Tuesday, November 29, 2016

How to Find the Perfect Guitar Amp for Your Needs

It is often said that there are three things that make up a guitarists sound that defines them; the player, the Guitar and the guitar amp. With these three items being a bone of contention throughout the history of recorded music, as guitarists look to replicate a Hendrix or Knopfler sound that they can enjoy and further make their own.

But playing the guitar is all about finding your own path to success and how you define the sounds that you create. With your playing style taking much of the credit, the guitar you use will also play a large role – but one of the most important aspects of your setup has to your guitar amp. From deep, rich tones of a jazz amp, to a triple super lead cranked to 11 – your amp will define your playing like no other!

Fender Guitar Amps

If you are looking for a classic twang of the American blues and rock, then you’ll find all that you need in the wide range of Fender amps available from the past and the present. From solid state starter combos to fully-fledged reissue valve amps, Fender has set the tone in the guitar amp world for many, many years.

Image Source: thehub.musiciansfriend.com

One of the best fender amps out there today has to be the ’65 Deluxe Reverb blackface edition. This amp has it all when it comes to tone, making the most of whatever guitar you plug into it – you will notice that distinct American sound that set the world alight back in the 60s. As a premium professional guitar amp, the cost is a little over a beginner’s budget, but for the players, the pros and the travelling guitarists, there doesn’t come much better than this pure valve tone monster!

If you are looking for a starter amp with a lot of value for money, then maybe one of the Fender Champion amps is right for you. Featuring several models with different combo speaker arrangements, the Fender Champion 40 is a great way to get into the tone of Fender amps. As one of the most popular guitar amps, Melbourne music shops sell, the Champion 40 is one of the most versatile amps on the market, with a number of voices and effects that will allow you to tune your tone to perfection every time!

Laney Guitar Amps

Laney has been in the business since the mid-sixties and has enjoyed playing a huge part in the metal genre of music. Built for guitarists and bassists, Laney specialises in giving an alternative tone for musicians to play with. Laney features a number of different amp combinations, including amp heads, cabinets, combos and rackmount systems for the ultimate in versatility.
One of the most popular series of Laney amps has to be the VC series and in particular the VC15-110. This 15-watt combo has all of the rich, warm blues tones you could imagine in a single box, as well as featuring multi-channels with equalisation options to boot. This ‘Class A’ all valve head is perfect for blues with a bite and brings out an amazing sonic performance when fully cranked!

Image Source: laney.co.uk

Marshall Guitar Amps

As one of the most famous guitar amps in the world, Marshall is known for its range of tone, versatility, high-quality manufacture and dependability. It is little wonder why so many choose a small Marshall combo as their first guitar amp, as well as the classic full stack for stadium rocking sounds!

Marshall has a range of vintage series amps that include all valve construction, as well as being made to the exacting specifications of the original units. The Marshall MG series of solid state amps that are built for great tone at great prices, including the Marshall MG30CFX which features a 30watt combo amp, multiple channels and a fluid and brilliant equaliser panel. Being one of the fastest selling guitars amps Melbourne shops stock, get in there fast to reserve your new amp!

If you want to upgrade to something a bit more modern, then the Marshall CODE series of amplifiers will be a perfect choice for the modern guitarist. Featuring amp modelling based on a rich history of Marshall amps, as well as Bluetooth functionality, the CODE series is a great way to get into digital home recording for the ultimate in versatility.

Whatever amp you choose to purchase next, don’t forget to purchase great quality oxygen-free cables for better quality, as well as test the amp with a range of guitars that suits your style. You’ll find Guitar Paradise offers help with the selection of your accessories, being the number one shop for guitar amps Melbourne wide. Choose the amp that best matches your mood, and goes for versatility if you want to enjoy the amp for many years to come!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Why You Should be Recording Music at Home

If you are a passionate musician and enjoy writing your own material, you’ve probably thought about recording your music. For many, this means forking out money for the time at the recording studio, which can be quite costly. The other option is to set up your own mini-studio at home, which can be a better option for various reasons, obliviously with the right collection of Home Recording Gears. In this article, we’ll be looking at reasons you should be recording if you aren’t and why you might consider buying the equipment yourself.

It Offers Perspective on Your Sound

If you’re serious about your music and you’re wanting to develop your sound to be the best it can be, recording is basically a must. Often your voice will sound totally different when you hear it recorded - this is quite natural. A similar thing happens when you’re playing an instrument and sometimes it can be helpful to step outside the music and listen to yourself to pick out things that can be improved or polished.

Home Recording - Easy Progress Tracking!

Recording yourself can be a great way to keep a track not only of how much you or your band have improved as musicians but the evolution of your sound. This can help motivate you as you look back on how you sounded a year ago or more and how much you’ve changed and learned in that time. So, if you are a beginner at audio recording then you can check out the top audio recording devices for beginners. Often when learning something, you don’t notice how much you’re improving as time goes on, and recording yourself allows you to get a sense of this.

It’s Not All That Expensive

Surprisingly, you can pick up recording equipment of reasonable quality quite inexpensively - and with the wonders of technologies and computer software these days, you can likely mix it too without too much trouble. Now the only concern is how to set up a home recording studio with cost efficiency.

If you’re super serious about recording and you’re past the point of playing around and experimenting, you might have to pay a little extra for a near-studio quality sound ($1000+) but when you think about the fact that it’s a one-off purchase of home recording gear and you have the equipment to play with forever, it’s quite reasonable. Compare this to pay per minute at a studio, where the hours can really add up as you fiddle around with your sound, and it’s really a no-brainer.

Time Flexibility

When you pay for studio time, you are essentially working on a fixed schedule. You can’t stop, take a rest or grab something to eat unless you want to pay more and truthfully, you probably won’t be working at your own pace.

With your own home studio, you can take your time and stretch out recording sessions, working around your own schedule. This improves your chances of a success record.

Develop Other Skills

When you have your own home recording studio, you will naturally pick up other skills in addition to your musicianship. You’ll develop knowledge of electronics and you’ll learn how to get the best sound, properly mix your recordings and other tech skills.

Monday, May 2, 2016

5 Beginner Guitarist Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Learning Guiter

If you enjoy music and feel that you have a passion for learning new things, then learning the guitar is one easy way to a whole new experience of your favorite music. It is one thing to be able to listen and enjoy your music, but a complete revelation once you know how to jam along with your very own rendition of your favorite song. Many people pick up the guitar and don’t fully get to learn the instrument and thus sometimes injure them-self, but with these easy steps you can understand the mistakes that make some people quit learning, and to avoid them to become a fully-fledged guitar master.

1. Hold your guitar correctly

Many people don’t understand the importance of having good posture when playing the guitar, and as you are learning it is a crucial time to get into the habit of playing in a comfortable position. Many people will lay the guitar across their thigh when they start, giving them an awkward position to accurately see the fret-board. If you are right handed, place the guitar across your left thigh and tilt the neck of the guitar slightly up to give your wrist and hand freedom of movement to train your brain into playing more comfortably. Here are some quick tip for you:

2. Don’t get too far ahead of your self

Many people pick up the guitar to start learning their favorite songs, but for every beginner, just playing a simple song well is the best way of learning how to play the guitar. Once you have mastered more simple songs, you will be well on your way to learning new tricks, as well as new styles of music as they will come naturally to someone who knows where to place their fingers and how to pick perfectly.

3. Don’t ignore chord books

One of the best resources of any beginner guitarist is some of the many different books available to help you progress your learning. Alongside other forms of teaching, chord books play a huge role in helping you understand the phrasing with your hand to play the chords, allowing you to see which finger rests at which fret, and how the chord may be strummed. Chord books are relatively cheap, and may offer a free CD or DVD-ROM to help you tune your guitar and play along with a few simple songs.

4. Find the right guitar for your learning

Whilst it is natural to want to go out and buy the latest Gibson Robot Les Paul with all of the amazing features that the signature versions offer guitarists, but if you want to learn, the best way is to buy a simple and basic guitar that is the right size and shape for your learning. Try a simple jump acoustic guitar as it has a larger and wider fret-board, unlike an electric guitar and offers you an easier way to see your mistakes and allow you more space for your fingers to find the right strings.

5. Get face to face lessons

If you really want to improve your chances of learning how to play the guitar, then taking lessons by a friendly tutor is one of the very best ways to advance. Having someone to ask questions to, someone to spot your mistakes and correct them before they become a habit as well as a regiment of classes to give your learning a regular pattern is universally known to work for many budding guitarists.

For any beginner guitarist, learning is a process that is determined by a few factors such as your time and dedication to learning, your overall ability with other instruments you may already play and hard ork. If you don’t put in the hard work and follow some essential principles for learning guitar then you may not see the benefits. It takes a long time to become a good guitarist, and a longer time to become a great guitarist. But if you keep at it, enjoy music as a passion and would love to also write songs, then you may make it into the legendary category, with a lot of hark work!

Monday, February 29, 2016

How to Set Up a Cost Effective Home Recording Studio

It’s the dream of many musicians to be able to write and record your own music for your band at home but for a long time, it wasn’t possible to do so unless you had mega millions to spend. Thanks to the advancement of different technologies, personal computers and the ease in which you can put your songs up online to sell, the home recording industry has never been bigger or easier to get into.

If you are a beginner on the music scene and are looking for an affordable entry into recording your music at home, there are a number of different solutions you can use to help you get a great quality recording without breaking the bank. In the past, the only available options were cassette tape multi-track devices, but with the advent of the digital age, you can now record, edit and playback your songs on hard drive recorders or your personal computer at reasonable prices.

The essential components of recording music at home

One of the most essential things you will need is a microphone or a number of microphones for your recording. A good voice microphone such as the industry standard Shure SM58, available at many guitar shops in Melbourne to start with for a professional microphone that will last forever. A boundary microphone is a cheaper option to pick up your drum kit, as dedicated mics for each drum may set you back an arm and a leg.

A recording medium is needed to record your music, as well as a mixing board to manage your levels and inputs from all of your instruments and microphones. Multi-track recording devices such as the BOSS BR-80 are where many beginners start as they often contain 4, 8 or 12 separate tracks to plug instruments into, which is a great option if you want to record your band live.
Multi-track recorders offer a cheaper way to home recording, as they not only contain a micromixing desk to get your levels but also a place to record or edit your music. Many multi-track recorders offer different mediums to store your recordings onto, with hard drives being the best for maximum storage capacity, as well as ease of use.

Some more advanced multi-track recording devices allow you to hook up to your home computer for added mixing options, as well as providing live recording and effects provided by a DAW or digital audio workstation.

Going fully digital for your home recording

Some musicians prefer to skip the physical recording multi-track device altogether and opt for a completely digital solution on a computer. The use of DAWs has increased in recent years with many professional recording artists using their home DAWs to record and release music. For the best recording quality, stability and compatibility, a computer audio interface such as the Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 or specialist soundcard are often required to reduce any latency issues or delay you may have when recording your music.

These can be relatively cheap to acquire and do not need advanced knowledge of how they work to operate them at a professional level. There are many free DAW programs available to download, and with the addition of millions of plugins and VST apps such as Guitar Rig for added effects, you might find that switching to a home computer to record all of your music will set you free to worry about writing the music, and not the pain of finding the right cable to record onto your multi-track system.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Top 5 Guitar Amps for Beginners

Most beginner guitarists who are just starting out go for an acoustic guitar, but often it doesn’t hurt to go straight for the electric if that’s what you’re passionate about learning! The difference is that it requires a slightly higher investment on your part, but if you’re committed to seeing it through and making an effort to learn fast, it can be well worth it.

Thankfully, you can pick up fairly cheap guitar amps around Melbourne if you’re looking in the right places. If you have just bought yourself an axe, it’s probably worth buying something on the small side that is inexpensive. Chances are it’ll take a little while to get to the point where you can appreciate the sound that a top quality amp produces. Here’s a few we’d recommend with average prices.

Orange Micro Crush ($79-$90)

Orange Micro Crush
One of the cheapest reliable battery-powered amps out there, the Orange Micro Crush is an award-winning amplifier suitable for players of all skill levels. It ticks all the boxes for things you want in a first amplifier, including practicability, affordability and performance.

While it’s only 5 inches tall, the Micro Crush produces a pretty solid sound and even has an overdrive feature. It can be transported very easily and also comes with a chromatic tuner, which is handy while you’re learning to tune by yourself. 

Fender Mustang Mini ($179-$200)

In the same class as the Micro Crush, the Mustang Mini is also a lightweight, portable and battery powered amplifier that packs in enough features and sound options to make the perfect practice amp. While it’s a slightly more expensive option, this amp comes with a bunch of additional features and of course, Fender’s world-renowned tone technology.

Weighing on just over 3kgs, the Mustang Mini can be battery powered or plugged into the wall, has USB and digital recording output ports, a built-in tuner and more effects and sound options to keep you amused for years to come. If you find a sound you like, you can also save it and use later with the push of a button. What more could you want as a beginner guitarist?

Roland CUBE-80GX ($600-700)

If you’re looking to learn and potentially do some home recording in the future, but don’t want to fork out the big bucks just yet, the Cube-80GX is probably a good move. Producing a reliable sound and tone, this model has an impressive 80 watts of power behind it and is often relied on for stage performances. So there’s no lack of power here.
Additionally, this model also has iOS compatibility, meaning you can plug it straight into your iPhone or Mac and record straight onto an app.

Line-6 Spider IV 75 ($600-$800)

This model has as many effects and preset tones as you could ever want and is generally seen as one of the more versatile amps on the market. While it’s particularly popular with heavy rock artists, it can be used to produce just about anything you want out of it and has easy, adjustable FX options, great for beginners. It’s as easy as turning a dial and you’re browsing through a bunch of different sounds.

You might describe it as the most comprehensive and fully loaded amp on this list. Add that to the fact that the previous Spider 3 line was the best-selling amp in Australia, and you’ve got more than a bunch of good reasons to make this you're first.

Marshall DSL15C ($799-$900)

Marshall amplifiers have more or less become the standard to which other amps are held to and the most widely used by professionals. The DSL range has been critically acclaimed for decades and used by some of the biggest names in music. So it’s certainly a good place to start!

If you’re willing to fork out a little more, you can pick up the excellent all-around DSL15C, an amp that performs well across the board with an amazing tonal range. As far as value for money goes, this is the pick of the bunch and is a good option no matter what sound you want to create. Plus, it’s likely that this will still get the job done 5 or even 10 years down the track when you’re a much more accomplished guitarist - it can even get the job done as a stage amp if necessary.

So there you have it - our top pick guitar amplifiers for beginners! If you need help figuring out which one is for you, drop Guitar Paradise a line, we’d be glad to help you out.