Music Gear News
Michael Jackson Would've Been 60 Today - Check Out His Incredible Guitar Player and BluGuitar Gear
Jennifer Batten recently came to our studio and wowed us with her playing. Check out how she uses BluGuitar equipment to get her sounds.
Today is the birthday of the late, great Michael Jackson, who would have been 60 today. As one of the world's most iconic performers, singers, musicians and all-round entertainers, Jackson's legacy continues to inspire a generation of artists to this day.
Michael's world tours were iconic showpieces of light, sound, and choreography, and the roster of musicians he employed to play alongside him were of the highest calibre. We were recently honoured to have one of those session players down in our studio, and she showed us what kind of musician you need to be to play with one of the all-time greats.
Jennifer Batten is an American guitarist who, alongside her work with Michael Jackson and others, has crafted a successful career as a solo artist and educator. With a playing CV most can only dream of, Batten worked with Jeff Beck for three years (from 1999) and with Michael Jackson on three world tours (Bad: 1987–1989; Dangerous: 1992; History: 1996–1997).
Jennifer recently become an artist and demonstrator for BluGuitar: a company created by German session player Thomas Blug (more on this below). Check out these videos of Jennifer Batten talking and demonstrating her BluGuitar equipment.
Jennifer gave us a fantastic run-down of her gear, and she showed us how a world-class player can use the newest innovations in guitar tech to create a portable rig with a huge sound!
We were very impressed, both with Jennifer's playing and in the way she talked about her life and gear - she's incredibly enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and entertaining. If you happen to read this, Jennifer, it was a pleasure having you in!
Thomas Blug created BluGuitar in 2014, built on his background in session guitar playing and electrical engineering (for Hughes & Kettner, no less).
BluGuitar aims to create guitar amps and equipment that defy the stereotypical ways of doing things. With a range of incredibly portable amps and cabs, guitarists can now create a fully-featured guitar rig with a fraction of the weight and footprint.
A 100-watt tube amp that you can fit in your rucksack! This was the first innovation for BluGuitar and showed that real valve tone can be portable too.
The BluGuitar AMP1 is a four-channel valve amp that is compact enough to take to any gig. With four voices, a full complement of EQ, and a foot-switchable boost, the AMP1 is an all-encompassing tone-generating rig for any modern player.
The AMP1 is equipped with a 'NanoTube': the compact tone-generating valve which delivers real, organic valve tones. A 100-watt solid-state power amp provides the incredible volume that this amp can achieve, ensuring you'll get real valve tone from a highly portable package.
Thomas Blug voiced this amp to cover all gain ranges, from crystal clean through to vintage breakup, crunch, and all-out overdrive. All four of these modes are switchable and, with the optional BluGuitar AMP1 external footswitch, even more control functionality is made available.
Other professional functions include onboard reverb, FX loop, record-out, and headphone out with silent operation. The AMP1 really is a complete solution for modern players!
BluGuitar Speaker Cabs
Thomas Blug wasn't happy to settle with just an amplifier, so went on to develop a range of speaker cabs which sound much bigger than their size would imply!
The BluGuitar FatCab 1x12 is designed to sound like a 4x12 cab, without the associated weight and size. From its compact chassis, the FatCab's clever Thiele bass-reflex-system and special 'Fat' speaker magnet delivers a huge sound that will easily hold its own on small-medium stages.
If you want the 4x12 experience, with deep lows and punchy clarity, but without the inherent size and weight, the FatCab is the speaker for you.
For guitar players needing even more weight-saving and space-saving tech, the BluGuitar NanoCab is the pocket powerhouse you should check out. The NanoCab's chassis is barely bigger than the speaker it holds, yet it delivers a huge sound that belies its compact dimensions.
Thomas Blug didn't want to compromise the NanoCab's tone by using a smaller 10'' speaker, and this 12'' design ensures you'll have a "really big sound with unexpected low-end", even at low volume.
Finally, the BluGuitar speaker range also incorporates the TwinCab 2x12, designed for players who need the multiple-speaker-design to shift even more air on stage. The cab can be mounted both vertically and horizontally, so you can get the ideal level of projection you require.
The BluBox is a speaker cab emulator with 16 Impulse Responses (IRs) created from classic speaker cabs. Designed for zero-fuss audio, the BluBox connects to the output of your amplifier and lets you capture the sound of a professionally-mic'd speaker.
The BluBox's 16 onboard IRs are based on Thomas's own collection of speaker cabs, meticulously captured with professional microphones, giving you access to a world-class range of speaker sounds to play through.
The BluBox is ideal for players who want to use their own amps and effects, but don't want the added challenge of setting up microphones. If you want to plug in and go, with a studio-quality speaker sound, the BluBox is an ideal solution for studio and live players.
By Matt Wilkinson
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