Blog, Hunter's Effects, Recommended Gear

London with the Zoom G3

I arrived in London this morning (Sunday 8 June), and I plan to visit the Monday night jam at Ain’t Nothin But the Blues. When I do, I’ll be packing the Zoom G3, as opposed to the Tech 21 Blonde pedal that’s been my go-to jam session box for a while.

Zoom G3, Shaker dynamic, two cables

Zoom G3, Shaker dynamic, two cables–just add harps and you’re ready to rock

There’s nothing wrong with the Blonde. It just doesn’t do everything that a Zoom G3 can do. Like the Blonde, the G3 runs on batteries, which means that the road kit can be stripped down to the G3, a mic, and two 1/4″ cables, one to connect the mic to the G3, the other to connect the G3 to the PA.

For this trip I brought the Shaker dynamic mic that’s been in my kit for years, during which period I’ve barely used it. I’ve discovered recently that this mic sounds very good with amp modelers in general, and its very light weight and handy ergonomics make it a good choice for a road trip.

This’ll be the first onstage test of my new patches for the G3, which I expect to release within days of my return. Stay tuned–I may get audio or video of this jam.

Blog, Hunter's Effects, Recommended Gear

Coming Soon: the Huntersounds Patch Set for Zoom G3

It’s been a long time coming, and it’s almost here. I will offer my first patch set for a non-Digitech device within the next few weeks: my ultra-cool setup for the Zoom G3.

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Blog, Recommended Artists & Recordings

Wim Dijkgraaf, “Nightwings”–Big, Beautiful Chromatic

I met Dutch composer and player Wim Dijkgraaf in the late 1990s in Amsterdam. We had a great evening listening to music and talking. I saw Wim again a couple of years ago in Sao Paolo, where he lives now. Through all that time, he’s remained true to his art and the harmonica. Living in Brazil, the Most Musical Place on the Planet, for a few years hasn’t hurt, as you can see from this very cool piece with gorgeous chromatic harmonica.

Wim Dijkgraaf, chromatic harmonica master

Wim Dijkgraaf, chromatic harmonica master

Check it out here: Wim Dijkgraaf, Nightfall

Blog, Hunter's Effects, Recommended Gear

The Huntersounds RP360 Patch Set Is Getting Close

I’ve been steadily working towards the release of my patch set for the Digitech RP360/RP360XP, and we’re pretty close to go. There will be a few changes in this set versus previous sets:
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Blog, Discography, CDs, Projects, Info, Notes, Hunter's Music

Cover the Distance

This is the story of how I recorded the most emotionally shattering harp part I’ve ever laid on a track. Like Ringo said: you know it don’t come easy.
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Blog, Hunter's Music

What a Great Gig with Lowlands in Milan

I performed last night (5 April 2014) with Lowlands in Milan, and it was a great gig. The venue, Spazio Teatro 89, is a very nice theatre that seats about 250, and the place was packed. The acoustics in the room and onstage were wonderful. I could hear every detail of my own and the band’s performance without straining. The band—which actually consisted of a core unit of Ed Abbiatti (guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter), a keyboardist (on piano, organ, and accordion), a drummer, a mandolinist, augmented by a range of performers (including me, a cellist, a horn section, a lap steel guitarist, and two bassists, one standup, one electric) who played on some tunes but not all (I played on 17 tunes, which shows you how long the set was)—was in fine form, and the audience went nuts basically from the first piece through the end of the show. Very cool.

The whole band takes a bow at end of show; Ed Abbiatti in center with arm raised, me to the right next to the bearded guy in the black shirt and jeans

The whole band takes a bow at end of show; Ed Abbiatti in center with arm raised, me to the right next to the bearded guy in the black shirt and jeans


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Blog, Hunter's Effects, Recommended Gear

Digitech RP360XP or RP500? Here’s how I make up my mind

I published most of this post in a response to a question posted in the comments here. I figured that it was worth publishing as a post in its own right. So here are a half dozen things I think about when I’m choosing between a Digitech RP360XP and an RP500.
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Blog, Hunter's Effects, Hunter's Music, Recommended Gear, Recorded Performances (live and otherwise), Upcoming Performances

Playing in Milan on April 5, Taking the RP360XP

I’m doing a gig in Milan, Italy at Spazio Teatro 89 on April 5 with Ed Abbiatti and his band Lowlands. It’s an all-acoustic show in (I’m told) a big theatre, and it’s going to be recorded and video’d, so there should be some cool stuff to see and hear afterwards (like an “Unplugged” DVD). I’m spending a few more days in Milan after that to record a few more songs with Ed and Lowlands for the next record. I’ve been on just about every record Ed’s made with this group, and it’s cool to be part of that history.

I’m bringing the Digitech RP360XP with me on this trip, not the RP500. I ran the two boxes side by side tonight, comparing identical patch setups, and the RP360XP sounded better overall–the same vivid tones as the 500, which after all is based on the same chip, but bigger and more detailed somehow. Like Bill Clayton at Digitech tech support told me: subtly better.

That wouldn’t be enough to get me off the 500, which has very, very superior performance features compared to the 360XP, except for two things:
1) The 360XP runs on Euro standard wall power as well as US standard, and the 500 doesn’t. So I’d have to drag a transformer to the gig with the 500. Much simpler with the 360XP. Also…
2) With this band, I won’t be doing the rapid tone changes I use on my own stuff–for the most part I’ll stick to one basic sound per song, and use the expression pedal to modulate the sound. So the performance features of the RP500 aren’t so important this time.

And oh, yeah: if you’re flying a long way, every extra pound and cubic inch in your luggage matters. The 360XP is a lot smaller and lighter than the 500, and that makes a difference here. (However, I have to carry a direct box with the 360XP, because there are no XLR outs.)

The other big difference for me is that the RP500 is programmed with all the tailored sounds I use for my own repertoire, as well as the v17 patch set I offer in my store. The RP360XP only has the v17 patch set in it, and even a few of those patches need some tweaking. (Did you wonder why I haven’t released a set for the RP360 yet? That’s why.) However, I don’t think I’ll miss the customized tones on this gig. Most of them are variations on the v17 sounds anyway, with EQ adjustments for the layered arrangements I do in my solo work. So I don’t expect to miss the repertoire-specific sounds, which is a good thing given that I don’t have time to program them into the RP360XP before I get to Milan, either.

The biggest problem I may have is convincing Ed to let me use the RP–it’s an Unplugged gig, after all. But I’ll work on it. Stay tuned for more details on the gig. See you in Milan.

Blog

Digitech’s Tech Support is the Best. I Mean It.

I’ve been pissing and moaning a lot about my RP360XP the last few days. I think it’s only fair to note that the folks at Digitech Tech Support (support@digitech.com) are the best I’ve dealt with just about anywhere. They are unfailingly prompt, polite, to the point, and accurate in their advice. When I have a problem I can’t solve, I go to them with full confidence that they’re going to help. Every time.

It’s easy to forget stuff like that when you’re struggling with a series of problems such as the ones I’ve had with the RP360XP in the last few days. So let it be said: Digitech’s tech support gets it right.

Now back to pissing and moaning…

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