z Gear Stories episode 9

Gear Stories 9, Ultimate Guitar pedal & Theory of Evolution



Hello my friends!  Once again, it’s time for Gear Stories!


As always, if you don;t want to get it, let me know and I’ll stop it coming from you.  Also, I will be discussing a two products… one in a lower price range, and one for the dreamers among us who loves the high end stuff!


I hope you enjoy!


Part one:  Line6 M13… the ULTIMATE guitar pedal!


I will never forget the first time I heard a line6 Pedal.  (And THAT’S saying something!  In the course of a fifteen year career in recording, I’ve heard a LOT of products for the first time and found them entirely unremarkable… but this was different!)


I was working with a local Jazz/Funk group full of incredible musicians, and the guitarist, Brandon Rentfrow  (Note the name… If there’s any justice in the world, he will be famous someday!) brought in a pedalboard with several line6 pedals on it, and nothing else.


The band did their sound check and then started in on live takes of their songs, while I was manning the helm in the control room.  It was sounding GREAT, and all was going well, and then, suddenly, I heard a member of the band that was not there.  I heard a KILLER Hammond B-3 sound coming through the speakers!  But the band did not have a Keyboardist.


Needless to say, I was puzzled.  This was before I had the great big seven foot wide window put into the control room, so I started craning my neck around, peering through a two foot by three foot control room window to see who was making that sound.   (I think I actually  became a little distracting to the band.)


At the end of the take, I burst into the main tracking room and started searching… (as if I was going to find a gnome playing a hammond B3 inside somebody’s road case.)


While the guys were reveling in how great a take it was, finally I got around to just asking who was playing the organ part.  That’s when Brandon showed me his array of line six pedals.


He had the DL4 Delay,  (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DL4Modeler/) and the MM4 Modulation modeler (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MM4/) which is what I suspect was the main source of the leslie effect that made his guitar sound so much like a B3 through a leslie.  I believe he also had the Filter modeler, (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/FM4Modeler/) but I can’t be sure anymore…


What I am sure of is that I instantly became  HUGE fan of Line6 Pedals.  The sound was so clean… none of that added noise that so many pedals introduce) and they  were so… well.. DEEP!  Those pedals just made a completely unique and profound change to the sound of his guitar, and throughout the day, he used them in combination to make dozens of sounds and each one impressed me just as much as the last.


That is why, when Line6 recently introduces the brand new M13 pedal, I KNEW I was going to have to tell you about it.


What the M13 is, is a combination of ALL the Line6 pedals in to one, ultimately programmable foot pedal!  Every foot pedal they have made is included inside the M13, and you can use pre-sets, or create your own programs that are combinations of the pedals, and then arrange them into Scenes that allow you to advance from one to the other for the different sounds you would use in each song or set that you do. (and it’s all put together and integrated so simply that you do not need four legs and tap dancing lessons to get from one incredible sound to the next!)


There are also some pretty awesome distortion sounds!  What would you expect from a company that rose to fame modeling all the famous guitar amps in the world!  I venture a guess that there’s not a guitar sound anywhere else that can’t be very nicely replicated in the M13!  (As well as a lot of sounds that are completely unique to the M13!)


And, this is not just for guitar players… these could be used just as effectively on keyboards, or any instrument that you can plug in with a guitar cable.


There’s also a special limited time offer of a free EX-1 expression pedal along with the M-13 (while supplies last!)


Here’s the  link.




The price on this is normally, $499.99  But for the next month, I will be letting these go for $459.99  (That’s forty bucks off!  See me amaze with my math skills!  I didn’t even use a calculator!)  They are backordered right now for a few weeks, but call me and pre-order…  they are so popular right now that you’ll have to get on the waiting list to get yours!  Call early!




Part two:  KORG M3, the Theory of evolution.


No offense to all the Creationists out there, but when it comes to the Korg M3, there has absolutely been evolution at play!


I got my first KORG keyboard (the MONO/Poly) in 1981, and it was before MIDI was included in all keyboards, but I fell in love with Korg keyboards, and have remained a fan to this day.  I have had more KORG keyboards than any other brand.


Back in the late 80’s, Korg introduced the M1 Keyboard that was a full on workstation with a GREAT sequencer, internal effects and sounds that made it stand out in the marketplace and chisel a place that the line still holds firmly onto.  There are sounds that you still hear to this day that were originated in that Mother of all digital keyboard workstations.  Particularly the synthesized voices that you heard in almost every movie score from the late 80’s on.


Shortly after the M1, came the T series, (T-1, T-2, and T-3… harbingers of the Hit Arnold Shwarzenegger movies, I should say!)  which was like smaller versions of the M-1 in a similar package, but with basically the same user interface and the same functionality and the same sounds… just a few less tracks in the sequencer and such.


After the T series, came the Triton and Trinity series, which Flooded the market in electronic music from techno to Hip Hop, not to mention POP.  If you were a professional keyboardist in the first decade of the millennium, you HAD to have one of the boards from that series.  It was mandatory!


I remember using these in the studio with electronic music projects I was working on, and actually hiring a professional keyboard session man, just to bring in his Triton so I could access the sounds!  I didn’t need him to play it, It was just like renting the board.


the think that REALLY blew me away about it was the arpeggiator, and the drum loops that were attached to each sound.  In a way, it made making amazing sounding music too easy!  I’d just synch up the MIDI, hit one key and I sounded like _____ (Insert your favorite 2000’s electronic band name here)


Then, Sometime last year came the logical extension of that series that started with the M1… the M3  (T series and tritons were really the MM-2 Keyboards!)


It had all the originals, plus updated to the minute sounds, as well as all the cool arpeggiator and sequencing functions, and then some!  Everything was updated… the memory was increased exponentially, and the depth of the sound creation capabilities are astonishing!  And like all the KORGS before it, the sounds are GREAT!


The cool, evolutionary adaptations that would make Darwin proud, is the expandability.  And THAT is the thing that makes a KORG M3 from Sweetwater stand out.


On top of all the cool features that come standard in the various versions of the M3, Sweetwater has some exclusive features!


There is an upgraded operating system and upgraded RAM that will be offered on ALL Sweetwater M3’s before any other dealers can make them available, and along with this, we’ve added a number of extremely useful and in demand sounds that do not come standard.  Several variations on the standard acoustic piano are upgraded for Sweetwater customers only, including an immaculately detailed piano sample replacing the standard acoustic piano sample, that responds much more realistically to the pedal and to the velocity sensitivity to the keyboard.  We’ve also added a mono sampled piano, that will not sound cancelled out and thin when playing live through a mono pa system.  As well as an electric piano set that has increased realism in  tone, and sampled flutes and strings from the old Mellotrons that give that vintage vibe!


We call this Sweetwater Exclusive offer the M3 expanded, and you can read about it with all the versions of the M3 available on our web site.




KORG is a GREAT company, making GREAT products, and they are a GREAT value as well, and KORG does not allow any of their product to be discounted, however, if you call me this month, I can make a package deal in which i throw in a small cable to the deal for a nice negative amount that will make the total package deal a price that will make you happy!


I look forward to talking to you, and until next month,  be well my friends!


Jon Gillespie, Sweetwater Sales Engineer


800 222 4700 x 1352

260 432 8176 x 1352 (outside the U.S.)

260 432 1758 FAX

[email protected]