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Pick Like Satriani

| February 28, 2006

Sputnik Microphone

Home studio boffins looking for boutique-quality sound on a project/studio budget (who isn’t?), should find M-Audio‘s Sputnik ($899) an exceptional value. Sputnik is M-Audio’s flagship mic — a true large diaphragm vacuum tube condenser mic, with a sound the company claims “rivals the best microphones on the planet.” In this price range, they might be right. Sputnik ships with a shockmount, power supply, and a custom carrying case. Visit for more details.

Satriani Signature Straps/Picks

Planet Waves recently introduced their Joe Satriani Signature Collection of guitar straps and picks. Besides being one of the world’s most acclaimed guitarists, Satriani is also a part-time artist who has kept sketchbooks of his work through the years and incorporates the tribal black-and-white designs on his guitars, and now on his straps and picks. Planet Waves’ JS Series features various Satriani designs inspired by his guitars. Five premium JS Series straps come in heavy-duty tubular nylon with leather ends. JS Series pick 10-packs feature white with black art or black with silver art in three thickness gauges. Each pick set features a different sketch. Retail price for the straps is $29.99; picks are $6.99 per 10-pack. For more information, visit

PCM-D1 Recorder

Sony‘s new funky and unique PCM-D1 portable audio recorder may resemble an alien-tracking device from a ’50s sci-fi movie, but it is intended for capturing live performances and song sketches and to give users the ability to download those recordings to their computer. The titanium-reinforced recorder features 96 kHz/24 bit recording capability and a hefty 4GB internal Flash Memory, which processes stereo sound without the bothersome external noise created by an internal hard drive. Additional storage is available with Sony’s removable Memory Stick Pro storage. A built-in USB 2.0 port lets you download music as .wav files with both Mac & Windows. The recorder’s on-board signal processing features various effects such as a limiter function, a 200 Hz high-pass filter, and SBM (Super Bit Mapping) noise shaping. The price is hefty at $1,899, but this is a device that could come in handy for many live recording situations. Visit www. for full details.

News & Notes

Though it’s tough to get an answer from the corporate mothership, Guitar Center is opening a new location in Rockford this spring.

Disc Makers is searching for Midwest (and beyond) talent for the 2006 Independent Music World Series. Chicago is among the cities that will host a showcase; submissions are due by May 3rd. For information on the contest and how to submit a demo, visit

— David Gedge

Category: Gear, Monthly

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