Rockman - The Concept

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1. Foreword 2.About music 3. About rock 4. About sound 5. About mixing 6. About guitarists 7. About tubes 8. About pedals
9. About digital 10. Ab. compression 11. About saturation 12. About filters 13. About delays 14. About chorus 15. About switching 16. Synthesis

Download the complete section in pdf format

I have truly hesitated before publishing this section. After all, the only person who could write about the concept he had in mind is Tom Scholz himself, and I’m not entitled to say “that’s the way the Rockman concept was born”.

Moreover, it is a very long essay about music, sound, and guitar gear: not the kind of thing that someone who needs straight information about his Rockmodule or his Rockman headphone amp will read easily.

Yet, I’ve been studying in detail the Rockman product line for over two years now. The first time I opened a Rockmodule, my reaction was something like “hey, that’s how I would have designed gear myself!”. Well, some people like me just “would”, while others “do”…

Two years later, I managed to imagine what the rationale behind the Rockman concept was. I based my analysis on the following assumptions:

  • Tom Scholz was an engineer before being a professional musician. Let’s think as an engineer addressing musicians problems, and we'll get a chance to be close to the truth.

  • Tom Scholz is someone who gives more value to control than to randomness. In other terms, each detail in the Rockman line is here on purpose, never for the sake of it.

  • Tom Scholz is the kind of man who considers that every problem has a solution, and that when you can’t find a solution, that’s basically because you’re not addressing the right problem. If something is missing in the Rockman products, then the feature is certainly not truly interesting.

The various considerations about music, sound and gear design you will read here are thus personal opinions, based on 30 years of experience in music and electronics, and oriented towards the understanding of the Rockman line.

Reading them will be helpful to anyone who wants to make his own opinion, even if he doesn’t agree with what he reads, and even if he doesn't use Rockman gear... yet!

All in all, this section makes sense, and is probably close to the “truth”. As a disclaimer, I have to say that:

  • The points of view expressed here are personal opinions – other people will certainly have other approaches.

  • Though I think that Tom Scholz has followed most of the principles described here, there are other ways to arrive to the same gear concept.

  • If you do not agree with what is written here, and have serious reasons to say I was wrong, please contact me!

Copyright 2007