The RJM MasterMind is an easy-to-use MIDI controller
|Click here to read our review of the RG-16|
The Mastermind is powerful, compact and durable enough for the touring guitarist. It contains 125 presets, transmits up to four Program Change messages and eight Controller messages per preset, and can control up to fourteen MIDI devices on separate MIDI channels. It has an expression pedal input, phantom power capability and a remote in-jack to allow the synchronized use of multiple MasterMind controllers.
For this review, we’ll be looking at how the Mastermind works with the RG-16 unit. The MasterMind makes programming the RG-16 simpler, faster and a no-hassle process. To program the RG-16 with other MIDI foot controllers can be a mindboggling process. For presets, you would have to go into the controller’s edit mode, select an empty bank and preset, and designate a program number that corresponds with the RG-16 preset number, before even designating what the preset number is going to be. For instant access switching, you would have to go to the designated instant access button on the controller and assign the controller number that corresponds to one of the eight audio loop or eight function switches. Oh, you also have to refer to the MIDI Implementation Chart in the manual to figure out what the controller number is. Way too many programming steps for me!
When using the Mastermind with the RG-16, it’s literally a “plug and play” operation. I created audio loops with a few effect pedals into the RG-16, and then started planning out what kinds of presets I wanted. For the first preset, I wanted my distortion pedal with my analogue filter pedal, and a bit of delay. On the second preset, I wanted a clean sound with a chorus pedal, and so on. I began programming my first preset. On the RG-16, my distortion pedal was on Audio Loop 1, my analogue filter was on Audio Loop 3, and delay on Audio Loop 4. First, I simply pressed button 1 on the Mastermind controller to designate that preset. On the RG-16, I selected Audio Loop buttons 1, 3 and 4 and pressed “Write”—that’s it! I was then able to turn on my distortion, analogue filter, and delay all with one footswitch. I continued to program ten different presets of all kinds of effect combinations in under five minutes. The Mastermind also includes an “Alternate Presets” feature, allowing you to call up a slightly different sound (adding chorus to a clean tone, for instance) for every preset. I can imagine the possibilities if I’d spent more time planning out a more detailed setup, incorporating rack gear, amp channel switching and other MIDI devices. I could probably even program this thing to start my coffee maker in the morning via MIDI.
Both amateur and professional players will appreciate the Mastermind, since it can handle simple rigs as well as more complex setups. It allows instant switching of pedals, rack effects, amps and more with a single press of a button. Since it’s so easy to setup and operate, MIDI-phobes will be running to the MasterMind, instead of away from it!
You want to put together a high quality guitar rig that’s easy to control.
You really want to show off your tap dancing skills on stage.
MSRP $349 - RJM Music Technology - rjmmusic.com
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Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
LegendaryTones, LLC today announced production availability of its new Mr. Scary Mod, a 100% pure tube module designed to instantly and easily expand the capabilities of many classic amplifiers with additional gain and tone shaping. Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
Originally released as the Lynch Mod in February 2021, the updated Mr. Scary Mod features the same core circuit as the Lynch Mod but is now equipped with a revised tube mix combo per George’s preference as well as a facelift in a newly redesigned electro-galvanized steel enclosure. As with the Lynch Mod, each run will be limited and the first run in Pumpkin Orange with Black hardware is limited to just 150 pieces worldwide.
The Mr. Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage on top of the cathode follower position, keeping note definition and articulation while further increasing sustain. Each Mr. Scary mod is meticulously built by hand in the USA, one at a time, and tuned using high-grade components. Equipped with a single ECC81 (12AT7) in the first position and ECC83 (12AX7) in the second, the Mr. Scary Mod can clean up beautifully when rolling down your guitar’s volume, and still adds scorching gain when you roll it back up. This is a gain stage that’s been tuned and approved by the ears of the maestro George Lynch himself.
“The Mr. Scary Mod excels with dynamics and is incredibly touch-responsive, allowing me to shift from playing clear, lightly compressed cleans to full-out aggressive sustain and distortion –and control it all simply by varying my guitar’s volume control and picking,” said GeorgeLynch. “In many ways, it’s an old-school approach, but it’s also so much more natural and expressive in addition to being musically fulfilling when you can play both the guitar and amp dynamically together this way.”
The Mr. Scary Mod installs in minutes, is safe and effective to use, and requires no special tools or re-biasing of the amplifier. Simply insert the module into the cathode follower preamp position of compatible amplifiers (includes Marshall 2203/2204/1959/1987 circuits) and
immediately get the benefit of enjoying a hot-rodded amp that delivers all the pure harmonic character that comes with an added pure tube gain stage. The handmade in the USA Mr. Scary Mod is now available to order for $319.
For more information, please visit legendarytones.com.
October Audio has miniaturized their NVMBR Gain pedal to create two mini versions of this beautifully organic-sounding circuit – including an always-on gain device.
The NVMBR Gain is a nonlinear amp that transitions gracefully from clean boost to overdriven tones. Volume increases from just over unity to about 10db before soft-clipping drive appears for another 5db of boost. Its extraordinary ease of use is matched by outstanding versatility: you can use it as a clean boost, push a stubborn amp into overdrive or create a just-breaking-up sound at any amp volume.
October Audio’s new family of mini NVMBR Gain pedals includes a switchable version that allows you to bypass the effect: one option features brand logo pedal graphics, while the other sports a fun “Witch Finger” graphic with a Davies knob as the“fingernail”.
The second version in the new lineup is an always-on device featuring the Witch Finger graphic and Davies knob, with the same NVMBR Gain circuit that lies at the core of the switchable version.
- Knob controls gain and clipping simultaneously
- Stunning silver hammertone finish
- Switchable versions are true-bypass, available with classic or witch finger graphics
- Authentic Davies knobs, including the “fingernail”
- 9V center negative power supply required
- Dimensions: 3.63 x 1.50 x 1.88 in
Witch Finger (always on NVMBR Gain) demo
All October Audio pedals are assembled in Richmond, VA, and available for purchase directly through the online shop. Street price is $109 for NVMBR Gain footswitch versions and $89 for the always-on device.
For more information, please visit octoberaudio.com.