Godin Multiac Guitar

Godin Multiac Guitar

By Stephen Smoke

Yes, that’s my Godin guitar on my shoulder. I don’t normally expose it to the desert sun, but this was for a publicity shot earlier this year and, well, the guitar looks great.

I purchased my Godin after seeing the great Doyle Dykes demonstrate a similar guitar during a mini concert in Vancouver, B.C. in 2016. There were about 30 of us gathered inside the Prestige Guitar shop and we were blown away by Dykes’ playing. At the end of the night the guitar players in the crowd felt one of two ways: Either you felt inspired, or you felt like going home and burning your guitar because you knew you could never play that well. I was inspired and I bought my guitar a couple of days later.

My particular Godin is similar to the Doyle Dykes Signature model, but mine has a 13-pin output. It’s really a guitar that’s the best of both worlds. It’s a GREAT electric guitar with all the bells and whistles, but I can also play it unplugged and it sounds terrific.

The 13-Pin output allows me to plug into my Roland GR-55 synthesizer. This was a huge selling feature for me. I have keyboard synths and they work well, but I’m a better guitar player than I am a piano player.

In the photo on the left you see 3 outputs on the bottom of my guitar. Use the “13-Pin” output to connect to a synthesizer (in my case the Roland GR-55 (see separate review) or any other 13-pin device. Use  the “Bridge” output to “blend” a natural guitar sound with the synthesizer sound using slider controls on the front of the guitar. Push the slider all the way down so that no synthesizer effects are heard, or all the way up so that only the synthesizer effect is heard. It’s fun to find the right blend for a specific song or mood. The “Electric” output is for when you want to plug the guitar straight into an amplifier.

Playing Live

I use two guitars when I’m playing live: the Godin and an Ovation. When I use the Godin through the GR-55 I can make it sound like we’re playing in Yankee Stadium, even though we’re actually playing in a local dive bar. Sometimes I use the Godin and GR-55 to provide a “brass section” or a string pad that makes the band sound bigger and more versatile.


I use the Godin even more in my studio. For example, I can add a little accordion flavor a la The Band (Garth Hudson, The Band’s keyboard player, in fact played accordion on one of my songs a few years ago: “Wild Child” from the Trick of the Light album). I love recording Chicago-style horn parts using the Godin and the GR-55. There are literally hundred of sounds at your disposal, via the GR-55. If you’re looking for quality digital patches that sound authentic and if you’re a better guitar player than a piano player, the Godin and GR–55 combo is just the ticket.

But even without the GR-55, the Godin by itself is a joy to play. I love the feel of the fretboard and the acoustic, unplugged sound. It is the best guitar I’ve ever owned.

Dynaudio “Unheard” Event

Dynaudio “Unheard” Event

Ever wanted to play to 100,000 people? Dynaudio and The NAMM Show make it possible.

Dynaudio and NAMM have teamed up to offer free live recording sessions for unsigned artists – right in front of the Anaheim Convention Center

Danish loudspeaker specialists Dynaudio and The NAMM Show are giving unsigned artists the chance to get their big break – free of charge, with zero strings attached – at the January 2019 gathering of the global industry.

Want in? All you have to do is sign up at www.dynaudio.com/unheard for your chance to secure one of 12 coveted slots during The 2019 NAMM Show, January 24-27. It’s open to solo artists, bands, a cappella groups… anyone, as long as you’re musical and there aren’t more than six of you.

The Dynaudio Unheard studio is a state-of-the-art pop-up recording facility built inside shipping containers and containing the latest tech from the world’s best equipment makers. And it’s touring the world searching for the best new artists.

But it’s more than just a studio: one whole side is glass, so everyone outside can see in, and everything that happens inside is piped out through a powerful front-of-house system, so they can hear it too. That’s plenty of exposure… but it’s just the beginning.

If you’re successful in your application, you’ll get one hour of recording time in a live session – plus mentoring from award-winning producer and mixer Ashley Shepherd (Peter Frampton, Blessid Union of Souls); the masters and film of your session to take away and use however you want; and promotion on both NAMM’s and Dynaudio’s social networks. You might even get an on-camera interview about you and your music.

It’s all free of charge, and without any strings attached. Yes, really. Everything you record in our Dynaudio Unheard studio is yours to keep. You can use it just as you see fit to promote yourself. 

Dynaudio Unheard will also help you in your quest to conquer the music world by promoting your appearance through the company’s communication platforms. And because we’ve also teamed up with TIDAL, you could also see your performance and music appear on its global streaming service. That’s potentially millions of extra pairs of ears to wrap themselves around your material.

Wait… so there’s really no catch?

Not a single one. We’re doing this because a staggering 91 percent of all artists are completely undiscovered. That’s outrageous. And we think something needs to be done about it.

We can’t help but think of them all, tucked away in rehearsal rooms, basements, bedrooms and garages. They’re creating, and sweating, and believing. They’re on it. And no one knows who they are.

We want to give that 91 percent the opportunity to level the balance.

We aren’t going into this blind. Dynaudio has almost four decades of experience in the professional world – from some of the world’s biggest and most famous recording studios to small bedroom set-ups. Think of your favourite record: chances are that some of our products were involved in its production. Dynaudio speakers reproduce exactly what the artist intended. Nothing more, nothing less. They always have. 

But we don’t just sell loudspeakers. We work alongside artists – sharing their happiness, their love, their pain and their struggle. Dynaudio, working in close partnership with NAMM and TIDAL, are beyond excited to be able to play a part in helping those musicians realise their dreams. 

Sign up and read more about Dynaudio Unheard at www.dynaudio.com/unheard

Learn more about The 2019 NAMM Show, the global gathering of music, pro audio and event technology industries at www.namm.org

Dynaudio press contact

Christina Tegllund

Marketing Coordinator

E: chrte@dynaudio.com

T: +45 8652 3411

NAMM press contact

Chalise Zolezzi
Director of Public Relations and Social Media

E: chalisez@namm.org

T: +1 (760) 801 7900

About Dynaudio

Dynaudio was founded in 1977 in Skanderborg, Denmark. Today, it’s recognised as a leading manufacturer of high-quality audio systems, and one of the world’s most distinguished high-end audio companies. Dynaudio designs, engineers and manufactures dedicated systems for professional studios, as well as car audio and home hi-fi and consumer loudspeaker products, from its state-of-the-art facility in Denmark. The company is particularly recognised for its advanced driver technology designed, engineered, and continuously developed in-house, not to mention its furniture-grade, handcrafted Danish cabinetry.

NAMM Black Violin, Elle King Concert

NAMM Black Violin, Elle King Concert

 Black Violin, The Yamaha All-Star Concert on the Grand and Elle King Set to Perform at The 2019 NAMM Show

-The Earth Harp, the world’s longest stringed instrument, to perform Sat and Sun at global event-

CARLSBAD, Calif. – December 19, 2018 – With just over a month to go until the start of The 2019 NAMM Show, The NAMM Campus is set to come alive with a variety of Bands@NAMM performers, a Guinness World Record™-breaking instrument, and household names who will share their own unique mixes of hip-hop and classical, to blues and rock.

Photo credit: Colin Brennan

On Thursday, The NAMM Foundation Celebration for Music Education will celebrate the advocacy and dedication of NAMM members with a performance from the duo, Black Violin. Composed of classically trained violist and violinist Wil B and Kev Marcus, the pair combine their classical training and hip-hop influences with their DJ to create a distinctive multi-genre sound that is often described as “classical boom.” Black Violin has shared stages with top names including Kanye West, Aerosmith and Tom Petty, and has creatively collaborated with the likes of Wu-Tang Clan, Wyclef Jean, and Alicia Keys. The duo composed music for the television series Pitch which debuted on FOX in 2016, in addition to appearances on HBO’s Ballers, The Tonight Show, The Wendy Williams Show, The Kate TV, and The Ellen Show. The group’s most recent record, Stereotypes, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Classical Crossover Chart and #4 on the Billboard R&B Chart.

On Friday, an all-star line-up from Yamaha promises an unforgettable multi-artist extravaganza with the “Yamaha All-Star Concert on the Grand 2019” set to crank up the volume to 11. While the artist lineup for this year’s concert remains a secret, Yamaha has built an unmatched reputation for developing and producing the largest and most energetic concert events at past NAMM Shows. Last year’s concert featured star turns by celebrated artists Melissa Etheridge, Sam Moore, Michael McDonald, Butch Walker, Lindsey Stirling, Marc Broussard, and Sheléa. Past concerts have included such artist luminaries as Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, John Legend, Earth, Wind & Fire, U2 founder and drummer Larry Mullen, Jr., and many others.

On Saturday evening at the annual “Imagine Party,” The NAMM Foundation and The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus presented by Other World Computing will welcome singer and songwriter, Elle King. King blends pop, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll into a sound that’s all her own.  After hearing the all-girl pop-punk band The Donnas when she was nine years old in Ohio, she decided she wanted to be a singer and musician.  By 13, she was playing guitar, and later learned to play the banjo.  After signing to RCA Records, she released The Elle King EP which featured the “Mob Wives Chicago” theme song “Playing For Keeps.”  

In 2015, King released her debut album Love Stuff, featuring the hit single “Ex’s & Oh’s” which reached the top of Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart. She made chart history becoming the second female artist in 18 years to reach #1 at Alternative Radio, and “Ex’s & Oh’s” earned Elle two GRAMMY nominations. She was also featured on Dierks Bentley’s GRAMMY-nominated No. 1 Country Airplay hit “Different For Girls” (she performed it with Bentley at the CMA Awards and took home an award for “Musical Event of the Year”).  Her just-released follow-up album Shake The Spirit features the lead single “Shame,” which became her fourth radio #1 single and led Elle to become the only act in history to have scored number 1 singles on the Adult Pop Songs, Adult Alternative Songs, Alternative Songs, and Country Airplay charts.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Arena Plaza will feature the Earth Harp, the world’s longest playable stringed instrument, that will reach from the balcony of the ACC North building to the Plaza. The harp will be played live by its creator William Close, the LA-based inventor who holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest stringed instrument in the world.

Close regularly tours the globe with his instrument, which has been performed at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, a cathedral in Portugal, at Festivals in Portugal, France, Mexico, Canada and more. Close will be on hand to offer educational facts about the cello-like instrument including the science behind it, how it was constructed and how it’s played. Live performances are set throughout the day for the instrument that includes strings extending 1,000 feet in length.

Each Grand Plaza act will start at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday – Saturday and the Earth Harp will perform throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday.

The Grand Plaza and Earth Harp performances are just some of the musical acts performing at The NAMM Show. The Bands@NAMM schedule of performances feature emerging and established acts every hour on the hour on both the NAMM Yamaha Grand Plaza Stage and The NAMM Arena Plaza Stage Presented by Pioneer Pro Audio. View the complete schedule here: https://www.namm.org/thenammshow/2019/events/schedule

The 2019 NAMM Show is the global gathering of the music, pro audio and event technology industries, held January 24-27 in Anaheim, California. Learn more here: www.namm.org

About NAMM

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry. NAMM is comprised of approximately 10,300 members located in 104 countries and regions. NAMM events and members fund The NAMM Foundation‘s efforts to promote the pleasures and benefits of music, and advance active participation in music making across the lifespan. For more information about NAMM, please visit www.namm.org, call 800.767.NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Saved by The BeatBuddy

Saved by The BeatBuddy

By Randy Winters

The Problem

Have you heard this one before? Three guys get together on Friday night to jam. We all play guitar and enjoy similar brands of beer. After a few weeks, one of the guys gives in and starts to play bass. Along with actually learning the real words to Louie Louie, we start using the drum beat on a cheap piano keyboard. The jams are getting better and hopes rise that someone might actually want to hear us play. And they do. We are asked to play at a friend’s house for a pool party. We need a drummer!

The Solution

After several days searching the Internet for drum machines, I discovered the BeatBuddy by Singular Sound. Their website says…

“BeatBuddy – The Only Drum Machine that Sounds Human & is Easy to Use”

And they were right. I bought one and was immediately thrilled with how good it sounded and how easy it was to use.

It’s a drum machine in a “stomp-box.” It comes with a power supply and a patch cord to plug in the optional programmable foot switch, which I purchased. It also includes an SD card that comes loaded with 10 unique drum sets, with 220 styles in 10 different genres. You have everything from heavy metal, rock, punk, blues and country, to techno and latin.

It only takes a quick glance at the pedal to understand it. You have three knobs to create your sound. Select the drum set you want, set the tempo and volume, and you’re ready to go. The easy to understand instructions explain what happens when you press the pedal.

  • Press the pedal once to start the beat with an intro fill and the beat starts.
  • Press the pedal once during the song to add a fill.
  • Press the pedal and hold it for a second to transition to a fuller sound.
  • Press the pedal and hold it again for a second to exit the fuller sound.
  • Double tap the pedal to end the song with an outro fill.

I was so impressed with the BeatBuddy’s sound quality that I used it on several songs when we recorded our CD. It sounds as good or better than any loop in Logic Pro X. And once you become proficient, you can record a drum track in a take or 2 instead of spending hours building a track with fills and breaks using the loops.

The Happy Ending

By the way, we played the pool party and sounded great. Our friends’ accolades filled us with the illusion of being neighborhood rock stars, so we took our BeatBuddy and ventured out into the world to play at local bars and RV Parks.

It’s been three years now and the BeatBuddy has never let us down. The great sound powers up our band and makes us sound just like pros. Give it a try and you will be pleasantly surprised.

For more information about the BeatBuddy, click here.

GR-55 For Home Studio

GR-55 For Home Studio

In 2016 I purchased a Godin Multiac guitar. It has a 13-pin jack that allows me connect to the GR-55, a fabulous Roland guitar synthesizer.

While I use the guitar to play gigs, I have a few other guitars I use more often, including my 40-year-old Ovation. But when it comes to recording, I love the Godin played through the GR-55. (I use a Logic Pro X DAW.)

I have a Korg keyboard synth that can double as a controller, and I’ve played through a couple of other guitar synthesizers. For me, the GR-55 is head and shoulders above the rest. Partly because I’m a much better guitar player than I am a keyboard player.

I produced a song for someone last year and inserted a kick-ass Chicago-style brass arrangement at the end of a rather sedate ballad. Man, what a difference.

I used to play violin when I was in junior high school and, even though it wasn’t a very “sexy” instrument at the time, learning to play the violin helped me learn to read music, which set me up nicely to learn to play guitar a few years later. More important in terms of the GR-55, I learned a lot about orchestral arrangements, the differences between the sounds of a violin, viola, cello, and bass, as well as the the cool sound of pizzicato strings and other interesting string effects. Using the GR-55, I’m often able to create authentic-sounding string sections, playing different parts, sometimes on three separate tracks, adding depth, elegance and poignancy where appropriate.

I’ve added accordion sounds to several songs that remind me of some early Band recordings. My favorite sound is the Anthem Guitar sound. It’s like hearing a guitar echo throughout Madison Square Garden. Adds huge amounts of audio space.

There are lots of videos on the Roland site if you’re interested in learning about the GR-55, and there are dozens of great videos on YouTube.

I’m not a real gear head. My primary interest is recording in my home studio without having to read a thousand pages to figure out what’s going on. That’s one reason I love my GR-55.

But don’t be fooled. With the power of the GR-55 sometimes I feel like I’m using a jet plane to cross the street. Whenever I dig deep into other features, the GR-55 continues to amaze.

One practical way to use the synthesizer is to figure out all the guitar effects you’re going to play during a gig. You can store the guitar effects, in the order you will need them, and you can move through the list using a foot pedal.

For more information go to www.Roland.com.