Holiday Gear Finds 2022
Looking for more great gear for the guitar player in your life (yourself included!)? Check out this year's Holiday Gear Finds!
The new Gibson Les Paul™ Standard 50s Faded returns to the classic design that made it relevant, played, and loved -- shaping sound across generations and genres of music. It pays tribute to Gibson's Golden Era of innovation and brings authenticity back to life. The Les Paul Standard 50s features a satin nitrocellulose lacquer finish that gives it the look and feel of a long-treasured musical companion. It has a solid mahogany body with an AA figured maple top and a rounded 50s-style mahogany neck with a rosewood fingerboard and trapezoid inlays. It's equipped with an ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic bridge, an aluminum Stop Bar tailpiece, Vintage Deluxe tuners with Keystone buttons, and gold Top Hat knobs with dial pointers. The open-coil Burstbucker™ 1 (neck) and Burstbucker 2 (bridge) pickups are hand-wired to audio taper potentiometers and Orange Drop® capacitors.
The PRS SE Standard 24-08 is a mahogany-body workhorse guitar with powerful humbucking and true single-coil tones in one instrument. Its PRS TCI “S” pickups are paired with a 3-way toggle switch and two mini-toggle coil split switches that individually split the humbuckers into true single coils for a total of eight pickup configurations. Players can enjoy two full octaves thanks to the 24-fret, 25” scale length rosewood fretboard and wide thin maple neck, and the PRS patented, molded tremolo gives players added flexibility and control over their playing. With sonic range and rock-solid reliability, the PRS SE Standard 24-08 will keep you playing without compromise.
Explore new guitar voicings and open tunings with the new Kaepo™, Gruv Gear's creative tuning guitar capo! Removable fretting pads can be set to any combination for nearly unlimited possibilities. Move the Kaepo quickly up and down the fretboard like a regular capo, without any tedious clamping or setup. Adjust the 7 individual fretting pads without any tools. Kaepo is also compatible with Gruv Gear's new Twistune™ rechargeable color tuner, for quick and convenient tuning on-the-fly. Works with most 6- and 7-string acoustic and electric guitars.
The Gruv Gear Kaepo is available on its own or bundled with the new Twistune tuner. Combine two or more Kaepos to open up even more tuning creativity!
The FlyBy Ultra comes packed with sleek upgrades while keeping the break-away laptop bag design of the original FlyBy. New features include an ultra-tough 1680D Ballistic Nylon exterior, reflective trim for visibility, waterproof zipper tape and new, larger compartments. The FlyBy Ultra also brings ergonomics to the next level with a luggage pass-through, and upgraded straps.
This is the tour pack that DJs and digital creators around the world carry and swear by. Get ready for the ultimate creator experience.
JBL 3 Series MKII powered studio monitors make JBL performance available to every studio. The JBL Image Control Waveguide and refined transducers offer stunning detail, precise imaging, a wide sweet-spot and dynamic range that enhances the capabilities of any workspace. Featuring patented technologies derived from the JBL 7 Series and M2 Master Reference Monitors and, sporting a sleek, modern design, JBL 3 Series delivers outstanding performance and an enjoyable mix experience at an accessible price. Special sale pricing begins Thanksgiving day with the 305PMKII at $109 EA, 306PMKII at $149 EA, 308PMKII at $199 EA, and the LSR310S subwoofer at $299.
Oh no! Stripped a tiny screw on your favorite guitar? Or even worse, scratched your guitar when the wrong screwdriver slipped? Never have that awful feeling again. StewMac has put together the ULTIMATE screwdriver set for every guitar owner. They tracked down all of those tiny specialty and hard to find bits—and we added a few of their favorite problem solvers. The StewMac Guitar Tech Screwdriver Set replaces a whole drawer full of bulky tools with exactly what you need. The set includes 36 essential bits for guitars, basses, and more, plus an easy-grip handle and extender. The included compact hard case is spill-proof and easily fits in your toolbox or guitar case (it’s a must-have for gigs). You won't find this at any hardware store—it’s only at StewMac.
Xvive’s U2, U3 and U4 wireless systems make going wireless easy, reliable and affordable, all with high-fidelity 24-bit/48kHz sound! They all recharge with any 5V USB power source, broadcast over a range of up to 90 feet, and have an imperceptible 5 ms of latency.
U2 Guitar Wireless System is the go-to plug-and-play solution for guitarists and bassists, giving you five hours of trouble-free wireless freedom on a single charge.
The U3 Microphone Wireless System turns any dynamic microphone into a wireless mic, in seconds. It can also be used to replace an XLR cable in other applications—for example between a mixer and a powered speaker cabinet!
The U4 In-Ear Monitor Wireless System gives you a beltpack receiver for your in-ears or earphones and a transmitter to connect to the mixer; up to six musicians can use the system at a time, even with separate monitor mixes.
For more info on these and other Xvive products, visit www.xvive.com and Play Free!
Engineered for great tone and long life, our proprietary, featherweight coating keeps strings sounding and feeling new for longer. Tone-killing elements like corrosion, dirt, oil, and sweat are no match for Elixir® Strings.
Our Phosphor Bronze with NANOWEB® Coating is rich and full-bodied with sparkling high-end clarity and a smooth feel.
See a line up of all of our acoustic guitar strings here - https://www.elixirstrings.com/guitar-strings#acoustic
Revolutionary Design and Features:
Optimize your pedalboard layout with durable, snug fitting, strong and lightweight risers. Tailor your pedalboard to fit your stompbox collection and your style of playing!
Space Saving, Easy Wire Routing:
Our riser footprint is virtually the same as the pedal for which it was designed. Whether it's Boss, Wampler, Strymon, MXR, Ibanez, Electro Harmonix, Walrus, Earthquaker Devices, TC Electronic, JHS or any of the popular pedals, our risers take up no more space than the pedal itself. An added benefit of the Elephant Foot design is the ease with which you can route signal and power cables. There's plenty of space under each riser and multiple attachment points for tie-wraps.
Unique Features of Elephant Foot Risers
• Strong yet lightweight
• Cables route easily underneath
• Anchor point for tie wraps
• Hidden screw holes for a super-strong connection to either wood or metal pedalboards
• Works with hook & loop, cloth cable ties or tie wraps
• Unique Pedal "Frames" for your first row of pedals
• Risers can be customized
• 3D printed from eco-friendly PLA
Available in seven standard colors and custom colors available on request.
Benefits of Elephant Foot Risers
• No more accidental pedal stomps
• No annoying pedal wobble when stomping
• No more sloppy pedalboards
• Optimized Pedalboard layouts
• Easy, neat cable routing
• Custom riser sizes available in multiple colors
• Preserve resale value of pedals
D'Addario XPND Pedalboard
XPND is the pedalboard that adapts to you. With XPND's patented telescoping technology, you can easily adjust the length of the board to add, subtract, and rearrange pedals how you want, when you want.
The original Cloudlifter® Mic Activator® adds tons of ultra-clean gain to dynamic and ribbon microphones and are the perfect stocking-friendly gift for any musician (or yourself)! Made in the USA. Get Lifted. Get Gifted!
The Horus-WB-FX is the latest model to be developed within the popular Caparison Horus range.
This newly designed fixed bridge version features a carefully considered body construction featuring a Walnut top and an Australian Blackwood back. This unique fusion produces a full rounded tone with a sweet emphasis on the upper mids ensuring clarity, focus and a distinct separation of notes, even with the most extreme gain-saturated down tunings.
When combined with an upgraded Caparison designed, sustain rich, high mass bridge (which effortlessly copes with a myriad of acute tunings and string gauges) Jescar jumbo stainless steel Frets and a specifically designed set of Caparison pickups, the Horus-WB-FX is more than capable of producing arena filling rock tones or creating more subdued, distinctively rich and bell like cleans.
The Horus-WB-FX plays like an absolute dream and features all of the beautiful aesthetic qualities that you have come to expect from Caparison Guitars. The striking body design is complimented by three stunning new finishes and also comes with a choice of either an Ebony or Maple fret board.
The Woman Tone is Aclam’s tribute to Eric Clapton’s amazing sound during his Cream era. The sound that turned him into a god. An accurate approach to the unique tone he attained with a simple yet effective combination of a P.A.F equipped Gibson and 100W Marshall stacks all the way up.
- Eric Clapton's Cream Sound in a box:
Aclam has distilled and bottled in a stompbox the key elements that shaped Eric’s rig. Reproduce his unique rhythmic and solo tones, fine-tuned using both live and studio recordings of Cream.
- Artwork by The Fool's Guitar artist: Marijke koger:
Responsible for the psychedelic decoration of Clapton’s Gibson SG nicknamed “The Fool”, Marijke has created a unique artistic interpretation of the Woman Tone that looks stunning!
- Custom humbucker pickup simulation circuit & tone control:
A pickup simulation circuit emulating the tonal characteristics of a P.A.F style pickup has been incorporated to reproduce the “Woman Tone”. With its buffered input, the guitar signal won’t be affected. Use compressors, fuzzes or whatever effect you want in front of the Woman Tone, and it will retain its tonal characteristics.
- Touch sensitive plexi-inspired overdrive using discrete components:
Inspired by Clapton’s 100W full stacks it results in a powerful overdrive with a great British character! Designed having blues-rock in mind, it will perfectly suit any guitar player seeking a vintage tone!
A hot new gear company from Canada, Templo Devices jumped on the scene with their flagship lithium-battery powered amp aimed at electric guitarists.
Focused on creating problem-solving products with tonal excellence, they've since released several small-batch pedals with wide appeal. Including SPLYCE, a versatile mini-mixer for using a microphone with a guitar rig, the atmospheric TRIPLO modulation pedal and the REEL DEAL tape preamp, as well as their exciting upcoming release, the Pocket Studio Compressor. There is always something exciting coming from this northern innovator.
With plenty of great deals for the holiday season, they have a little something for everyone.
Meet the Taylor GS Mini, one of the world's most popular acoustic guitars: a smaller body and a compact feel with a big, bold tone that punches far above its size. Based on a scaled-down version of our Grand Symphony body shape, GS Mini guitars boast solid tops and a variety of tonewood options serving up different flavors of vibrant acoustic tone. The GS Mini family is also home to the GS Mini Bass, a super-compact four-string acoustic bass with a slinky feel and a punchy response. Whether you're looking for a campfire guitar, a songwriting tool or just a great-sounding acoustic that's up for anything, the GS Mini has you covered.
DR-05X Stereo Handheld Recorder
The TASCAM DR-05X stereo handheld recorder is a great-sounding portable recording solution with helpful workflow options. Use the TASCAM DR-05X's built-in omnidirectional condenser microphones to capture vibrant stereo recordings anywhere, anytime. Use Auto Recording mode to automatically engage recording when audio signals reach a certain level. Use the Overwrite function to make easy punch-in audio replacements. Or use the TASCAM DR-05X as a 2-input/2-output USB audio interface with your Mac or PC. Whatever your portable 2-channel recording needs are, the TASCAM DR-05X has you covered. It's a fantastic and easy way to record your ideas, rehearsals, or gigs. Simply remove the SD card and pop it into your computer and send your song ideas to bandmates or collaborators. It's small enough to take with you everywhere and fits easily in a guitar case or small bag.
The cardioid MD 421 has been one of Sennheiser’s most popular dynamic microphones for decades. The large-diaphragm, dynamic capsule handles high sound pressure levels, making it a natural for recording guitars and drums. The MD 421's full-bodied cardioid pattern and five-position bass control make it an excellent choice for most instruments, as well as group vocals or radio broadcast announcers. One listen and you'll know why it’s a classic.
Every once in a while, a product comes out that makes you go “Wait… WHAT?!?!”. Well, those words are music to our ears! This game-changing pedalboard allows you to power all your pedals, including pedals that need isolation and different voltages, with a single power source. Yep, either our rechargeable battery or AC adapter fires up all your pedals without additional power bricks. No more Velcro carpet to rip pedals off! You can literally change pedals on the fly. But the flexibility of EARTHBOARD doesn’t end there – Our Lifeline Tether carries power off the board to connect a WAH, or daisy-chain multiple EARTHBOARDs together. EARTHBOARD comes in 2 sizes: double row (holds 12 standard size pedals) and single row (holds 6 standard size pedals). They are available as Complete Pedalboard Systems (includes all necessary components to play) or as a Build-a-Board and "ala cart" accessories!
See video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3iwDgLnN6w&t=8s
The Nobels ODR-1(bc) has bass cut, 9-18 volt input, and glow-in-the-dark knobs. The ODR-1 is rated the best overdrive by Nashville studio guitarists and creates a natural, tube-amp style overdrive that is versatile, amp-like, and affordable. The ODR-1 has been on the market for over 30 years and remains the number one choice. Creates crunchy rock and blues sounds or extra boost for soloing without smothering the natural character of your guitar's tone. The Spectrum controls optimizes tones from single coil chime to powerful humbucker rock. When adjusting the Spectrum control up or down the circuit ensures you have plenty of clarity and full dynamic range.
Bass cut switch
Solid metal chassis
Nobel's remote control jack switching system
German Engineering. Made in China.
Click here for Audio Clips
Modeled after Orangewood’s full-size Oliver guitar, the Oliver Jr. is a scaled-down version of Orangewood’s best-selling grand concert model. But don’t let the small body fool you. Sporting a beautiful, woodsy solid mahogany top, this junior guitar sings a bold and bright tone that’s easy to love. Whether you’re looking for your new travel companion or simply want a compact guitar to live near your couch, you can’t go wrong with this perfect-sized guitar.
Prefer a full-size model? This holiday season, every Orangewood guitar includes a professional set up and free shipping right to your door with a premium gig bag included. Plus, get extended holiday returns until January 31st. That’s over 60 days of commitment-free playing, so you can gift a guitar that they’re sure to love.
Jump straight in and explore 100 presets, the CODE50 has all you need to start performing and recording with. 50W of power that’s portable enough for you to practice at home or in the garage. Sync with your phone or online so it’s always with you for those creative moments. This fully digital amp is loaded with 14 MST preamps, 4 MST power amps and 8 MST speaker cabinets for you to create sounds that suit you. Using the Gateway App you can connect via Bluetooth to control CODE and stream music from your iOS or Android device. MyMarshall has a global library of user presets that you can upload to and download.
Catalyst® 100 is a 100-watt, dual-channel 1x12 combo amplifier that performs like a traditional guitar amp—while providing the increased versatility of a modern amp. Catalyst 100 offers six Original Amp Designs—ranging from pristine clean to modern high-gain—crafted using our renowned HX® sound design techniques to ensure exceptional tone and feel. Ideal for stage or studio.
• 100-watt, dual-channel 1x12 combo amp (with optional LFS2 footswitch)
• Catalyst 100 operates like a traditional amp—but provides increased versatility
• 6 Original Amp Designs—pristine clean to modern high-gain
• Dedicated Boost and Reverb sections (6 reverb types), 18 Effects (3 types)
• Power attenuator (half power, 0.5 watts, Mute) for reduced volume
• XLR line output for pro connection to P.A. or recording devices
• Effects loop and Power Amp input for integrating external devices
• MIDI In via DIN connector
Every Tool You Need in One Acoustic Pedal
We created the Venue DI so you can travel light, set up fast, and sound incredible anywhere you plug in. The Venue DI gives you complete control by combining a full-isolation DI output, 5-band EQ with adjustable low & hi-mid bands, variable clean boost, and chromatic tuner all in one acoustic pedal. With its all-discrete signal path, hi-graded semiconductors, and exclusive use of audiophile grade film capacitors, the Venue DI is on par with the world’s elite preamps and provides a studio quality sound for the stage.
The LP-6 V2 is Kali's best-selling studio monitor, and it's made its mark in studios across the globe ranging from humble home setups to state-of-the-art recording facilities.
Kali's innovative 3-D imaging waveguides create a crystal-clear stereo image, and also help the speakers to perform their best in challenging acoustic spaces. Kali-programmed boundary EQs take this a step further, tailoring the sound of the speaker for its placement on stands, on a desk, or close to walls.
With accuracy and translation at the forefront, the LP-6 delivers transparent, full sound that gives you a complete picture of your mix. Whatever you mix on the LP-6, you can be sure that it will translate nicely to other speakers, earbuds and headphones, car systems, or whatever else your listeners are using for playback.
The H90 Harmonizer® is Eventide's next-generation multi-effects pedal. Whether you want high-quality bread and butter effects or experimental sounds unheard, the H90 has everything you need to inspire your creativity with an intuitive UI designed with players in mind. Discover why top artists and producers have chosen Eventide through the years with 62 effect algorithms and hundreds of Program combinations curated for a variety of instruments and genres. With its comprehensive I/O and flexible routing options, the H90 is designed to be the heart of your rig.
Wilkinson's R series range of pickups are the result of Trev Wilkinson's years of creating and listening to thousands of pickups. Time spent with legendary and iconic individuals such as Seth Lover and Leo Fender, with whom Trev questioned about all aspects of sound, construction materials and production methods. All this combined knowledge has been the template for the R Series range of pickups, a pickup range Trev is proud to place his signature on, and say " These are the finest pickups Wilkinson has produced in the history of the company".
Featuring Single Coil's for both S and T style guitars, P90 and Humbucker models, the R Series has era specific models to capture the tone and vibe of the time and the players that influenced generations of players and Hybrid designs to influence future players.
For a limited time only, get two FREE expansion packs with the purchase of a five-piece guitar rack. Showcase your collection while safely and securely storing seven to ten guitars. The Hercules GS525BP-HA205 is covered with Specially Formulated Foam rubber at all contact points and features a one-piece design that sets up and tears down easily. The guitar yoke is designed for acoustic, electric, and bass guitars with four pick slots on each yoke. This special pack comes with a total of seven guitar yokes leaving room to expand to ten. Available while supplies last.
Ultimate DSP 2 channel noise reduction pedal. Patented technology that will remove the 50Hz or 60Hz and all associated hum harmonic components with total transparency. Combined with the patented Decimator G technology and dynamic sliding low pass filter, the Hum Extractor is the pinnacle of noise reduction technology. The Hum Extractor technology is dynamic in operation which compares the level of the audio signal to the hum harmonic components. Dynamically removes hum components when they become dominant. Made in the USA.
Click here for video
With the multi-touch display integrated with HILAVA OS, the LAVA ME 3 provides easy access to play and customize tons of built-in effects and loops.
Comprising eleven of Brian Wampler’s favorite delays, the Wampler Metaverse is a full-featured, small-footprint multi delay stomp box that is fully programmable, preset capable, has stereo inputs and outputs, allows full MIDI control, and has an expression input that you can assign to ANY of the parameters. The Metaverse also comes with a software version of the pedal via a set of 11 AU and VST3 plugins compatible with most popular DAWs - FREE to all customers that register their Metaverse online.
• Studio quality conversion 48 kHz Sampling rate with 24-bit audio
• Full 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response
• 11 Studio-quality vintage and modern delay effects
• Simple user interface
• All parameters controllable via an outboard expression pedal
• 8 onboard preset locations to save your favorite patches, 128 total via MIDI
• Full MIDI control with CC and PC commands
• Stereo or Mono I/O
Gator's Transit Series acoustic gig bags provide rugged case-like protection without sacrificing the lightweight portability of a bag. The red soft-lined interior and thick foam padding safeguard your guitar from drops and bumps, just like a regular case. A weather-resistant blended fabric exterior protects against the elements and features backpack straps, each with a concealable zipper pocket to switch between backpacking and briefcase carry modes. So for the gear you love the most, Guard it with Gator.
Experience exceptional clarity and articulation in a Filter’Tron format with Lindy’s unique Fralin’Tron design. Featuring a focused single-coil vibe with a rich, warm midrange and crisp attack, you’ll wonder where this pickup has been all your life. When Lindy started designing the Fralin’Tron, he did so with a particular goal: to get as much clarity and articulation as possible out of this design.We’re thrilled with the result! Our Fralin’Tron features a scooped midrange and defined bass and highs. In addition, you can expect more nuance out of the wound strings, unlike the original design. Furthermore, the treble strings have a round, warm quality, making our Fralin’Tron perfect for all styles of music – from clean to dirty. Lastly, this pickup features a dynamic and punchy attack that gives you back what you put into it.
The DL-225 is handcrafted exclusively from all mahogany, producing a warm and brilliant sound. The soundboard of the DL-225 features a vintage bracing pattern resulting in outstanding projection and tone with brilliant highs, strong midrange and subtle but full bass. The DL-225 has an extremely bright and dynamic sound. This guitar has the sound of a large body guitar. In a fingerpicking demonstration comparison we did with a name brand dreadnought the DL-225 was +3 dB louder.
Its smaller size and depth make the DL-225 a very comfortable guitar to play.
Click here for video and audio examples
Wampler Pedals Ratsbane
If you are looking for a single pedal solution with multiple degrees of gain from light overdrive to full out saturated fuzz tones, then you’ll surely love the Ratsbane. The Ratsbane is based on a true benchmark sound amongst guitarists that has been heard on thousands of famous recordings.
In typical Wampler fashion, Brian improved the circuit’s flexibility by adding two new switches. The Gain switch offers three distinct choices. In the middle gives you the “stock” gain for this pedal. The left position offers a firm, yet smooth boost in gain, whereas the right delivers an insane level of creamy distortion. The Voice switch subtly alters the compression and clipping of this pedal. It tightens the distortion to be more manageable with greater levels of gain, while rolling back some of the fuzz qualities, to deliver a modern, high gain distortion.
Click here for video clips
The post-punk 6-string hero takes a deep dive into sonic surrealism with his new album, a loop-driven collection of riveting soundscapes called Eight Dream Interpretations for Solo Electric Guitar Ensemble.
If you ever find the opening to ask a composer or producer what it means to “paint with sound,” be prepared to frame the question in as many different ways as there are colors in the visible spectrum. Inspired by synaesthesis? Could be. Maybe a deep dive into abstract free-form improv? Sure, always worth a shot. What if you commit to exotic tunings or unconventional music theory? Or how about a mash-up of prepared instruments with some radical effects processing and tape manipulation?
We can do this all day, but before we lean into an “all of the above” approach, consider this: The only limit, really, is your imagination—or, more suggestively, your dreams. “There’s a way to get to that psychedelic state without actually taking psychedelics, which is useful,” Roger Clark Miller explains, with just a glint of conspiratorial humor. Given his illustrious history as a post-rock guitar guru and multi-instrumentalist with influences that range from ’60s acid rock to avant-shred to modern classical, Miller is intimately familiar with what it takes to push any and all boundaries in search of the music he hears in his head.
“The first time that I actually did something interesting with it was back in art school,” he recalls, paying tribute to his teacher Denman Maroney, a legendary jazz outsider known for his work with prepared piano. “He saw my interests and thought I’d probably like surrealism. Up until then, my idea of surrealism was taking acid [laughs].”
After reading André Breton’s surrealist manifestos (the second one, in particular, which touches on dreams as a creative reservoir), he set about applying the techniques to making music—and ran into a roadblock. “Breton actually said because music isn’t so specific, it can’t be surrealistic. And that kind of pissed me off. I was looking for a way to compose, and I didn’t want to use what had come before. I thought, well, if I make music based on dreams, then I can create a surrealistic music, and bypass Breton’s megalomania—as much as I respect him! This gave me access to a very organic structure. Everybody dreams, and there are forms to it.”
Miller’s jauntily titled Eight Dream Interpretations for Solo Electric Guitar Ensemble, released earlier this year on the Cuneiform label, is in many ways the culmination of the technique he started developing back in 1975, when he created his first piece for solo violin. Miller has kept dream journals for decades, and uses them primarily as a non-linear source for ideas that he fleshes out into musical compositions. (“I don’t actually hear music unless it was part of the dream,” he points out.)
“This kind of music rewards attentive listening because it’s really composed and thought-out, so you’re not gonna be bored.”
If all that sounds a bit abstract and even esoteric, keep in mind this is the very same guy who co-founded Mission of Burma, one of the most viscerally immediate post-punk bands to come out of Boston’s raucous underground scene in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Back then, Miller adopted the much reviled Fender Lead I as his axe of choice, figuring he could put his personal stamp on it. As it turned out, the guitar’s cheaper construction and single split humbucker was perfect for sculpting an angular, aggressively jagged, but still bluesy sound through a vintage Marshall JMP-50 combo.
Miller was also a founding member of the somewhat kinder and gentler group Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, in which he played piano. (Due to his early struggles with tinnitus, he had to bow out of Burma in 1983, but the band reunited in 2002 for four more albums.) All this history and plenty more feeds back into the making of the Dream Interpretations, for reasons that Miller loves to elucidate.
Miller’s goal for his new album was to bring his surrealistic dreams in sound to life. His most recent tools for this task include three Rogue RLS-1 lap steel guitars and a Boomerang III looping system, which he uses in tandem with the Side Car controller footswitch.
“With my friend Martin Swope,” he says, name-checking Mission of Burma’s resident sound technician and live-tape-looping scientist, “like everybody, we were pretty fascinated with Brian Eno’s work at that time. Martin wanted to do a Robert Fripp and Eno style thing, so he had me play this amorphic, modal piano piece that I wrote, and he made these guitar loops going around and around. That was for Birdsongs, but he and I had worked like that on the song ‘New Disco’ [for Burma]. That’s how he became part of the band.”
Over the years, Miller folded what he learned from Swope into the sound he was chasing. In the early ’80s, he acquired an Electro-Harmonix 16-second digital delay. “It’s truly one of the most unique devices ever made,” he says. “It’s so unique that I used it as my pivot for quite a few years. I still have it, but its biggest drawback is the memory. If you make something longer than a two-second loop, the fidelity degrades. Back in 1983, memory was not cheap.”
“With looping, you can hear a sound and you don’t know when it happened or what instrument did it.”
The effect figured prominently in the making of his 1995 solo slab, Elemental Guitar, which he tracked using what was then a recently acquired ’62 Strat reissue. The album also features two pieces, “Dream Interpretation No. 7” and “Dream Interpretation No. 8,” that Miller considers to be successful precursors to his current album.
More than 25 years later, Eight Dream Interpretations opens with “Dream Interpretation No. 16,” a chilling excursion that suggests a serpentine path being resumed, although much has changed in the interim. For starters, Miller has added three Rogue RLS-1 lap steel guitars to his arsenal: one tuned to unison E and used exclusively for slide parts, and the other two prepared with alligator clips and strung with different gauges to capture a wider palette of tones. He’s also mothballed the Electro-Harmonix in favor of a Boomerang III looping system, which he uses in tandem with the Side Car controller footswitch.
Roger Clark Miller’s Gear
Besides looping and other effects, plus his trusty Stratocaster, Miller relies on a trio of lap steels to create his celestial soundscapes—in three different tunings.
Photo by Roger Clark Miller
- 1990 Fender Stratocaster ST62 reissue (made in Japan)
- Rogue RLS-1 lap steel (three: one tuned to unison E and used as a slide guitar, two others prepared with alligator clips)
- Fender Deluxe Reverb (two)
- Sunn bass head with 610L cabinet
- Peavey Classic 50 410 combo
- Walrus Audio MAKO Series ACS1 Amp and Cab Simulator
- Electro-Harmonix 16-Second Digital Delay
- Boomerang III Phrase Sampler with Side Car controller
- TC Electronic Brainwaves Pitch Shifter
- TC Electronics Rush Booster
- Electro-Harmonix East River Drive
- Source Audio Kingmaker Fuzz
- Ernie Ball stereo volume pedal
Strings & Picks
- Ernie Ball Regular Slinky (.010–.46; Strat)
- D’Addario EXL 157 (.014–.069; lap steel)
- D’Addario Medium EXL 160 (.050–.105; lap steel)
- Dunlop Max-Grip .73 mm
Along with his trusty Strat, when Miller seats himself behind the Rogues it’s as though he’s strapping in for an interstellar journey at the helm of a homemade time machine. And the music comes across that way, from the dueling dive-bombing waves and high-pitched jet washes of “No. 19” to the softly percussive melodies and clean, pitch-shifted guitar lines of “No. 18.” (The tracks are sequenced as any album would be, not in numerical order, but according to the listening experience Miller wants to establish.) Outfitted with various effects that he dials in with the precision of a surgeon, Miller literally choreographs each move he makes to create the music. It’s mesmerizing to watch him in the video, directed by filmmaker Jesse Kreitzer, that accompanies “No. 17”—a wildly cinematic and soundscape-y piece that’s driven by a persistent, pulsating rhythm and a haunting sci-fi melody straight out of vintage Doctor Who.
When asked about influential recordings that have inspired him, Miller’s tastes run eclectic, to say the least. Fred Frith’s groundbreaking Guitar Solos album, an experimental classic, is “just an amazing work. I learned about using alligator clips from that album.” And then there’s the 1982 minimalist epic Descending Moonshine Dervishes by Terry Riley (“the first honest looper,” he says). But when it comes to specific guitar players, there are two in particular who move him to rapture.
The reunited Mission of Burma—guitarist Roger Miller, drummer Peter Prescott, and bassist Clint Conley—at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in London, England, in 2004.
Photo by Neonwar/Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
“See, I’m a little older than some of your readers here,” he warns, “but I came to my creative start during psychedelia and the British Invasion, so my heroes were Syd Barrett and Jimi Hendrix. I mean, Jimi was like a bolt of electricity from who knows where. He embraced the electric guitar as an instrument that could explain all sorts of alternate realities, and he wasn’t the first to use feedback, but he walked into it with complete conviction and cut a path for others to follow.
“And whereas Hendrix was a true guitar master, Barrett was considerably less skilled, but his vision, when operating on all cylinders, just transcended the limitations. For him, sound and vision were more important than technique. He was also a painter, and that may well have had something to do with it—painting with sound indeed! His solo on ‘Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk’ was once described to me as the ugliest guitar playing anyone had ever heard. Not for me!”
“I came to my creative start during psychedelia and the British Invasion, so my heroes were Syd Barrett and Jimi Hendrix.”
With ears wide open, Miller is constantly exploring new directions. His most recent composition, the nearly self-explanatory Music for String Quartet and Two Turntables, has just been recorded with members of Boston’s Ludovico Ensemble. He also has a new album in the can with Trinary System, the rock trio he founded in 2013, planned for release next year. Whether he’s painting with sound or testing the very elasticity of time, his multidisciplinary method of mining his dreams and looping the sonic events of his waking life continues to yield dividends.
“I don’t really think about it per se,” he clarifies, “but certainly with looping, you can hear a sound and you don’t know when it happened or what instrument did it. That’s when looping messes with time. And then in dreams, time is elastic, too. So perhaps it’s a mixture of those things. To me, this kind of music rewards attentive listening because it’s really composed and thought-out, so you’re not gonna be bored. But it does also work for me as an atmospheric, swirling clouds-in-the-room kind of thing. That makes me happy.”
Mission of Burma - Laugh The World Away (Live on KEXP)
Legendary guitarist Jeff Beck has died at 78, his family has confirmed.
Jeff Beck's family has released the following statement:
"On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing. After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday. His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss."
See our full tribute to Jeff Beck here.
With its point-to-point wiring and premium tubes, the amp is designed to achieve the magical tones of the Allman Brothers’ famed Fillmore East performances, but at a friendlier volume with a master volume in the circuit.
The amp is available in two configurations: you can choose between a Duane or Dickey model and each combo is loaded with a Hybrid JBL D120 Speaker for correct tone and response. Original JBL D120 speakers are an optional upgrade. This 15-watt amplifier is available in a combo or head version and tolex and grill cloth color choices are available.
The Duane Model will give you the exact amp tone and response he was getting Fillmore that night at the. Our modifications are based on the exact modifications that were done to Duane’samps used at the show. The Dickey Model will get you that clean headroom to plenty of drive and sustain as heard at the Fillmore to a more modern version you hear from Dickey’s amps in more recent years.
Each amplifier offers the following features:
- Number of Channels: 2
- Total Power: 15 Watts
- Speaker Size: 1x12
- Preamp Tubes: ECC83
- Power Tubes: EL84
- Construction Materials: Baltic Birch
- Made in the US
- Price: $1649 with free shipping within the United States
Missing Link Audio’s Mason Dixon 15-watt amplifier is priced at $1649 with free shipping within the United States.
For more information, please visit mlapedals.com.