Along with about 5200 other developers from around the world, our team gathered in San Francisco last week to learn about the latest in iOS and Mac OS X technologies at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). While we were there, we also hosted two evening performances by the Alex Skolnick Trio playing live with our AmpKit guitar amps and effects app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. We wanted to share the events broadly with anyone interested in the intersection of music and mobile technology, so we filmed HD videos of one of the performances. Links to the videos and an overview of the trio’s setup are provided below.
Perhaps best known as a member of the thrash metal band Testament, Alex Skolnick thrives on the duality of playing metal and jazz music, as he shares in “Alex Skolnick: Double Identity.” We first connected with Alex back in January to kick off the 2011 NAMM Media Preview Day. He demonstrated AmpKit’s wide range of tones and his versatility by playing both jazz and metal riffs using AmpKit on iPad. In the weeks following NAMM, we kept in touch with Alex who continued to explore AmpKit and created his favorite AmpKit setups to share with other users.
At the end of March, the Alex Skolnick Trio released their fourth album, Veritas. The eleven-track album with nine original compositions includes a cover of Metallica‘s “Fade to Black” and a song named “99/09″ that gets us tapping our feet and nodding our heads whenever we listen to it. The trio performed those two songs and other selections from Veritas during the live events last week. They also played “Skol Blues” from their debut album, Goodbye to Romance (see video below).
The events last week took place at the Apple Store, San Francisco on Monday evening, June 6, and at the Marriott Marquis on Wednesday evening, June 8. The audience for both events included WWDC attendees and San Francisco jazz enthusiasts, including many long-time fans of Alex, a Bay Area native.
Both Alex on guitar and Nathan Peck on bass used AmpKit on iPads for their amp and effects tone (Alex also used a looper pedal which, along with foot control, is on our radar screen for future products). To connect their instruments to iPads, Alex and Nathan used the Peavey AmpKit LiNK guitar interface. The outputs of the AmpKit LiNKs were wired directly to a PA system. Scott Amendola, a Bay Area drummer who sat in for trio drummer Matt Zebroski, played his drum kit as well as a drum kit in GarageBand on an iPad to add special effects. Check out these videos of the trio playing “99/09” and the cover of Metallica’s “Fade to Black” during the performance at the Marriott Marquis.
We want to thank the Alex Skolnick Trio, the Apple Store, San Francisco, the Marriott Marquis, and everyone who came out to the two events last week. We’ll be repeating the performance at the Apple Store, Upper West Side in Manhattan on June 21 from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm. If you’re in the area, we hope to see you there.