Our cover feature this month taps the craniums of some of the most knowledgeable and esteemed pedal builders in the industry to serve up the story and gory visual glory on rare, weird stompboxes that inspired them. For both recording newbies and tracking vets, we survey the market of new and upcoming studio gear that’s specifically well suited to helping guitarists capture stellar audio at a variety of price points—from interfaces to apps, mics, and more. Artist interviews this month include Baroness frontman John Baizley, Dweezil Zappa, Mutoid Man’s Stephen Brodsky, DJ Williams, Caspian’s Philip Jamieson and Calvin Joss. We also take you inside Les Paul’s Big Sound Experience, a travelling exhibit making stops around the country. Gear reviews this month include Reverend’s Descent RA Baritone, the Jackson SLATXMGQ 3-6 Soloist, Faith’s Neptune acoustic, the Nace Amps Pro-18, Analog Outfitters’ Scanner, the Jordan Fuzztite, Fulltone’s 2B, Malekko’s Scrutator, the Demeter Bass 400, the Danelectro Baby Sitar, Wampler’s Low Blow, the Red Witch Zeus, and the Soundtwirl iOS app.
This month we feature interviews with country superstar Keith Urban, jazz-fusion bass legend Stanley Clarke, and the two guitarists and bassist from the mind-bending prog-metal outfit Last Chance to Reason. We also bring you highlights from the 2011 NY Amp Show, and share the touching story of the late British Royal Air Force pilot Alf Binnie and the 1940s archtop that he treasured from the time he was imprisoned in a Nazi POW camp until his final days as a ski instructor in Canada. In addition, the third installment in our Forgotten Heroes series focuses on genre-hopping session legend Cornell Dupree. Reviews this month include the new Gibson Les Paul Studio Baritone, Fernandes V-Hawk Elite, Batson No. 5 acoustic, Anacon Technology Zagray! head, Empress Multidrive, Trombetta Tornita!, Metal Pedals XXX HardCore, Kustom KXB500 bass head and DE115NEO cab, Reverend Thundergun and Justice basses, and Vox TB35C2 Bruno combo.