2017 Year in Review
Friday December 29, 2017. 03:41 PM , from Sweetwater inSync
The year 2017 was a year full of amazing moments, not only for music, but for gear too. It was punctuated by making new friends and visiting with old friends — we said hello to some and goodbye to others. We had a blast at GearFest and made lots of memories. And we shared many informative tips in our blog about how to sound better and be a better musician. As we look back over the year, here are some highlights we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss.
Best Musical Memories
We love sitting down with the best and brightest stars in music today. We got to chat with lots of them, and here are a few of our favorites.
Josh Dun of Twenty One Pilots dropped by and chatted with Sweetwater’s Nick D’Virgilio, sharing stories about how he started playing drums and what he thinks about the success of his band.
COOP3RDRUMM3R (Casey Cooper)
YouTube sensation Casey Cooper, also known as COOP3RDRUMM3R, stopped in to Sweetwater and chatted about gear and how to succeed as a YouTube musician in the modern age.
Misha Mansoor, Periphery’s metal guitar ace, shares his insights on how to dial in an aggressive metal tone.
Greatest Gear Gathering — GearFest 2017
GearFest 2017 was the largest, best-attended GearFest in history. More artists, more performances, more new gear premieres, more giveaways than ever before. And it was a chance to rub elbows with world-class artists like Eric Johnson, Robben Ford, Terry Bozzio, Rhonda Smith, Omar Hakim, and dozens more. There are too many superlatives to list them all, but here are some of the highlights from GearFest 2017.
Wrecks We Restored
Dweezil Zappa flew into Fort Wayne and made it to GearFest in one piece, gracing the Sweetwater stage with his guitar artistry. His beloved Gibson SG guitar, however, did not fare so well, and it arrived with the headstock separated from the neck. Sweetwater’s Guitar Repair Shop stepped up and came to the rescue. Watch how Dweezil’s guitar was lovingly restored to its original glory in this video.
Michael Sweet’s personal signature guitar was acting up as he conducted a guitar clinic here at Sweetwater. A quick trip to Sweetwater’s Guitar Repair Shop was required, and it was back in action by the second act.
Sweetwater luthier Greg Reszel at the bench with Michael Sweet’s signature guitar.Photo credit: Courtesy of Greg Reszel
One of the many bonuses of working at Sweetwater is sharing the passion and camaraderie of music with the hundreds of like-minded enthusiasts who work here. That bond extends far beyond instruments and gear all the way to music creation/appreciation and musicians. So when musical legends pass away, the waves of shock and grief are palpable as the news spreads from one person to the next. That happened this past year as we heard the startling news of Tom Petty’s premature passing. It was hard to grasp. I heard comments like “What?” “No way,” and “Can’t be” from all around me. It’s hard to let go of our musical heroes, and this was a tough year for saying goodbye.
Several Sweetwater employees were in Detroit to catch Chris Cornell’s show on May 17, reveling in his vocal prowess and songwriting, with no idea that this show would not only be the last time they’d see him perform, but also the last show of his life. They offer their memories and condolences here.
[Credit] Sweetwater’s own Delvin WolfOther musical heroes that we lost this year include Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington, AC/DC’s Malcolm Young, Steely Dan’s Walter Becker, the Rhinestone Cowboy Glen Campbell, and the duck-walking Chuck Berry. Other music greats who left us this year include Gregg Allman, Mel Tillis, Fats Domino, Christopher Wong Won, Prodigy, J. Geils, Joni Sledge, and jazz vocalist Al Jarreau. They will be sorely missed.
Sensational Vocal Mic Shootout
We have mics, lots of mics, that we use and listen to all the time. As musicians, producers, and engineers, we all want to know what different mics sound like. Since Sweetwater has the staff and facilities to evaluate mics, we want to allow our customers to hear those mics too. This year, we decided to get a bunch of mics together (with cameras and audio recorders) so you can see what we do and have a chance to listen to mics that you might not have. In May of 2017, we conducted the Sweetwater Vocal Mic Shootout, the largest, most comprehensive vocal mic listening comparison ever in the history of recording. You can read all about how we did it and hear all the mics on male and female vocals here.
Our Top Articles of 2017 (Based on Your Feedback)
Does It Matter Where Guitars Are Made?
Industry leaders Paul Reed Smith (PRS), Andy Powers (Taylor), Michael Ciravolo (Schecter), and Matt Masciandaro (ESP) weigh in on this hot topic.
Guitar Cabinet Mic Shootout
Then, in November, we gathered up the industry-standard guitar mics and carefully positioned them all on a single guitar cabinet with two different guitar tones. It was very enlightening to hear the differences.
The Musician’s Guide to Hearing Protection
Musicians should protect their ears, but sometimes they just don’t know how. Sweetwater’s resident MD tells you what you need to know to protect your hearing.
How Loud Should You Mix?
Mixing louder sounds better to you, but not to everyone else. Here’s how to set levels to get the best results when mixing.
How to Mic a Snare Drum
Anyone who uses live drums wants to make sure they get a great snare drum sound. This article shows you how.
5 Vocal Recording Mistakes You May Be Making
Unless you’re totally happy with your recorded vocal sounds, here are some pointers to help you improve your results.
5 Easy Mods That Will Hot Rod Your Tone
Take your guitar tone to the next level with these easy steps.
8 Best Mic Preamps for Recording Vocals
Looking for the best mic preamp for recording vocals? Here are the top contenders.
Cable Management for Pedalboards
Have you ever wondered about the best way to manage all the cables on your pedalboard? Here’s the answer.
13 Amazing Pieces of Gear You May Have Never Heard Of
Here are some powerful under-the-radar creative tools that may have escaped your attention.
Best Small-diaphragm Condenser Mics for Acoustic Guitar
Every acoustic guitar player wants to know which mic will make their guitar sound its best. You can hear the differences between the best acoustic guitar mics here.
5 Drumming Mistakes You May Be Making
Nobody wants to be the lamest musician on a gig, especially drummers. Here are some mistakes you can overcome to make yourself a valued component in the band.
13 Best Effects Pedals for Bass Guitar
Awesome effects pedals for bass guitar? They’re out there. Here are some of the best.
Thank you for being a part of our 2017 and making this year so special. We’ll see you in 2018!
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