Melody Walker & Jacob Groopman
Before meeting in California, Melody Walker and Jacob Groopman
both grew up surrounded by sound. The daughter of a blue-collar
songwriter father, Melody grew up listening to everything from
the Beatles to Bill Monroe. After studying percussion and voice
at Humboldt State University and in India and Brazil, she
co-founded the women’s world fusion a cappella group AkaBella.
Originally from Richmond, VA with Appalachian musical ancestry,
Jacob fell hard for his first love, rock ‘n’ roll, but it was
Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead that turned him on to
American folk music. He studied jazz guitar at Oberlin College,
dabbling in jug band music before moving to the San Francisco
Bay Area and jumping into the local bluegrass and roots music
scene, where he met Melody.
David West has produced over sixty albums as a staff producer
for CMH records in Los Angeles, and many more as a freelance
producer through his Play Ball! Musical Services and Studio "Z"
based in Santa Barbara, CA.
As a session guitarist - acoustic and electric, bassist -
upright and electric, banjoist - 5-string, and mandolinist, he
has appeared on hundreds of albums, TV shows and commercials
plus many film sound tracks.
His early career was spent on the road as an accompanist touring
the US and Europe and has, for the last nearly 20 years been
primarily a studio musician. He still occasionally tours,
backing up some of his favorite musicians, including Peter Lewis
- Moby Grape, Chris Hillman - Byrds, Nashville/California
songwriter Kate Wallace, and musician, musicologist, educator
David West is a member of AFM local 308.
David West, President-for-Life
Play Ball! Musical Services
David's Web Site
Drawing from folk, jazz, pop, soul and world music, Vicki is
redefining ‘singer/songwriter culture.’ With a mastery of the
acoustic guitar that borders on pure alchemy, audiences are
mesmerized by the waves of sound Vicki creates with just two
hands and her voice. Using 29 alternate tunings and the
percussive technique she calls ‘slap-tap’, you’ll find the
addition of her pure, expressive vocals that dig deep and stir
the heart to be the perfect accompaniment on many of her songs.
Vicki writes and beautifully sings her own brand of music and
lyrics while putting her unmistakable imprint on familiar tunes
like the Beatles’ Norwegian Wood. An evening with Vicki is far
more than a concert; stories, warmth and humor come gift wrapped
in an unforgettable evening of music that leaves the audience
always wanting more.
Martin Tallstrom, is a Swedish guitarist who has become friends
with MiniFlex. His YouTube videos using the 2Mic have brought
attention to both MiniFlex and to Martin’s beautiful melodies
and fluid style. His first video using the MiniFlex 2Mic is
posted below, as well as at Martin’s site. The video features a
beautiful version of the Procol Harum classic A Whiter Shade of
"When I read about this new acoustic guitar microphone design
from Ken Donnell of MiniFlex," Martin said, "I immediately
thought: ‘This is what I´ve been looking for!’ Very, very
natural sound and - because of its design - less risk of
feedback problems. So far, it seems great!"
Martin's Web Site
I just wanted to drop a quick note. I’ve done a lot of shows
with the4 MiniFlex now getting more and more happy with it. I
did a show last week on a big stage. It happened again...the
sound engineer was blown away!
There were other bands playing that evening, using standard
piezo [pickups]. After hearing my MiniFlex the sound engineer
said: "It should be illegal not to use this system."
I could see several musicians looking into the sound hole of my
guitars on stage after the show. Well, just wanted to give you a
big thank you again.
"We did half our spring tour (2010) with the MiniFlex and I am
still just as excited every time I plug in," he said. "It's
wonderful to hear that it sounds just like my guitar, but
Christoffer Wadensten is an accomplished guitarist for the
Swedish band, Meadows Ever Bleeding.
Visit Christoffer's Web Site
Gary L. Zimnicki
When authenticity is needed, Gary Zimnicki turns to MiniFlexMic.
There are no limits to the kind or style of stringed instrument
that Gary Zimnicki can build and Gary says this approach sets
him apart from other builders.
"My goal with each project is to produce an instrument that will
perfectly match each customer's needs and tastes..." he writes
at his Web site. "My customers have the unique opportunity to be
as involved as they want in the design of their instrument. Of
course, I am also quite happy to make suggestions, drawing on my
years of experience building all different styles of guitars."
I think people come to me for a number of reasons, but the ones
I like working with most are the people who have an idea in
their head of the "ideal" instrument. They know they can't get
what they want in a guitar store so they turn to me to help make
their idea a reality. I have never limited my customers in terms
of only building certain kinds of instruments or certain sizes.
And, hopefully, they have heard that I am willing to work
closely with them on the design. These days I also get a good
number of people who come to me because they have seen or heard
my instruments. Altogether, I have about 300 scattered about,
mostly in the US, but also some in Europe, Asia and South
Fewer than half of my customers want amplification, but when
they do, they often don't have any particular product in mind
and they ask me for advice. I generally have recommended various
types of piezo transducers because my experience with single
internal mics is that they are pretty prone to feedback.
However, the new MiniFlex 2Mic system seems to have addressed
that concern quite well.
Gary L. Zimnicki,
15106 Garfield Ave.,Allen Park, MI 48101,
Web Site or
Hello Mr. McBeen,
My talent show performance went well and the sound was fabulous,
and during rehearsals, the combination of the 2Mic system with
the piezo pickup was heavenly! I loved it.
Also, I made a recording with a local singer and I used the 2Mic
combined with my large-condenser MXL and it brought me the best
recorded sound I heard out of my guitar.
I'm planning to post new videos and get a few new songs recorded
for a CD out sometime later this year or early next year. I'll
keep you updated!
Sam Broussard generates a cyclone of guitar. On acoustic,
electric and electric slide he carries the music of his ancestry
farther than it’s ever gone, and garners the lion’s share of
spontaneous applause for his soloing skills. Add to that his
songwriting, arranging and tenor singing and the result is a
feast of creativity that can motivate a packed dance hall or a
He is a member of the band "Steve Riley and the Mamou
Playboy's". They began over twenty years ago with a reputation
for excellence. Their stunningly clean and cohesive performance
of Cajun French music from the backwaters of Southwest Louisiana
propelled them into the world music limelight early on, and by
their third release, Trace of Time, had garnered them a Grammy
nomination in the worldwide field of traditional folk music,
another in 2004 for Bon Reve, in 2009 for Live at the New
Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and again in 2011 for their
latest release, Grand Isle.
Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboy's Web Site
Maury Rutch is known to musicians around the world as the owner
of Maury’s Music in Coaldale, Pennsylvania. His extraordinary
customer service and selection of Martin, Takamine and Blueridge
guitars are the frequent fodder on the acoustic guitar forums.
But Maury’s involvement in music doesn’t stop as a shop owner.
He’s also an experienced and busy working musician who actually
plays the guitars, pickups and accessories he sells.
I started taking guitar lessons in 1985 and I never stopped
playing. Not once. Sports and school had absolutely no interest
to me, but I knew even back then that music was it. In high
school I joined a bar band and since then I've never stopped
playing in public. I've worked with rock bands, acoustic trios,
duos and solo over the years.
In 2003 my wife and I wanted to try and start a business
together and music was my first thought. We began selling parts
and strings for acoustic guitars and that quickly grew into our
becoming one of CF Martin's top 15 US dealers. The reason we are
so successful is that I play every single product we sell -
Maury's Web Site
Henry Nam of Sheltered Turtle
I’m proud to announce that I’m now an endorsee of MiniFlex
Microphones! For a long time, I’ve searched for a one-stop
solution to get a natural-sounding, convenient solution to
acoustic guitar amplification. Installation is very easy and
non-intrusive/non-destructive provided you already have a 1/2?
hole for an endpin jack. They also provide a kit to aid in the
process, an extra step ignored by many pickup manufacturers.
The thing that sets the Miniflex design apart from other similar
microphones is its dual mic system that are mechanically out of
phase which drastically reduces feedback. Using microphones to
pick up the sound of the guitar also provides a more natural
sounding amplification than standard pickup systems. One mic is
centered under the sound hole while the other is under the
Before I became an endorsed artist, I had need to contact their
customer service. Someone picked up the phone immediately and
helped address my questions and take care of my problem: no
automated switchboard, no transfers, no getting put on hold.
Just Jim, a regular, friendly sales rep on the line. In the
coming days, I’ll be writing a full review of the model 1 with
sound samples and comparison with other pickup systems. In the
mean time, check them out!
From: "I now endorse MiniFlex Microphones! - Posted by Sheltered
Turtle on Jun 8, 2013."
Henry's Web Site
During sound check with Sycamore Slough String Band at the Great
American Music Hall, I was able to hear my mandolin, in all of
its acoustic brilliance, bouncing off the back wall. It was
actually louder than the drums. I asked, "Mr. Soundman, can you
please turn down the mandolin?"
This is the first time in my life I've uttered those words while
playing alongside electric instruments. Thank you, Ken and Miniflex Microphones! You
have opened up a number of additional
revenue streams for this musician.
David Thom is a former guitarist for the David Grisman Bluegrass
Experience, leader of the David Thom Band, and mandolinist for
Vintage Grass and Sycamore Slough String Band
Visit David's Web
Hello Jim & Ken!
Please accept my apologies for not being able to get back to you
sooner - I’ve been dealing with e-mail problems since switching
over to my new web host, but I think I’ve finally managed to get
things in order.
Anyway...regarding the balance problem I was having. All gone!!!
Not sure what the issue was, whether it was a matter of angling
the mic differently, or the fact that I also tried changing
string brands & tension - either way, everything sounds
awesome!! I can’t think of the last time my guitar sounded so
good in a live situation! :) I’ve already used it twice more on
stage since my last e-mail to you, and I cannot begin to tell
you how happy I am with this mic. I really don’t think I’ll ever
plug back into my acoustic’s under saddle pickup again. In fact,
my band and I will be making our debut performance at the House
of Blues here in Dallas at the end of the month, and I can’t
wait to use my MiniFlex mic through their system!!
Just a little fact, before hearing about the MiniFlex Mic, I was
anxiously awaiting the release of L.R. Baggs’ Lyric Classical
internal mic - I wanted this system SOOO bad, based on a couple
of online videos and some limited positive feedback. I was just
about to place my order, when I saw that a friend of mine,
(flamenco guitarist, Jason McGuire), had just tested it and was
completely unsatisfied with it - he then said that the MiniFlex
Mic was, hands down, the best mic to use - and that there was
really no comparison in getting the most natural tone out of his
acoustic with your mics. Of course, another big concern of mine
was feedback issues for live use. He said he rarely had any
problems - so I immediately looked you guys up, threw caution to
the wind and said I trust his judgment, and contacted you about
purchasing the mic I have now. I have to say, that I am SOOO
glad that I did - and can’t believe how close I came to missing
out on such an amazing mic. To make things even sweeter, you had
this mic on sale!! :)
Again, thank you so much guys!! You truly have an amazing
product on your hands, and as soon as I can afford it, I’m going
to outfit all of my acoustics with the model 5, and my main
guitar with the model 7… so that I can have in time for the
recording of my new CD.
Have a great week guys!!!
Visit David's Web
The Austrian nylon-string guitarist, David Lindorfer, convinces
with a charming, elegant and very virtuosic performance. On his
debut album "Between Places", David shows what he understands
under "nylon crossover" - David creates his compositions from a
rich repertoire of classical music, modern fingerstyle, world
music and jazz. Thus, David delivers elegant guitar pieces with
a great deal of tonal expression, in addition to dynamic funk
pieces with a vigorous groove. He also presents captivating,
percussive slap techniques and fascinating harmonic design. With
"Between Places", David has managed to create an entertaining
and pithy debut, which will once again serve as the point of
departure for a great guitar career.
David's Web Site
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