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Re: lobbying for upgrades.

>Matthias writes:
>>Jon Durant, what would you say as an old professional?
>First, I'm not old. I just feel that way sometimes when my two boys run me
>Second, and more to the point: Getting Composers on our side is a tricky 
>For example: Bill Frisell has been using a JamMan for years, mostly as a
>compositional tool. In his live performances, he generally still uses his
>old Electro Harmonix thingy. Why? Because he can take a loop and speed it 
>up or
>slow it down using the delay time (something no cuurrent looping device
>can do).
>So his use of the device is completely hidden to the general public.
>>For them we need demonstrations or a video "how to apply loops in rock
>>music" or so.
>Did anyone see the Lexicon JamMan Video? This was one of the greatest
>embarrasments of my professional career. What started as exactly what 
>calling for turned into a complete disaster. Yet another case of having 
>who don't understand the product take responsibility for marketing it. In 
>case, the Marketing VP at the last minute decided to give the entire 
>project to
>his buddy, a notorious publisher in the music world, who also dabbles in
>convention TV, and let him decide how to make a "snappy" video. I had 
>contracted David Torn to do the guitar portion, and the producer brought
>in a DJ
>to do that portion. From there everything went to hell. To this day, I 
>refused to let Torn see the video. The last segment was Steve Frankel
>(International Sales) and myself in the demo room at Lexicon, caught on
>hi-8. We
>added this section, because it was the original outline. The horrible
>results of
>the "big" production required us to add this miserable little piece to
>give some
>sort of reason why someone might want to buy this thing.
>>- Amateurs that start playing and grab the loop quicker than the 
>they are using and therefore are happy to be able to create >something
>on the loop from the start (some techno rythm for >example).
>I did a dealer show in Florida a couple of years ago, and had an 
>experience. One person came up and saw my little demo and was instantly 
>It turns out that he plays in a cover band (which I suspect means that he 
>a lot more money than those of us who are trying to create original 
>music!) and
>they do a bunch of "alternative" music, such as the Cure. He immediately
>how useful it would be to grab some of those repetative licks and be able 
>play the counterpoint lines with them. He bought one immediately. And I
>that if we could hook a band like the Cure to start using one and talking 
>it, then it would be a big lift. So my British distributor tried to get 
>me into
>the sessions for their last record (recorded at Jane Seymour's house!),
>but they
>had started work and didn't want to be interrupted. Of course, the record
>stiffed, and they *never* talk about gear, so it wasn't a big loss.
>Meanwhile, the way to get kids to get into it is through the dealers. And
>we all
>know how likely that is to happen: It isn't. Besides, there's a major 
>barrier for beginners: You can't sell them a looper that costs more than 
>guitar, and that means the thing has to cost about $200 max. Probably 
>more like
>So where does this leave us? Personally, I'm frightened by the outlook in 
>present tense. I do know that there are a couple of guys at Lexicon who 
>in the potential. Of course, they happen to be the two guys who created 
>JamMan and modify PCM 42s. Believe it or not, the answer really comes 
>from one
>place: the dealers. (I know, I know...) The management of Lexicon is 
>conviced that the word of Sam Ash and Guitar Center is the word of God. 
>If we
>could convince these guys to start pestering the manufacturers, then we 
>see movement.
>True story: At one point, I tried to put forth a proposal that went way 
>reason, but that I thought would work: I suggested that an upgrade to the
>JamMan, adding the most requested features (which had already been
>developed and
>tested by the product's creator in a personal quest for the coolest thing
>should be done, not because we'd sell more, but because it was the 
>thing to do. Stand behind your customers. It would have generated 
>press, and would have said a whole lot about why Lexicon is the 
>choice. And it really wouldn't have costed a whole lot of money--you could
>it off to the PR account! The idea gained steam, until the words "JamMan
>Upgrade" were raised in a management meeting and were met with howls of
>laughter. NEXT!
>OK, I'm leaking confidential secrets of life at Lex, and I'm sure Kim 
>regale us all with some charmers from Oberheim/Gibson land, but this is 
>reality: Looping is a sore subject for these companies, and it won't 
>until Alesis comes out with a winner and makes everyone look stupid. (Did
>I just
>say that? JD, you've come a long way in 9 months...)

I read your email with interest .. it is sad that Lex is so short sighted
on this score.  I would very much like to see an upgrade to this box ...
and be able to vary loop lengths after entered using a pedal ... and some
other ideas ... it would seem to me as you said that some of the
innovations would not be costly and they could reintroduce the thing to the