february 2014

Luthier Ben Crowe walks us through the process off outfitting your axe with a controller that puts vast new sonic realms at your fingertips—literally.

One of the biggest guitar heroes to come out of Britain in the last decade is Matthew Bellamy—the falsetto-voiced leader of internationally acclaimed apocalyptic-prog band Muse. Hailing from southwest England, the futuristic power trio (Bellamy, bass virtuoso Chris Wolstenholme, and drummer Dominic Howard) has been filling stadiums all over the world with an epic style that combines a Radiohead-like indie streak with the drama of Queen and the dystopian outlook of a fantastically bleak sci-fi movie.


Be sure to watch the detailed video where Crimson Guitars luthier Ben Crowe walks you through this project step by step. Plus, hear the MIDI pad in demoed in various music applications and styles.

Bellamy’s playing on six studio albums and multiple worldwide tours proves he’s got no end of chops in the traditional sense, but he and his bandmates are equally admired for always pushing the envelope and embracing new technologies (their live shows are some of the most spectacular in rock). Bellamy isn’t the first to have guitars with the nearly limitless power of a MIDI XY-pad controller built right into them, but he’s more identified with the mod than any player on the planet. He’s even got a signature Manson Guitarworks MB-1S guitar with a MIDI controller screen option.

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How do Moog’s new stompboxes compare to the company’s larger, more expensive Moogerfooger effects?

Moog Music’s original Moogerfooger pedals are the coffee table books of stompboxes. They delight the senses. They’re superbly crafted. But they’re big, heavy, and expensive. I own and treasure several, but they don’t typically populate pedalboards or go to gigs.

Enter the Minifoogers: five smaller-format effects at prices ranging from $149 to $219. And in addition to covering delay and modulation effects you’d probably expect from Moog, the series includes boost and drive pedals—Moog’s first gain stompboxes. The results are cool and unique.

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Fig. 1. Got a stock modern Telecaster? Move the red wire in this diagram from where it currently is guitar to where it is here, and you've converted your Tele to '50s-style wiring.

Tele freaks: Get modern and ’50s-style tone-pot wiring in the same axe!

We've already seen that it's easy to apply Gibson's '50s-style wiring to Tele tone pots [“'50s Les Paul Wiring in a Telecaster," January 2014]. Now it's time to go a step further: Making it switchable so you can have both the standard and the '50s wiring in one guitar. Cool, huh?

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