SMG Weekly Round Up: News From Slash, Electro-Harmonix, Jason Becker and More

It’s that time once again! I’ve collated some of the coolest guitar-related stories from around the web, this week we’ve got great new gear, new guitars, and something that sounded too good to be true… because it was.

We’ve got Slash, we’ve got whammy pedals, we’ve got Jason Becker guitars, and we’ve got something that will make your guitar sound like a pretty badass synth. Let’s get started…

Velvet Revolver to reunite? Not on Slash’s watch

Guitarists around the world had their sixth senses burning this week, as Scott Weiland announced that Velvet Revolver were reforming and writing new material together. We might not have actually been listening to Scott’s interview live on ABC News Radio, but like when dogs hear a high pitched noise, our ears pricked up, and we knew something was up.

News spread like the plague, and it seemed like odd timing given that Slash is due to release his solo album. Indeed, Slash seems to be doing pretty well with his own band and his solo tunes sound great.

So not long after Scott’s interview with ABC News Radio, Slash took to the airwaves to say that he knew absolutely nothing about a reunion, and said on 93X Rocks Radio that Scott is “out of his mind.” Ouch.

I guess we’ll just have to make do with more killer solo tracks from Slash.

The Electro-Harmonix Superego Synth Engine

YES. This IS as awesome as it sounds. I’m a sucker for big Vangelis-style soundscapes, and pulsating trem waves. This can give you all of that, it just sounds like Blade Runner in a box, I am in love with it.

You can watch the embedded video and see that for yourself. In short, here’s a little rundown of what the pedal does:

  • Auto mode captures and freezes notes and chords as you play
  • Controllable glissando
  • Sustain notes and chords as long as wanted
  • Insert effects into the wet signal with the effects loop
  • Latch mode with a layer feature to stacksounds

Carvin JB2000C Jason Becker Tribute Guitar

You can now buy a signature guitar of the legendary and inspirational Jason Becker. The former Cacophony guitarist was tipped as potentially being the best in the world before being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease in 1989.

Doctors told him he had three to five years left to live, but Becker defied the odds and despite losing control of his speech and being paralysed, he still writes songs today and remains active using a computer and a communication system developed by his father.

His sense of humour certainly hasn’t been taken from him, after he named a charity tour “Jason Becker’s Not Dead Yet”.

His Carvin JB2000C looks like a truly beautiful guitar, and if it helps us play anywhere near as intricately as Becker could in the late 80s, then it’s worth its weight in gold!

Digitech Releases a Chord Bending Whammy Pedal

Oh yeah. That’s right. The pedal that brought you Rage Against The Machine now brings you chord transposition. It’s glissando gone mad, bad, and totally rad.

Rob Urry, vice president, HARMAN Professional Division and general manager of Signal Processing and Amplifier Business Units, told me:

“The release of the new Whammy is the latest chapter in the pitch-shifting revolution. Bringing together the best of the original Whammy with the latest developments offering both classic and chord shifting modes, we are giving guitarists a reason to rediscover the unrivaled tone that makes this pedal a legend in the first place.”

There is one small drawback, at just under $300, it’s a teeny bit pricey! The spec is impressive though, the new Digitech Whammy includes a MIDI input so you can control the pedal from an external MIDI device. The Whammy employs high-quality 24-bit/96kHz analog-to-digital and digital-to analog converters for a silky smooth pitch-bending sound, guaranteed to make you feel like you are warping to light speed. You can also choose between a “Classic/Chords” switch allowing you to select either mode.

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