Music Gear & Software

Bob Leggitt | |

Welcome to the Music Making landing page. This is currently your route to the FreeST and Stomp King ranges of free virtual instruments and effects for the VST environment, and retrospectives on real musical instruments from days gone by.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE MAIN PAGE FOR GUITAR-RELATED GEAR IS NOW THE GUITAR RETROSPECTIVES PAGE. Whilst the page you're currently on does show guitar-related articles from prior to 2014, none of the new updates are being added, so you'll find a lot more on the dedicated guitar page.


The free Stomp King VST effects offer something a bit different.


Here’s a brief demo of the Classic H VST organ – the two-manual tonewheel impersonator with selectable key-splits, which is now available for download here at Planet Botch. As you’ll hear if you click the SoundCloud stream below, it’s definitely got that sound. Other than a Latin preset beat sample I took from my old Yamaha PS-1, and some added outboard reverb and limiter, the recording is all Classic H…

Classic H VSTi Preview
Click here for the Classic-H Download Page

The FreeST Mutiny is an old-style Polysynth, designed to create retro, analogue-type sounds. The kind of sounds keyboardists used in the days before MIDI. Have a listen to the demo below for a basic insight into the sound. All sounds except the drum beat come straight from the Mutiny, untreated.


A demo of the Mutiny Polysynth - a convincing retro analogue feel for free.
Click here for the Mutiny Download Page


REAL INSTRUMENT & MUSICAL DEVICE RETROSPECTIVES

Looking back through time at some of the most interesting musical instruments and products. These are the appraisals you'll never find on ebay or any other sales-focused sites. If you want to hear a sales pitch, this is not the place. But if you want an honest opinion, the links below will provide what you need. All of the products are appraised on personal experience. There are no assumptions or secondhand notions.

SPECIAL ITEMS

How Much Is My Guitar Worth?
Vintage Guitars - Prices Set To Crash?
Original 1930s HMV Model 102 Gramophone

ELECTRIC GUITARS

Stratocasters

Why Did The Fender Stratocaster Become So Popular?
Fender '1993' Limited Edition USA Stratocaster Standard (with gold plating)
A 'Hank Marvin' Strat by Cort!
The Fender MIJ 'Hendrix' '68 Strat Reissue (also known as the '67)
The Fender/Squier MIJ System I Stratocaster (1986)
Where Have All the REAL Vintage Strats Gone?
The Squier Wayne's World Stratocaster of the early '90s
A Squier Hank Marvin Strat Ad... But made by Samick, in Korea???
The First Fender Mexican Stratocasters
The Truth About... 1980s Squier Strats (full retrospective)
The Truth About... Early Korean Squier Stratocasters (detailed retrospective)
The 1996 Squier Deluxe Strat (Cort and Sunghan - Korea)
The Fender MIJ '62 Stratocaster Reissues (full retrospective)
The Fender MIJ '57 Stratocaster Reissue (detailed retrospective)
Fender '50s and '60s Strat Reissues - from MIJ to CIJ
The Late 1960s Fender Stratocaster
How to Spot a 'Parts Strat'
1988 Fender Eric Clapton Stratocaster
The Original 1987 Fender Strat Plus
Fender American Standard Stratocaster (1988)
Fender USA '62 Reissue Stratocaster (early 1990s - Ocean Turquoise)
Fender USA Vintage Reissue '57 Strat (classic two-tone sunburst)
Fender MIM Tex-Mex Stratocaster (1996 to 1997)
Fender/Squier Hybrid Vintage Reissue Strat (Salmon Pink '62 spec)
Squier Silver Series Stratocaster (1992)
Tokai Goldstar Sound TST-50 '64 Replica (1980s)
Tokai Goldstar Sound TST-60 (1984)
Fernandes 'The Revival' RST50 '57 Strat Replica (Late 1980s)
Lake Placid Blue - a look at the classic custom finish on a Fender Strat
1991 Levinson Blade R3 Guitar
The Marlin Sidewinder - a Forgotten Legend
1989 Young Chang Fenix ST-20 'Strat' - Naughty Naughty!
The Encore E76 Strat copy (1991)

Telecasters

The Original 1992 Fender MIJ 'Jerry Donahue' Telecaster
Fender Japan/Korea Standard Telecaster (1980s to 1990s)
Fender USA Butterscotch Vintage Reissue '52 Telecaster (1992)
1985 Fender MIJ '62 Custom Telecaster Reissue
1990 Fender MIJ '50s Reissue Telecaster
1983 Squier '52 Vintage Reissue Telecaster (JV Series)
Late 1980s Squier Telecaster (Korea)
Fender MIJ '69 Telecaster Thinline Reissue
Fender MIJ Esquire from BMF'95
GITT GUITARS Esquat Custom - Highest Spec, Lowest Price!

Miscellaneous Fender Articles

Telecaster Scratchplates and 'Static' Noise
The Fender MIJ (Made in Japan) Range - Circa 1990 (with prices)
1966 Fender Jaguar Guitar (original)
Fender MIJ '62 Jaguar Reissue (Candy Apple Red - 1990)
1965 Fender Mustang Sunburst (original)
1965 Fender Jazzmaster Guitar (original)
Fender MIJ '62 Reissue Jazz Bass (early 1990s)
Strat vs Tele - Which is For You?
Why on Earth is That Guitar For Sale?

Gibson

The Gibson Les Paul Pro Deluxe - 1976 to 1982
The 1958 to 1961 Gibson ES-335 'Dot'
Gibson Sonex 180 Deluxe (early 1980s)
1990 Gibson Les Paul Custom (white)
1993 Gibson Les Paul Classic 'Tiger Top
Mid 1960s Gibson ES345 Semi
1972 Gibson ES-355 Semi-Solid Guitar
1967 Gibson Melody Maker Guitar
1965 Epiphone Casino Guitar

Other Guitar Articles

Vintage Guitars Just Ain't What They Were
1987 Rickenbacker 330 Guitar
The Gordon Smith GS1
1994 Japanese Fernandes Super Grade (Les Paul) Guitar

PICKUPS, GUITAR AMPS, FX AND GADGETS

Five Major Guitar Pickup Myths
The Rise of the Retrofit Pickup (a historical exploration)
Know Your Strat Pickups
Fender USA '57 & '62 Vintage Stratocaster Pickups (Original pre-1998 Reissue)
Original mid 1990s Fender Custom Shop American '50s Strat Pickups
1980s Fender Japan one-piece 'Vintage Reissue' Stratocaster pickups
Fender Texas Special Strat Pickups
Seymour Duncan APS-1 Strat Pickups
Seymour Duncan Hot Rails Pickups
Early 1990s Fender MIJ Vintage Reissue Telecaster Bridge Pickup
1960s Gibson Humbuckers - Worth The Cash?
Custom Guitar Parts - Supercharged or 'Snake Oil'?

Fender Pro Junior Guitar Amp (Tweed)
Fender Champ 12 Guitar Amp (Late 1980s)
The Roland Jazz Chorus Guitar Amp
Vox Escort ('70s Busker) Guitar Amp
Vox AC30 Guitar Amplifier (mid 1960s)

The Digitech RP-1 Guitar Effects Preamp / Processor (1992)
The Aria APE-2 - First Guitar Multi FX?
Boss Pedals: Owning the Market in 1988
Boss ME-5 Guitar Multi-effects Unit
Boss ME-8 Guitar Multiple Effects
Boss Guitar Pedals - Back in the Heyday
Boss RV-2 1980s Digital Reverb
Boss CS-3 Compression Sustainer
Boss PH-2 Super Phaser
Boss DS-2 Turbo Distortion
Boss MZ-2 Digital Metalizer
Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal Pedal
DOD FX80-B Compressor Sustainer
Classic Overdrive/Distortion Stomp Boxes Shootout

KEYBOARDS AND MODULES

What Was The First Digital Piano?
The Ensoniq Mirage: Sampling Revolution
Early '80s Mini Keyboards: Kitsch Cool or Junk?
The Classic Yamaha DX Synths: A 1980s Revolution
The Korg 707 Synthesizer
The Arrival of the Roland D50 Synthesizer
The Yamaha CS1x Control Synth of 1996
The Original Yamaha DX7 Digital Synthesizer
1996 Korg Prophecy Solo Synth
Korg X5 Synthesizer
1980s Rhodes MK-60 Digital Piano
1982 Yamaha Electone A55 Home Organ
1980 Bontempi B370 Dual Manual Home Organ
Vox Continental Super II Twin Manual Organ
Early '80s Korg CX3 Analogue Organ
1996 Hammond XM1 Organ Module
Alesis NanoPiano (1997)

HOME RECORDING

The House Piano Sound Explained
Cheetah Musical Instruments: Cheaper The Better?
The Vesta Fire 4-Track Tape Multitrackers
The Joy of SoundFonts
The Fostex DCM100 and MixTab (1992): MIDI Control for Analogue Mixing
Music Software - What We Did Before The Internet
The Fostex R8 - Time Code Magic
Looking Back at the Portastudio
Tascam Porta-05 Ministudio (1987)
Revisiting the Dell Optiplex GX110 PC
The Alesis MIDIFEX - Sound of the '80s
The MIDIman SmartSync - How a MIDI to tape sync worked
Recalling 1980s Audio Cassette Tapes
The Zoom Studio 1201 and Predecessors
Alesis NanoCompressor (1996)
Alesis NanoVerb (original 1996)
1992 Kawai Q55 Hardware Sequencer
1994 80486 PC MIDI Setup

The Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-550 Drum Machine
Remembering the Alesis HR-16 Drum Machine
Boss DR-660 Drum Machine


VIRTUAL VST INSTRUMENTS FOR FREE DOWNLOAD

Now on Version 2 - the GutterSnipe.
Freeware VST plug-ins for your PC. You'll always hear about new FreeST and Stomp King releases first here at Planet Botch. Please read the disclaimers and download/installation details on the relevant pages.

Classic-H oldie Hammond-type organ with selectable key-splits
Skanksta Organ with selectable key-splits
The GutterSnipe (dirty rock organ with heavy overdrive and very retro sound)
The Mutiny Polysynth (analogue-style retro-sounding synth with cool presets)
Free VST Organs Landing Page
The VSTX3 Virtual Organ (analogue 'clonewheel' replica)
The Rawgan Virtual Organ/Synth Hybrid
The Nash Virtual Organ (oldie home organ tones)
The VSTV2 Virtual Organ (classic 1960s model)

The Stomp King virtual pedals. More cool freeware from Planet Botch.

VIRTUAL VST EFFECTS

Main Stomp King Landing Page
Stomp King SK-1 Vibrato virtual FX pedal
Stomp King SK-2 Sympho virtual FX pedal
Stomp King SK-3 F-Cycle vrtual FX pedal
Stomp King SK-4 Anacho virtual analogue delay pedal
Stomp King SK-5 GuitarAmp virtual FX unit
Stomp King SK-6 Ro-Tube Rotary Speaker Simulator
Stomp King SK-7 Vintage Type Dual Chorus virtual FX pedal
Stomp King SK-8 Jet Flange virtual FX pedal
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