Alfred’s Pro Audio Series: Modern Live Sound Alfred Many guitarists believe that analog is infinitely better than digital. Professional live sound, however, is not dictated by this mentality. Modern Live

Alfred's Pro Audio Series:

Modern Live Sound


Many guitarists believe

that analog is infinitely

better than digital.

Professional live sound,

however, is not dictated

by this mentality. Modern Live Sound

is a DVD that bridges the gap between the

analog world of live sound gear that many

guitarists are familiar with and the latest

generation of equipment.

Digital consoles are the future, already

comprising 95 percent of the pro-level

boards purchased today, according to a

Nashville retailer interviewed in the DVD.

Gone are the days when you could sit near

the analog mixing board for a national act

and get a visual on how many pots were hot

and roughly what kind of signal processing

was in the racks. These days, the big tours

have digital boards with computer screens

and built-in DSP, line-array speakers, and

snakes the size of Cat5 cables. The engineers

use software to calibrate frequencies

and adjust line-array parameters, and—get

this—they do it while wandering around

the venue with laptops, iPads, and iPhones

that can take measurements and talk to the

main console. These technologies and more

are explained in Modern Live Sound.

The DVD features working front-of-house

(FOH) pros and design engineers

walking you through the entire signal chain

of basic and modern systems, starting with

an excruciatingly elementary recap of microphone

types. Signal-splitting, basic board

functionality, and power distribution are

covered along with signal processing, stage

monitoring, and FOH setup. The extra

capabilities of digital consoles—scene saving,

effects plug-ins, easier signal routing, and

multitrack recording—are also discussed.

Some less-than-slick video production

keeps the DVD folksy. I'd also argue

that one of the video's most important

segments—a recording of a band's actual

soundcheck—fails in that the play-by-play

happens after the segment instead of during

it. This 180-minute DVD won't replace a

formal audio-engineering education, but it

will help you get your bearings on the technology

preferred by the pros. Remember, at

some point that technology will be offered

in the gear the rest of us use.

Multiple modulation modes and malleable voices cement a venerable pedal’s classic status.

Huge range of mellow to immersive modulation sounds. Easy to use. Stereo output. Useful input gain control.

Can sound thin compared to many analog chorus and flange classics.


TC Electronic SCF Gold


When you consider stompboxes that have achieved ubiquity and longevity, images of Tube Screamers, Big Muffs, or Boss’ DD series delays probably flash before your eyes. It’s less likely that TC Electronic’s Stereo Chorus Flanger comes to mind. But when you consider that its fundamental architecture has remained essentially unchanged since 1976 and that it has consistently satisfied persnickety tone hounds like Eric Johnson, it’s hard to not be dazzled by its staying power—or wonder what makes it such an indispensable staple for so many players.

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While Monolord has no shortage of the dark and heavy, guitarist and vocalist Thomas V Jäger comes at it from a perspective more common to pop songsmiths.

Photo by Chad Kelco

Melodies, hooks, clean tones, and no guitar solos. Are we sure this Elliott Smith fan fronts a doom-metal band? (We’re sure!)

Legend has it the name Monolord refers to a friend of the band with the same moniker who lost hearing in his left ear, and later said it didn’t matter if the band recorded anything in stereo, because he could not hear it anyway. It’s a funny, though slightly tragic, bit of backstory, but that handle is befitting in yet another, perhaps even more profound, way. Doom and stoner metal are arguably the torch-bearing subgenres for hard rock guitar players, and if any band seems to hold the keys to the castle at this moment, it’s Monolord.

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