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If you didn't know, Feb. 3 is the birthday of Sonic Youth's Lee Renaldo. As one of our favorite bands company wide, we thought it fitting to do a brief rundown on what made their sound so unique!
Trying to encapsulate even a snapshot of Sonic Youth's rig is akin to shoving your entire wardrobe into a piece of carry on luggage. Sonic Youth uses a lot of gear. I mean a hell of a lot of gear. There have been websites dedicated to the cataloging of such, and it is an endless, dark rabbit hole. (For more in-depth info check out the awesome Sonic Youth Gear Guide!)
That said, let’s take a quick look at some of the more iconic, and even esoteric gear selections Lee Renaldo and Sonic Youth have made through the years.
If one guitar stands out among Sonic Youth’s endless arsenal of instruments, it’s the Fender Jazzmaster.
Guitarists Thurston Moor and Lee Ranaldo’s appreciation for offset guitars is in no small part responsible for the resurgence of offsets today. They’re flexibility in tone, tinny chime and ease of modification (who doesn’t love a mastery tremolo?) made them the perfect choice.
Thurston Moore was rarely seen without a Peavey Roadmaster Tube head and an array of cabs. Proof that the most expensive amp, isn’t always the right one! At 160 watts of tube power, its one of Peavey’s loudest and heaviest amps ever made.
On the rare occasion Thurston wasn’t plugged into a Peavey Roadmaster, he was probably tearing through one of his Marshall 100wt heads.
Considered a classic today, there was a time when the lumbering, cumbersome 4x10 combo was deemed too much for touring groups. Good thing Lee Ranaldo’s was modified with even heavier and larger speakers! Be it accessibility, or the buckets of reverb built in, the Fender Super Reverb has been a mainstay in Ranaldo’s tone to this day.
Bassist Kim Gordon had as much of a gear addiction as any of the other members. Though she’s been known to play a variety of instruments, the tried and true P-Bass got the lions share of stage time.
One of the more defining aspects of Sonic Youth, is their very sparse use of effects pedals. On the occasion they did need something amps couldn't provide, Sonic Youth turned their (shoe) gaze to the Turbo Rat.
Happy Birthday Lee! May your day be full of reversed guitar tracks, droning tape effects, and cake!View full article »
Greetings from NAMM! While we're definitely on the hunt for some serious guitars here on the show floor, needless to say a lot of our coolest finds definitely extend beyond the six-string set! That's why we're devoting today's post to some of our favorite pedals and accessories. Check out some of our photos below and stick around—you'll be seeing many of these must-have products in our store soon.
PRODUCT PICK: Roland GO:MIXER
We're totally impressed with the Roland GO:MIXER, a compact mixer for smartphones that allows users to not only record and mix audio tracks, but also record video too. We all know the perils of recording with shoddy phone audio, and for that reason love the GO:MIXER's ability to connect a mic, musical instruments or other media device—essentially offering pro sound for the avid smartphone user-slash-producer.
PRODUCT PICK: L.R. Baggs Synapse Personal P.A. System
Quite the sonic revelation from L.R. Baggs this year—the Synapse Personal P.A. serves up a patented all-horn speaker design that projects a 180-degree waveform at all frequencies. Add an all-new compression woofer and this puppy projects some serious room-filling sound, making it perfect for singer-songwriters and artists who perform in more intimate-to-medium-sized venues.
PRODUCT PICK: Walrus Audio Utility Pedals
With an all-encompassing selection of essentials that take up minimal real estate on your pedalboard, Walrus Audio's new Utility line of effects is absolutely worth a second look. The series includes a number of practical stompboxes in both micro and standard sizes, including a buffed blend pedal, expression pedal and volume control, tap tempo and much more.
PRODUCT PICK: Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings
Strings that never break or rust? Color us impressed. Based off the iconic Ernie Ball Slinky, Paradigm's break-resistant strings are specially treated—not coated—with a proprietary Everlast nanotreatment. They also undergo a breakthrough plasma process that prevents corrosion and wear during hours of punishing play. Available in a number of electric and acoustic gauges, they've been dutifully beta-tested by pros like Kenny Wayne Shepherd and John Petrucci to ensure these babies are as muscular as they claim to be.
PRODUCT PICK: MONO Pedalboards
As avid fans of MONO bags and accessories for years, we were excited to see the company's new line of portable, lightweight boards. Whether you own five stompboxes or 50, rest assured you'll be accommodated—the line includes five different pedalboard sizes, from Lite (14" x 5.25" x 1.25") to Large (32" x 16" x 3.5"). Crafted from one sheet of anodized aluminum (black or silver, depending on your preference), they've certainly lost some weight compared to their predecessors, which makes them ultra convenient and tough-wearing.
View full article »
In celebration of Steve Earle’s 62nd birthday, we caught up with our friend, singer-songwriter Colter Wall after their performance at City Winery in Chicago to pay homage to the man himself. Read on as Wall remembers his first run-in with Earle, their love of great records, and the shared no-nonsense mentality in their songwriting.View full article »
Thank you for making 2016 memorable here at CME. Your continued support inspires us to do what we do best—further the pursuits of musicians who are as passionate as we are.
Here’s to another incredible year of buying, selling and trading gear. We look forward to sharing it with you!View full article »
All right—If you're here, you've probably read Part 1 of our "Building a Home Studio" blog series.View full article »
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