Vai had several custom prototypes of these guitars built which were used on the Eat 'Em and Smile tour by Joe "Jem" Despagni, a custom guitar luthier and friend of Vai's. Due to Vai's highly coveted position in Roth's band, many guitar companies were eager to propose endorsement opportunities. In response to these offers, Vai sent out the specifications of the JEM guitar, detailing that the company that returned the best guitar would be given the endorsement. Dissatisfied with the guitars returned and unwilling to compromise, Vai held out on a guitar endorsement until Ibanez approached him, sending him an instrument superior to that of the other companies and willing to follow his instructions.
Since its original release, the JEM has become one of the longest-running and most successful signature series guitars in history, with its sister guitar, the Ibanez RG , being the second highest-selling guitar behind the Fender Stratocaster on the market. Another design by Vai was the Ibanez Universe , the first production seven-string guitar , which was released in The Universe incorporated many of the aspects that made the JEM a unique instrument 24 frets, full floating tremolo, special pickup configuration, angled output jack, and deeper body cutaway , with an added low 'B' string, allowing for new low-range sonic possibilities.
Used by Vai on much of Passion and Warfare and all of Whitesnake's Slip of the Tongue , the Universe was a large stepping stone for the burgeoning Nu-metal genre with bands such as Korn having adopted the instrument and incorporating it into their signature sound. Having always enjoyed the aspect of teaching and sharing his experiences in life and in the music business, Vai began a series of "Alien Guitar Secrets" masterclasses in a touring masterclass in which Vai holds open forum discussion about his own experiences in the music industry, explains the key principles to understanding success, plays to backing tracks often inviting class attendees to jam with him , answers questions, articulates key points of guitar technique, and more importantly goes beyond the technique and into the more profound esoteric principles at play.
Often embarking on masterclass tours through Europe, South America, and Russia, Vai considers this ongoing series of classes as one of his most important contributions. Guitar effects manufacturer Eventide approached Vai in the mids to contribute unique ideas for their H effects unit. Vai suggested many specific concepts, such as diatonic pitch change and multi-voice harmony, that were used in the unit and have since become standard algorithms in guitar effects processors.
In , Vai's signature series high-output "Evolution" humbucker pickup set was released by DiMarzio. In , Vai had begun working with the Carvin Corporation to design a signature series of Legacy amplifiers, which were used on his Epic Records release The Ultra Zone. In the s, Vai began touring in European and Asian countries such as Russia and China as well as South America, often having been the first American rock act in history to have performed in these areas.
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With the broadcasting of this event on January 26, , Vai became the first rock artist ever broadcast on a Chinese television program. Vai's personal studio, The Harmony Hut , is a large edifice located in his backyard equipped with a full control room and performance room. Before his endorsement with Ibanez, Vai was endorsed by Charvel guitars, most notably using a green and black San Dimas model. In addition, over the course of his career, Vai has used guitars made by various other companies, including Jackson , Fender , and Gavtone.
Generally for live use he utilizes the unit for stereo effects such as delay , chorus , and phase , with a separate preset for the parameters of each different song in his setlist. The Axe-Fx MFC foot controller is set up in conjunction with the unit, allowing Vai to switch effects on and off in a fashion reminiscent to that of standard stompboxes. The centerpiece of the pedalboard is the Axe-Fx MFC foot controller for the Axe-Fx II XL, which, as previously mentioned, controls the effects in a manner similar to switching on and off stompboxes. There are two expression pedals used for the Axe-Fx, one to act as a volume pedal , and the other to control the harmonizer built into the Axe-Fx unit.
From the output of the Whammy, the signal heads into the input of the Carvin Legacy amplifier head. Out of the effects loop of the Legacy, the signal heads directly into the Axe-Fx II XL, where it is split into stereo and the effects are applied and controlled via the MFC foot controller. Out of the output of the Axe-Fx, one signal is sent back to the original Legacy head return, and a second is sent to a second Carvin Legacy head return, bypassing the preamp stage completely and acting as a slave power amp.
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Vai utilizes his stereo setup on effects like delay, where he sets up two separate delay times one slower and one faster and allows them to alternate back and forth. The signal is then sent from the amp to the 4x12 Carvin Legacy speaker cabinets loaded with Celestion Vintage 30 speakers. Vai uses AKG microphones to mic his amps, and uses a separate Carvin power amp to power a direct guitar monitor cabinet instead of relying on the PA.
In , Vai began working with the Carvin Corporation to design a signature series of Legacy amplifiers, which were used on his album The Ultra Zone. Detailed gear diagrams of both Vai's  and guitar rigs  are well-documented. Since the late s, Vai has resided in Encino, Los Angeles with his family. Vai is married to Pia Maiocco , former bassist of the band Vixen who can be seen in the film Hardbodies , with whom he has two children, Julian and Fire Vai. Not including guest appearances.
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Vai started his recording career in with Frank Zappa, and has since recorded with a plethora of artists and bands. In , Vai began his career as a solo artist with his release of Flex-Able , and solidified his place as a virtuoso rock guitarist with his acclaimed release of Passion and Warfare. His discography consists of eight studio albums, two EPs , two special albums, eight live albums, twelve soundtracks, twenty compilation albums , and six DVD releases. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This biography of a living person relies too much on references to primary sources.
Please help by adding secondary or tertiary sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately , especially if potentially libelous or harmful. January Learn how and when to remove this template message. Instrumental rock hard rock heavy metal progressive rock progressive metal experimental rock. Favored Nations Relativity Epic. Main article: Steve Vai discography. Archived from the original on October 8, Archived from the original on November 18, Retrieved November 23, Archived from the original on March 10, Archived from the original on November 10, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
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- Steve Vai - Wikipedia.
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- The Massage: An Ashleigh St. Croix Bedtime Story;
- Time and Tears: A ballad by Daymond Flexx on Apple Books;
Hilversum, Netherlands published Archived from the original on June 17, Retrieved June 26, Archived from the original on September 15, Steve Vai's official homepage Prato, Greg. Steve Vai. Disturbing the Peace. Beyond the Mirror. Majanka Verstraete.
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