Violin Improvisator Mazz Swift Discovers New World of Sonic Possibilities with DigiTech’s Vocalist Live FX

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Historically, violins have conformed to convention: In the world’s concert halls and opera houses, the centuries suggest they know their place. Though Mazz Swift’s main instrument is in fact a violin, she refuses to take a seat. Classically trained on the instrument, including two and a half years at Juilliard, Swift’s musical trajectory reads more like an adventure travelogue than a symphonic score. From traditional Irish music to Hungarian gypsy to the folk music known as Brazilian Forró, Swift and her violin transcend boundaries. Thanks to HARMAN’s DigiTech Vocalist Live FX, one of the boundaries the band transcends is the one that usually separates the studio sound from what’s heard by fans at live performances around the world.

Vocalist Live FX puts professional studio grade vocal effect processing at the feet of the performer. The Live Adapt feature can automatically detect a song’s tempo, key and scale to automatically adjust for the best vocal sound. “Sonically, the Vocalist LiveFX is really opening up a whole new world of possibilities for me,” Swift says.

One of the possibilities Swift is currently exploring is connecting with her DigiTech stereo. “I love using the looping function, running that sound into my DigiTech JamMan stereo and exploring what that does,” she says.

Musical experimentation is nothing new to Swift, whose improvisational roots took hold in 1998, when she began linking up with numerous New York City player collectives, which led her to The Burnt Sugar Arkestra, a group she started making music with in 2002 and still plays with today. She cites the diversity of musicians and the group’s use of conducted improvisation – known as Conduction – as an influence in her own work.

Swift’s current work is as varied as her musical inclinations. She’s putting the finishing touches on her band’s first CD, which is being produced by Vernon Reid of Living Colour and is entitled MazzMuse: The Band. Through her solo project, which she describes as the more introspective side of the MazzMuse coin, she’s exploring singing, songwriting and compositions improvised in the moment. “For both the band and my solo work I use a six-string electric violin called the Viper,” she says. “I run the violin as well as my voice through the DigiTech Live FX looper and employ the effects for both the violin and the voice.”

“It’s inspiring to see an artist who pushes herself and her music as relentlessly as Mazz Swift make such creative use of the Vocalist Live FX,” said Tom Cram, marketing coordinator with DigiTech. “We look forward to supporting her effort to bring new and innovative music to the world in the future.”

HARMAN designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and integrated control solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With 15 leading brands, including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson ®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a global workforce of 15,200 people and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last 12 months ended March 31, 2014.
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