Blog, Hunter's Effects

The G3’s First Public Appearence: Mixed Results

I used the Zoom G3 onstage with two different sets of players at the Monday night jam at Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues in London this week, and the results were mixed.

The setup I used for the jam at ANBTB on Monday 9 June: Zoom G3, Shaker Dynamic mic, 2 cables

The setup I used for the jam at ANBTB on Monday 9 June: Zoom G3, Shaker Dynamic mic, 2 cables

Good stuff first: the basic sound of this setup was very nice for blues. Plenty of guts, gratifying shifts in tone as my playing went from soft to loud.

On the not so good side, I couldn’t seem to get the setup loud enough to compete with two guitars effectively. I had feedback issues from the start. I was able to reduce the feedback by turning off the graphic EQ and delay FX in my patch setup (a basic Fender Bassman patch), but I was never able to get the setup as loud as I can get one of my Digitech RPs.

The situation is somewhat complicated by the fact that I was using the Shaker Dynamic mic for the first time at this jam. When there are two moving parts in the picture, it’s tough to know which is the main culprit. I hereby remind myself not to test more than one piece of gear at a time going forward.

Anyway, the G3 needs more testing and adjustments before I release this patch set. As an interim step, I’ve asked several people who’ve expressed interest in this set to do a little beta testing, which should take around a month. Stay tuned for more information on revised release dates.

Blog, Hunter's Effects, Recommended Artists & Recordings

Me and the Devil

Ed Abbiatti and Chris Cacavas have just released their latest CD, “Me and the Devil,” a tough rock record with plenty of classic rock and Americana in it. I’m playing harp on two of the tracks, including the title track, where I contributed two parts recorded through the Digitech RP355: an organ-like rhythm track recorded with a Bassman amp model and a rotary speaker effect, and a lead line recorded with my “devil sound,” a Matchless amp model with a pitch-shifted line a perfect 4th below the original tone.

I recorded all my parts for this record using the RP355 as the audio interface, direct via USB into Cakewalk Sonar 8.5. The recording was done in my kitchen in Idaho last summer. (Kitchens work well as recording studios with this setup.) The mic on these tracks is an Audix Fireball. That’s the gear list.

You can find out more about this release at http://www.harboursong.co.uk/artists, where you can buy it too if you’re so inclined.

Me and the Devil: red-hot Americana

Me and the Devil: red-hot Americana

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, 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, 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, Hunter's Effects, Recommended Gear

The Digitech RP360 Firmware Update Finally Took–After 6 Tries

I had to power the device down and up again 6 times, with Nexus running on my computer, before the firmware update worked. The first 5 times, the update started, took a few shaky steps into the RP’s flash memory, then shut down. The sixth time, it went all the way. And to my great relief, the backup I’d saved of the 50 presets in my Huntersounds v17 patch set loaded on the first try.

The RP360XP: maybe it's working now?

The RP360XP: maybe it’s working now?


So I’m up and running again with the RP360XP, ready to test the patch set in the audible world. I still don’t know if the problems I’ve seen with the stability of patches in the RP360’s memory have been solved by the latest firmware update, but I’ll know soon. Stay tuned.

And Digitech, if you’re reading this, would you please fix this s—? I own one of almost every RP you ever made, starting with the RP200. I’ve been programming the RPs for 10 years. And if I didn’t have that history, I would have thrown this thing into the trash on Day One, because so far it’s the buggiest piece of gear I’ve ever bought from anyone. And you must know it, because it’s pretty amazing to see the first firmware rev less than two weeks after a device becomes available for sale. It makes me wonder whether that rev was underway even before the device went public, i.e. whether you knew the thing had some serious issues when it was released. Did you?

Blog, Hunter's Effects

The Digitech RP360 Crashed on a Firmware Update–Will it Come Back?

Last night I completed installing the first set of 50 Huntersounds patches on my Digitech RP360. I immediately backed up the set to my computer using Digitech’s crippled Nexus software. I’m glad I did, because if I hadn’t all that work would have been lost, maybe forever.
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Blog, Hunter's Effects, Recommended Gear

Announcing the Huntersounds Patch Set for Digitech RP1000

Yup. It’s here. If you’ve been waiting for the Huntersounds patch set for Digitech RP1000, wait no longer. $50 gets you fifty killer original harp-ready sounds. Just go straight to our store and pick it up.

The Digitech RP1000: You can load it with our patches starting now

The Digitech RP1000: You can load it with our patches starting now

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