Monthly Archives: December 2011

Orange Amps Launch New Upgrades for the OPC plus a big Price Drop By Selling Direct

Orange Personal Computers have upgraded the Orange OPC and features an unlocked 2nd gen Core Intel i7 CPU with 8 virtual cores, the RAM has been doubled to 8GB DDR3. Greatly increased demand coupled with selling direct from their website makes this all-in-one recording studio, complete with inbuilt instrument/mic amplifier and stereo JBL speakers, an excellent and unbeatable value.

The new prices for the variants are as follows:

  • Dual Core  i3 2100 – 4GB RAM £795 VAT included ($1125)
  • Quad Core i5 2400 – 6GB RAM £985 VAT included ($1395)
  • Quad Core i7 2600k (8 threads) – 8GB RAM £1115 VAT included ($1579)

The great advantage with the OPC is it comes complete with premium software (over £500 in value) already installed and configured; it’s easy to use and is very user friendly. It’s ideal for making Demos or Master digital recordings. Just plug- in, play/record, multi-track/mix, and then upload straight onto the Web for the world to access. As a Windows audio workstation, the OPC can be easily expanded with any additional hardware or software as needed.

The OPC is light, portable and can also be used as a powerful computer; it measures only (h) 32cm x (w) 35cm x (d) 24cm. There’s so much more in an OPC. Go to

Lick Library Release Learn To Play Black Country Communion

Lick Library are delighted to bring you Learn To Play Black Country Communion with over two hours of guitars lessons from this rock super group featuring Joe Bonamassa, one of the leading lights in the modern blues scene.

Named after the English industrial area where bassist Glenn Hughes and drummer Jason Bonham grew up, Black Country Communion is a devastating collision between American and British rock influences. They are a true supergroup that delivers huge 70’s flavoured hard rock that successfully marries Midland muscle with stateside subtlety. Award winning guitarist Bonamassa delivers guitar riffs so solid they could almost have been forged in the heat of a Black Country iron foundry. His guitar fires out ferocious licks that sound like pistons on a production line.

Taking you through this unashamedly old school rock is the former Joe Satriani pupil, Danny Gill. Danny walks you through each track and solo, note by note describing each in great detail. He discusses how you can take what you learn and use it to improve your improvisation. Danny takes a look at the pentatonic, blues, natural minor and harmonic minor solos in the course of these guitar lessons. When you have mastered a track you can check it out against the performances and see how it all fits together. You can watch these guitar lessons over and over again, always being able to see what both of Danny’s hands are doing with the split screen presentation.

Included on Learn To Play Black Country Communion (RRP £24.99) are five driving rock tracks with tinges of blues thrown in for good measure. Four taken from the self titled debut 2010 album are the heavy blues refrain Black Country, the instant classic Song Of Yesterday including the full two and half minute solo, a cover or the Trapeze song Medusa and the rock pop anthem One Last Soul. The fifth track is from the 2011 second album, The Outsider which rushes at you like a freight train. These are all powerful rock songs full of cool up-tempo riff and with the recognizable influence of Led Zeppelin.

To find out more about this DVD and others guitar tuition aids visit

Posted in DVD, Education, Guitar

Latest iGuitar magazine features Yes’ Steve Howe

Another bumper issue of the free digital magazine iGuitar is now live.  Each of the three distinct sections, Electric, Acoustic and Bass are crammed full of video interviews, guitar lessons and reviews.

The Electric Section: Lick Library’s Stuart Bull meets the Godfather of shred Michael Angelo Batio (MAB), plus a world exclusive – MAB makes his iGuitar debut as a columnist. Jamie Humphries meets Steve Howe, ‘Yes’ master guitarist and one of the most original players to emerge from the progressive rock scene and offers readers a unique lesson in Howe’s elusive style. Gary Cooper takes a look at the career of acoustic legend, the late Bert Jansch, while in the listening room John Stix listens as top players discuss their influences, and his video gem feature this month is on Jeff Beck. In addition there is a roundup of 2011’s best accessories, best guitar albums and much more.

Don’t miss Jamie Humphries analyzing the influence of Shrapnel records on the world of shred guitar and continuing his exploration of the Rhythm Method, Stuart Bull continuing his look at hybrid picking, Mike Casswell on how to be a pro-guitarist, Rick Graham on triad improvisation, Andy James on Metal guitar and Tom Quayle looking at the Modes.

Reviews include the Taylor T3, EMG’s James Hetfield Pickups, Marshall’s Yngwie Malmsteen head, Yamaha THR10 amp, the Line 6 combo and at least four more guitars.

The Quiet Room shows readers how to choose a mid-price acoustic guitar, reviews the Simon & Patrick Showcase 6T Rosewood, the Tangelwood T6 acoustic amp, the LAG Tramontane electro-acoustic and the Alvarez RD12CE and RF12GB guitars. Plus Giorgio Serci continues his master classes on finger style guitar.

Down in The Bassment, Anthrax’s Frank Bello talk to Dan Veal. There is a special feature on Bass Strings and reviews of the Music Man Stingray bass, the TC RH750 Head, the Washburn AB5 electro-acoustic bass and the Fishman Fission Bass Powerchord FX.

Competitions: This issue also has a free to enter exciting competition for a year’s supply of D’Addario stings and Planet Waves accessories, Plus find out who won the prizes from the last issue of iGuitar.

Issue 6 contains all the TAB for the features and lessons it includes and is available for free at no strings attached!

Posted in Bass, Education, Guitar, News

New ‘Radio Rhythmz’ Drum Loops from

ModernBeats is proud to present the ‘Radio Rhythmz’ Drum Loop Library which provides a wide variety of cutting radio-ready drum loops.’Radio Rhythmz’ comes packed with over 210 loops and 540 files in 3 formats (WAV/AIFF/REX2) totaling 350MB in size. The loopset was produced at the popular Top-40 Radio tempo of 120BPM and contains 10 multi-track drum loop themes with up to 4 variations per theme: “Main Drum Beat 1”, “Main Drum Beat 2”, “Drum Break 1”, and “Drum Break 2”.

‘Radio Rhythmz’ features a range of hit-worthy Radio Pop drum rhythm programming modeled after today’s hottest artists such as Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Katy Perry, Madonna, Ke$ha, Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears, and more. All drum loops are in construction-style format where each multi-track drum theme is separated and broken down into individual drum instrument files allowing for full mixing control and arrangement.

Radio Rhythmz Drum Loops – Multi-Track Instruments:

  • Modern Designed Analog Kicks, Ghost Kicks, Sub Kicks, & Boom Accents
  • Modern Designed Acoustic Kicks & Acoustic Ghost Kicks w/ Urban Edge
  • Modern Crafted Dance & Acoustic Snare Drum & Clap Instruments
  • Modern Crafted DAnce & Acoustic Hi-Hats, Shakers, Bells, Crashes
  • Conventional Percussion Instruments w/ Modern Programming
  • Vocal Percussion & Radio Vocal FX w/ Modern Programming
  • Crescendo Effects including Cymbal Swells & Noise Floor Swells
  • Vintage Signal Processing for Added Punch & Dynamics
  • High-Quality Radio Top-40 Drum Rhythm Programming
  • Construction-Style Format for 1,000’s of Beat Combinations

Radio Rhythmz Loops is offered as a download, priced at just $29.97.
For more info plus demos, visit:

DW Adds Maple / Mahogany Shell Option to Collector’s Series

Drum Workshop, Inc. has announced the addition of a new shell configuration to its line of industry-standard Collector’s Series drums. The appropriately-named Maple Mahogany drums feature VLT (Vertical Low Timbre) shell technology and an 8-ply veneer layup with an African mahogany inner ply, 6-ply North American Hard Rock Maple core and mahogany outer ply. The new shell can be custom ordered in any DW Custom Shop FinishPly color choice, natural lacquer and in any of 5 available drum hardware color options (chrome, black chrome, satin chrome, black nickel and 24 karat gold).

DW Executive Vice President and Drum Designer, John Good, comments on the new drum shell, “We originally thought this combination would give us something more retro-sounding, like our Classics Series. Those shells are poplar and mahogany with maple reinforcement hoops and sound very vintage. By losing the reinforcement hoop and adding a maple core, we ended up with a sound that is decidedly modern, but also very warm and musical. The sound is reminiscent of our Jazz Series line, which is a maple and gum wood shell, but it has its own unique character. So much so, that we decided to add it to the Collector’s Series line. Other than offering new grain orientations, we don’t really add new wood recipes; the last one was Birch, nearly a decade ago.”

Collector’s Series Maple Mahogany drums are available in all Custom Shop sizes and can be mixed and matched with any other Custom Shop shell configuration. The drums come standard with DW Heads by Remo USA with a single-ply coated batter heads and clear resonant heads. Other features include, graduated True Hoop counter hoops, True Pitch tension rods, STM (Suspension Tom Mounts), newly redesigned TB12 tom brackets, BDP2 dual pillow drum muffling system, MAG throw off with 3 position butt plate, and more.

Other Collector’s Series shell offerings include, standard maple (6, 7 and 8-ply maple shells with 3-ply reinforcing hoop), VLT (Vertical Low Timbre) maple, X (diagonal 45 degree grain orientation), VLX (vertical, horizontal and diagonal wood grain) and birch (6, 7 and 8-ply with no reinforcement hoop).

Contact your local DW drum dealer for pricing and for further information: Drum Workshop, Inc. at 3450 Lunar Court, Oxnard, CA 93030, tel: 805-485-6999, fax: 805-485- 1334, web:

DW Adds Black Nickel Over Brass Snares to Collector’s Series

Drum Workshop, Inc. recently announced a new addition to their world famous line of DW Collector’s Series metal snare drums. Available in 5.5×14” and 6.5×14” the workhorse Black Nickel over Brass drums are perfectly suited for both live and studio applications. DW Executive Vice President and Drum Designer, John Good, comments on the drum’s features, “This drum is incredibly versatile. You can use it as a wet, back- beat snare, or crank it up for hip hop or gospel. It has so many possibilities. Guys have been telling us lately that they like our heavy-gauge shells, but want some crack and overtones that only thin shells can offer. Back in the day, we used to get or brass shells from a percussion manufacturer in East LA; those drums were really live sounding! This new Black Nickel snare reminds me of that drum, all kinds of personality!”

The thin, rolled 1mm shell includes a rolled bearing edge and snare beds. The Custom Shop drum can be ordered in any of 5 drum hardware color choices (chrome, black chrome, satin chrome, black nickel and 24 karat gold) and includes standard features such as: MAG throw-off system with 3P (3 position) butt plate, True Tone snare wires, True Pitch stainless steel tension rods, 3.0 steel True Hoops and DW Heads by Remo USA.

Each Black Nickel over Brass drum is made to order and can be combined with any DW Custom Shop drumset order.

Good adds, “We’re just now launching this drum and artists are telling me that this is the drum they’ve been waiting for. Last year we offered a stainless steel Collector’s Series drum with a 1mm shell and it was a big hit. With this brass drum, we’re giving drummers a snare they can keep forever. No matter what they add to their collection, they’ll want to have this one handy.”

Retail price for the 5.5×14 and 6.5×14 is $667.00. Other metal snare drums offered in the Collector’s Series line include: Copper, Bronze, Aluminum, Steel and Stainless Steel.

For further information, contact your local DW drum dealer or Drum Workshop, Inc. at: 3450 Lunar Court, Oxnard, CA 93030, tel: 805-485-6999, fax 805-485-1334, web:

DW Upgrades Industry Standard 5000 Pedals

Drum Workshop, Inc. has recently announced upgrades to its industry-standard line of 5000 bass drum pedals. Among the improvements to the new 5000AD4 pedals are a Tri- Pivot toe clamp that includes 3 self-adjusting rubber-coated pads that securely anchors the pedal to a variety of bass drum counter hoop sizes, a Dual-Spring Rocker that improves the feel and recoil of the pedal and a non-skid rubber pad under the base plate designed for wood, carpet and other playing surfaces. DW Director of Research and Development, Rich Sikra, comments, “This pedal has had incredible longevity in the marketplace and part of the reason for that is that we’re always improving the pedal’s functionality. There’s a world of difference between this latest incarnation of the 5000 and the pedal that became popular in the 70’s and 80’s. Of course, if you still want the original design, we offer our 6000 Series pedals. We’re always thinking about how we can make these pedals better. How can we make a product that can further the art of drumming? We think this new 5000 is our best yet.”

Other standard features include, Delta ball-bearing hinge, 101 2-way beater, light- weight aluminum base plate, Turbo or Accelerator dual-chain and sprocket drive cam, single post casting (5002), precision universal joint (5002), road-worthy all-metal construction and more.

5002 pedals include a free, upgraded ballistic nylon pedal case and all DW pedals include a limited 5 year warranty.

DW Founder, Don Lombardi, comments about his flagship product, “Our company was basically founded on the 5000 pedal and we’ve always considered ourselves a pedal company first. I’m really proud of this new pedal and we’ve only improved upon an already good thing. We were really careful not to reinvent the wheel. Drummers are really comfortable with this pedal, so we wanted to maintain the basic feel and keep it as reliable as ever.”

The 5000AD4 Series single pedal retails for $316.99 and the 5002AD4 Double version retails for $699.99.

For further information, contact your local DW drum dealer or Drum Workshop, Inc. at: 3450 Lunar Court, Oxnard, CA 93030, tel: 805-485-6999, fax 805-485-1334, web:

DW Celebrates 40th Anniversary with Limited Exotic Kit

Drum Workshop Inc., the award winning, California-­based drum manufacturer is commemorating its 40th birthday with the launch of a limited edition Tamo Ash Exotic Collector’s Series drumset.

The Limited Edition 6-­piece set features North American Hard Rock maple shells with exclusive SSC (Specialized Shell Configuration) drum shell technology. The Exotic Tamo Ash veneer selected for the set was handpicked by DW Executive Vice President and Drum Designer, John Good for the project. Good comments, “One of our first Exotic finishes was Tamo, and it was very popular. We had so many requests to bring it back, but I just couldn’t find a log worthy of our drums. When I found this one, I knew it was something special. The figuring and grain are absolutely stunning. I worked with our Lead Painter, Louie Garcia, to create a Metallic Pewter Burst lacquer that fades to the natural beauty of the wood. We even went with limited-­‐run Vintage Pewter plating on the all of the drum hardware. We’re very proud of this set and it kicks of our 40th Anniversary in a big way.”

In addition to the unique finish, the timbre-­‐matched 40th Anniversary Collector’s Series set also includes standard DW Custom Shop features such as graduated True Hoop counter hoops, STM (Suspension Tom Mounts) with newly-­reengineered TB12 tom brackets, True Pitch tension rods, MAG throw-­off system, DW Heads by Remo USA and a Monorail shock-­mounted internal microphone system with custom silver Audix D6 bass drum microphone.

Only 100 40th Anniversary Collector’s Series Exotic drumsets will be produced worldwide and the set comes with an official certificate of authenticity signed by John Good and DW founder, Don Lombardi. The F.A.S.T (Fundamentally Accurate Sized Toms) come packaged as a kit in the following sizes: 8×10, 9×12, 12×14, 14×16 5.5×14 and 18×22” bass drum. Hardware and pedals are sold separately. Retail price is $11,814.00.

For further information visit Drum Workshop, Inc. online at: or contact: 3450 Lunar Court, Oxnard, CA 93030, tel: 805-­485-­6999, fax: 805-­485-­1334.

Institute Achieves First With James Accreditation

The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance is proud to announce that it has become the first performance-based institution to receive accreditation by JAMES (Joint Audio Media Education Support), the industry-led recording, music production, song-writing, composing and performance course accrediting body.

Two courses at The Institute have initially been accredited; the BMus in Popular Music Performance and the Higher Diploma. The BMus is the pre-eminent degree course for musicians wishing to reach a professional standard of musicianship and build a sustainable career in the music industry and the Higher Diploma the foremost intensive 1-year course for musicians wishing to fast-track the development of their musicianship, playing and performing skills.

JAMES is recognised by the Creative & Cultural Skills sector as being a leading organisation involved with accrediting the industry specific value of education courses. It has a long history of accrediting recording, audio and music production programmes. This is the first time they have accredited music performance courses under their new Performance course initiative.

Institute Director Pete Whittard commented:

‘We are delighted to have achieved this accreditation for two of our most important courses. The Institute has of course been recognised as a leading provider of contemporary music education for over 25 years, but to have this formally recognised by an industry body such as JAMES is fantastic.

‘We have always focused on providing our students with the best possible education in the best possible learning environment, transferring to them the skills and knowledge they need to build sustainable careers in the music industry. This accreditation therefore recognises that we are achieving those aims’.

For more information on this story or on how to enroll on an Institute course, contact us directly:

Posted in Education, News

Paul McCartney’s Drummer Abe Laboriel Jnr Joins Protection Racket Roster

Protection Racket is delighted to welcome Paul McCartney’s drummer, Abe Laboriel Jnr as an endorsee.

Abe Laboriel Jnr is one of the most sought after session drummers in the world. He has worked a mind-blowing list of artists from nearly every musical genre including Paul McCartney, Sting, Eric Clapton, Steve Vai, Sheryl Crow and Seal. This has allowed him to showcase his incredible versatility and depth as a musician. He is one of the most respected drummers in the world and known for his big sound, his dynamic stage performances and his ability to play really well known material, put his own spin on it and make it sound fresh and exciting.

Abe was impressed by the Protection Racket’s drum cases’ which though incredibly lightweight, are built to withstand the rigors of the tour, and protect his precious kit. They are easily transportable with practical carry handles and tough zips and fasteners. To find out more about the Protection drum case range and their endorsees visit