Guitar World

  • What happens when a guitar player runs out of (patience for) drummers He creates the Beat Buddythe love child of a guitar pedal and a drum machine. Sleek, compact, easy to use right out of the box, the Beat Buddy is a MIDI-based pedal drum machine that enables musicians to easily control the beat hands-free.

  • Joe Walsh opened up his last studio album with Analog Man,, a track airing his grievances of the new-fangled digital lifestyle. While Im not on Walshs level of cool, experience or guitar skills, I sympathize with some of his digital hesitation.Biyang fashioned the Livemaster to warm skeptics up to a modernized pedalboard. It keeps the familiar knob-twisting and switch-stomping experience of a classic pedal setup while tucking individual effects or modules into a tidy controller, eliminating excess power and patch cables.Thus far, Biyang has released 40 effect modules that can be placed in any order in the Livemasters controller or mainframe. The company creates both their own sounds as well as doing a good job of cloning other famous pedals.Some of the modules offer multiple voices. The Distortion module, for example, offers three different sounds marked A, B and C. The mainframes are available in 3 sizes that can hold four, seven or 10 effects. I reviewed the LM-7, which holds 7 effect modules. Its dimensions are 13 x 5, and the effects snap into the mainframe and have a numbered on/off switch. Once you tweak and find a combination of pedals you like, you can save that preset by holding down any of the lettered switches for a few seconds.The LM-7 will store 8 presets. Theres also a Tap/Tempo button that works with the Delay/Reverb module. For my review I tried out the Compressor, Loop, Distortion, Chorus, Delay/Reverb and Boost modules. The Loop module allows you to run and power other effects through the Livemaster.Since Biyang currently doesnt offer a wah pedal, I ran my Vox wah through the Loop. For both clips I used various guitars (Fender Tele, Fender Strat and a Gibson SG) and played a Wangs Mini 5 tube amp into an Ear Candy 1×12 cab loaded with an Eminence Alessandro speaker.Clip 1 – Its a long one! I went right down the line – Compressor, Distortion (all 3 voices), Chorus (Fast and Slow) and Delay/Reverb (starting with Delay and ending with the Room, Spring and Hall Reverb settings).Clip 2 – Its shorter I swear! Heres my Vox wah plugged into and powered by the Loop module. I fattened it up with the help of the Distortion and Boost modules.For more on the Biyang Livemaster, stop by The street price of the mainframes runs from $59-$129, while the Effect Modules run from $21-$69.

  • Its not uncommon for amp companies to add a feature or two to an existing product and rebrand it with a suffix like mark 2, plus, XL or the like. What is less common is when a new and improved amp gets significant upgrades and feature expansions without a similarly significant increase in price, and what is rarer than hens teeth is when a company bases most of those upgrades on feedback from owners of the previous version of the product.Blackstars new HT Stage 100 MKII boasts so many improvements over the previous HT Stage 100 introduced eight years ago that they could have given the model an entirely new name. But it shares so many of its predecessors most beloved featuresincluding a similar control panel, functionality and affordable pricethat keeping the model name was a solid decision.

  • Being a metal guitarist is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that metal is one of the few musical styles where every variety of guitar tonefrom pristine clean to high-gain heavinessis welcome. The curse is that most amps that can deliver the necessary variety of tones needed to play metal are friggin expensive. The Blackstar HT Metal 100 is an affordable exception, providing three channels, versatile EQ and more than ample gain for players of any style of metal.

  • Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes, but having a practice amp that always inspires you to play can be a make-or-break proposition for any guitarists path to success. Blackstars new ID:Core combos are based on the companys awesome ID:Series stage amps and provide incredible sonic power in a compact practice amp format. The ID:Core Stereo 10 is the smallest ID:Core combo, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in sound and versatility.

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