BBE are known for their audio hardware and especially their “sonic maximizer” line of professional studio enhancers. But little is known that they also have a range of guitar pedals which they have just turned into plugins for your favorite recording software. The package is named “BBE Stompware” and provides the following recreations of BBE pedals:
Free Fuzz (Vintage ’70s Fuzz)
Green Screamer (Vintage Overdrive)
Mind Bender (Dual-mode analog vibrato/chorus)
Opto Stomp (Vintage Optical Compressor)
Sonic Stomp (Sonic Maximizer)
Soul Vibe (Vintage Vibe/Rotary)
Tremor (Vintage Tremolo)
Two Timer (Analog Delay)
You can use the demo for 15 days without restrictions, I gave it a spin and here is the result using the “Green Screamer”, the “Soul Vibe” and the “Two Timer” Analog delay:
I used my Stratocaster plugged directly into the audio interface. The “Free Fuzz” and the “Green Screamer” provide some sort of amp emulation making them sound as if they were plugged into an amp.
After my quick tryout, I can say that I am not too impressed with the overdrive and the fuzz but the other effects sound really good especially the “Soul Vibe” and the “Two Timer” analog delay. Who does not love the really lush modulation of a good univibe clone even if I still think my good old pedals sound better.
You can get the demo or a license for the package for a reasonable $149 from Nomad Factory. Note that you will have to authorize the demo. To do so, after installing the software, you must execute a program named “HardDisk Authorizer” which will give you a challenge. You will have to copy and paste the challenge on http://nomadfactory.com/register/demo_reg.html to receive the actual authorization code that you will have to paste on the bottom window of the “HardDisk Authorizer”.
In a previous post, I mentioned that Maxon was the company which made the Tube Screamer and other pedals for Ibanez in the 70s/80s. They are now producing pedals under their own brand and they have just released two new models which will bring memories of the past.
The SM-9 Pro+ Super Metal is not an exact reissue of the 80s Ibanez SM-9. I own an original one and it sports 5 knobs as opposed to the new one which has 4. Also, the 2010 version can be powered with a 9V power supply as well as 18V. In the latter case, it apparently increases “the headroom, frequency range, and dynamic response of the SM-9 pedal”. This new arrival in the Maxon line is clearly geared towards all metal genres, even the most modern, as the sound examples suggest. The old Ibanez SM-9 was also a metal pedal at the time but in an eighties way of course. It was interesting though as it did have some “tube screamer” DNA which does not seem to be the case with the new model.
As to the ST-9 Pro +, ST stands for “Super Tube” to emphasize its Tube Screamer ancestry, not the fact that it is tube based because it is not. As with the SM-9, the ST-9 Pro+ is not an exact reissue of the 80s Ibanez model. Maxon claims it is based on the circuit of the good old TS808 Tube Screamer but with added flexibility and more gain options. On top of the usual LEVEL, DRIVE and TONE knobs there is a 4th knob to choose the frequency of the “mid range hump” as well as a switch to choose between a classic tone and a “low boost” tone which will fatten your sound. The ST-9 Pro+ can be powered with a 9V or 18V power supply, the latter mode increasing the “headroom, frequency range, and dynamic response of the” pedal. Listening to the the sound clips, I must say the ST-9 does seem to sound like a super charged Tube Screamer.
I don’t know what is happening but obviously the guitar is back. A number of big names are releasing or have just released ambitious albums.
First of all, Joe Bonamassa, who is an absolute guitar freak and has one of the biggest tones in Blues Rock has released just a few weeks ago an album entitled “Black Rock“. It sounds absolutely killer, after listening to it I feel like selling all my guitars on ebay. Here is the trailer for his Royal Albert Hall DVD released last year, the guy is 100% genuine, a real guitar lover:
Another big name, Slash, has just released his new album entitled Slash. It is full of guest singers and musicians such as Ozzy Osbourne, Chris Cornell, Fergie, etc. You can buy it and listen to it on www.slashonline.com. It rocks, it sounds big but is not overproduced, quite remarkable! It sounds a bit like Guns’n Roses recorded with 2010 technology.
Here is the trailer for the album:
And finally, Robben Ford and Michael Landau have teamed up for an album which should be released around now. It is entitled “Renegade Creation”. The myspace page of Michael Landau features some live footage of him playing with Mr Ford. For those of you who don’t know Robben Ford or Mike Landau, let’s say they are at the top of the heap of US session and stage guitarists. Their solo stuff is on the blues jazz fusion side of things and I am sure the album will be well worth a listen.
BOSS US is doing a nice series of videos explaining what some of the basic effects do with demos by the most excellent Johnny DeMarco. It is called Effects 101 and can be found here: www.bossus.com/go/effects_101/. It is mostly aimed at beginners but more seasoned guitarists might like it too (well, I did).
As an example, here is the video about the overdrive effect: