February 5, 2016
Equipped with noise reduction and noise gate modes, the Integrated Gate has a signal monitoring function that constantly monitors the input signal.
In order to solve the unnaturalness at the time of sound interruption, which was a problem of conventional noise gates, it is equipped with a signal monitoring function that constantly monitors the input signal, such as peaking and attenuation of the input signal, by using a CPU. The optimum output level is controlled while monitoring the waveform. Even with the Integrated Gate connected, the sound quality does not change, and in order to convey the original sound of the guitar or bass to a device connected after this unit, the circuit through which the audio signal passes is completely analog. Free The Tone took extra time to study the sound quality and complete the design. You can feel the fundamental difference from the sound quality of conventional noise reduction and noise gates.
- Equipped with Noise Reduction and Noise Gate modes. You can select the operation to suit your purpose.
- Equipped with input impedance select switch (Hi-Z/Lo-Z).
- Control by MIDI signal (Control Change Number) is possible (effect on/off only).
- Equipped with Free The Tone’s original HTS (Holistic Tonal Solution) circuit.
Integrated Gate carries a suggested retail price of $228.00, and is available now through our North American dealers listed at: www.freethetone.com.
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A blind horse wouldn’t be impressed, but this beautiful, double-horned instrument with one-of-a-kind engravings helped make luthier Tony Zemaitis famous.
Though they never reached the commercial success of some of their peers, the Faces have no doubt earned a place as one of the seminal rock ’n’ roll bands of the late ’60s and early ’70s. Combining influences as varied as instrumental funk à la the Meters, traditional folk music, and a heavy dose of rhythm and blues, the Faces brand of rock ’n’ roll can be heard in some way or another in the music of countless bands that followed. After the Faces folded in 1975, all five members went on to continue making great music, but their chemistry together was undeniable.
A huge part of their unique sound and stage presence came from the unusual instruments often employed by bassist Ronnie Lane and guitarist Ron Wood. Anthony Zemaitis was a British born cabinet-maker-turned-luthier. His guitars’ distinctive metal tops, often with elaborately engraved designs provided by Danny O’Brien, can be seen with some of the era’s most legendary guitar players, but it was his connection to the Faces that really put Zemaitis’ instruments on the map.
Engraver Danny O’Brien’s handiwork on the heel plate and control cavity covers are on display in this view of the bass’ back.
The bass pictured here was one of his earliest custom designs for Ronnie Lane. Though all of Tony’s designs are one-of-a-kind, this stands out as a bass guitar truly unlike any other we’ve ever seen. This instrument has a chambered body with a neck-through design and features a 6-screw heel plate purely for cosmetics. The hollow chambers on either side of the neck block were stuffed with cotton to eliminate feedback below a laminate-wood carved top. The distinctive “suit of cards” inlays along the 32"-scale neck would become a signature of Ronnie Lane, but this is perhaps the earliest example of that motif on one of his instruments. Both the headstock and end of the fretboard are delicately carved into a crown-like pattern, perhaps drawing inspiration from mandolins and lutes of the previous century. The controls are two tone dials with on-off switches for each, plus a master volume—with a missing knob—on the upper body. Every piece of metal, from the pickup surrounds, knobs, tailpiece—even the heel plate and control cavity cover—have been intricately engraved by O’Brien. This is as much a work of art as it is a unique instrument with an inspiring tone.
Ronnie Lane is hardly the most famous name associated with the Faces, but it could be argued that the spirit of the band was largely due to his influence. His love of folk and country music even left its mark upon early Rod Stewart solo records on which Lane and his Faces bandmates played a large part. This bass was with him for early Faces performances and could easily have been used on some of these classic recordings, including the albums First Step and Long Player.
This headstock has flourishes fit for a king—possibly of clubs.
There are numerous iconic photos of the band onstage where this bass can be seen, but its value goes well beyond pure memorabilia. Zemaitis instruments hold a special place in the evolution of guitar design, and the masterful engravings of Danny O’Brien are unmistakable. The sad loss of Ronnie Lane to multiple sclerosis in 1997 makes this instrument even more special. The wear and tear he put on the bass and the music he made with it are part of his lasting legacy.
Eventually this bass found its way to a pawn shop in the southern United States, where its second owner purchased it, unaware of its famous history. The bass was played locally from the late 1970s until about three years ago, when that owner passed away, leaving the bass to his cousin. His research over the past few years led him to realize the provenance of the instrument in his possession, and he ultimately confirmed his findings with us at Rumble Seat Music in Nashville, where this legendary instrument is now proudly offered—a perfect example of the kind of rock ’n’ roll artifact we love!
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Oh no—it finally happened! Now the big question: How long before my verve for guitar recovers from Covid?
This past Sunday I awoke to a very un-Sunday sensation. Hovering on the edge of consciousness, as yet still incapable of contemplating what Sunday mornings are for (lounging in bed till coffee’s made and lunch plans are set, of course!), I was suddenly struck by a godawful stench. As one does, I wrinkled up my nose, lifted my head to look around in disgust, and took a couple more sniffs to see if … I don’t know—maybe I’d dreamt it? Or woke up incontinent? Then I tasted the putrescence. Then … nothing.
Given that my wife hadn’t mentioned the unspeakably rank odor, I concluded I’d woken in time to witness the neurological flashpoint at which my olfactory system officially snuffed it. See, it was day four of what had been, until then, a pretty tame Covid infection—my first and only to date, as far as I know (thank you, vax scientists!). I’d been feeling drained, achy all over, and had a slightly sore throat and ears. But until then I’d never experienced the strangeness of eating without tasting. Just to be sure, I scrambled for the nightstand, threw three mini Altoids in my mouth, and groaned. No minty sting. No tingle. Just three flavorless little chalk blocks floating around my infected maw.
Since then, I’ve been contemplating the futility of consumption. Coffee tastes like water tastes like whiskey. Minus the burn of alc-e-hol. (Not that one drinks these things for interchangeable reasons.) Putting food in my face has become about two things: staving off hunger pains and storing up enough nourishment to recover ASAP.
Sometimes when I pick up my guitar, I have the same feeling. This song is in a different key and a different tempo, with a different pickup selected and maybe a different stompbox combo. But no, it still sounds like boring ol’ me.
Then something miraculous happened: In the wee hours that night … or maybe the next, who can keep track? … I found my stomach wrenching for lack of grub and went down for a quick bowl of my favorite cereal—Raisin Nut Bran. As I chomped down on the first mouthful, I was elated to find I could taste again.
Only I couldn’t. My mouth felt the sloshing of refreshingly cold milk, the bran flakes’ crisp, rough texture, the chewiness of the yogurt-covered raisins, and for a split second my brain made the final leap. Of course the sweet, nutty taste was there too!
Alas, no. Out of sheer habit, my mind wantedto join in with flavor party favors. But the bowl’s contents could’ve tasted like sardines and rats for all my mouth truly knew.
Sometimes when I pick up my guitar, I have the same feeling. This song is in a different key and a different tempo, with a different pickup selected and maybe a different stompbox combo. But no, it still sounds like boring ol’ me. Maybe if I grab a different guitar and/or plug into a different amp. Nope, still me. How. Lame.
I’m certain I’m not the only one who feels this with regard to my playing. We all go through it. Covid or not, we just have to keep reminding ourselves that, for whatever reason, I might not be feeling it right now, but I do know how to make a good cup of coffee, I do know the difference between bilge and potable water, and I certainly know Skrewball is a delightfully tasty, if ridiculously sweet whiskey. Likewise, I do know some cool chords, and I do have a feel for rhythms and melodies that are kind of neat. My palate for them may be lacking at the moment, but it will return sooner or later. In the meantime, keep the nutrients coming and the guitars twanging.
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