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Articles by James Rotondi

Interview: Steven Wilson - Of Ravens, Revenants, and Creeping Things

April 15, 2013
Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson and the Aristocrats’ Guthrie Govan conjure a prog juggernaut with a little help from studio giant Alan Parsons.
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PRS 408 Maple Top Electric Guitar Review

January 9, 2013
With its comfortable but substantial neck, artfully and precisely built body and hardware, and vast array of timbres, the PRS 408 Maple Top is an amazing tool for carving out a very individual tone.
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Interview: Double Naught Spy Car - Cheeky Twang Monkeys

January 9, 2013
Double Naught Spy Car''s Paul Lacques and Marcus Watkins on their hilariously heady blend of surf-informed jazz-noir instrumentals.
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Heptode Deep Crunch Pedal Review

December 10, 2012
Heptode''s Deep Crunch must be considered a serious contender for anyone looking to add classic preamp shimmer and drive to their favorite amp, or project studio players looking for an easy way to add Soldano-style dirt to digital mixes.
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Laffing Dog Blue Dog Overdrive Pedal Review

December 10, 2012
The very effective and powerful ways that the Blue Dog''s clean-boost and overdrive circuits interact make it a virtual command center for gain staging.
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Interview: Larry Graham - Sheer Energy

December 10, 2012
Larry Graham–legendary groove master for Sly and the Family Stone and pioneer of electric slap bass–recounts the birth of "thumpin'' and pluckin''" as well as his new Graham Central Station album, Raise Up, which features guests like Prince and Raphael Saadiq on 13 boot-shaking tunes.
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Fulltone Secret Freq Pedal Review

November 5, 2012
The Seek Freq is especially good at nailing the midrange-boosted tones that define a lot of classic rock.
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JHS Panther Analog Delay Pedal Review

October 2, 2012
The JHS Panther Analog Delay pairs analog delay circuitry with a smooth and rich modulation circuit that aims for the creamy shimmer and low-mid warmth of the Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man.
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Marshall JMP-1C 50th Anniversary Combo Amp Review

October 1, 2012
The JMP-1C is perfect for home recordists looking to add the coveted JMP growl and attack to their tracks, collectors looking for a usable and user-friendly piece of Marshall history, and those who are want the Super Lead sound back after putting their 100-watt heads in storage years ago.
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Interview: Marcus Miller

September 6, 2012
Jazz and session legend Marcus Miller talks about recording with Miles Davis, his treasured 1977 Jazz bass, and the stripped-down approach he took on his new solo album, "Renaissance."
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MXR Slash Octave Fuzz Pedal Review

September 5, 2012
Slash is hardly the first player you think of when octave pedals come to mind—the only Guns N’ Roses tune you’d think might have one, “Paradise City,” is actually
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Tortuga Manhattan Dual Analog Flanger Pedal Review

September 5, 2012
Tortuga Effects founder Matt Johnson clearly likes his cocktails in the evening. No, there’s nothing sloppy or woozy about his hip line of timedomain and distortion/fuzz pedals. On the
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Gibson Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar Review

August 10, 2012
The 2012 Les Paul Standard is a superb all-around axe that combines archetypal styling with some genuinely smart performance enhancements that make it one of the most versatile Les Paul’s ever and about as varied an electric guitar as you’ll find.
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Interview: Spectrum Road - Fusing Muses

June 8, 2012
Bass legend Jack Bruce and funk-metal/avant-fusion master Vernon Reid pay homage to fusion god Tony Williams with their new Spectrum Road project.
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Interview: Billy Duffy - Captain Riffs

May 11, 2012
The Bob Rock produced "Choice of Weapon," is a strikingly rich return to form, arguably deeper lyrically and broader stylistically than 2001’s "Beyond Good and Evil" or 2007’s "Born Into This."
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How to Pick your Pick

May 11, 2012
The material, thickness, texture, and shape of that pick have an outsized impact not only on the sound we create, but also on our phrasing and articulation.
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Roundup: 5 Hand-Held Multitrack Recorders Reviewed

March 20, 2012
We evaluate the features, audio quality, and design of five of the leading portable recorders to give you a leg up on tracking your guitars on the move.
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Roundup: 5 Multi-Track Digital Recorders Reviewed

March 20, 2012
In this roundup, we’ll look at the Korg and Olympus units, as well as the latest incarnations of two of the most popular devices in this category—Zoom’s feature-rich H4N and Boss’ smartly designed Micro BR, and home-recording pioneers Tascam''s classic-looking DP-004
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Girl Gone Bad: Esperanza Spalding

March 9, 2012
Grammy-winning, jazz-soul phenom Esperanza Spalding risked everything when she left a 10-year classical career for the jazz scene. Since then, she’s played some of the most prestigious events in the world, including at the White House and Nobel Prize ceremonies. Here she ruminates on fretless bass, friendship, and the fine art of listening.
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iPhone Recording App Roundup

March 9, 2012
It’s a real surprise to look up from your coffee cup in early 2012 and find a whole spectrum of impressive amp and effect simulators, as well as a clutch of affordable plug-and-play interfaces, that make jamming on your smartphone as easy as adding emoticons to your text messages.
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