Upgrade Your Guitar’s Pickup With The Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB Humbucker

The Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB pickup is one of the very best upgrades you can do to your humbucker equipped guitar.

Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB Humbucker Pickup
Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB Humbucker Pickup

   One of the best (if not THE best) humbucker pickups I have ever owned is my Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB pickup. I have been playing in my live band using the SH-4 in my custom built Stratocaster for quite a few years now. I have had this pickup in my guitar since 1986 and I have always loved the way it sounds.    Continue reading “Upgrade Your Guitar’s Pickup With The Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB Humbucker”

Jellifish Chorus Guitar Pick Review

The Jellifish Chorus Guitar pick won’t make your guitar sound like a 12-string, but it will give you a lot of effects for a decent price.

Jellifish Chorus Guitar Pick
Jellifish Chorus Guitar Pick

   I’m always looking for interesting and innovative products to try and and possibly use when playing in my live band. So I took a great interest in the the Jellifish Chorus Guitar Pick. The sales material says that you can get 3 trademark sounds from this guitar pick. Chorus, which generates a 12-string like effect. Pluck, which is like a hammered dulcimer. Bow, which sounds like a cello. So naturally I had to order one and give it a try.

   I’ve got a great story about my experience with ordering the Jellifish from Music123. I ordered several different picks from Music123 that I had been wanting to try out including the Jellifish Chorus Guitar Pick. When my order arrived, the Jellifish pick had been damaged in shipping and the metal tines had become bent which put a serious damper on the picks intended uses. So I called Music123 to request a return authorization and the simply said, keep the damaged one and we’ll send you a new Jellifish pick free of charge. That, in my opinion, was excellent customer service. I didn’t have to go through the hassle of returning the damaged pick and I got 2 picks for the price of one. I was able to bend the damaged pick straight enough that it would work even though it didn’t work as well as the undamaged one.      Continue reading “Jellifish Chorus Guitar Pick Review”

Gibson Les Paul Studio Versus Gibson Les Paul Custom Guitar Review

The Gibson Les Paul Studio is a high quality, American made guitar with a decent price point.

Gibson Les Paul Studio - Faded Cherry Only $999
Gibson Les Paul Studio - Faded Cherry Only $999

As you all know, I play primarily Fender Stratocasters in my live band. But I have to admit that I do own a Gibson Les Paul Custom but it’s current pricing is just outrageous and I can’t recommend it if you’re on a budget. I had the opportunity to play a Gibson Les Paul Studio just the other day and I was very impressed with the guitar. This is how I feel it compares to my Gibson Les Paul Custom.     Continue reading “Gibson Les Paul Studio Versus Gibson Les Paul Custom Guitar Review”

Fender Frontman 212R 2×12 Guitar Combo Amp Review

The Fender Frontman 212R is an extremely affordable guitar amplifier that has plenty of volume for playing in a live band.

Fender Frontman 212R Guitar Amplifier
Fender Frontman 212R Guitar Amplifier

   I get asked all the time for guitar amplifier recommendations from guitarists that want to have a good amp to use in their live band. The amp I use and love is the Fender Cyber-Twin SE and I highly recommend that guitar amplifier. The Cyber-Twin SE is a professional quality amp which is also fairly expensive but I believe it’s worth every penny. That being said, many guitarists who are just starting out in their first live band are looking for quality guitar amplification and they don’t have a lot of cash to spend on an amplifier. That’s why today I’m going to talk about the extremely affordable Fender Frontman 212R guitar amplifier.     Continue reading “Fender Frontman 212R 2×12 Guitar Combo Amp Review”

Jeff Beck Performing This Week: Live At Ronnie Scott’s – Released on Blu-Ray

Jeff Beck Live At Ronnie Scott’s was released on Blu-Ray today March 31, 2009. Get a copy of this amazing concert.

   Today, one of the greatest guitar players in the history of Rock-N-Roll releases his landmark Live performance on DVD and Blu-Ray. Jeff Beck releases “Jeff Beck Performing This Week: Live At Ronnie Scott’s” and it is a must-have for your music collection. This concert was put together from a series of concerts at Ronnie Scott’s club in London. The concert is comprised of the best performances from various nights and the performances are outstanding! I’d like to talk about the Blu-Ray version of this amazing concert. The Blu-Ray disc has some features that you won’t get on the DVD.    Continue reading “Jeff Beck Performing This Week: Live At Ronnie Scott’s – Released on Blu-Ray”

Pink Floyd “The Wall” Laser Show At Clark Planetarium, Salt Lake City

The “Pink Floyd:The Wall” laser show in the Hansen Dome Theater at the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City, Utah is a must see for Pink Floyd fans.

Hansen Dome Theater Laser Show
Hansen Dome Theater Laser Show

    As a live musician I’m always intrigued by the many ways that music is presented to an audience. One medium that has always impressed me is live laser shows at the local planetarium. I think it’s interesting to see how a live audience responds to recorded music presented this way. This weekend I went to see the Pink Floyd “The Wall” laser show in the Hansen Dome Theater at the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City, Utah. It has been quite a few years since I’ve been to a laser show at the planetarium so I was pretty excited to see how the technology was advancing. The last time I went to a laser show they had fog effects, starfield effects and some lighting effects. I can tell you that the planetarium has upgraded their technology quite a bit!      Continue reading “Pink Floyd “The Wall” Laser Show At Clark Planetarium, Salt Lake City”

Foot Control Pedal For Fender Cyber-Twin – Behringer FCB1010 MIDI Foot Controller

The Behringer FCB1010 will work perfectly as a foot controller for your Fender Cyber-Twin SE amplifier.

Behringer FCB1010 MIDI Foot Controller
Behringer FCB1010 MIDI Foot Controller

   I have the Fender Cyber-Twin SE amplifier and have been using it in my live band as well as in my recording studio for about 3 years now. It has proven itself time and time again over the years and I’m very happy with the Cyber-Twin SE. I’ve recommended the amplifier often over the years to my students and fellow musicians. When I bought my Cyber-Twin SE the Cyber Foot Controller was readily available and I purchased one along with the amplifier. Since then the Cyber Foot Controller has seemingly disappeared. I haven’t seen any formal announcement from Fender that the pedal is discontinued but it sure seems to be gone. The only place I’ve seen them recently is occasionally on eBay. I have had many people ask me what MIDI controller to use with the Fender Cyber-Twin SE and I recommend the Behringer FCB1010 MIDI Foot Controller. It’s unbelievably inexpensive for how perfectly it works with the Cyber-Twin SE.    Continue reading “Foot Control Pedal For Fender Cyber-Twin – Behringer FCB1010 MIDI Foot Controller”

Sennheiser HD 380 Pro Headphones Review

The Sennheiser HD380 Pro Headphones are excellent in the studio or for casual listening as well.

Sennheiser HD380 Pro Headphones
Sennheiser HD380 Pro Headphones

   I’m not only a live performing musician but a studio musician and producer as well. I have tried dozens of different headphones over the years and almost invariably breathed a sigh of relief when an old pair died just so I would have an excuse to buy another pair. It seemed like finding the perfect pair of headphones was like searching for the holy grail. To be honest,  I still haven’t found that perfect pair of headphones but I have found a couple headphone solutions that have kept me satisfied for a while now.

Continue reading “Sennheiser HD 380 Pro Headphones Review”

M-Audio Keystation 88es MIDI Keyboard Controller Review

The M-Audio Keystation 88es is an excellent USB powered MIDI Keyboard controller solution for your computer audio needs.

M-Audio Keystation 88es
M-Audio Keystation 88es

   This week on Live Musician Central I’ve been talking about creating a keyboard setup built around the incredible Reason Music Production Software by Propellerhead. Obviously the most essential component to have in addition to the software is a MIDI Keyboard Controller. Today I’m going to tell you about an extremely affordable MIDI Keyboard Controller that is built specifically for interfacing with a computer and Reason music software. The keyboard I’m going to discuss today is the M-Audio Keystation 88es.      Continue reading “M-Audio Keystation 88es MIDI Keyboard Controller Review”

Propellerhead Reason 4 Music Production Software Review

Reason 4 music production software is a must have software for all modern keyboard players. It’s invaluable in your home studio as well.

Reason 4.0 Rack Front
Reason 4.0 Rack Front

   When I started playing in live bands the hottest synthesizer on the market was the Yamaha DX7. Back then it was great to have a keyboard that could play lots of notes simultaneously and do a decent job of sounding like the instrument it was emulating. Most keyboard players brought multiple keyboards to the gigs and there was a lot of setup time involved. I remember spending hours working on the perfect soundpatches for my Roland keyboards. The thing about playing keyboards is you can never have too many sound options. It was an expensive proposition to be a keyboard player as it would cost the player thousands of dollars to get the necessary equipment to play in a live band. The dream was to have racks of synthesizer modules at your disposal to create the incredible soundscapes that you could hear in your head. But only the top paid musicians could afford to live that dream. The rest of us had to make do with whatever synthesizer equipment we could afford. It’s amazing how times have changed with the development of incredibly powerful, software based synthesizers like those found in Reason 4.0.

   If you’ve never heard of Reason which is developed by Propellerhead it’s basically a virtual studio rack into which you can load mixers, effects and synthesizer modules. If the equipment that you have access to in Reason 4.0 was sitting in a rack in your studio it would cost you thousands and thousands of dollars. You can place multiple copies of the same equipment into the rack to work with for sound creation. So if you want 15 analog synthesizers to work with, you got it. The virtual rack is infinitely expandable as long as your computer is powerful enough to run all the devices you can load into it. What types of devices can you load? Reason 4.0 comes with synthesizers, samplers, drum machines, REX file loop player, mixers, vocoder, studio effects, mastering tools, pattern sequencers and more! It’s amazing how many devices come in this software package. If you have the urge to load 11 compressors and 10 samplers with 5 synthesizers, you can do it. You can chain as many mixers together as you wish to mix all of your devices. You can keep adding gear until your computer chokes but it will take a lot to do that as Reason 4.0 is quite conservative on your system.

Continue reading “Propellerhead Reason 4 Music Production Software Review”