MxD Guitar Overdrive Distortion Pedal Demo Part 1 by Neal Walter

Watch this video review of the MxD pedal by Neal Walter to  learn about the many tonal possibilities. Most players comment on how playing through the MxD “feels” like playing through an amp. The MxD is one of the most flexible overdrive/distortion pedals on the market. Built in the USA, the MxD offers 3 modes with channel switching: clean boost, overdrive or distortion in classic or modern mode. The drive and saturation knob combined with diode clipping switch makes this pedal one of the richest sounding and most flexible overdrive pedals on the market.

More info: http://www.osiamo.com/MxD

Exclusive Interview : Larry Mitchell

Larry Mitchell_Credit_Andy A

1) Tell us about your musical background?
I am self taught on guitar. Although I sometimes say community taught. I used to hang out with some great guitar players and all around musicians. I understand music theory well. Reading charts , not so well. :0).  I grew up in Brooklyn and Far Rockaway Queens. Steve Stevens from Billy Idol’s band grew up in the Rockaways as well. He was the local rock hero and left a lasting impression on me. So was Jeff Thall from Bryan Ferry.  In high school years I got in to Prince, Nile Rogers, and a few other great guitar players.  I didn’t start thinking about tones until I played in a rock trio cover band called Currier. We did Rush and The Police songs. I had two big pedalboards to cover the wide variety of tones and special effects. Magic times for me when look back on it.

2) What are you working on now?
I produce other artists. Earlier this year I produced country gospel artist Jeanette Clarke new singles and singer songwriter Cynthia Becker’s 6 song soon to be release. But just now I’m wrapping up 5 songs I did for singer songwriter Randi Driscoll. I’ve done 3 other records and a few singles with Randi before. She’s great and I love working with her. Also I’m tracking Guitars for a new band project I’m in that I’m really excited about. It has Brian Hardgroove from Public Enemy and Stewart Copeland from The Police in it. We tracked some stuff back in March and I’m adding to that now. Other than that I’m enjoying my time off the road but also gearing up to get back on the road with my trio And head across the USA ;0)

3) What is the role of education in music?
Education is extremely Important. There’s so many things involved. It’s good to learn not only how to play but finances, business, web design and marketing are almost as important as scales and chord clusters. But learn the scales and cord clusters first. Keeping music on any level in schools is a big thing with me. I sometimes work with a org called “Guitars in the Classroom” please google them and see if you can help join or contribute in any way.

4) How do you feel about the current ‘state of the music industry’?
It’s a great time and a hard time to be in music right now. Technology is moving so fast. It’s amazing. The possibilities are staggering. Figuring out how to make a living and stand out in this time period can be intimidating. But it’s great that you can write a song and multitrack record it on your tablet and video that on your smart phone. Master it on your laptop and up load it to the iTunes Store and YouTube, all in a day. But then how do you get people to listen and view it. And then to …… Pay for it (buy it)?

5) Why do you use or what do you like about the MxD pedal?
I love pedals I have quite a few still. It’s great to have a pedal that I can plug right into a small Fender-ish type amp and at the click of a button go from that Fender clean to a full on Plexi style tone. It excels at getting that narly British crunch out if a small clean amp. Works pretty great with a plexi as well.

Rockready debuts at Bass Day London 2015

Jason Ed Rockready

Jason How and Ed Matthiack at Bass Day London 2015

It was an exciting weekend in London topped with the debut of Rockready. Jason How of Rotosound introduced the Rockready Volo gig bag, Snap Strap, and Ultrastrap to a receptive crowd at Bass Day. More on Rockready in a minute.

The highlight of the show were 3 crowd stopping appearances at the Rotosound booth by Doug Wimbish, Mark King, and Billy Sheehan. Each signed autographs for long queues of waiting fans. The attendees were also treated to master classes by Doug, Mark, and Billy.

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Mixed in with all the artist excitement was Rockready’s debut. Rotosound will distribute exclusive the Rockready line for the UK.

The Rockready line — designed by musicians for musicians — looks to innovate some everyday tools that musicians use. First up the Volo gig bag which addresses many issues with some simple and elegant solutions. Dedicated phone pocket that’s easy to reach, place to keep your keys, backpack style straps for comfort with a chest clip for long treks, reflective piping for nighttime safety, locking zipper for security, neck holder, body protector, and the list goes on. There is also an optional Tote bag with dedicated iPad or tablet pocket perfect for breaking out of session or one it’s own.

Tone Loss Got You Down? We’ve Got Your Solution

 

Have you ever plugged your guitar into your pedal board, through a long cable and into your amp and felt like you lost some high-end from your tone? If so, your tone might benefit from the addition of a buffer pedal to your signal chain. Plugging directly into the amp through a short guitar cable gives the “purest” tone you can get. But once you add longer cables and patch cables and pedals to your signal chain that’s when you start losing high-end clarity.

Why A Buffer Pedal?
Nearly every guitarist that uses long cables or lots of pedals can benefit from the addition of a buffer pedal. But a buffer is often overlooked or just misunderstood by many guitarists. In short, all guitar cables and patch cords have capacitance. When you add this to your signal chain it’s like rolling down the tone knob on your guitar. We’re not too good on the science behind this (I switched from Electrical Engineer to liberal Arts for a reason) but we can still hear it with ours ears. Basically a buffer pedal can help you get your sound back to the “pure” tone when using just one short cable.

Where Do To Use A Buffer?
Anywhere you have long cables and/or lots of patch cables. The 2 most obvious choices are before and after your pedal board. A buffer in each of those locations will minimize your signal and tone loss at those 2 locations in your signal chain.

Dr J Armor BufferWhy We Like the Dr Armor Buffer
The Armor Buffer has 2 buffer circuits: one designed to use in front of your pedal board and one designed to be used after. The Dr J Armor Buffer will buffer your signal while in the pedal board and again while it’s going to your amp. You can use both buffer circuits or just one or the other. Plus, even though the Armor Buffer looks big in this picture, it actually has a nice small foot print. It’s not as small as a micro pedal but it is smaller than a standard Boss or MXR pedal.  Dimensions are (H x W x D) 38 x 96 x 88mm or 1.5 x 3.75 x 3.5 inches to be exact.

Another Reason to Like the Dr J Armor Buffer
The Armor Buffer also has a Boost circuit built into it. This is good for boosting your signal through your chain and hitting the front end of your amp a bit harder. If you have vintage pickups with low output you can use the boost circuit to emulate a higher output pickup or you can use the boost to give your clean tone a bit more bite. Remember, the boost circuit doesn’t color your tone, it just adds up to 20dB to your signal or you just get the sound of hitting the front end of your amp a bit harder.

The Dr J Armor Buffer is designed to preserve your tone.

Click here to learn more about the Dr J Armor Buffer.

Meet Shem Creek Music Center’s Scottie Frier

Shem Creek Music Center

How long has the store been in business?

Shem Creek Music has been open since 2004.

Shem Creek Music Center's Scottie Friera

Scottie holding Dr J Green Crystal & Mooer Shimverb

How long have you worked at the store, Scottie?

Shem Creek Music was the first place I pulled into when I moved to Charleston fresh out of high school in 2008. I was the kid they couldn’t kick out of here since then, they hired me in 2010 to help out, then in 2011, began managing the store.

Why are Dr J and Mooer pedals doing so well at your store?

Osiamo offers several great pedals, but we have had the best success with Mooer and Dr. J pedals. Those pedals sell themselves. Let a customer play one and then ring them up later, it’s been that easy for us.  Great pedals.

How does the future of music stores look?

Music stores that have adapted to the changes with online sales and Guitar Center/Sam Ash/etc. have done so by pushing their service, as well as lessons and repairs. Lessons really fuel a music store. The lessons should sell the retail, and the retail should sell the lessons. That’s how we feel a successful store should run. If more stores take this model as well as competing with Guitar Center/online prices, music stores will have a very bright future.

Shem Creek Mooer display

Shem Creek Music Center’s Mooer pedal display

What is the biggest challenge for your store for this year and beyond?

Our biggest challenge is getting the greater Charleston area to come to our store and not go to a big box or online store. This is also a blessing for us, we do more repairs than anyone else in Charleston, as well as lessons. Our customers are usually our best salesmen. People come in every day with a “Bruce sent me” or “Bob told me you guys were the guys to go to.” I make damn sure that when they come in, they leave not only satisfied with their products and services that we offer, but also happier that they came in. You want customers to WANT to come back, not just need to. Our biggest challenge is catching that “average Joe” who just saw a GC commercial with a big sale, and he goes there instead of trying the local guy first. However, in Charleston, SC, there are stickers all over town with the saying “Be Local, Buy Local.” We’re very fortunate to have a town that really supports and goes the extra mile for small business like us. In return, we do the exact same for our customers.

Thanks for reading our blog. If you’re interested in learning more about our Dr J and Mooer pedals you can click over to www.OSIAMO.com and see what we have to offer; if you’re a music store and are interested in dealer opportunities send us an email at dealers@osiamo.com and we’ll get right back in touch with you. If you’re already one of our dealers we’d love to feature you in an upcoming blog too. Get in touch with us!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Meet Bigfoot Engineering’s Rhys Stubbs

(watch the video to see Rhy’s demo of his new Trouble Booster)

Who designs Bigfoot Engineering’s pedals?

Bigfoot Engineering Ltd. was founded in 2009 by Rhys Stubbs, a guitarist, recording studio manager, and electronic engineer. After working for the Wimbledon based company Vortexion, originally popularized by Joe Meek, he spread his creative wings with a venture of his own. His one-off custom built studio consoles, outboard, guitar amplifiers and effects pedals proved to be in demand and have inspired the current range of Bigfoot Engineering products.

Why Bigfoot Engineering Products?

Bigfoot are building effects pedals that have the sonic integrity of tube/valve amplifiers, characterized in particular by frequency response, breakup, compression, and touch sensitivity. You can hear it, and you can feel it too.

Bigfoot-Engineering-printedWhere are Bigfoot pedals made?

Made in England, every Bigfoot product exudes quality, originality, and rock solid reliability. The future of this company is set to be an exciting one. This is one Bigfoot you can expect to see a lot more of.

Are Bigfoot pedals handmade?

Yes, with regards to the manufacturing, it is almost all done in-house here at the workshop. This means that we can keep quality control to our exacting standards throughout the entire manufacturing process.

Bigfoot-Engineering-enclosuTo begin with, we machine the enclosures and enamel the graphics by hand (but we don’t cast the aluminum boxes here). The circuit boards are manufactured for us by a company in Hertfordshire, England, and we populate and solder the boards here ourselves by hand. We then bolt in all the panel mount components and hand-wire all the off-board components. Once all the soldering is completed here by hand, the last stage is to mount the dials and feet, and even the packaging is silk screened here by hand. Finally, every pedal is tested by us with a guitar and an amplifier before being dispatched.

In addition, all design work is undertaken in-house, including R&D, prototyping, PCB and layout design.

Are Bigfoot pedals true bypass?

Some are true bypass and some are buffered bypass, see product pages for details.

Who plays Bigfoot?

  • Brendan Benson (The Raconteurs)
  • Rich Robinson (The Black Crowes), hailed as his favorite pedal*
  • Marc Ford (The Black Crowes/Ben Harper/Gov’t Mule)
  • Stephen Street (producer/engineer for Blur/Graham Coxon)

*source: http://www.mi-pro.co.uk/news/read/best-of-british-a-guide-to-the-uk-s-top-mi-brands/018732

Want to learn more about Bigfoot?

Click here to go tour the Bigfoot pedals on our site.

KC Music Grand Opening Party – a HUGE Success!

kcMusicStoreFront

Our newest dealer for Pickboy, Dr J and Mooer, KC Music, opened on October 4th with a big party, seven bands, prizes, guest appearances and so on. We asked the owner, Mark Ballard some questions about why he decided to get into MI retail.

You just opened a store so you must think the future of MI retailing is looking up.  Have you had experience working in MI retail? Would you share some of your thoughts with us?
I have never been in retail, not one second in my entire life – so I have no history to base my opinions on, just wild-eyed, naive enthusiasm. I have been told that I am insane to be be opening a B&M store period, but I believe I have a better idea. Once we get our store open and figure out a few more things we will begin lessons. We have five lesson rooms and lots of applicants for instructor positions. Our ace in the hole is our group/performance program that will commence in March once my non-compete contract is satisfied with School of Rock, LLC. At that point I am opening The KC Blues Academy, ,The KC Country Music Academy and KC Rock University, all  performance based programs that will maximize revenue. Individual lessons will be given in the store and group rehearsals will be held off-site because they are loud. The students’ discounted purchases will help the retail end survive the internet and GC who is opening a location about five miles away next year. I dislike them very much for the way they have treated friends of mine (former employees) and for the way they treated me during my 10 years at School of Rock

Why do you think Pickboy, Mooer and Dr J will do well at your store?
I am hoping that Mooer and Dr. J will be big sellers and I will be touting their compact, tru-bypass attributes and their affordability. Pickboy will be a snap to sell, I imagine I will be ordering more after Black Friday. Great stocking stuffers for the guitarist who things he or she has everything.

 

Biggest challenge for your KC Music for this year and beyond?
Our biggest challenge is making sure that *we never let down in terms of promotion and in-store events* (we have a cool stage, PA and backline permanently installed, we can also multi-track from the stage with a flip of a switch and a couple clicks on our computer) and seeking publicity opportunities. I am very good at this aspect of the business, so part of my focus will be there *every single day.*

Introducing Neal!

Neal Walter

Please welcome Neal Walter, the newest member of the Osiamo team.

For the past 5 years Neal has been the spokesperson for guitartricks.com, the internet’s first multimedia guitar lesson website.   If his face looks familiar, you may have seen one of his 150 guitar lesson videos on YouTube, or his marketing videos for Guitar Tricks, which have been viewed millions of times in over 250 countries.   If you’re our dealer you may have talked to Neal on the phone already.

We asked him what he had to say about the new job and this is what he said: “One thing I like about working for Osiamo is that there’s a heart and soul at the company.  Ed, Rawn, and Jeremy really care about customer service, they’re honest, loyal people who appreciate offering value to guitar and bass players.  Plus they’re just fun guys!  I’m happy to be able to add a guitar players point of view, as a consumer, and as a pro player.  I think it’s cool that everyone at Osiamo is a gigging musician and has been for years.

I like that Pickboy is made in Japan and it has been around since ’67.  Like Guitar Tricks, Pickboy is one of the originals,  and I feel like more guitar players need to know about them. ”

Neal’s previous work, includes guitar lessons, product reviews, giveaways, NAMM coverage and interviews with Steve Vai, Steve Morse, Dweezil Zappa, Orianthi, Tony Levin, Paul Reed Smith and more.

Neal is based out of L.A., if you have a store in the area and would like Neal to stop by for a product demo or just to say “hi”,  let us know!  He’s already making the rounds and he’d like to meet you too!

Stay tuned here and to the Osiamo newsletter for the next wave of product videos, guitar tips and surprises from Neal.

In fact, here’s the first one:

Osiamo Music Gear Goes International, endorses Brazilian Guitarist Pedro Sampaio!

Pedro Sampaio with Antenna

Pedro Sampaio, aka, Samp, born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and now 24 years old is a session guitarist, songwriter, film composer and guitar instructor. Since early childhood, Samp started digging music from his parents CDs, where he got his first influences: Eric Clapton, The Police & Pink Floyd. He started playing guitar when he was 12, a year after he personally met one his major influences on guitar, Jimmy Page. Since that day, he has never put his guitar down.

Samp kicks-off his career at 19, when he started giving guitar lessons. Soon after he started doing studios sessions in Rio de Janeiro. Those sessions brought a few opportunities for Samp. Mainly composing soundtracks for movies, and also inspired him to start his first band Antenna.

Samp recorded his first album with the band Antenna and recorded a live DVD with the band, which you can see in this teaser.

In 2014 Samp moved to New York City to attend an internship at the widely-known Big Foote Music + Sound studios. He recorded guitar and also got the chance to get acquainted with recording jingles for commercials.

He was introduced to Pickboy by his friend and fellow endorser John Murphy. Says Samp, “John Murphy, told me about that one.. the Pickboy Metacarbonate Pos A Grip 1.00mm, and I went mad! Best of both worlds!”

Samp plays PICKBOY picks which is the pick of choice for other successful artists such as John Mayer, Lita Ford, John Murphy, Jay Gore and Duane T. Jones.

Pickboy Picks, Great Tone, Great Value!

2014 Pickboy Picks

Each and every day we make decisions on what to do, where to go, what to eat, and sometimes what to purchase. When making purchases we often say that something is too expensive. What does that mean? We are in fact making value judgements which includes the price and often a bunch of other factors that we use to determine if we’ll buy or pass on an item.

When we use the concept of value to make decisions sometimes the picture becomes a bit easier to see. For example, this morning did you make coffee at home, buy a cup at the local corner store or go to Starbucks? The choices are in increasing order of expense but the value with each one is different. Each takes a different amount of time, energy and costs us a different amount of money.

coffeecup

What motivates us to choose the cup at home today over the cup at Starbucks later in the week? It’s value. The coffee at home today gives us a quick start to our day and doesn’t take much time and doesn’t cost that much. Later in the week when we go to Starbucks its more of a time commitment (walk, bike or drive there, wait in line, order, etc.) and of course costs us more money. But we do but and perhaps value both equally.

Getting back to Pickboy picks it’s easier to see that the price alone is not and will not be the only motivating factor in your decision to purchase or not. Since we’re talking about music and art the choice of what pick, string, guitar, amp, effects pedals etc. all becomes an artistic choice. These choices are necessarily more complex than our decision to have a coffee at home or at Starbucks. Artistic decisions involve value and also heart and soul. Most of the greats that we’ve come to know and love have sweated over all the tiny details to achieve their sound and tone. As the cliche goes, “the devil’s in the details.”

John Murphy Pickboy Artist

We like to think that Pickboy picks represent a unique value equation for guitarists. While the cost may be a bit higher, Pickboy’s attention to detail is also higher offering the player a more intimate experience with his art, music, guitar and audience.

What value decisions have you made today? What value decisions have you made that have affected your art, your music or your customers? In today’s crowded market place with many brands competing for your attention we feel that Pickboy offers one of the best value choices.

Unfortunately for musicians, the most common way many manufacturers and brands try to get your attention is to lower the price. We like to call this the “race to the bottom.” At some point you have to ask yourself is it possible to provide that product at that price. There were most definitely some short cuts taken to produce it. What were the short cuts, how will it effect your experience with the product and have you factored that into your value equation?

While other manufacturers are entering and competing in the “race to the bottom,” we at Osiamo Music Gear stand behind our brands and feel that each of them offer a superb value in the market place. We evaluate each product to make sure it provides a food value and furthers the journey to help musicians express themselves fully.

What is your dream? To perform in front of thousands, play that perfect solo, record a hit single or album? Whatever your dream is, remember, make decisions that further your dream each and every day.

The choice is always yours so choose wisely.

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