Next up on our list of Tone Partners to meet is Jason Sadites.
We asked Jason about his journey as a professional guitarist, his interest in teaching, and how he came about producing his TONEX Collections, which are available on ToneNET to demo and purchase HERE.
Learn more about Jason Sadites:
IK Multimedia: You created several collections for the TONEX Marketplace. Why did you choose these amps?
Jason Sadites: For my initial releases I was focusing on what I feel are some truly classic amps that would cover a lot of tonal bases for folks. I really want to be able to offer tones that aren’t going to be for a single style of music but want to offer a true variety of tones.
IK: You use a lot of different digital guitar products. What attracted you to TONEX?
JS: I loved the idea of being able to capture tone models using a computer that I already owned with a piece of software that was so reasonably priced. Once I heard how truly incredible it sounded and how accurate the tone models were to the source amp, I was sold. Along came TONEX Pedal and now we could use those tone models live and in rehearsal etc…, all at a price that seemed too good to be true.
IK: What’s your approach to dialing in tones for TONEX?
JS: I just simply use my 30+ years of experience recording and mixing guitars to do my best to dial in tones that will represent an incredible starting point for a player to center their rig around.
IK: Any tips for anyone getting started with capturing their gear?
JS: I would tell folks to get themselves a great microphone. That doesn’t even mean an expensive microphone. I am a huge fan of ribbon mics and love working with them and love the “natural” feel and response they give. But having said that something as cheap and simple as an SM57 CAN give great results. The reason I emphasize CAN is because mic placement is key. I think a lot of folks don’t pay enough attention to finding the perfect position for the mic for the tone they are trying to achieve.
IK: Do you have any new collections in the works?
JS: Yes, I do. MUCH more to come!
IK: Let’s go back to the beginning. When did you start playing guitar and why guitar?
JS: I started playing guitar in 1984 at the age of 10. My Aunt had left her classical guitar at our house where it sat unused for a number of years. It was accompanied by Book 1 guitar method and on the urging of my Father I started working my way through the basics of that book. I stuck with it and here we are.
IK: Who were some early influences and why?
JS: The first thing I heard that really lit a fire under me to want to play was Eddie Van Halen’s solo on Michael Jackson’s Thriller album. I could not even begin to understand what he was doing at that point in time, but there was something about that solo that resonated with me.
Shortly after that, I bought my first guitar magazine which, if memory serves me correctly, was the Feb. 1985 edition of Guitar Player with Al Di Meola on the cover. As anyone from that era remembers those magazines included a “Soundpage” record. That particular soundpage featured Al showing how to play small excerpts of some scales and I was totally blown away at the time by how fast and clean he could play those. I cannot tell you how many hours I spent working on those scale segments trying to get up to Al’s speed.
IK: What was your best and worst gig?
JS: There have been so many over the years it’s hard to nail any particular one down. One of the most enjoyable and challenging gigs was when I filled in playing guitar for a singer named Fernando Varela who had been a finalist on America’s Got Talent. I had received charts for the show about a week before, which we would be playing to a click to sync with some tracks. I met the rest of the band at 1 pm the day of the show, rehearsed until approximately 4 pm, and show time was 7:30. The most challenging part of that night was playing a killer version of Bohemian Rhapsody to a click track with a band of musicians that I had only known for about 6 hours. It went over without a hitch and was an absolute blast.
As far as worst gig, I really can’t think of any particular one that stands out, which is probably a good thing.
IK: Was there a moment in your life when you made a conscious decision to pursue music professionally?
JS∷ I started teaching guitar at the age of 16 to earn a few bucks to support my record and music gear buying addiction and I got so busy doing that I continued teaching for many years after that, pretty much always having a roster of 60-70 students. I think starting to teach at such a young age made me realize I could actually make a go at earning a living from music so I branched out from just teaching to playing gigs, session work, producing, composing, etc….
IK: One piece of advice to players starting out on guitar?
JS: I know this will sound strange coming from a guy who makes so many videos about dialing in guitar tones, but I would encourage starting players to not get hung up on the never-ending quest for new gear as the ticket to being a better player. It seems nowadays with seemingly endless gear available it’s easy to spend more time searching and trying gear than actually playing and improving as a player. I also do realize that answer is somewhat of a “wet-blanket” answer.
IK: Can you name 3 favorite guitars you own and why?
JS: I endorse Vigier Guitars and am fortunate enough to have a nice selection of their instruments. I must say they are truly the finest instruments I have ever played. I absolutely LOVE my Vigier Expert which is their take on a Strat-style guitar. My Vigier G.V.Wood Hollow is another real favorite of mine. I also have an absolutely gorgeous Colling OM2H acoustic that’s a total joy to play. I guess if I had to narrow it down from my fairly large collection of instruments, those would be my favorites, but I reserve the right to change this answer depending on the day and my mood.
IK: What would your desert island rig look like? You can only choose 1 amp, 1 cab, 1 guitar and 3 pedals.
JS: What kind of cruel question is this? Lol Ok, the amp would be an original Budda Superdrive SD30 series 1 with the matching cabinet with Budda Phat speakers. My good friend and incredible amp tech Jeff Bober is the mastermind behind Budda amps and I must say that I feel that’s one of the finest amps ever made. The guitar would be my Vigier Expert. For pedals, I would take my IK Multimedia X-TIME, X-SPACE and X-VIBE. That would cover me for pretty much any FX I could need.
IK: What do you look for in a guitar amp?
JS: Take the previously mentioned Budda Superdrive 30, what I loved so much about it is how versatile it is. It can do everything from beautiful chimey cleans to great edge of breakup to gorgeous heavier tones. So I would say versatility is key, but no single amp will give me everything I may need for every situation, which brings me back around to that extremely cruel desert island question of allowing me only one amp. That’s just simply too cruel a situation to even consider. Seriously though, if I had to have only one amp I would want something that could cover as many tonal bases as possible, but I would much prefer to have a great selection of different “flavors” of amps.
IK: How important is gear?
JS: Obviously, gear is important to a certain degree, but it does seem nowadays with so many choices it can be overwhelming to the point that players spend more time searching and trying gear than actually playing and improving. I think it’s important for players to be able to shut off “gear” mode in their brains and just play what is in front of them at the moment and try and make it work. In that case, you would obviously need gear that’s at minimum in the ballpark of what is needed for the end goal, but when you have that it’s sometimes just good to stop thinking about gear and get to playing.
IK: You have over 1,000 videos on your YouTube channel. What inspired you to start a YouTube channel?
JS: Strangely enough, I never really set out for it to be what it has become. I started posting videos of myself doing covers of some of my favorite guitar solos challenging myself to learn some very difficult solos very quickly and post them. Those cover videos started to get some attention and I started receiving many messages with questions about how I create my tones for those videos. That’s what sparked me to start doing the videos about dialing in tones and here we are.
IK: Your YouTube channel features a lot of gear instructional videos. How did this passion for learning gear and helping others use technology come about?
JS: As mentioned above, it was really because I was receiving so many questions from viewers. Originally, I didn’t really realize how much of a need there was for instructional videos of this sort but after hearing from literally thousands of folks through the years it became evident that there was in fact a need. It’s a really great feeling hearing from so many people that tell me that a particular video solved a problem for them or helped them get more out of their gear.
I am not really sure what sparked my passion for learning about gear myself, but from a very young age, it’s something that I truly loved. My father bought me my first 4-track recorder when I was quite young and that set me down the path of learning the art of recording and crafting tones.
IK: Outside of creating YouTube videos what music projects are you currently working on? (gigs, sessions, albums, etc…)
JS: At present, I have 7 studio solo albums of my instrumental guitar music. On those albums, I have been blessed to have had the pleasure to work with folks such as Marco Minnemann, Tony Levin, Bryan Beller, Gregg and Matt Bissonette, Kenny Aronoff, Ric Fierabracci, etc…. A lot of those folks have become good friends and people I will work with again in the future. Having said that, I really do want to start composing for another solo album but finding the time amongst everything else lately has been a challenge. It will happen, I am just not certain when. Aside from that though, I regularly do sessions and gig on a regular basis.
IK: Where do you see guitar gear going? Any predictions?
JS: This may seem like a cop-out for an answer, but I truly try not to think about it. I enjoy working with the gear that’s available now and try not to lose sight of the fact that the gear is simply a tool to create music. That being said I do truly get excited when a new amazing piece of gear comes out that I feel will help me in my end goal of creating some killer music.