Sound Source Superstar Video Contest 2017
Posted on August 16, 2017 by mkallis
Our student video contest, Sound Source Superstar is underway.  This contests features performances by our talented music students, each competing to win the top prize of $100 cash.  The winner of the contest will be determined by the video that receives the most likes. Here is the official announcement and rules: We are excited to announce “Sound Source Music Superstar”, an end of Summer Contest for all Sound Source Music students.  Top prize is $100 cash for the winning student.  The contest will run from Tuesday, 8/1 through Labor Day Weekend and the winner will be announced sometime the week after Labor Day. So what is it?  We will provide audio and video equipment in a stage area (located in the performance room) for students to make a video of virtually any performance they want.  Assistance will be available on request to operate the equipment and to procure any equipment you need to make the video.  Videos will then be uploaded to our Facebook page.  Whichever video has received the most likes from our page (our page….this is important) will be declared the winner.  We also plan to honor and give recognition to exceptional videos that did not win.  There are some simple rules and instructions on the attached rules page. Please note that it will be important to “market” your video to increase your chances of winning.  You can share your video all you like, and encourage your friends and family to do the same.  You will need to encourage them to go to our page and like your video...each like will be a vote for your video. We are pleased to provide the opportunity for you to show the world your talent via a high quality video.  Start planning now; the earlier we can get your video onto our Facebook page, the earlier you can start getting shares of your video.  Also, please remember that you can perform as a duo with other Sound Source Academy students.  To get started, fill out a sign up sheet that you can get from your teacher and schedule a time during your lessons to record your video with your teacher. RULES 1.  ALL PERFORMANCES MUST BE RECORDED ON THE EQUIPMENT WE PROVIDE, IN THE AREA WE PROVIDE. ONE VIDEO PER STUDENT(s). STUDENTS CAN DO A MAXIMUM OF 3 TAKES. Maximum of 2 PERFORMERs PER VIDEO, duos welcome. Solo PERFORMERS CAN HAVE ONE ACCOMPANIST MAX.  ACCOMPANIST MUST ALSO BE A SOUND SOURCE STUDENT. VIDEO LENGTH MUST BE 3 MINUTES OR LESS. THERE ARE NO RESTRICTIONS ON THE TYPE OF MATERIAL THAT CAN BE PERFORMED, BUT PLEASE MAKE SURE IT IS APPROPRIATE FOR ALL AGES AND ALSO MEETS FACEBOOK STANDARDS. NO PRE-RECORDED TRACKS OR NON-HUMAN ACCOMPANIMENT. IF STUDENT IS UNDER 18, PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE PARENTAL CONSENT. Contest begins Tuesday august 1st and continues through labor day weekend. Winner will be announced Tuesday, September 5th. Winner will be determined based on the video that has the most total number of likes originating from Sound Source Music’s facebook page. You can and should share the video as much as you’d like; this will increase your chances of winning.  Likes that tally on other pages will not be counted towards the total.  Special recognition will be given to exceptional videos that did not win.  

Used Musical Instruments: We Buy, Sell, and Trade
Posted on July 26, 2017 by mkallis
For nearly 40 years, we've taken pride in our used gear selection.  Many know about our annual Trade-in events, but we also buy used gear and take trade-ins year round.  A few things you should know: 1.  We have many years of experience in buying used Musical instruments and gear.  Because of this, we are able to accurately assess the value of your gear and offer you a fair price. 2.  We pay top dollar.  We've been in business for nearly 40 years and have earned a reputation as being fair and honest to deal with.  You will find that when you sell your used musical gear to us, it is a fast process and that you will get a much higher amount than you will at a Pawn Shop.  This is because, due to our expertise, we don't have to guess about the value of your gear and thus, have no need to protect ourselves from giving too high an amount.  We also have a reputation in our community to uphold. 3.  You get paid quickly.  Unless your gear requires extensive research or lengthy testing, we can usually pay you on the spot.  You won't have to wait a long time to sell your gear and you won't have to deal with hagglers and low-ballers as you would on Craigslist and Facebook classifieds. The bottom line is that if you should need to sell a piece of musical gear, we are your best option.  You can bring your items in any time during normal business hours...Monday through Friday 10 to 6:30 and Saturday 10 to 4 Pm.  It is also helpful to give us a call in advance at 217-258-8919.  We are located in Central Illinois.

Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings Review: Dream Come True or Pipe Dream?
Posted on June 29, 2017 by mkallis
When Ernie Ball announced their new "unbreakable" Paradigm line of strings, I was skeptical; I've been playing guitar for over 30 years and seen scores of exaggerated promises from gear manufacturers (and I've tried most of them):  amps that sound like *every* tube amp ever made, guitars that can sound like everything from a Telecaster to a 12 string, modeled effects that allegedly sound like vintage pedals etc.  Often these products would work to a certain extent, but with compromises that left me unsatisfied.  I've tried nearly every guitar string type and brand ever made and never noticed a truly major difference between any of them.  Elixir strings were a nice breakthrough and lived up to the promise of keeping their tone 3 to 5 times longer than normal guitar strings, but they had a weird "plastic-y" feel, felt a bit stiffer than most brands, had a higher cost, and you couldn't get a good Eddie Van Halen-approved pick scrape with them.  Additionally, the long lasting tone was nice, but pointless if you break the strings first and they tended to get very stiff the longer you left them on your guitar. Enter Ernie Ball Paradigm strings.  They offer a 90 day guarantee against breakage (a bold enough claim on its own), but what about the other factors:  tone, feel, and how long they keep their tone?  To test Ernie Ball's claim, I decided to try out a set of the Paradigm Electric 10-46 in a real world environment:  a series of 4 hour long sweaty, dirty outdoor Summer shows.  So how has it gone?  I've successfully played 7 four-hour shows in dirty outdoor summer conditions without string breakage.  That alone should be worth the price of admission, but not if they cause me to compromise on tone and feel.  As far as feel goes, I noticed instantly that they reminded me of Ernie Ball Regular Slinkys; easy to bend and easy on the fingers.  Easy to get a killer EVH pick slide.  They feel like typical electric guitar strings.  No compromises in the feel department, and after 7 shows, they bend just as easy as the first.  But what about tone?  Again, right out of the box, I could discern no major difference between the Paradigm strings and Slinkys.  But, after 7 gigs in non-ideal conditions, what truly amazed me and sold me on these strings was that my tone was intact; nearly the same as when I first put them on.  This is a big deal for me as I've always been very picky about having reasonably fresh strings on my guitars; I generally change my strings every show or every other show to avoid breakage and keep my tone fresh. So, I'm sold!  It's true that the Paradigm strings cost more than typical strings at $14.99 a set, but this cost will be offset by the fact that they last longer...I will probably come out "money ahead".  Additionally, as an owner of several guitars that need routine string changes, the amount of time I will save in changing strings is well worth it.  In fact, I've probably saved enough time in string changing to write 10 reviews about guitar strings!  :) -Jon Clarkson Paul Gilbert runs Ernie Ball Paradigm strings through their paces:  
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