI Messages > MIDI In > Control Change (CC) > Enable / Disable:  You may want to pass CC MIDI commands through the BeatBuddy to your other devices, but not have the BeatBuddy be affected to them.  

 –  Settings > Main Pedal > MIDI Messages > MIDI In > Notes Off > Choke Notes / Ignored: BeatBuddy now chokes notes when external notes are received with a velocity of 0.  This allows long notes to be cut short.  

 –  Settings > Main Pedal > MIDI Messages > MIDI Out > Notes > Enable / Disable:   Some devices (notably the Pigtronix Infinity) have trouble when receiving MIDI Notes, so we have set this default to off.  If you wish to turn on MIDI Out Note streaming so the BeatBuddy’s MIDI notes are sent to another device (such as your DAW), change this setting.

 –  Settings > Main Pedal > MIDI Messages > MIDI Out > Next Part & Time Signature > Enable / Disable: Some devices (notably, the Eventide Timeline) seem to have problems when receiving certain MIDI Messages, such as the the time signature midi message or the Next Part Midi message (CC102).    

Many bug fixes:  

 – Critical bug that was causing the BeatBuddy to reset after 2 to 3 hours of playing
 – Bug that caused a reboot of the BeatBuddy when no accent hit was present and footswitch was pressed
 – USB connection bug that prevented correct operation when BeatBuddy is in Folder / Drum Set / Song Selection window
 – Various minor bugs

All the fixes/enhancements were made by users, except for the Sobriety function. I personally had mentioned better MIDI control/sync early in the pedal’s infancy, but what they’ve added has far exceeded my expectations. What started out as a pretty cool idea has evolved into a very powerful tool. To be completely honest and transparent, I’ve used my BeatBuddy almost exclusively as a practice tool. But with the expanded MIDI control, I’ll be using it in many more applications; specifically, when creating demos. Drum loops are cool, and they serve their purpose, but there’s something that’s “organic” about playing with a drummer – albeit virtual – it just feels more real.

If you don’t have a BeatBuddy, why not? 🙂 Get one. You’ll dig it. If you do have one, do yourself a favor and get the latest features. I’m going to be doing that as soon as I can.

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