Posts tagged ‘TW28-CSN’

11/10/2018

Vox AC30S1 – the Kitarablogi-video

VOX AC30S1

• Single-channel design inspired by the AC30’s trademark Top Boost

• All tube design featuring two 12AX7 pre-amp tubes and four EL84 power-amp tubes

• Equipped with a single Celestion-made 12-inch speaker, specially voiced for the AC30S1

• Effects send/return and external speaker output are provided for pairing with pedals or external cabinets

• Equipped with digital reverb that simulates a classic spring reverb

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The demo track features my covers of four classic Vox AC30 tracks – ”Wonderful Land” (The Shadows), ”I Feel Fine” (The Beatles), ”We Will Rock You” (Queen), and ”Pride (In The Name Of Love)” (U2).

• Wonderful Land – Fender Stratocaster

• I Feel Fine – Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Epiphone Casino, Tanglewood TW28-CSN (with Seymour Duncan SA-1 pickup)

• We Will Rock You – Fender Stratocaster

• Pride (In The Name Of Love) – Fender Telecaster & Stratocaster

Mics used: AKG C3000 & Shure SM57

Delays added during mixing.

01/10/2018

First Look: Vox AC30S1

VOX AC30S1

• Single-channel design inspired by the AC30’s trademark Top Boost

• All tube design featuring two 12AX7 pre-amp tubes and four EL84 power-amp tubes

• Equipped with a single Celestion-made 12-inch speaker, specially voiced for the AC30S1

• Effects send/return and external speaker output are provided for pairing with pedals or external cabinets

• Equipped with digital reverb that simulates a classic spring reverb

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The demo track features my covers of four classic Vox AC30 tracks – ”Wonderful Land” (The Shadows), ”I Feel Fine” (The Beatles), ”We Will Rock You” (Queen), and ”Pride (In The Name Of Love)” (U2).

• Wonderful Land – Fender Stratocaster

• I Feel Fine – Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Epiphone Casino, Tanglewood TW28-CSN (with Seymour Duncan SA-1 pickup)

• We Will Rock You – Fender Stratocaster

• Pride (In The Name Of Love) – Fender Telecaster & Stratocaster

Mics used: AKG C3000 & Shure SM57

Delays added during mixing.

27/09/2016

AKG C3000 – Old versus New

Maahantuoja: Studiotec

09/03/2015

Changing strings on a steel-string guitar

String change steel string – start

Here’s what you need:

In addition to a fresh set of strings, you should have a wire cutter and a tuner at the ready. An inexpensive string winder makes the process much faster.

A steel rule will come in handy, should you want to double-check your ”before” and ”after” setups. Measure your string height at the 12th fret (top of fret to bottom of string) before taking the old strings off. That way you will be able to use the steel rule to ascertain that your setup has stayed unchanged. Alternatively, you could also measure the neck relief at the seventh fret directly, by using a capo at the first fret, while pressing down the low E-string at the 14th fret.

Ideally, though, you should stick to the exact same string gauge (and even string brand) to avoid inadvertently changing the playability of your acoustic guitar.

String change steel string – loosening string

I find it most convenient to take off all strings at once.

There are some people who claim that taking all six strings off at the same time may cause damage to your instrument. Let me tell you, I have been changing strings on steel-string guitars since 1977, always removing the whole set at once, and have never had any problems at all. Even Martin Guitars suggest you do it this way in their own video, and they should know!

String change steel string – cutting old string

Once the strings are completely loose and flabby, I cut them in half.

This isn’t something you must do, but I find the shorter lengths easier to handle, than having to deal with the whole string.

String change steel string – winder pin puller

For the largest part, steel-string acoustics come with pin bridges. The bridge pins – made out of plastic, bone, wood or even metal – keep the ball-ends locked into place.

Most string winders sport a small cut-out for lifting the bridge pins. I’d suggest, though, that you first try extracting the pins by hand, because, very often, the ball-ends have jammed the pins in place fairly tightly. Trying to pull them out directly might damage your string winder or the bridge pins, or, even worse, the bridge itself.

String change steel string – push end in

Most of the time you will be able to extract the bridge pins by hand:

Start by pushing the ball-end down (into the body) by a centimetre, or so.

String change steel string – pull pin out 1

Usually, this is all that’s needed to unjam the bridge pin.

String change steel string – pull pin out 2

If a pin really is stuck, and can’t be lifted out with your fingers, I’d strongly suggest using a piece of tissue paper (or a piece of cloth) as a cushion to protect the pin and the bridge’s surface.

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Some acoustic guitars come equipped with a pinless bridge – most notable Ovation and some Takamines. With these bridges, all you have to do is pull the ball-ends out of the back of the bridge.

String change steel string – take string off machine head

At the headstock end you have to untie the strings and take them off the tuner posts.

If your guitar’s fretboard and/or bridge feel (or look) a little dry, now would be the perfect time for applying a little fretboard oil.

String change steel string – put pin in

You start putting on a new string by feeding the ball-end into the appropriate bridge hole, while inserting the bridge pin.

String change steel string – pull on string

By pulling the string up a little, while holding the pin down, you will conveniently get the ball-end to jam the bridge pin in place.

String change steel string – stringing 1

Next you feed the string through the tuner’s post…

String change steel string – stringing 2

…pull the string away from the body, and around the post…

String change steel string – stringing 3

…and, finally, lock the string end in place.

String change steel string – stringing 4

Keep the string pressed downwards, while you’re turning the crank. Each new winding should pass under the one before it.

String change steel string – keep pin in place

When the string starts getting taut, I move my hand from the headstock to the bridge, to make sure the bridge pin stays firmly in place.

String change steel string – cut off end

I’d recommend cutting off the surplus string in close proximity to the tuning post. Then I bend the stub down towards the headstock face. Be careful, a cut-off string is very sharp!

I put on the fresh strings in pairs, working my way away from the nut – first the two e-strings, then the pair of A and b, and lastly the D- and g-strings.

String change steel string – strings on machine heads

This is what the result should look like at the headstock end.

String change steel string – pin height

The bridge pins should sit at a uniform height above the surface of the bridge.

String change steel string – string stretching

Getting new strings to stay in tune is a much faster process, if you stretch each string carefully. It works like this: First you tune to pitch, then you stretch each string, and retune again. Once you’ve repeated this process four to five times, you should be ready to go.

Your fretting hand should hold down the string you’re stretching at the first or second fret to avoid damage to the top nut.

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Once the guitar is in tune you could check the string action at the 12th fret and compare it with the values measured with the old string set.

If the action is noticeably higher, chances are you’ve put on a heavier gauge set of strings. You need to compensate for the stronger string pull by tightening the truss rod (with the correct tool) by a quarter of a turn (or half a turn, at the most).

If the action is noticeably lower, chances are you’ve put on a lighter gauge set of strings. You need to compensate for the weaker string pull by loosening the truss rod (with the correct tool) by a quarter of a turn (or half a turn, at the most).

The truss rod is meant solely for neck relief adjustment. Even though adjusting the neck relief does have an impact on the action, string height adjustment isn’t really what the truss rod is meant for. Adjusting the action on a steel-string acoustic is usually a job for a luthier, and is achieved by changing the height of the bridge saddle.

23/10/2014

Review: Roland Cube-10GX

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The new Roland Cube-10GX approaches the company’s popular Cube-concept from a slightly different angle.

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The 10-watt Roland Cube-10GX (Finnish price approx. 125 €) slots into the model range right between the 3-watt Micro Cube GX and the 20-watt Cube-20GX combo.

Despite its very affordable price, the 10GX is built as sturdily as the larger Cube models, featuring chunky corner protectors, and the metal grille typical of this series.

An eight-inch speaker has been installed into the closed-back, front-ported cabinet.

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The backpanel sports connections for DC In (the PSU comes included), Aux In, as well as a combined line level output/headphones jack.

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The Cube-10GX combo’s architecture differs somewhat from the rest of the GX-models:

The 10GX doesn’t feature a built-in tuner or an i-Cube-Link, like the rest of the GX-models, but offers a much more open way of offering its COSM-generated amp models.

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The Cube-10GX lets you choose from a number of different amp models via the new Roland Cube Kit app (Android and iOS). At the moment of writing the app offers eight guitar amp models, plus one bass amp and one amp for acoustic guitar.

Despite the fact that the control panel reads ”Clean”, ”Crunch” and ”Lead”, you can load any of the COSM amp models on offer into any of the amp’s three channels. If you’re a Jazzer, for example, you might prefer to use only clean amps, like Acoustic, JC Clean and Black Panel.

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Let me deal with the ”bad news” first: Sadly, the Cube-10GX offers only a single effect section, in contrast to all the other Cube GX -combos. The 10GX gives you the choice between either a chorus or a delay or a hall reverb or a (very wet) spring reverb. And there are no effect combinations on offer.

The new combo’s main focus lies in the easy-to-swap amp models, and improvements in the sound of both the amp and the COSM-models. For a 10-watter the Cube-10GX is surprisingly loud. Thanks to its much larger speaker the new combo sounds much fuller and more grown up than the Micro Cube.

The updated COSM-models sound noticeably more transparent and fresher, without any additional background hiss or noise. The 10GX’ well-designed three-band EQ section lets you tailor the sound to your requirements.

Loading a new amp model into one of the Cube-10GX’ channels via the Cube Kit app is fast and easy, and doesn’t require any special cables. You only need a fitting mini-jack adapter to hook up the guitar lead to your smartphone (or tablet). All the necessary data is then transmitted from the Android- or iOS-device to the amp via the guitar cable. The whole process takes only a few taps and a couple of seconds.

The factory default has the Jazz Chorus amp model loaded into channel 1. I’m playing my Fender Telecaster with a little chorus added from the combo:

Here’s another Jazz Chorus clip, but this time seasoned with some Surf-type spring reverb:

The Classic Stack model is the factory setting for channel 2. It is Roland’s version of a Marshall-stack. I’ve added some delay for this clip:

I loaded the Brit Combo (AC30) model into channel 2, using the Cube Kit app. I’m playing my Telecaster with some reverb from the combo:

”Orng Stack” stands for Orange-stack. This is what it sounds like, played with my Gibson Melody Maker SG:

The factory default for channel 3 is the R-fier Stack model. First a clip using the Telecaster, and then an example Played with the Melody Maker SG:

The Cube Kit’s Acoustic model provides an easy solution for amplifying your acoustic guitar. I’ve used a Tanglewood dreadnought equipped with a magnetic soundhole pickup by Seymour Duncan:

The Cube-10GX even sounds surprisingly good as a tiny bass combo (all audio clips have been recorded with a Shure SM57):

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Roland’s Cube-10GX (and the cool Cube Kit app) makes it possible to turn this little combo into the amp you really need. A Blues player will probably load his (or her) Cube-10GX with the Black Panel-, Brit Combo-, and Tweed-models, while a Metal guitarist will prefer the chunkier COSM-models on offer (like the Classic-, Metal- and R-fier-stacks).

The Cube-10GX sounds great and is a real little shouter. Despite offering fewer built-in effects than the rest of the GX-range, the Roland Cube-10GX still offers a lot of fun at a very competitive price.

cube-header

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Roland Cube-10GX

Price range in Finland approx. 125 €

Maahantuoja: Roland Scandinavia

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Pros:

+ fair price

+ powerful

+ wide range of available amp models (via the Cube Kit app)

+ three-band EQ

+ sturdy build

+ sound

Cons:

– only one effect section

spring reverb offers only little scope for adjustment

08/09/2014

Testipenkissä: Roland Cube-10GX

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cube-10gx_angle_black_gal

Hiljattain ilmestynyt Roland Cube-10GX on Cube-perheen uusin jäsen, joka lähestyy firman suosittua Cube-reseptiä hieman toiselta kulmalta.

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cube-10gx_front_gal

Kymmenwattinen Roland Cube-10GX (hintaluokka 125 €) asettuu vahvistinteholtaan kolmiwattisen Micro Cube GX:n ja 20-wattisen Cube-20GX-kombon väliin.

Kymppi-GX on edullisesta hinnastaan huolimatta samaa vankkaa tekoa kuin sen isot veljeksiä. Reilunkokoiset kulmasuojat ja Cube-sarjalle tyypillinen metalliritilä suojaavat kombon tehokkaasti monilta kolhuilta.

Koteloon on asennettu kahdeksantuumainen kaiutin.

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Takapaneelista löytyy virtaliittimen (verkkolaite kuuluu hintaan) lisäksi aux-tulo, sekä yhdistetty kuuloke- ja linjalähtö.

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Cube-10GX-kombon arkkitehtuuri poikkeaa toisista Cube-perheen GX-malleista:

Muiden GX-kombojen viritysmittarit ja i-Cube-Link-lähdöt puuttuvat tästä mallista, mutta niiden tilalle uudessa Cubessa tarjotaan huomattavasti avoimempi rakenne COSM-vahvistinosiossa.

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Cube-10GX tarjoaa nimittäin uuden Roland Cube Kit -appsin kautta (Android ja iOS) kitaristeille mahdollisuuden valita ja vaihtaa oman Cuben COSM-mallinnuksia oman maun ja käyttötarpeen mukaan. Tällä hetkellä Cube Kitistä löytyy kahdeksan sähkövahvistinmallia, yksi vahvistinmalli mikitetylle akustiselle kitaralle, sekä yksi bassovahvistin.

Vaikka kombon etupaneelissa lukee sen kolmen kanavapaikkojen kohdalla Clean, Crunch ja Lead, käyttäjä saa valita appsin kautta vapaasti kanaviin juuri niitä COSM-malleja, joita hän itse haluaa – vaikkapa vain puhtaita vaihtoehtoja, kuten Acoustic, JC Clean ja Black Panel.

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Kerron sen ”huonon uutisen” ensin: Olisin kernaasti nähnyt myös uudessa Cube-10GX-mallissa kaksi efektiosastoa, niin kuin esimerkiksi Micro Cube GX:ssä! Kymppi-GX-kombossa voi valita joko choruksen tai viiveen tai kaiun tai (reilusti annostetun) jousikaiun, eikä yhdistelmäefektejä ole tarjolla lainkaan.

Uutuuskombon painopiste on siis selvästi vahvistimen soundissa ja entistäkin parannetuissa COSM-mallinnuksissa. Cube-10GX on yllättävän äänekäs vahvistin 10-wattiselle kombolle, ja sen kahdeksantuumaisen kaiuttimen ansiosta tämän Rolandin yleissoundi on paljon syvempi ja aikuisempi kuin esimerkiksi Micro Cubessa.

Uudistetuissa COSM-malleissa on myös selvästi rapeampi, erottelevampi soundi, ilman lisättyä kohinaa. Kymppi-GX:n musikaalisesta kolmialueisesta EQ:sta on todella paljon apua soundien muokkaamisessa.

Soundien vaihtaminen Cube Kit -appsilla onnistuu erittäin helposti ja – mikä on parasta – täysin ilman erikoisjohtoja. Tarvitaan vain puhelimen (tai tabletin) ja kitarajohdon väliin sopiva kuulokeadapteri, jolla saadaan ohjelman dataa kulkemaan Android- tai iOS-laitteen kuulokelähdöstä kitarajohdon kautta Cube-10GX:een. Muutama täppäys vaan ja valitun kanavan COSM-malli on vaihdettu uuteen.

Tehdasasetuksena kombon ykköskanavassa on valittu Roland Jazz Chorus -kombon mallinnus. Tässä soitan Fender Telecasterilla ykköskanavan läpi ja chorus-efekti on päällä:

Myös tässä käytän Jazz Chorus -mallia, mutta tällä kertaa Surf-tyylisellä jousikaiku-efektillä:

Classic Stack on kakkoskanavan tehdasasetus. Se on Rolandin COSM-versio Marshall-stäkistä, jota kuullaan tässä delay-efektillä höystettynä:

Latasin Cube Kitillä kakkoskanavalle Brit Combo -mallin (AC30). Soitan Telecasterilla ja käytän kombon kaikua:

Orange-stäkkiä matkiva Orng Stack -malli kuulostaa tällaiselta Gibson Melody Maker SG:ltä soitettuna:

Tehtaalta on asennettu kolmoskanavaan R-fier Stack -malli – siis Rectifier-meininkiä (ensin Telecasterilla, sen jälkeen Melody Maker SG:llä soitettuna):

Cube Kitin Acoustic-malli tarjoaa nopean ja helppokäyttöisen ratkaisun akustisen kitaran vahvistamiseen (tässä Tanglewood teräskielinen magneettisella Seymour Duncan -mikrofonilla):

Cube-10GX kuulostaa yllättävän isolta myös bassovahvistimena (kaikki ääninäytteet äänitetty Shure SM57:lla):

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Rolandin Cube-10GX tarjoaa firman oivan Cube Kit -appsin ansiosta jokaiselle kitaristille juuri sen vahvistimen, jonka hän tarvitsee ja haluaa. Bluesmies (tai -nainen) voisi esimerkiksi ladata kymppi-GX:n kolmelle kanavapaikalle Black Panel-, Brit Combo-, sekä Tweed-mallit, kun taas rankan musiikin ystävä voi tehdä pikkustyrkkarista metallimusiikkiin erikoistuneen koneen (esimerkiksi valitsemalla Classic-, Metal- ja R-fier-stäkit).

Cube-10GX:stä lähtee niin paljon – ja etenkin niin laadukasta – ääntä, että tämän kombon (muihin GX-malliin nähden) supistetulla efektivalikoimalla ei ole mielestäni oikeastaan niin paljon väliä. Roland Cube-10GX tarjoaa todella paljon vahvistinta edulliseen hintaan.

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Roland Cube-10GX

Hintaluokka noin 125 €

Maahantuoja: Roland Scandinavia

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Plussat:

+ edullinen

+ tehokas

+ monipuolinen vahvistintarjonta (Cube Kit -appsin kautta)

+ kolmialueinen EQ

+ tukeva rakenne

+ soundi

Miinukset:

– vain yksi efektiosasto

jousikaiun vähäinen säätövara

21/08/2014

Seymour Duncan SA-1 Acoustic Tube in action!

Seymour Duncan SA-1 + Tanglewood TW28-CSN

Ostin itselleni hiljattain Seymour Duncanin SA-1 Acoustic Tube -mikrofonin, koska etsin helppoa mikkiratkaisua akustisia keikkoja varten. Huomasin, että netistä löytyy melko vähän tietoa tästä magneettisesta mikrofonista, siksi tämä tietoisku:

SA-1 on humbuckermikki kahdella päällekkäisillä keloilla (ns. stack-rakenne), jolla on sisäänrakennettu volume-säädin.

Pidän siitä, että Acoustic Tube -mikrofonilla on vain lyhyt johto, joka loppuu laadukkaan jakkiin. Jakkia voi kiinnittää esimerkiksi kitarahihnaan, ja sitten voi käyttää tavallista kitarajohtoa SA-1:stä DI-boksiin, mikseriin tai akustiseen vahvistimeen.

Parasta tässä mikrofonissa on kuitenkin sen soundi, joka on yllättävän luonnollinen, kun ottaa huomioon, että kyseessä on suhteellisen edullinen, pelkästään magneettisesti toimiva mikki.

Lisätietoja saa Musamaailmalta.

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I recently went out and bought myself a Seymour Duncan SA-1 Acoustic Tube pickup, because I needed an easy-to-use pickup solution for acoustic live gigs. Strangely, there’s not that much information on this pickup available on the Internet, which is why I decided to give you a short decription of the SA-1:

The SA-1 is a stacked humbucker pickup featuring a built-in volume control.

I like the fact that Duncan’s Acoustic Tube comes with only a short pickup lead that ends in a high-quality phone jack. You can tape the jack to your guitar strap and then run a normal guitar cable from the SA-1 to your DI Box, mixing console or acoustic amplifier.

The best thing about this soundhole pickup is its sound, though, which is very natural and offers plenty of sparkle – especially considering that the SA-1 is a relatively affordable, purely magnetic pickup.

Seymour Duncan products are distributed in Finland by Musamaailma.

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12/02/2014

Review: Zoom H6

Zoom H6 – perspective 1

Zoom have released their new handy recorder flagship:

The Zoom H6 is a six-track mobile recorder with exchangeable microphone modules.

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Zoom H6 – package and case

Zoom’s H6 (rrp in Finland: 398 €) comes in its own carrying case.

Zoom H6 – the set

The package includes the H6 itself, two mic modules – the XYH-6 offering XY-stereo and the MSH-6 with an MS-stereo capsule – a foam windscreen, a USB-cable, four AA-size batteries and a 2 GB SD-card.

Also included is Steinberg’s Cubase LE audio-sequencer software.

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At the moment the H6 is the only field recorder offering you different exchangeable mic and preamp modules.

In addition to the supplied XY- and MS-modules you can also buy Zoom’s shotgun module (SGH-6) or a module with an additional pair of XLR-/TRS-inputs (EXH-6).

Zoom H6 – accessory pack

For this review we were also supplied with Zoom’s accessory pack for the H6 (APH-6), which contains a furry windshield for outdoor recording, as well a USB-power supply and a remote control.

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Zoom H6 – XY-module

Except for its control panel the Zoom H6 is entirely covered in a non-slip rubbery coating, which also cuts down on handling noise during recording.

Zoom H6 – XY 90 deg

A typical Zoom-feature has been carried over into the recorder’s XY-module:

You can switch the stereo width of the XY-setup by turning the capsules. The options are the slightly narrower 90 degrees angle…

Zoom H6 – XY 120 deg

…and the wider pickup pattern of 120 degrees.

Zoom H6 – left side view

The combined XLR/TRS-connectors have been placed on both sides of the H6. The Zoom offers switchable phantom power for condenser mics.

On the left side you’ll find the access to the SD-card, as well as the headphones output and the volume control.

Zoom H6 – right side view

In addition to the recorder’s mini-USB-port the right side is home to the Menu-button and the device’s nifty navigation toggle.

Zoom H6 – back view

This recorder runs on four AA-size batteries, and will run for approximately 20 hours on a fresh set of alkalines.

You can place the Zoom on most camera tripods, thanks to its standardised thread. There’s also the HS-1 hot shoe adapter available, which makes it possible to mount the recorder straight onto a camera.

The small monitor speaker isn’t particularly Hi-Fi, but it’s good to have it for quick checks.

Zoom H6 – line + remote

The unit’s line level output, as well as the connector for the optional remote control, has been placed on the bottom rim of the Zoom.

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The Zoom H6 can handle two audio formats:

Linear WAV-files offer you sample rates of 44.1, 48 or 96 kHz with 16 or 24 bits of resolution. When you choose WAV as your recording format the H6 works as a multitrack recorder, which makes it possible to do overdubs, and which allows you to mix the recorded tracks afterwards. You can do your mixdown internally, using the Zoom’s own Project Mixer, or by exporting the separate tracks to an audio-sequencer.

Another function that only works when you’ve chosen WAV as your recording format is called Backup Record. This nifty function records the input signal from the exchangeable module twice – one set of tracks uses your input gain settings and is routed to the L/R-track, as usual, while the second set is recorded with 12 dB of attenuation as the so-called Backup-track. The Backup-track is your safety in case your own settings were too hot.

The big advantage of using the H6 in MP3-mode is, of course, this mode’s greatly extended recording time, made possible by data reduction. The recorder lets you choose from many different recording quality settings between 48 and 320 kbps. When in MP3-mode you use the Zoom’s Monitor Mixer to mix all of the six inputs into one stereo file, which is the recorded. This means that, when recording using the MP3-format, the end result is always a single stereo file, instead of the separate tracks you get when running in WAV-mode.

Zoom H6 – MS-module

When you’re using the MS-module you can adjust the side-mic level, either before recording (WAV and MP3) or afterwards if you’ve recorded the module’s input signal using the Zoom’s MS-Raw-mode (WAV only).

More information on MS-stereo can be found HERE.

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Zoom H6 – level knobs

The Zoom H6 is very easy to use, because the signal routing is fixed:

The module’s output always goes to the L/R-track (stereo), while inputs one to four are routed to their corresponding mono tracks (1-4).

Zoom H6 – display

Beneath the Gain-controls there’s a row of track status buttons, as well as the recorder’s ”transport” buttons.

Zoom H6 – monitor mixer

The Zoom’s Monitor Mixer is where you adjust the signal levels and pan positions of all the signals for monitoring.

The Monitor Mixer window also shows you the status of each channel’s bass cut, compressor/limiter and phantom power.

Zoom H6 – menu view

This is what the Menu-view looks like.

Zoom H6 – project mixer

To mix down recorded tracks you use a different internal mixer, called the Project Mixer.

The Project Mixer allows you to adjust each track’s volume and pan position, as well as the playback pitch for each track (without changing the playback speed).

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Zoom H6 – top view

In my opinion Zoom’s H6 hits the bull’s eye:

The exchangeable mic modules give you an enormous amount of flexibility to tailor the recorder quickly to the recording situation you find yourself in. The H6 is easy to use, and the recorder’s sound quality is very, very good. Thanks to the built-in metronome and chromatic tuner it’s easy to make sure you play in time and in tune. I’ve also enjoyed the Zoom’s nice compressors and limiters, which work very musically.

To demonstrate the H6’s performance and sound I recorded a short song using the recorder’s overdub function. I used the X/Y-module (at 90 deg) to record the steel-string acoustic, and recorded two mandolin tracks and two vocals with my trusty Shure SM57.

First, I mixed the song using the Zoom’s internal mixer, after which I exported the stereo file to Garageband, where I cut off the count-in and added a little bit of reverb:

I also tried taking the other route by exporting all the separate files from the H6 into Garageband, where I remixed the song using the original tracks:

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I used a series of sine-wave sweeps to give you an idea of the effect the side-mic level has on the stereo-width of the recorded material. The lower the side-mic level is, the narrower your stereo image gets.

Side-mic +6dB:

Side-mic -2 dB:

Side-mic -9 dB:

Side-mic -22 dB:

Side-mic off:

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Zoom H6 – perspective 2

I think Zoom’s H6 is a great field recorder and portable multi-track studio. The H6 works great to capture your song ideas or to for quality recordings of your band rehearsals or live gigs. The Zoom makes pro-quality recording on the road possible.

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Zoom H6

Finnish distributor: Studiotec

Zoom H6 – 398 €

APH-6 – 48 €

EXH-6 – 58 €

SGH-6 – 118 €

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Pros:

+ exchangeable L/R-modules

+ rugged build

+ colour display

+ Overdub-, Pre Record- ja Backup Record -functions

+ quality compressor/limiter-section

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06/11/2013

Testipenkissä: Zoom H6

Zoom H6 – perspective 1

Zoomilla on uusi pikkutallentimien lippulaiva:

Zoom H6 on kuusiraitainen kannettava tallennin, joka tarjoaa vaihtomoduulien kautta erilaisia mikrofoniratkaisuja.

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Zoom H6 – package and case

Zoom H6 (suositushinta 398 €) myydään omassa kätevässä laukussa.

Zoom H6 – the set

Laukun sisältä löytyy H6:n runko, kaksi mikrofonimoduulia – XY-stereota tarjoava XYH-6 ja MS-stereomikrofoni MSH-6 – vaahtomuovinen tuulisuoja, USB-johto, neljä AA-paristoa, sekä 2 GB:n SD-kortti.

Tämän lisäksi pakettiin kuuluu myös Cubase LE -softasekvensseri.

h6n

H6 on tällä hetkellä ainoa kämmenkokoinen tallennin, joka tarjoaa mahdollisuuden vaihtaa tallentimen mikrofonivarustusta erilaisilla moduuleilla.

Lisävarusteena voi ostaa itselleen XY- ja MS-moduulien lisäksi Zoomiin sopiva haulikkomikki (SGH-6) tai sitten kaksi XLR/TRS-lisätuloja tarjoavaa vaihtoehtoa (EXH-6).

Zoom H6 – accessory pack

Testiin saatiin myös Zoomin kätevä lisävarustepaketti (APH-6), josta löytyy karvainen tuulisuoja ulkotyöskentelyä varten, sekä H6:lle sopiva USB-virtalähde ja langallinen kauko-ohjain.

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Zoom H6 – XY-module

Zoom H6:n metallista etupaneelia lukuun ottamatta laitteen runkoa on päällystetty käsittelyääniä vaimentavalla kumimaisella kuorella.

Zoom H6 – XY 90 deg

Yksi Zoom-tallentimille tyypillisistä ominaisuuksista löytyy myös XY-moduulista:

Mikrofonikapseleiden kulmaa voi säätää kääntämällä. Vaihtoehtoina tarjotaan hieman kapeampaa 90:n asteen kulmaa…

Zoom H6 – XY 120 deg

…sekä leveämpi 120:n asteen asentoa.

Zoom H6 – left side view

H6:n XLR/TRS-kombiliitimet on sijoitettu kätevästi laitteen molempiin kylkiin. Tuloista voi lähettää tarvittaessa phantom-virtaa kondensaattorimikrofoneja varten.

Vasen kylki tarjoaa tulojen lisäksi muistikorttipaikan, kuulokelähdön, sekä volumesäätimen.

Zoom H6 – right side view

Oikeasta kyljestä taas löytyy minikokoisen USB-portin lisäksi vielä Zoomin Menu-nappi ja H6:n sulavasti toimiva navigointivipu.

Zoom H6 – back view

Laitteen pohjaan on upotettu sen paristolokero neljälle AA-kokoisille paristoille. Alkaliparistoilla H6 toimii noin 20 tuntia.

Standardisoidun kierteensä ansiosta Zoomin voi kiinnittää suoraan tavalliseen kamerajalustaan, tai HS-1-kamera-adapterilla myös suoraan kameran salamakiinnikkeeseen.

Zoom H6:lla on myös pieni sisäinen monitorikaiutin.

Zoom H6 – line + remote

Zoomin linjalähtö, sekä H6:n liitin kauko-ohjaimelle on sijoitettu tallentimen etureunaan.

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Zoom H6 käyttää kahta audioformaattia:

Lineaariset WAV-tiedostot tarjoavat 44,1:n, 48:n tai 96:n kilohertsin näytetaajuudet 16- tai 24-bittisinä. Kun WAV on valittu äänitysformaatiksi, tallennin toimii moniraiturina, jolloin jälkiäänittäminen (engl. overdubbing) ja raitojen miksaaminen äänityksen jälkeen – joko H6:n omalla mikserillä (Project Mixer) tai audiosekvensserillä – on mahdollinen.

Myös Zoomin mainiota Backup Record -toimintoa varten formaatiksi täytyy valita WAV-vaihtoehto. Backup Record äänittää vaihtomoduulin signaalin samanaikaisesti sekä normaalina tallennuksena L/R-stereoraidalle että varmuuden vuoksi 12 desibeliä hiljaisempana ns. BU-raidalle. Jos on esimerkiksi live-tilanteessa tullut laitettua mikkimoduulin gain-asetuksia vahingossa liian isoksi, on Backupin ansiosta kuitenkin hyvin todennäköistä, että L/R-raidasta löytyy myös särötön versio.

MP3-tilan suuri etu on luonnollisesti, että datakompressoitu tiedostomuoto antaa roimasti enemmän tallennusaikaa. Zoomissa voi valita mp3-laadun 48:n ja 320:n kbps välillä. Kun mp3-on valittu äänitysformaatiksi H6:n kaikki tulosignaalit miksataan kuuntelumikserillä (engl. monitor mixer) yhdeksi valmiiksi stereotiedostoksi. MP3-tilan äänityksessä syntyy siis aina vain yksi valmis stereotiedosto, eikä WAV-tilan tavoin erillisiä raitoja.

Zoom H6 – MS-module

Tallentimen MS-moduulilla äänittäessä voi säätää stereokuvan laajuutta säätämällä sivumikrofonin (side-mic) signaalitasoa, joko ennen äänitystä (WAV ja mp3) tai ns. MS-Raw-moodissa (vain WAV) vasta miksausvaiheessa.

Lisää tietoa MS-stereosta saa TÄSTÄ.

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Zoom H6 – level knobs

Zoomin H6 on helppoa käyttää, sillä tallentimen signaalireititys on kiinteä:

Moduulin signaali menee L/R-stereoraidalle, kun taas muiden tulojen (1-4) signaalit äänitetään niille kuuluville monoraidoille (1-4).

Zoom H6 – display

Gain-säätimien alapuolella sijaitsevat raitojen tilanapit, sekä tallentimen isokokoiset näppäimet ”nauhakuljetusta” varten.

Zoom H6 – monitor mixer

Äänitysvaiheessa käytössä on Zoomin Monitor Mixer, jossa säädetään kuuntelutasoa ja -panorointia.

Kuuntelumikserissä voi myös nähdä, ovatko tulojen bassoleikkurit, kompressorit ja phantom-syötöt päällä vai pois.

Zoom H6 – menu view

Tällainen on H6:n selkeä Menu-näkymä.

Zoom H6 – project mixer

Valmiin materiaalin miksausta varten tallentimella on oma mikseri nimellä Project Mixer.

Tarjolla on raitojen tason säätö ja panorointi, ja sen lisäksi jokaisen raidan reaaliaikainen transponointi (toistonopeus pysyy muuttumattomana).

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Zoom H6 – top view

Mielestäni Zoom H6 on täysosuma:

Vaihtomoduulien käyttö on nerokas tapa laajentaa tallentimen käyttökohteita. H6 on helppo käyttää, ja sen tarjoama äänenlaatu on hyvin kiitettävällä tasolla. Sisäisen metronomin ja viritysmittarin ansiosta äänitys pysyy myös taimissa ja vireessä. Erityiskiitos kuuluu Zoom H6:n monipuolisille ja laadukkaille kompressori- ja limitteri-efekteille, jotka toimivat erittäin musikaalisella tavalla.

Äänitin kokeiluksi yhden akustisen demobiisin päällesoittoja käyttäen. Teräskielistä akustista kitaraa poimin talteen Zoomin XY-moduulilla (90 asteen kulma), minkä jälkeen äänitin kaksi lauluosuutta ja kaksi mandoliiniraitaa dynaamisella Shure SM57 -mikrofonilla.

Miksasin biisin ensin H6:n omalla mikserillä, minkä jälkeen vein stereomiksauksen Garagebandiin, jossa poistin sisäänlaskun ja lisäsin hieman yleiskaikua:

Tämän jälkeen vein biisin yksittäiset raidat Garagebandiin, ja miksasin biisiä uudelleen sekvensserillä:

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Käytin sarjan siniaalto-sweepejä MS-moduulin sivumikrofonin asetuksien havainnollistamiseen. Mitä pienempi sivumikin taso on, sitä kapeammaksi stereokuva muuttuu.

Side-mic +6dB:

Side-mic -2 dB:

Side-mic -9 dB:

Side-mic -22 dB:

Side-mic off:

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Zoom H6 – perspective 2

Zoom H6 on mielestäni loistava taskustudio, joka toimii yhtä hyvin biisintekovälineenä kuin myös mainiona keikka- tai harjoitustallentimena. Se on erittäin onnistunut paketti paljon liikkuvalle muusikoille, jolla voi syntyä helposti jopa julkaisukelpoista materiaalia.

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Zoom H6

Maahantuoja: Studiotec

Zoom H6 – 398 €

APH-6 – 48 €

EXH-6 – 58 €

SGH-6 – 118 €

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Plussat:

+ vaihdettavat moduulit

+ vankkaa tekoa

+ värinäyttö

+ Overdub-, Pre Record- ja Backup Record -toiminnot

+ laadukkat kompressorit/limitterit

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16/05/2013

Review: Zoom A3

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Zoom A3 + Godin Acousticaster A6

Zoom’s A3 is the company’s brand-new, next-generation modelling effects unit for acoustic guitar.

The Zoom A3’s user interface is very similar to the one used in their MS-50G-pedal for electric guitar, but in terms of its features the A3 offers a whole plethora of stuff developed specially for use with acoustic guitars.

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zooma3

Zoom have managed to pack an unbelievable amount of processing prowess into its new compact contender (current street price in Finland approx. 170 €), yet the A3 is still easy to use. The most vital functions have been given their own knobs and pushbuttons, which makes the A3 easy to use and cuts back on unnecessary menu-jumping at the same time.

The Zoom’s main sections are the quality dual preamp with its three-band EQ, the pedal’s versatile guitar-modelling department, as well as the A3’s large assortment of effects.

Additionally, the pedal offers a switchable solo boost (up to 12 dB) with its own tone control, an automatic feedback remover (that can defeat up to three different frequencies simultaneously) and a digital tuner.

a3_memory

The Zoom A3 is a programmable unit, which can store up to 20 patches. The patches can also be lined up in an A/B-list, which enables you to select patches for on-the-fly switching.

a3_battery

The effect pedal comes with its own power supply unit, but it can also be run on four AA-size batteries.

Zoom A3 – mic input

The A3’s microphone input – which can run phantom power (+24V or +48V) for condenser mics – and the unit’s balanced XLR-output (with a dedicated ground lift switch) have been placed on the front panel.

Zoom_A3_right_side

Your guitar’s output goes into the Zoom’s pickup input on the unit’s right hand side. A three-way slider lets you select two pre-EQ curves – magnetic or piezo – as well as a linear option (flat).

Zoom_A3_left_side

The stereo outputs have been placed on the opposite side, next to the USB-port for (firmware updates).

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Zoom A3

Each of the A3’s patches can run up to three different effects simultaneously, so you could use the first slot for one of the Zoom’s 28 virtual guitars, the second slot for one of three virtual microphones (SM57, C414, U87) and the third for something like a reverb.

On the other hand, you can also use the A3 as a ”pure” multieffect, by not using any digital guitar-modelling and creating patches with three effects in them. You can choose from 40 different effect types – from compression and chorus all the way to pitch-shifting and reverb. The sound quality is very good, and each effect offers plenty of leeway for precise adjustment.

16_body_types

Still, I think the A3’s biggest selling point is its excellent modelling section, which makes it possible to achieve astonishingly realistic results with only a few clicks of a button.

To work properly the modelling section needs a clean guitar signal, so the first thing is to make sure you’ve got the input gain settings for your straight guitar output and/or the mic put in front of your guitar just right.

Once the levels are OK, miraculously changing the character of your guitar is quick and easy: First, use the rotary switch above the Zoom’s display to select the body type corresponding best to the guitar you’re using – for example, choose ”Mold Body” if you’re playing an Ovation or ”YMH” if your guitar is a Yamaha LL-series instrument.

acoustic_preamp

Next, you select a virtual guitar of your liking for the first effect slot in the chosen patch. You can access all of the A3’s 28 virtual guitars by using the Type-buttons. The guitars are displayed using their model names – like J-45, LG-2 or F-55 – as well as by an icon in the display.

If you’re using only a direct piezo signal as a starting point, you can add a good dose of authenticity by selecting a virtual microphone for the second effect slot of the patch. Each of the three virtual mics lets you choose between close- and ambient-miking, and whether the mic has been placed in front of the virtual sound-hole or near the virtual guitar’s bridge.

I have recorded three audio examples to give you an idea of the modelling technology’s sound:

The first clip features a Godin Acousticaster with an LR Baggs piezo system. First you’ll hear the straight piezo signal, followed by the these virtual guitars: A D-28, an OM-28, a 00-18 and an SJ-200. I’ve used Zoom’s virtual version of an AKG C414, and a touch of reverb:

The second clip has been recorded with me playing my Takamine N-20 -jumbo into a real condenser mic (an AKG C3000). The sequence of virtual guitar models is the same as above:

In the third clip I play my Tanglewood TW28-CSN -dreadnought, with the physical microphone and the sequence of virtual guitars staying the same:

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In my opinion the Zoom A3 is a very serious contender for the title of ”Best compact multieffect for acoustic guitar”. It is a fantastic little tool for both live use and in the studio, where it can act as your own production centre for acoustic guitars. The Zoom is very easy to use and it sounds great. The on-board anti-feedback circuitry works very nicely and the solo boost is a handy tool to have in a unit such as this.

The best bit is, nonetheless, the A3’s surprisingly organic-sounding modelling section. The Zoom’s biggest advantage, when compared to other similar effect units, lies in its versatility and the wide range of different virtual guitars on offer. It is very easy to find a good body-style match for your physical guitar’s input signal, and the amount of different virtual guitar models makes it almost hard to choose. The option to creatively misuse the Zoom A3 – by selecting the ”wrong” body-type for your input signal – is also fun, and yields some nice new flavours.

But, don’t listen to me, go out and give it a try yourselves.

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Zoom A3

Current street price in Finland approx. 170 €

Finnish distributor: Studiotec

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Pros:

+ value-for-money

+ quality preamp

+ mic input with phantom power

+ great-sounding virtual guitar models

+ effect quality

+ EQ-section has physical control knobs

+ Boost & Anti-Feedback functions

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