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Fishman Reveals Software Bundle for Triple Play Wireless Guitar Controller at NAMM 2013


Fishman Director of Marketing Chris DeMaria announced the bundled software that will ship “in the spring” with the Fishman Triple Play.

We have bundled it with some software from Native Instruments, Presonus, IK Multimedia, and Native Instruments. So we’re providing full versions of all those software components. So right out of the box consumers are going to be able to compose, perform and record like never before.

Chris wasn’t clear what these “full version components” consist of, and the box photo above is not much clearer. The screen shot on the back of the package does show advancement in design over previously shown software. Let’s hope this software bundle is worth the year-long delay it caused in shipping.

Many thanks to the good people at Harmony Central for the video clip.

The Beatles Recording For You Blue

This January 1969 recoding features the song’s author George Harrison on vocal and acoustic guitar, John Lennon on lap steel guitar, Paul McCartney on piano and Ringo as usual on drums.

At 8:46:
George: Does this guitar sound in tune?
George Martin: It’s good enough for skiffle.

About For You Blue from Wikipedia:

The song is in the key of D and is one of the few original Beatles songs in which every section follows a classic twelve bar blues (I-IV-V) pattern. Indeed, in his vocal at 1.18 secs Harrison states this is “the twelve bar blues.” The ‘bluesy’ feel to the song is accentuated by the addition to the blues-based minor pentatonic scale (I-flat3-4-5-flat7) of a flat7 on each of the I (D7), IV (G7) and V (A7) chords. A variation from the twelve bar blues pattern is the insertion of a IV7 (G7) chord on “lovely girl” in the opening I (D7) verse bar.

Video Tutorial – Playing the Moog Google Doodle

Google celebrated Bob Moog’s Birthday today by creating a sophisticated web-based synthesizer on their main page; the Moog Doodle Synthesizer. In the video above Cyril Lance, Moog’s Chief engineer, walks us through the capabilities of the piece and offers a crash course in it’s complexity.

This is a fitting technological tribute to Bob Moog, his accomplishments and his lives work.

Electric Playground Features Beckinfield and

Jose Sanchez from Electric Playground catches up with Bob Gebert and myself at Macworld|iWorld 2012. It is a quick look at what, Beckinfield and MPTV are all about.

Click here for more Macworld|iWorld coverage.

Beckinfield Live – Watch and chat with the residents of Beckinfield 24/7


Beckinfield, the worlds first Mass Participation web series, launched Beckinfield Live this week. It’s a 24 hour streaming video channel featuring the latest episodes and the best viewer created videos of the week.

Beckinfield Live is also a fun meeting place thanks to the live chat feature. You can chat with other Beckinfield viewers, Fans and Actors in real time while watching the show.

Beckinfield Live uses a proprietary video streaming technology to present a hand-picked assortment of Beckinfield videos in a television-like experience. The show schedule repeats every hour and new shows go up every week.

The Lean Back vs. the Lean Forward Experience

Beckinfield is a unique work of interactive fiction where viewers can watch and explore the story, the videos and the characters. Now beckinfield offers both the lean back and the lean forward experience (or, as we like to think of them, “munch” vs. “click”).

Beckinfield Live is a “lean back” experience, which means it is more like traditional TV watching – turn it on, lean back, and relax with a bag of chips. Exploring the interactive fiction of Beckinfield is a “lean forward” experience. This involves choosing story paths to explore, visiting Actor pages, and rating and commenting on videos. Click or munch. You choose.

The show is always on at, and is a great way to catch up on the sci-fi story, see some of the week’s video highlights, or start your own Beckinfield adventure.

András Szalay – The Father of the Fishman Triple Play MIDI Guitar Controller


András Szalay has been designing guitar synthesisers from before the very beginning. He holds six patents related to transforming the twang and pitch of plucked strings into cold, hard data.

Wikipedia credits Szalay with designing several electronic instruments including the Wersi Electronic Grand Piano; the AKAI DuoBuddy (right) and DecaBuddy Vocal Harmonizers; the AKAI EWI 4000s and EWIUSB Electronic Wind Instruments.

He is also responsible for three generations of guitar synthesizers: Shadow GTM-6 and SH-075 in 1986, the legendary Axon series in 1997 and most recently the upcoming wireless Fishman Triple Play. Below is a video clip of Szalay playing an early prototype and Bence Bécsy demonstrating the amazing tracking capabilities of the Triple Play

Ill Gates – The Anthony Robbins of Music Production

Whatever creative endeavor you are involved in, this seminar on music production can help. Ill Gates is a very motivating speaker as well as an experienced music producer. Here he talks about the creative process of keeping deadlines, “keeping the two halves of your brain working in harmony ” and avoiding the overwhelming and stagnating dilemma of too many technological tools and choices in creating digital media.

This first free chapter of his live seminar addresses the psychological and workflow problem inherent in digital production. His concepts of daytime and nighttime creative sessions are worth the price of admission. A few other gems of advice come at these marks:

8:33 – Don’t try to do every part of the process at once. Your brain will go “50 million directions at once, and nowhere at the same time.”

14:20 – During creative sessions, unplug your computer from the internet. Put your cellphone at the opposite end of your house. “You do not need to have that information.”

16:00 –  The fear of being wrong. “An expert is defined as someone who has made every mistake there is to make within a limited domain. The only mistake you can make is hesitation.”

23:00 – One of greatest known predictors of success in life: “Written goal setting with a pen and paper.” And use an expensive book, like a Moliskine so you will “feel like an idiot if you waste it.

And for some super practical advice on how to get guys from Guitar Center to set up your computer sound card check out 6:35.

Meet your new robotic guitar overlord – Tronical

We tune because we care. Guitar tuning has gone through a bit of a renaissance in the last few years. State of the art tuning gear has leaped ahead in both form and function. Modern devices such as TC Electornics Polytune looks like a prop from 2001 A Space Odyssey and acts like an appliance Elroy Jetson might use on his Space Strat. Alternatively, the Jetsons might rely on robotic maid Rosie to tune the family axes, and there are several non-fictional approaches to this type of tuning as well.

Impressive and expensive devices have been around for a while now for deep-pocketed pickers who didn’t mind selecting a guitar just for the tuners. A few retrofitted, and even non fitted solutions have come and gone, but the latest from Tronical could be a game changer, or at least a Gibson alternative … depending on the as yet unannounced price. Time will tell, so stay tuned (sorry, couldn’t resist.)

David Gilmour Tutorial – Sound on Sound in Ableton Live

This tutorial describes how to recreate David Gilmour’s “Sound on Sound” effect. David uses a dual amp setup on Shine On you Crazy Diamond to achieve an infinite sustain over which he can play solos. Check out this article for a more detailed explanation and a video of the effect as used in concert.

Download the Ableton Live set here, MIDI map an expression pedal to the same controls as shown in the tutorial video, plug in a guitar and “shine on you crazy diamond.”

As points out, this effect is not just for guitarists. Keyboard players, electric violinists and even solar powered banjo players can easily add this to their sonic arsenal.

For more info on my Ableton Live centric guitar rig, here is the series and collected articles.

Beckinfield – Episode 74 – Investigators

Beckinfield is the worlds first Mass Participation web series. Every week hundreds of actors, professional and amateur, participate in the story by upland videos they create. Here is episode 74 for the week of April 23rd.

Black suited figures continue to harass the people of Beckinfield about the mysterious events of April 1st. Unravel the mystery for yourself at You can watch the videos, interact with the story and the actors, or even become an actor yourself. It’s fun, easy and free. See you in Beckinfield.

THR Guitar Rig – Part 6 – David Gilmour and Sound on Sound


One aspiration of the THR Guitar Rig design is the one-man-band aspect; to enable one player to sound bigger and fuller than a single instrumentalist. It is the digital equivalent of strapping cymbals to ones knees and a base drum on your back.

Certainly Ableton Live’s very capable loopers play well with this concept, but exploring ways to get large live sound beyond looping is a particular interest of mine. Plugins like Roger Linn’s AdrenaLinn Sync add layers of clock-synced effects and syncopated rhythms that add space, depth and an aural complexity to a single instrument. I am also experimenting with CamelSpace, the over-the-top rhythmic multi-effects plug in from Camel Audio. Another approach I have been playing with is recreating David Gilmour’s “sound-on-sound” technique in Ableton Live.

David Gilmour – Sound on Sound

When David was playing a series of acoustic concerts in 2001 he wanted to open the show with what many consider to be the quintessential Pink Floyd work, Shine On You Crazy Diamond. He pictured himself on a bare stage, acoustic guitar in hand, unaccompanied by other instrumentalists.

He developed a “sound on sound” approach using a dual amp setup with a digital delay to sustain chords on one amp while he soloed over the chords on the other amp, giving the song a rich and evolving backing track. Below is a video of a performance from 2002.


The Sound on Sound effect, isn’t an effect from of a pedal but rather the effect achieved when splitting the signal in two with a long delay assigned to one channel. David strums a chord and makes a volume swell with the volume pedal assigned for the Sound on Sound channel. The signal travels to the Sound on Sound unit (basically a A/B router unit made by Pete Cornish) and into the Roland digital delay, which is set to 1500ms lasting about 20 seconds. The signal then travels into a Hiwatt and WEM cabinet used only for this effect. Gilmour lowers the volume pedal and plays a solo fed through the “normal” signal path, while the Sound on Sound pad is sustained by the long delay. The pattern is repeated for each chord.

This beautiful and deceptively simple approach is an elegant solution – when it works. Again, from

David struggled a lot with the Sound on Sound effect. Some times it worked and some times it didn’t and if it didn’t he got all sorts of feedback and ringing notes.

Sound on Sound in Ableton Live

I can relate to David’s frustrations as I endeavor to recreate this setup “in the box” within Ableton Live. I have made some progress using AdrenaLinn Sync as the delay and a SoftStep foot controller manipulating plugin parameters, sends and volumes in Ableton. I am still tweaking it, but once I crack the technique, I will post the results along with a demo here.

Sound on Sound Pedals

If I were still into hardware and pedals I would go the far easier route with the Hold – Delay – Chorus stomp box from ZCAT, or the Electro-Harmonix Freeze Sound Retainer . Both look to be a very clean way to achieve this effect. Just hold down the button and boom – instant backing. Check out the video demo below of the Freeze to see what else can be done with this type of setup.

Super Looper Suzy Condrad on


Recently crowned 2012 Boss UK Loop Champion Suzy Condrad dropped by the new Sonic State studios to sing, loop, play thumb piano and talk gear. In this interview with Nick Batt she preforms two impressive songs, discusses her approach to composition and walks us through her tech setup. Suzy is a skilled song writer and quite adept at making a technically complex performance loofa easy and natural, when in reality it is demanding, supra hard and requires a great deal of practice just to pull off, much less making it look so relaxed. Nice work Suzy!

Watch the video performance