Monthly Archives: October 2011

Issue Five iGuitar magazine features John Petrucci

The latest issue of the free digital Magazine iGuitar is now live. New for issue five are the three distinct departments, Electric, Acoustic and a brand new Bass area. Each section is packed full of video interviews, guitar lessons and gear reviews.

The Electric Guitar Section: features an interview with the man regarded by many as America’s finest Prog-Rock guitarist – John Petrucci – Dream Theater’s stellar axe man, including an exclusive Petrucci masterclass with iGuitar’s very own shred master, Andy James. Plus to top it all off, John Petrucci’s Musicman JPXl guitar and Mesa Boogie Mark V combo amp are reviewed – so you can learn all about how he gets the sound he does. There are also interviews with Glenn Tipton, and KK Downing’s replacement, Richie Faulkner, of Judas Priest, complemented by Jamie Humphries dipping into The New Wave of British Heavy Metal, looking at key guitar styles and licks.

The Listening Room looks at vintage footage of Jimi Hendrix discussing his influences, while Video Gems searches the web for choice guitar gems and finds legendary US bluesman Steve White. Other features include a look at possibly the UK’s best ever blues guitarist, Peter Green and the legendary US guitar maker, Harmony.

The Quiet Room – For Acoustic Players: features an exclusive interview and live performance footage with one of rock’s most innovative guitarists Steve Hackett – who is also an accomplished acoustic player. Renowned acoustic teacher Giorgio Serci demonstrates exercises designed to improve co-ordination and enhance finger style playing. Whilst the review section takes a look at the powerful but affordable Vintage VJ100, one of the US’s greatest success stories the Blueridge BR1160, and a handmade. Professional class instrument from one of the world’s most respected makers, the Patrick James Eggle Kanuga.

The Bassment – new for Bass Players: introduces Dan Veall a UK based session player, clinician and teacher to the iGuitar team. He brings with him an encyclopedic knowledge of bass gear and playing. For this issue he talks to Megadeth’s exciting and energetic bass player, Dave Ellefson. He also reviews the five string Overwater Tanglewood, their new most affordable production model bass and puts the Markbass Randy Jackson head and cab through their paces as well as taking a look at Peavey’s PXD Tragic 4 Bass.

Competitions: there are three exciting ones for this issue. First there is a chance to win a Fusion Gig Bag; the reviewers liked it so much we had to give one away! Six lucky bass players could win Rotosound bass strings for a year, plus a strap and T-Shirt. Then there is a copy of the British Rock Guitar book to win.

Issue five is the most rounded interactive guitar magazine ever and it is available free from , no strings attached!

Posted in Bass, Guitar, News

Orange Amplification ‘Opens The Door’ to Evanescence guitarist Troy McLawhorn

Orange Amplification is proud to announce the exclusive endorsement of Evanescence guitarist, Troy McLawhorn.

Double Grammy Award winners, Evanescence have sold more than twenty million records worldwide, of which more than eight million sales were in the USA. They released their third self-titled studio album this month which debuted at #1 on the Billboard chart, also topping the Rock Albums, Alternative Albums, Hard Rock Albums, and the Digital Albums chart! Their second album released in 2006, titled The Open Door, sold more than six million copies.

Troy McLawhorn rejoined Evanescence earlier in 2011 after a spell with post-grunge band Seether. He is using two of the Rockerverb 100 heads with PPC412 Speaker Cabs. Troy said ‘Orange Amps are what you need if you want to separate yourself from the pack!’

Long regarded as a masterpiece of guitar amplification, the Rockerverb series is renowned for delivering the legendary Orange Amp sound. Its tube-driven chiming reverbs, ultra high gain distortions, and sparkling effects make it one of the most versatile guitar amps on the planet. The PPC 412 Speaker Cabinets are extremely rugged, with a built-to-last construction that stands up to the rigours of active world touring.

For more information on Orange Amplification, its products and endorsees visit

Posted in Amplification, Guitar, News

Rotosound Launch Darkzone Guitar Strings

Rotosound have unleashed Darkzone drop tuning high output Nickel Plated Electric Steel Guitar Strings not only in time for Halloween, but eternity!

Darkzone are a hybrid string set that includes monstrously super heavy bottom E and A strings that are perfect for thunderous power chords, with ethereal light high end strings so you don’t have to sacrifice the ability to lead or play solos. The new strings will help rock and metal guitarists plumb the depths and reach for the heights in sound.

Darkzone sets are available in 10-13-18-36-52-60 gauges; this set retains the distinctive British bright tone associated with Rotosound Strings. They are produced using an unmatched quality controlled, secret process which results in harmonically rich longer lasting strings.

Designed specifically for rock and metal guitar players (but try them for blues and jazz too) these versatile strings with their deep sound and pleasurable responsiveness continue the Rotosound tradition for producing guitar strings that guitar legends have chosen since the early 1960’s. These strings are great for players that like a tighter feel on the bass strings, giving a menacingly good intonation that allows you to remain in tune whatever you do.

If you want to take your rock or metal playing into the next dimension check out the ferociously good Darkzone strings at  and blow your mind!

Posted in Guitar, Strings, Technology

Mars Volta Drummer Holds Masterclass at the Institute

The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance was thrilled recently to play host to Mars Volta drummer David Elitch, who held an exclusive drum masterclass for Institute students.

David has been teaching for 10 years and is one of the most in-demand private teachers in the Los Angeles area. In addition to teaching privately he also conducts drum clinics at San Jose State University and The Drummers Collective in Manhattan, NYC.

Having just finished the Virgin/Capitol band Kill Korps record with producer Logan Mader  (Soulfly, Machine Head, Devil Driver), it is a wonder he has any time to conduct masterclasses at all! Throughout his career David has also worked with Garth Richardson, (Rage Against The Machine, Mudvayne) Josh Wilbur (Lamb of God), Jason Suecof (Trivium, Bury Your Dead) and Sean Beavan (NIN, Marilyn Manson).

Recently, David was asked to go on tour with Grammy award winning band The Mars Volta, touring throughout Europe, Australia and New Zealand playing for as many as 55,000 people while supporting Muse on the Big Day Out tour.

The masterclass was naturally a sell-out and immensely enjoyed by all who were lucky enough to attend. You can check the Institute website for videos and idents from David!

For more information on this event or courses at the Institute, contact us directly:

The BC Gigster by Porter & Davies: The No Frills, Plenty Of Thrills version of the BC2 silent bass drum monitoring system

Porter & Davies can now announce the launch of the new ‘BC Gigster’ with a specification which has been designed to achieve a launch retail price of only £599 Inc VAT. The new product still retains the same astounding performance and build quality as the flagship BC2!

The BC Gigster is a silent bass drum monitoring system which allows you to feel and experience your bass drum like you never felt it before. It consists of the finest Tactile Generator available, built into a throne top, and uses bone conduction to deliver powerful, precise and nuanced reproduction without sound.

The new BC Gigster is made from the same superior components as the BC2 and although it has slightly fewer features, the new specification still gives the same level of performance where it matters, giving you great connectivity to your drum kit whilst playing and recording, allowing you to feel and experience your bass drum through your drum throne. It is so easy to use, its rapid set-up is literally designed to plug in and play and can be used with both acoustic & electronic drums.

The BC Gigster specification includes:

  • Line / Mic, Low Contour & Master volume Controls
  • Speakon NL4 connection between Gigster engine & throne (Lead included)
  • Choose Mic or Line input (combined XLR and 1/4 “ jack) (more complex mixes can be obtained through an external mixer via the line input)
  • XLR Output for PA etc
  • Balanced and unbalanced line inputs accepted
  • Can accommodate external phantom power from PA or monitor desk
  • Encased in steel box with rubber ‘bumper’ end cheeks
  • Optional extras are available including the Porter & Davies extra low throne base plus other accessories.

The BC2 remains the Top Pro choice with airline specification flight case, phantom power selector, voltage switch and the facility to allow both line or mic input to be mixed together simultaneously with independent control.

The Gigster has already been used by top artists and they have said the following; Steve White” The Gigster isn’t now just an affordable luxury: For any drummer that takes their playing seriously it should be their next purchase.” Gavin Harrison “With the same performance and power as it’s bigger brother (the BC2) the Gigster is the ideal portable tactile monitor. It’s just smaller and lighter.” Joe Crabtree “the Gigster is now my weapon of choice.  Plus, it fits in my suitcase for the odd over-seas festival gig!”

Porter & Davies have used their expertise to maintain product integrity without compromising on quality. Keen to bring a value product to the market at a smart price, they have simplified the packaging, stripped away the non essential features and bought to the market the ultimate gigging form of the BC2.

You’ll never want to play live again without it. For further details, worldwide pricing and to buy direct on-line from the manufacturer, please visit their website at

Thin Lizzy Bad Reputation Tour Programme features Rotosound

Rotosound has a history rich with association with rock legends across the years and Rotosounds Chairman Jason How recently uncovered a Thin Lizzy Bad Reputation Tour Programme in the company’s archives. On its pages is an incredible advert featuring Phil Lynott, with his bass guitar using Rotosounds Jazz Bass Guitar Strings.

The legendary 1977 Bad reputation Tour was Thin Lizzy at their peak; this was the tour, hailed as a rock masterpiece, where the band unleashed a blistering razor sharp collection of hard rock full of raw energy and power. The band released live material from the tour which was included the seminal Thin Lizzy Live and Dangerous album.

The Jazz Bass Guitar Strings were developed in the 60’s and were widely used for their unique bright tone. Along with Phil Lynott, the strings are heard on many famous albums including recordings by Sting, Steve Harris, John Deacon, John Paul Jones, Roger Waters and many more!

To find out more about Rotosound, its history, its strings and accessories visit  where you can buy the Jazz Bass Guitar Stings online.

Posted in Amplification

Drum Channel $1000 Drum Solo Competition

Drum Channel has launched a global competition to find the best drum soloist on the plant, with a cool $1000 first prize!

For those not already in the know, Drum Channel invites drummers of any age, anywhere in the world to submit original videos of their drum solos. The winner will receive a $500 credit for plus a $500 complete Drum Channel DVD collection. In addition nine runners up will receive a copy of the brilliant JR Robinson DVD ‘The Time Machine’.

This incredible Drum Channel competition calls on you to submit a three minute video of your best drum solo  by the 15th November 2011 and have it judged on its feel, groove, technique, style, showmanship and overall performance. The Drum Channel community will pick five semifinalists from the all the entries and a panel of five professional drummers will chose a further five wild card semifinalists. All ten semifinalists will be announced on a Drum Channel live show on the 22nd November 2011, at which time the five professional drummers will pick five finalists.

The Grand Prize winner will be chosen by the judges and announced on a Drum Channel Live show on the 29th November 2011. Entrants should be sure to watch the Drum Channel shows to see if they are chosen as semifinalists or the Grand Prize winner.

So what are you waiting for? Here is your chance to show the world your best drum solo. Decide what you are going to do, get practicing, and then video yourself and follow the directions on the Drum Channel website to upload your video. Enter now, the Grand Prize winner could be you!

To find out more about this amazing competition go to Drum Channel $1000 Drum Solo Competition.

Rotosound At Acoustic Avalon 2011

Rotosound are pleased to announce that they will be at the Acoustic Avalon show presented by Sheehan’s of Leicester on the 29th and 30th October 2011.

Acoustic Avalon is Britain’s longest running acoustic guitar show providing a unique opportunity for enthusiasts to see, play and buy a huge selection of some of the world’s best acoustic guitars and accessories. In addition world class artists will be performing; there will be demonstrations, workshops and much, much more.

Rotosound, the British manufacturer of high quality strings since 1958, will be there with their complete collection of acoustic strings. Rotosound acoustic strings are known for their bright legendary British tone and long life. They are hand made using only the finest materials and secret processes, to exacting standards. The range includes the Jumbo King, Super Bronze, Tru Bronze, Phosphor Bronze and Silk ‘n’ Steel – something for every taste and style of playing.

Rotosound will also be exhibiting the new Cooper Stand – a guitar stand like no other. Visitors will be able to see how versatile, compact and lightweight this superb guitar stand is. This little stand is the first choice of many professional players because it is safe and secure and fits in most guitar cases.

On top of all that Rotosound will also have new endorsee, Richard Capener, with them. Richard a British guitarist known for his style of playing which combines strumming, finger-style and tapping peppered with harmonics and other tricks. He is unmissable for anyone who loves great guitar playing, good humour and a great atmosphere. Richard uses the Rotosound JK12 acoustic phosphor bronze strings.

If you’re serious about acoustic guitars, make sure you don’t miss Rotosound at Acoustic Avalon 2011!

To find out more about Rotosound, its strings and accessories and how to purchase them please visit

Posted in Events, Guitar, Strings

Drum Channel Released Alex Acuña, Richie Garcia and JR Robinson DVDs

Drum Channel has just released three new drum and percussion tuition DVDs. Explore the concepts of time, feel, groove and style with the Time Machine himself John JR Robinson. Delve into the secrets of the Cajon with multi percussionist Richie Gajate-Garcia and indulge in a captivating concert and interview from the

Acuña-Hoff-Mathisen-Trio as Alex Acuña says “I have not felt this way since I played with Weather Report.”

The John JR Robinson: The Time Machine DVD (US $24.95). JR is one of the most recorded drummers in history having played on records that have sold in excess of one hundred million copies. In this new DVD he takes a detailed look at the elements he considers the most important part of a drummer’s career; Time, Tuning, Miking, Click Tracks and Technique. With over three hours of content this DVD set also features guest appearances by the great Quincy Jones, David Foster, Abe Laboriel Sr, Luis Conte and John’s band – Native Son comprising of Michael Thompson, Bobby Watson, Morris Pleasure and Greg Mathieson. There are also 4 bonus tracks and a behind the scenes session with Quincy Jones.

Play Cajon Now – Richie Gajate-Garcia DVD (US $24.95) Richie Gajate-Garcia is a drummer, percussionist, clinician and educator, voted one of the top rock percussionists in Drum! Magazine this year he also is the percussionist of choice for Disney studios. Richie is a master and innovator on the Cajon and uses this tuition DVD to show you how to make your Cajon sound like a drum set as you master contemporary rock and Latin beats. With over an hour of amazing performances you will see his hybrid kit – a unique drum-percussion set up which revolves around the Cajon – and hear how he can make it sound like three drummers while Richie gives detailed explanations of how he approached his percussion parts in the demonstration tracks, including the instruments used and his setup.

Acuña-Hoff-Mathisen Trio In Concert DVD (US $24.95). Voted the best Latin/Brazilian Percussionist for five consecutive years in Modern Drummer’s Readers Poll, Alex Acuña has a vast knowledge and expertise of percussion rhythms. His South American and Caribbean roots, combined with his understanding of contemporary and classical music make him a complete and skilled master musician, one of the most sought after of our time. Best known for his work with artists such as Elvis Presley, Diana Ross and the band Weather Report he is a player that exhibits innovation, energy and pure heart. Flanked by two Norwegian geniuses, keyboardist Jan Gunner Hoff and guitarist Per Mathisen, Alex has assembled a world class performing trio that will captivate you with the high quality sounds, colours and textures they orchestrate. This DVD comes with a bonus CD. Available November 1, 2011.

Available through Drum Channel or your favourite drum retailer. Go to to find out more.

Avid Announces Next Generation M-Audio Fast Track C400 and C600 Recording Interfaces

Burlington, MA, Oct 4, 2011—Avid® (NASDAQ: AVID) today announced the release of the Fast Track® C400 and Fast Track C600 – the next generation of the best-selling M-Audio® Fast Track line of USB interfaces. Extending Avid’s legacy of providing best-in-class solutions for customers of all skill levels – from advanced professionals to students and beginners – the new Fast Track C-series delivers exceptional audio quality plus hands-on controls for a superior user experience. The interfaces are available bundled with studio-standard Pro Tools® MP software or as standalone units.
Sporting a new, desktop-friendly, ergonomic design, the new Fast Track C-series interfaces combine multiple solutions into one by incorporating a studio-quality audio interface, unique hands-on controls, and an integrated monitor management system. The end result is a new generation of music creation solutions that empower musicians to deliver better quality recordings in less time.

  • All-new industrial design maximizes desktop space while providing hands-on access to key controls.
  • An assignable Multi button delivers hands-on software control, enabling musicians to maintain the creative flow (Fast Track C600 also features re-assignable transport controls).
  • Superior converters, redesigned analog signal paths, and 24-bit/96 kHz audio fidelity ensure recordings will sound amazing.
  • Intuitive monitor management system enables musicians to compare their mixes on multiple sets of studio monitors—confirming mixes translate well.
  • Onboard MX Core DSP technology supplies reverb and delay on headphone outputs, inspiring great performances and delivering low-latency monitoring without taxing the host computer.
  • Each interface is available as a bundle with industry-leading Pro Tools MP software, or standalone for use with other popular audio software.

“Our product designers met directly with our customers, looked at how they create their recordings, and constructed a desktop unit that would truly be the centerpiece of a home studio,” said Tanguy Leborgne, Avid vice president, creative enthusiasts product management (check his title). “With the Fast Track C-Series, musicians get an interface, hands-on controls, and a monitor management system – all in one lightweight, portable unit with incredible audio fidelity and performance specs. These exciting releases make it simpler than ever to transform ideas into professional-quality music by putting more control at your fingertips, giving you the freedom to make music at the speed of your creativity.”

Availability and Pricing
Fast Track C400 and C600 are available now for £209/€229 and £339/€369 respectively, and include Pro Tools SE streamlined music creation software. Pro Tools MP + Fast Track C400 is available for £339/€369. Pro Tools MP + Fast Track C600 is available for £459/€499. To learn more about the Fast Track C-series visit For purchasing inquiries, please visit the Avid Store.