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Nick Smith Demos the MuseBox Live from the Peavey Booth at The NAMM Show

  03/07/12 20:23, by , Categories: BFMN Exclusive, Dan Grigor, NAMM 2012, NAMM 2012 Music , Tags: dan grigor, it_s like that, muse research, musebox, nick smith, peavey, stanley clarke, the namm show

My relationship with Peavey takes us back in time to the 70s. Like most local gigging musicians of the day, the first real PA I owned was a used Peavey:  a small 100 watt, old Model 120 or something with two of those classic Peavey tower speakers.  I think I traded a guitar for it.  I had to have a PA.  It worked great and later in life, without the columns, it made a great bass amp.

Click through for more from Peavey and a great video!

A year or two later my sweet old Granny died and left me 100 shares of A&P Foods stock. I was young, I knew absolutely nothing about the stock market, and when we started landing better and better gigs I needed a PA that could handle it. Having decided that playing music was what I was gonna do with my life, I decided my old Granny would be really happy to help. I cashed out the stock for 1000 bucks and went right to a little music shop in Oceanside, California. I listened to and lifted every system they had, and walked away with the XR800: 800 watts, stereo, 8 channels, graphic eq, reverb and the greatest patch-panel ever. With two speakers and 2 wedges we had a show, left amp for the house, right amp for the monitor. Add a separate monitor amp and you had (for those days) a whopping 800 watts.

I can’t begin to tell you how many shows this mixer has been a part of.  It is a huge part of my life. It was there before my children were born, it was there when I played music at my daughter’s graduation, and my grandson and his dad played through it last Memorial Day. I think my Granny would be pleased.

This year at NAMM I spent a few hours playing with stuff and talking to the folks at the Peavey booth about all the cool new toys. We have good stuff. We’ll have a piece on the auto-tuning guitar, acoustic amps and speakers, a new performer’s PA, but first, we bring you a great demonstration of the MuseBox and a performance by one of music’s greats.

Nick Smith from Peavey booth at NAMM

I first heard of Nick Smith when he was with Stanley Clarke. I’m a huge fan and recently had the thrill of playing a song of mine with Stanley during our interview. I learned so much from him. One of the things I got to thank him for in person was the other musicians I found, thanks to his music. Back in the day, I would grab a random album out of the tiny bin of jazz at my local rock-centered record store. If Stanley was in that bin I figured I had little to lose, and in the process I discovered a variety of amazing musicians who played with him on tour and on his albums.

Nick Smith is one of those guys. Getting to see and shoot him playing was a real treat. He is so graceful, so articulate, it is as much a delight to watch as it is to listen to.  A stint on the Tonight show and touring with the likes of Stanley and Stevie Wonder, Kenny Garrett, Eric B’enet, Brandy and tons of others has kept him playing.  His debut CD, “It’s Like That,” is an eclectic mix of several styles of Jazz, blues, fusion, swing and a soulful ballad or two. It’s a must have if you are a piano fan.  Co-produced by Stanley, who plays acoustic bass on it, it also features Dennis Chambers on drums, David Sanchez on tenor saxophone, Sekou Bunch on electric bass, Munyungo Jackson on percussion, Herman Riley on tenor saxophone, Ron Stout on trumpet, and vocals by Lynn Fiddmont.

This clip has Nick playing through a MuseBox which I have to be honest and say I had never heard of. So what is it? Well, it’s an effects processor, a sound modeler, a synthesizer, an amp modeler, a virtual piano or 12 and a sweet e-drum kit.  All in a 2u rack box. Connect this thing to a keyboard and guitar, a computer if you want, and you have access to an unbelievable toy box full of sounds and software-based instruments. Portable, self-contained and powerful, the MuseBox isn’t just for keyboard players, though Nick shows it off well. Guitar players can model just about any amp; singers can add reverb or chorus. The possibilities are seriously endless.  The creative folks at Peavey and Muse Research have, together, really found a technology that works across the board for just about any instrument or musician. One-stop shopping for effects, sounds, amps, tricks and instruments with a really easy SoundFinder routine. Plug and play. As usual, Peavey packs an incredibly large pile of functionality into a really small space. The value for your dollar ration is upside down in your favor; you can grab a MuseBox for under 1000 bucks.

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