PlayRecord.Net Community Mailer Issue Seven

The seventh edition of the PlayRecord.Net Community Mailer (ISSN 1743-1476)

To the seventh edition of the Community Mailer...



You have your instrument, guitar, drums or whatever and you have managed to learn how to make it play the notes you want, but what you haven't got sussed is how to make the sound you want. Maybe you have managed to learn the riff from your favourite song or whatever, but the sound isn't there...

Well maybe what you need to look into is effects...

This edition of the mailer we are having an effects theme, with a focus on how to get different and inspiring sounds out of your instruments. For electronic instrments such as guitars - effects have become one of the cornerstones of the modern sound - with entire genres of music built upon particular types of effects such as distortion. If you want to recreate a sound or create your own unique sound then effects are probably the easiest way to do this.

This fact combined with the awesome value of digital multiFX units such as the digitech RP50 means that you have no excuse for a weedy uninspiring sound...

Remember: We are more than happy to answer any questions or queries - no matter how simple, just e-mail for a fast and friendly response.

General NewsGuitar NewsPercussion News

Recording & Hi-Tech NewsDJ News

Orchestral, Wind & Brass News

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General News

Site News
For the novice musician, producer, DJ or whatever - the multitude of different effects can seem a little daunting to say the least. It sometimes seems that people assume you must know your flanger from your phaser, your delay from your distortion - but without any previous experience how are you supposed to know this - or more importantly - know what to do with them...

Well to help you on your way we have put together a comprehensive all about effects - how they work, why you might use them and what the different settings and controls actually do. There are also links to loads of audio samples so you can actually hear what is going on and so understand what effects you might need to get the sound that you want.

To tie in with this theme we also have loads of
special offers on at the moment including electronic effects and also equipment to create special effects on other instruments such as drums.

You have no excuse not to get your sound inspiring...

General News
Coming back to the filesharing theme of last fortnight, the BBC News web site is running a story about the RIAA - The music industry body in the US - who are suing a twelve year old girl for illegally sharing files. It seems that she had inadvertantly broken the law - downloading about 1000 individual copyrighted song files. Her mother has agreed to settle the case by paying $2000 (£1257).

UK filesharers need not worry at the moment though as the BBC's FAQ on whether you will be sued states clearly that:

I live in the UK, but US computer users will be able to access the songs I share on file-swapping networks. Will the RIAA sue me?

No. The RIAA's UK equivalent, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), says this is a US action that is affecting only music downloaders in the US because international laws are different. The RIAA cannot take action against people outside the US.

The UK equivalent of the RIAA - the BPI - has not yet decided to pursue this course of action, saying that it will only be employed as a last resort.

Online Resources:We do the searching so you don't have to...
Have a read through the Effects Explained article in the Articles section of PlayRecord to get a basic understanding of effects. If you want to get more detailed then you should check out the more in depth explanations at Harmony Central.

There is also a good tutorial about effects on the Wholenote guitar website.

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Guitar News

Site News
While we are on the topic of effects i want to draw your attention to a special offer we have on one of the most important effects in the history of the electric guitar. This effect is also one of the few effects that has not been convincingly recreated in a digital format, and therefore does not exist on most multiFX units.

MultiFX units such as the Digitech RP50 are single boxes that can apply a chain of digital effects to your source sound, negating the need for a chain of expensive stomp boxes.

If you want to get a decent sound out of your guitar then MultiFX are definitely a good idea, but if you want a decent Wah Wah sound, as used by nearly all the guitar greats including Hendrix, Clapton and Dimebag Darrel then you really need to use a proper Wah Wah pedal.

We currently have a great offer on one of the all time classic Wah Wah pedals - the Jim Dunlop CryBaby, which you can get from PlayRecord for a limited time only at the superb price of £64.99 (rrp £110).

General News
On Jan. 30, 1969, on the roof of Apple Records, George Harrison gave his last performance with the Beatles. The custom-made Fender Rosewood Telecaster that he used and subsequently gave to musician Delaney Bramlett the following December is to be auctioned off this weekend with an expected price of $250,000.

The instrument - also used by the legendary guitarist during the filming of the classic Beatles movie "Let it be" - is the star item among hundreds of items of showbiz memorabilia being auctioned off in Hollywood. "It's a custom-made fender rosewood telecaster guitar, and expected to sell for 250,000 dollars or more," said the president of Odyssey auctions, Bill Miller.

Check out the eBay auction here

Online Resources:We do the searching so you don't have to...
Coming back to the subject of Wah, we have pulled together a few links related to the history of the Wah and some Wah technique sites as well. Visit this site for an Encylopedic Definition of Wah, and a brief history of its evolution from a trumpet technique into the electronic incarnation it is now best known for.

This Site has a great selection of examples of the different uses for Wah, complete with audio examples so you can hear the difference the Wah makes.

This short page has an interesting idea to try with your Wah - plugging into the output and plugging your amp into the input, creating some high pitched squealing effects.

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Percussion News

Site News
Following the FX theme this time round, we've decided to look at items for the kit that add variety and a change from the norm. We'll have a look at the basics like double kick drum pedals and brushes, both of which add a change from the normal sound most drummers use. A double kick drum pedal has two beaters on the kick drum and a bar connecting to another pedal which is located usually by the hi-hat pedal. This allows the use of two kick drums, effectively, on one drum. This is well used in rock, and nu-metal styles, but lends its attraction to many genres. Using it for light flicks during beats, or in rolling fills adds an extra dimension to what can be achieved. It is an extension of what already is on offer, and, once the syncopation (the term for your limbs working in correct timing to each other with proper coordination) is learned provides excellent practice for getting your second foot quicker and tighter. An excellent example is the PP-1200 from Stagg. This is a well made, quality product. It has medium/heavy hardware, so it should last a drummers treatment, and comes with alternate facing beaters, either plastic or felt to create a different sound. A more rounded thump is obtained from use of the felt side and a more clicking sound by the plastic.

Brushes are normally used for jazz / country / folky sounds, and play a large part in ambient music. Any light feel can benefit from the use of brushes as they are perfect for incredibly light, almost quiet sounds and can largely transform the normally dominating drum kit to a more soulful instrument. Brushes differ in what the wires are made from, the different handles, weight and thickness. Some are permanently out and others have a telescopic slide to retract or produce more of the wires in a tight or loose spread. These variations in the brushes density create different sounds as if the brushes are held tightly together then they produce a more powerful stroke than when the brushes are loose and they literally brush over the skins or the cymbals. Cymbal rolls are seamless and can be gently produced from nothing to a loud crescendo. Two great brushes available are the Regal Tip Classic brushes and the Stagg wooden handled, telescopic brushes. The Regal Tip produce everything you expect from the name, quality and ideal equipment. They are good to hold and feel and the quality off the brushes makes them sound superb. The Stagg brushes are excellent, and for a fantastic price. They are telescopic - as are the RT Classics - and have a wooden handle which is surprisingly good to hold. To go with this newsletter the brushes will be reduced to a special limited price of £12.49! A must for those wishing to enter the lighter side of kit drumming.

General News
This week in the general drum news we've decided to take a peek at one of the worlds best drummers, Buddy Rich. Buddy was one of the leading entertainers and a master of his instrument. He was arguably the greatest jazz drummer of all time, and his career spanned seven decades, beginning when Rich was 18 months old and continuing until his death in 1987. Immensely gifted, Rich could play with remarkable speed and dexterity despite the fact that he never received a formal lesson and refused to practice outside of his performances. With his natural sense of rhythm, Rich performed regularly on Broadway at the age of four. At the peak of Rich's early career, he was the second-highest paid child entertainer in the world.Some of his life time achievements include:

Downbeat Magazine Hall of Fame Award
Downbeat Magazine Readers Poll winner (numerous times)
Three Grammy nominations
Modern Drummer Magazine Hall of Fame Award
Modern Drummer Magazine Readers Poll winner (numerous times)/li>
Command performance for the King of Thailand
Command performance for the Queen of England
Inaugural performance for Franklin Roosevelt
Performance for President Reagan and King Hussein of Jordan
Performance for President John F. Kennedy
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Neogenesis Award
American Cancer Society Award
Jazz Unlimited Immortals of Jazz Award
Playboy Hall of Fame Award
Playboy Readers Poll Award (numerous times)
Grammy Presidents Merit Award
Honorary Doctor of Music from Berkeley College of Music in Boston
Featured soloist with Boston Pops, Milwaukee Symphony, London Philharmonic and more Buddy went on to play with such jazz greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Ventura, Louis Armstrong and Gene Krupa. Rich was regularly featured in Jazz at the Philharmonic during the late 1940s. He also appeared in such Hollywood films as Symphony of Swing (1939), Ship Ahoy (1942) and How's About It (1943).Throughout the 60s and 70s, Rich toured with his own bands and opened two nightclubs, Buddy's Place & Buddy's Place II. The clubs were always filled to capacity by fans of the master drummer. After opening his second nightclub,'B' introduced new tunes with elements of rock into his repertoire, demonstrating his ability to adapt to his audience's changing tastes and establishing himself as a great rock drummer.

Known for his humour, Rich was a favourite on television talk shows including the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, the Mike Douglas Show, the Dick Cavett Show and the Merv Griffin Show. During these appearances, audiences were entertained by Rich's constant sparring with the hosts and his slights of various pop singers.

This famed musician received outstanding recognition throughout his career. The Downbeat Magazine Hall of Fame Award, the Modern Drummer Magazine Hall of Fame Award and the Jazz Unlimited Immortals of Jazz Award are just a few of his numerous honours. Rich gained international attention for such master compositions as his 10-minute West Side Story medley. During his lengthy career, Rich toured around the globe, performing for millions of fans and several world leaders including the King of Thailand, King Hussein of Jordan the Queen of England, and U.S. presidents Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.

Online Resources:We do the searching so you don't have to...

Check out as this site is perfect for those who are into Jazz drummer Clayton Cameron who is renowned as master of the brushes.

Music-upm is the best site I've seen for brushes and jazz drumming techniques......a must see...

Also check out Ballistic drums to "reveal" all double bass drumming secrets! This is a fantastic site for those who want to learn / master double kick drumming and theres plenty of exercises to be working through!

Don't forget you can always email us with any drum related questions or queries - we are happy to help...

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Recording & Hi-Tech News

Site News
We have just added some great value 19" rack bags to the accessories section of These are ideal for easily transporting your rackmountable effects and outboard for location recording or live use.

For those who are fairly new to recording, you will also find the effects explained article in the articles section of PlayRecord a good read - pay particular to the bit about compression which is of particular relevance to people who are recording and mastering music - as it is of vital importance to get your recording sounding as professional as possible.

General News
Steinberg have just announced the release of version 2 of their highly popular studio package - Cubase SX. The new Cubase SX 2.0 unites the proven and the pioneering in one fascinating new program. Cubase SX 2.0 is the next generation of one of the world's most popular audio and MIDI sequencers with a new revised user interface and over 100 fantastic new features.

Improvements such as the new VST audio engine with 32-bit floating point audio resolution, Freeze function for VSTi's, real multi-channel surround, Stacked Recording mode and the freely configurable user interface leave Cubase SX 2.0 without peer among music workstations. And because Cubase SX is a native application, users can choose which audio and control hardware they wish to work with.

Cubase SX will be available from in approximately 2 weeks
Price is still to be announced....

Online Resources:We do the searching so you don't have to...
Coming back to the theme of compression, we have pulled you together some of the best articles on the web so that you can get the best out of the compressor in your music software or hardware.

First up is this fully in depth article in digitalprosound which is multiple pages long and goes through all aspects of compression in detail - great for a really full understanding of compression and recording.

A shorter but more technical description is available at harmony central which also has some audio demos for you to hear the difference that a compressor makes.

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DJ News

Site News
The Gemini FX-7000 is a nice,sturdy reliable mixer, typical of the Gemini range. but the best thing about this model are the array of effects that can completly change your sound. If you are an experienced club/bar dj or a beginner in your bedroom, you like me will have hours of fun playing with all the different sounds you can create. with a massive 16 effects to toy with, they even throw in an extra 9 preset reverb effects. FX-7000 is £229.99 including delivery, with delay, echo, ping-pong echo, reverb, pitch up, pitch down, filters1 and 2, brake, auto pan, flanger, phaser, rotary, ambience and the 9 preset reverbs including hall, room, and plate.also a 3 channel mixer, paramiter adjustment, reversable crossfader amd all the other standard gemini touches. Newsletter Special: Gemini FX-7000 only £229.99 inc delivery

General News
Farina Debut Due!

Mark Farina, san francico based producer has finished his debut album. His album which is made up of 75% house music and 25% mushroom jazz-style music features collabrations with artists such as Ryan Reddit and Aka Kaskade. the end result is a concept album, complete with air traffic control and pilot voice samples that comes as a continuous mix.due out in october through oM records 'Air Farina' comes in the form of cd and unmixed vinyl

Online Resources:We do the searching so you don't have to...
Spend your lunch break checking out some dj related sites...
the complete source for djs visit djsource for forums, news and links.Covers various skills including beatmatching and scratching, equipment explanations, glossary of terms,...
get information on UK Club Round Up Dance Festivals, take a look at Club Pictures, reviews and competitions
completeley club cool discuss everything to do with dance music culture in the UK: clubs, parties, special events, record shops, radio, records and anything else to do with the underground scene.

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Orchestral, Wind & Brass News

Site News
New this time round is the new Bb tenor slide Trombone, from Stagg, complete with case. This is a fantastic new instrument available through PlayRecord. This is available for under the RRP at £134.99 with free UK shipping. Its a great instrument thats a joy to play and has a professional finish.

General News
Proms in the park The BBC presents the eighth season of Proms in the Park, where they shall be bringing the atmosphere of the Last Night of the Proms simultaneously to music lovers in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales for the very first time, with all six BBC national orchestras performing over the weekend of the Last Night.

All of the four concerts feature top classical artists live on stage and culminate in live big-screen link-ups with the Royal Albert Hall for the famous finale of the Last Night of the Proms.

Opening Gala Concert - A Viennese Evening @: Thursday 18th September, 7.30pm - Waterloo Chamber, Windsor Castle
Back in 1895, 18th May, the Court Orchestra from Vienna conducted by Herr Eduard Strauss had the honour of playing a selection of music before the Queen and the Royal Family in Windsor Castle. The Windsor Festival re-creates this splendid evening with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Robin Stapleton, and is delighted to welcome Susan Bullock to perform arias by Strauss and Léhar to add to the glittering occasion.

Online Resources:We do the searching so you don't have to...

First up this time is one website that is a world wide Orchestra directory that links to hundreds of sites everywhere!
See Orchestra net for more!

Also, check out this Clarinet techniques site for those who play, as it offers some essential and good tips.
Finally check out this sax techniques site, which is perfect for novice and intermediate alike.

Check out this great selection of guitar, drum and general music accessories we have put together for you - free guitar tablature search, online metronome / drum machine to play along to and we even have an online guitar tuner for you.