l2pnet.com http://www.l2pnet.com l2pnet.com Thu, 21 Jul 2016 09:53:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Gear Review: Tech 21 RK5 FlyRig http://www.l2pnet.com/gear-review-tech-21-rk5-flyrig/ http://www.l2pnet.com/gear-review-tech-21-rk5-flyrig/#respond Fri, 15 Jul 2016 21:56:53 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2565 By Rev. Bill I had a size problem. It was too damn big. In November of last year I did the longest run of gigs I have ever done at one venue. We did 19 nights in a span of 25 days at the Aquarius in Laughlin, NV. And I had a epiphany about gear. […]

The post Gear Review: Tech 21 RK5 FlyRig appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
By Rev. Bill

I had a size problem. It was too damn big.

In November of last year I did the longest run of gigs I have ever done at one venue. We did 19 nights in a span of 25 days at the Aquarius in Laughlin, NV. And I had a epiphany about gear. Well, to be more accurate about broken gear.

The run was five-days-on, two-days-off for four weeks and in the middle of the 2nd run, I had two guitars—out the three I was carrying—go down. Weird coincidence, but both my 335 and my Black Falcon had one of the wires that feed the output jack come loose. If you have ever tried working on semi-hollow or hollow-body electric guitars, you know they are not easy. All the work has to happen through the F-holes. I made a trip to the local Wal-Mart and bought some fishing line and paper clips for fishing wires out of the body and tying the parts off and grabbed the soldering iron out of the toolbox that I carry on every gig and sat in my room trying to fix ‘em. I succeeded with one and got through the week then headed back to Vegas and my guitar savior Neil Smith who fixed them properly.

But in the days off that week, I thought a lot about gear and gigs and being in a town where the nearest music store was 100 miles away. That is actually a fairly typical situation for us when we play out of town. “Away” gigs for us mean Laughlin and Mesquite. One is 100 miles south of Vegas and the other 100 miles north and neither have a music store.

The guitar situation was a drag but I carry three so I got through it. But I only carry one amp. And it is a 35-year-old-ish Mesa Boogie Mark III. A tube amp. Notoriously finicky. It sounds great but if it went down in mid-run, I was screwed. I needed some kind of backup.

I initially turned to a Line 6 POD HD400. A great piece of gear. I have used most of the same FX modeling that is in the HD400 for a while but I used it in the form of the M9 multi-FX unit from Line 6. But the HD400 added amp modeling and and onboard wha and direct XLR outs that could feed a PA. I tore apart the pedal board i had used for the past couple of years and put the HD400 and my Boogie channel switches and my talk box right on the floor of the stage and finished out the run like that.

It worked OK. I am used to the M9 with six switches for accessing specific effects and the HD400 is set up very differently with three FX slots and each of those fairly limited in what kind of FX they can produce. Ironically, I don’t use a ton of FX. An overdrive, a compressor, a tremolo , a phase shifter and a delay. Pretty meat and potatoes. But getting the combos I wanted on the HD400 was a bitch. The slots are basically setup as drive FX in slot 1, modulation FX in slot 2 and time FX in slot 3. All of that meant I had to set up four different banks to make the combos I wanted and I was still not able to get back to what I was used to.

So when time came to put together a new pedal board I changed my thinking. The HD400 was my backup. I needed it for amp modeling in case my tube amp went tits-up on a gig.So, I grabbed the M9 again and put it all on one board.

And it was enormous.

The Old Pedalboard From Hell. It barely fits into the photo frame.

The Old Pedalboard From Hell. It barely fits into the photo frame.

On the Line 6 tip, the HD400, the M9, a Relay G70 wireless and the non-Line 6, two channel switches, a Heil talk box with a little amp to drive it and an Aphex Xciter. It was more than 44 inches wide and weighed more than 50 lbs. I had no case so I built a frame inside of a giant duffel bag and put wheels on it. It took up so much space in my smallish car (a Chevy HHR)—in which I somehow manage to pack a full PA and my guitar gear—that I found myself in my driveway at 4AM pushing and shoving gear trying to make it all fit before leaving for another out of town run. And it took up a huge amount of stage space.By the time I had done a single run of gigs with it, I knew i had to make a change.

I have known about Tech 21 for a very long time. I first met the team at their HQ in Manhattan back in the ‘90s when I was doing GIG Magazine. Yes, they proudly and somewhat unbelievably manufactured their products in a building in NYC for a very long time. Up until 2002, when they expanded and moved 14 miles west to Clifton, NJ.

But I had never really used any of it. We did a lot of Tech 21 reviews over the years but I always assigned them to someone else. Up until less than a decade ago, I was a modeling amp guy—largely because I play the kinds of gigs where volume is a huge big deal and I need big tone at low volume. When the newer digital modeling offerings stopped offering models of the Mark Series Mesa Boogie combos—my preferred amp models—I tried to make due but could never get the tone I wanted and finally did what I had wanted to do since the ‘80s and bought a couple of Boogies. It was around 2008 and the financial meltdown and I was still making really good money as the editor of FOH Magazine and I checked Craigslist several times a day. I scored on some good gear deals.

About the time I was freaking out over the size of my Monster Pedalboard From Hell, the band went into the studio to record tracks for a new video promo. About eight 30-second song “sound bites.” Per the instructions of the agent who asked for this, no solos. Emphasis on vocals and the horn section. I was playing rhythm guitar and most of it clean so in the interest of simplicity, we ran the guitar direct. There was no way there was room for that board, so I used the rack-mount Tech 21 SansAmp that was in the studio. And I really liked it.

So I emailed the Tech 21 folks who, not being millennials, actually read and answer email. And I explained my situation and asked if they had a solution. I needed something that provided some kind of amp emulation (Tech 21 is NOT modeling but more on that in a bit…) that wasn’t huge but that had at least a good clean rhythm and high-gain lead sound. And they responded quickly saying that what I needed was the Richie Kotzen RK5 Signature Fly Rig. So I asked them to send one for a review and if I liked it I would sell the HD400 and buy it. (I shipped the HD400 to its new owner about a week ago…)

When it arrived I had no idea what the box was. I thought it looked like business cards but I knew I had not ordered new cards in months. I was astounded to open the box and see this little tiny pedal board. I fired it up and was pretty happy but was using it to drive a real amp (an early ‘60s Fender Princeton that I bought at a garage sale 30 years ago and that is in my office). The test would come at the next rehearsal where I planned to run it right into the PA.

WHAT IT IS

On the surface it’s like a three-slot mini pedal board. But there is hidden stuff.

Starting in the middle, there is the famous Tech 21 amp emulation. It can be overdriven but it is voiced for a clean sound. To the left is a very good delay section with a hidden setting that will give you a decent chorus-like sound and to the right is a section titled OMG. This is where the RK really comes in. It stands for Ritchie Kotzen—a hotshot guitar player best known for replacing C.C. DeVille in Poison and Paul Gilbert in Mr. Big and for the band The Winery Dogs with Mike Portnoy and Billy Sheehan. It stands officially as maybe the favorite distortion unit I have ever used. Ever. On it’s own, it’s pretty good. But in conjunction with the dirty rhythm channel on the Mark III it is magic. Getting the rhythm chunk of a 4×12 out of a combo amp is supposed to be impossible. But it just kind of magically happens when the OMG circuit is engaged. It has literally changed the way I play. I am substantially more aggressive when using it.

The RK5 is all-metal and powered by a standard wall-wart style power supply. Oh and I nearly forgot. There is a clean boost available in the OMG section, too.

The rubber really hit the road at the next full band rehearsal. I brought a guitar and the RK5 and two cables and nothing else. The output ran into the rehearsal PA. As mentioned earlier, the Tech 21 stuff is an all-analog emulation of a guitar amp. It is NOT digital modeling. And, I know I’m late to the party, but at this point I am liking it better. There are no weird artifacts and it just sounds chunky and REAL. I dialed in a sound that was pretty close to clean with the guitar volume dialed back and that broke up just a little when the guitar was maxed. The studio where we rehearse has a large selection of good guitar amps including Fenders and Marshalls. And I promise that not using them was not missed at all. It was nothing short of a revelation to be able to carry something so small and get through an entire night.

So, here is where we stand…

I wanted something to use as an emergency backup. What I got was a piece that has become an important part of my rig even when I am using an amp, The RK5 can do double duty and allow me to go direct if my rig bites the dust or if volume concerns demand a direct input. Plus, my board is WAY smaller now. The RK5 has made me more than a bit happier. It’s a keeper.

The post Gear Review: Tech 21 RK5 FlyRig appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
http://www.l2pnet.com/gear-review-tech-21-rk5-flyrig/feed/ 0
The 2016 IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) kicks off. http://www.l2pnet.com/2016-iama-international-acoustic-music-awards-kicks-off/ http://www.l2pnet.com/2016-iama-international-acoustic-music-awards-kicks-off/#respond Thu, 14 Jul 2016 15:15:18 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2562 Established in 2004, IAMA promotes excellence in Acoustic Music performance and artistry. It is geared towards today’s best up-and-coming music acts. Acoustic artists in various genres can gain exciting radio and web exposure through this competition. Win a Top Prize of US$11,000 worth of Prizes. Past years’ winners include: Meghan Trainor, Jack Newsome (pictured), Carl […]

The post The 2016 IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) kicks off. appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
Established in 2004, IAMA promotes excellence in Acoustic Music performance and artistry. It is geared towards today’s best up-and-coming music acts. Acoustic artists in various genres can gain exciting radio and web exposure through this competition. Win a Top Prize of US$11,000 worth of Prizes.

Past years’ winners include: Meghan Trainor, Jack Newsome (pictured), Carl Wockner, Kelley James, AJ Croce, Maddy Rodriguez(Canada), David Francey (Canada), Liz Longley, Charlie Dore (Hit Singer-Songwriter from UK), The Refugees (USA), Fertitta & McClintock, Kate Lush (Australia), Wayne Southards (USA), Larry Pattis (USA), Omega (Uganda), El McMeen, etc. Last year’s winner went to Jack Newsome (see pictured) who won the overall grand prize.

“I am absolutely floored to have won this award, it’s such an honor. As a Meghan Trainor fan it’s pretty surreal to me that we’re both been honored in the same competition” said an elated Jack Newsome, a Berklee College of Music student, who won the top award at IAMA this year.

“I am very excited and surprised to win”, said Meghan Trainor, 6th Annual IAMA Best Female Artist Winner, who stunned the music industry by hitting #1 with a debut single and album on the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200 Album charts respectively last year. Her debut single “All About That Bass” became a mega hit and Meghan has become an international household name, her hit single sold over 12 million copies in the first 6 months. She also won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

Judging is based on excellence in music performance, songwriting/composition/song choice, music production and originality/artistry. You can enter in a number of categories such as: Best Male Artist, Best Female Artist, Best Group, Folk, Alternative, AOG (Open Category), etc. Entrants come from all over the world: Australia, Canada, Japan, Brazil, Germany, USA, South Africa, etc.

Win prizes in 8 different categories: Best Male Artist, Best Female Artist, Best Group/Duo, Folk/Americana/Roots, AAA/Alternative, Instrumental, Open and Country/Bluegrass. There will also be an Overall Grand Prize winner awarded to the top winner worth over US$11,000, which includes radio promotion to over 250 radio stations in US and Canada. Winning songs will be heard on radio! Winners and runner-ups will be featured on our CD compilation. Also, we feature up to 10 different artists get featured and promoted on IAMA website every month, which provides a review, ratings, CD information and more.

Winners and finalists of the Awards will be featured in the IAMA website and e-newsletters, read by music press, talent buyers, promoters and other industry insiders. All songs submitted must be submitted must be original and submitted online or via CD, the artist may also perform original material not yet released and written by other songwriters or composers. Cover songs are permitted. Deadline to enter is November 10th.

The post The 2016 IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) kicks off. appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
http://www.l2pnet.com/2016-iama-international-acoustic-music-awards-kicks-off/feed/ 0
You can sound Good or you can sound Unique http://www.l2pnet.com/can-sound-good-can-sound-unique/ http://www.l2pnet.com/can-sound-good-can-sound-unique/#respond Thu, 07 Jul 2016 07:41:50 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2557 Over the past 6 months, I have really gotten into listening to podcasts on my commute. It’s probably no surprise that my preferred podcasts are gear-centric.  I have found that there’s no better way to start or end my day than to listen to a couple of guys talk about guitars, music, and recording. Recently, […]

The post You can sound Good or you can sound Unique appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
Over the past 6 months, I have really gotten into listening to podcasts on my commute. It’s probably no surprise that my preferred podcasts are gear-centric.  I have found that there’s no better way to start or end my day than to listen to a couple of guys talk about guitars, music, and recording.

Recently, I can across a newer guitar podcast called Guitar Knobs. As with any podcast, I gave them my 3 episode rule. If you haven’t caught my interest in 3 episodes, I’m done. While I’ve enjoyed all of the episodes I’ve listened to so far, episodes 3 & 4 are particularly good. These episodes are essentially a Q&A session with Mastering Engineer, Chris Graham.

While both episodes are definitely worth your time, especially if your primary venue for recording is your basement, near the end of Part II, Chris made a rather profound statement: “There’s two things you can do when you’re recording. You can sound good or you can sound unique. And very often, unique is better.” Over the next several minutes he elaborates on this statement and offers several classic examples. He discusses everything from the guitar tone on the Beatles’ Revolution (which by all accounts, isn’t a great tone) to Thom Yorke’s continual quest to sound weird.

While driving I thought of several other examples: Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon is amazing… and it’s totally bizarre.  Then there’s  U2’s Joshua Tree. It came out when hair metal was at its peak.  But, did the Edge go after soaring, finger-tapping-excessive solos? No, instead he used delay in ways no one else had even imagined. A few years later, Nirvana hit the scene and shifted mainstream music from the previously mentioned soaring solos to three chord, heavily distorted grunge. Near the end of that decade, Jack White showed up and launched an entire genre of lo-fi gritty rock. What’s next?

Now the point of today’s article isn’t to list all of the albums or artists that “changed everything”.  Instead, I want to focus on how this concept can be applied to home recording. We live in a world where many musicians obsess over boutique pedals, amps, mics, mic-pres, and so on, all in search of the “perfect tone”. But what is the perfect tone? Honestly, I think it’s different for everyone. What sounds good to you may not sound good to me (especially if you’re using metal distortion).

Moving forward, let’s say for a moment that you do nail your perfect tone. What’s the probability that your home recording rig is going to capture it the way it sounds live?

What if, instead of searching for that perfect tone on your next mix, you decided to go for a unique tone? Instead of trying sound like David Gilmour’s Comfortably Numb Solo, you decided to find a tone that is unique to you. How would the final product come out?
The answer is, I don’t know, but I can’t wait to try it out.  I’ve got a hunch that when I try to stop sounding like everyone else and start doing my own thing, my home recordings might actually turn into something special. I may not produce the next Sgt. Pepper’s in my basement, but I might actually create a recording of one of my songs that I can be truly proud of.

What do you think? We’d love to hear your feedback and your unique recordings.

Until next time,

-”GuitarGuy” Tim

You can find the Guitar Knobs Podcast here or on Google Play (which is hands down the best music/podcast service that you should be using).

You can learn more about Chris Graham’s Mastering here.

The post You can sound Good or you can sound Unique appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
http://www.l2pnet.com/can-sound-good-can-sound-unique/feed/ 0
Waves Infected Mushroom Pusher Plugin http://www.l2pnet.com/waves-infected-mushroom-pusher-plugin/ http://www.l2pnet.com/waves-infected-mushroom-pusher-plugin/#respond Wed, 06 Jul 2016 18:10:46 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2550 Waves Audio is now shipping the Waves Infected Mushroom Pusher plugin, created in collaboration with leading electronic music duo Infected Mushroom. Twice ranked among the world’s “10 Best DJs” by DJ Mag, Infected Mushroom are renowned for being the sonic innovators behind psychedelic trance, a subgenre of electronic music known for their hypnotic arrangements, complex […]

The post Waves Infected Mushroom Pusher Plugin appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
Waves Audio is now shipping the Waves Infected Mushroom Pusher plugin, created in collaboration with leading electronic music duo Infected Mushroom.

Twice ranked among the world’s “10 Best DJs” by DJ Mag, Infected Mushroom are renowned for being the sonic innovators behind psychedelic trance, a subgenre of electronic music known for their hypnotic arrangements, complex layered melodies and synthetic rhythms. They have collaborated with the likes of Lady Gaga, Zedd and rock legends The Doors.

The Waves Infected Mushroom Pusher plugin is an innovative all-in-one multiband sonic enhancer and limiter/clipper that delivers Infected Mushroom’s “secret mixing sauce.” Bringing together high-end processing and Infected Mushroom’s decades of mixing experience, it gives users enormous possibilities for boosting frequencies, enhancing sounds and mastering full tracks for any genre or style. Whether preparing music for a release or to play out in clubs, users can employ Pusher to add grit to drums, add brightness to instruments or push the whole mix to the max – all in a matter of seconds. Pusher is also low-latency, so users can freely implement it in the studio or live on stage.

Pusher can be used on individual sounds, on busses/groups, or for mastering, using six easy-to-use controls:

Low – Enhance low frequencies and choose where the processing begins based on note or frequency. Perfect for getting kicks and bass instruments to drive through the mix.
Body and High – Enhance the mid and high frequencies.

Magic – Excite and boost the dynamics of all frequencies at once. Good on drum groups or full mixes.

Stereo Image – Widen the stereo image of higher frequencies.
Push – Push your mix to the max by clipping or limiting. Perfect when mastering.

Infected Mushroom comment on the Pusher plugin: “We wanted to combine our mixing and mastering tricks that we’ve been working on for 20 years into one plugin. Pusher will make almost anything sound better in a matter of seconds.”

The post Waves Infected Mushroom Pusher Plugin appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
http://www.l2pnet.com/waves-infected-mushroom-pusher-plugin/feed/ 0
Audient Introduces New iD4 Compact Audio Interface http://www.l2pnet.com/audient-introduces-new-id4-compact-audio-interface/ http://www.l2pnet.com/audient-introduces-new-id4-compact-audio-interface/#respond Wed, 06 Jul 2016 13:32:58 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2547 Audient’s iD4 is a compact bus-powered audio interface for singer songwriters and on-the-go producers. Features include one renowned Audient console mic pre, pristine AD converters, a JFET D.I, dual headphone outputs, console-style monitor control and Audient’s virtual scroll wheel technology, ‘ScrollControl’, all housed in compact, ergonomic, solid steel and aluminium casing. “iD4 puts Audient’s renowned […]

The post Audient Introduces New iD4 Compact Audio Interface appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
Audient’s iD4 is a compact bus-powered audio interface for singer songwriters and on-the-go producers. Features include one renowned Audient console mic pre, pristine AD converters, a JFET D.I, dual headphone outputs, console-style monitor control and Audient’s virtual scroll wheel technology, ‘ScrollControl’, all housed in compact, ergonomic, solid steel and aluminium casing.

“iD4 puts Audient’s renowned sound into the hands of budding producers as well as singer songwriters wanting release-quality recordings from the start,” says Audient’s technical director, Tom Waterman. “Even when you only need one mic pre, you still get to use the same Class-A mic pre technology found in our flagship ASP8024 Heritage Edition mixing console, so you know you’re getting an accurate translation of your source.

“You can just plug in and play too,” adds Waterman. The harmonically rich JFET instrument input is inspired by the input stage of a classic valve amp, allowing users to plug in their guitar, bass, keyboard or drum machine and start recording instantly with great tone. “Having both a mic pre and a D.I lets you lay down ideas quickly – whenever they come to you, wherever you happen to be.”

iD4 features a Class-A/B headphone amplifier with dual outputs. “This allows you to use them in a classroom as independent teacher – student outputs, share the music with a friend or bandmate, or just use either one depending on the last time you lost your large headphone jack adapter. Let’s face it, we’ve all been there!” he adds, great news for those who want to get creative together.

Describing the quality of components as well as its all-metal construction, Waterman concludes, “It might be the smallest audio interface we’ve made, but it’s definitely built to last.”

Feature overview:
1 x Class-A Audient Console Mic Preamplifier
High Performance AD/DA Converters
iD ScrollControl Mode
1 x Discrete JFET Instrument Input
Main Speaker Output
Independent Class-AB Headphone Output (dual outputs)
Monitor Control Functionality
USB2.0 Bus Powered
24bit/96khz
All-Metal Enclosure

iD4 retails at $199 MAP.

The post Audient Introduces New iD4 Compact Audio Interface appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
http://www.l2pnet.com/audient-introduces-new-id4-compact-audio-interface/feed/ 0
Epiphone’s New Masterbilt Century Collection http://www.l2pnet.com/epiphones-new-masterbilt-century-collection/ http://www.l2pnet.com/epiphones-new-masterbilt-century-collection/#respond Wed, 06 Jul 2016 13:25:23 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2544 The Masterbilt Century Collection of archtop “acoustic/electric” guitars is designed to be played and amplified as true acoustic instruments. Epiphone’s original Masterbilt archtops from the 1930s were renowned for their wide tonal range, punchy volume and warm, woody tone. Following the invention of the electric guitar pickup, most archtop acoustic guitars were transformed into “electric” […]

The post Epiphone’s New Masterbilt Century Collection appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
The Masterbilt Century Collection of archtop “acoustic/electric” guitars is designed to be played and amplified as true acoustic instruments.

Epiphone’s original Masterbilt archtops from the 1930s were renowned for their wide tonal range, punchy volume and warm, woody tone. Following the invention of the electric guitar pickup, most archtop acoustic guitars were transformed into “electric” guitars. The new Masterbilt Century Collection brings these worlds together with the eSonic HD preamp and Shadow NanoFlex HD Under-saddle pickup, allowing guitarists to plug in any Masterbilt Century archtop acoustic/electric into an amp or PA and hear the guitar’s true acoustic tone on any size stage. The Masterbilt Century archtop also creates a totally new experience for flattop guitarists.

With a selection of different sizes and styles, the new Masterbilt Century Collection features all Solid Spruce tops with classic longitudinal bracing that will sound better with continued play. The Collection also features a recreation of the historic Epiphone headstock with “mother of pearl” banner inlay, dual action truss rod, bone nut, historic aged nickel Epiphone 18:1 tuners, Ebony or Rosewood fretboards, and the cutting edge eSonic HD (High Definition) preamp system and Shadow NanoFlex HD Under-saddle pickup for true acoustic tone when plugged in.

The De Luxe and De Luxe Classic
The Masterbilt Century De Luxe (round hole) and De Luxe Classic (f-hole) recreate the legendary Epiphone full-body archtop tone. With a 17” lower bout, the De Luxe and De Luxe Classic are loud, full, and commanding.

Zenith and Zenith Classic
The Masterbilt Zenith (round hole) and Zenith Classic (f-hole) are medium-sized 16” archtops with an arched Solid Spruce top with traditional Longitudinal Bracing and a laminated Flame Maple body. Both are ideal rhythm instruments for singers and soloists.

Olympic (pictured above)
The Masterbilt Olympic Acoustic/Electric Guitar is a smaller-sized archtop perfect for soloists and solo singers with an arched Solid Spruce top with traditional Longitudinal Bracing, a Mahogany body, and classic
f-holes.

The post Epiphone’s New Masterbilt Century Collection appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
http://www.l2pnet.com/epiphones-new-masterbilt-century-collection/feed/ 0
Beat the Buzz: How To Shield Your Bass pickups http://www.l2pnet.com/beat-buzz-shield-bass-pickups/ http://www.l2pnet.com/beat-buzz-shield-bass-pickups/#respond Fri, 01 Jul 2016 07:43:46 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2539 BY SCOTT WOODWARD Well this is an area I’m not too familiar with but–par for the course–that didn’t stop me from just diving in. Let me start from the beginning… I bought a very inexpensive Fender Squire 5 string bass. Now, this bass costs around two hundred dollars. I got it to use as a spare […]

The post Beat the Buzz: How To Shield Your Bass pickups appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
BY SCOTT WOODWARD

Well this is an area I’m not too familiar with but–par for the course–that didn’t stop me from just diving in. Let me start from the beginning…

I bought a very inexpensive Fender Squire 5 string bass. Now, this bass costs around two hundred dollars. I got it to use as a spare to travel with. My thinking was if anything happened to it I could get another one fairly easy.

Well, I can never leave well enough alone. I tricked it out with an aluminum bridge from Hipshot, an active pre-amp from Audere and for vanity sake I got three different color custom pick guards for it. And of course the black Dunlop strap locks.

What was I thinking? This is a two hundred dollar spare bass.

Well to me this bass plays really good, it sounds way better than when I bought it and kind of looks cool.

Now the only thing is that I get that annoying hum from single-coil pickups. I thought by adding the active preamp that it would get rid of it, oh no, it did not. A friend asked me if I had thought about shielding the pickup cavities (the holes in the bass where the pickups sit), I replied with “I don’t have the slightest idea of what you’re talking about”

He proceeded to tell me what he meant. Basically you’re covering the holes in the body of the bass where the pickups sit with copper tape, and then soldering a ground wire from the copper tape to the ground wire in your bass. Now you need to make sure this wire goes over all the seams of the tape. I did not solder any additional ground wire on this one. I’m terrible at it and would have probably messed up the bass somehow.

One thing I will say is 97% of the time it’s silent, even without the ground wire. Once in a while when I use it in older venues or casinos with a lot of neon I get a little buzz. I plan on soldering the ground wire to the copper tape but that’s for next time.
Be sure to check out my video on this whole process. Till next time…

The post Beat the Buzz: How To Shield Your Bass pickups appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
http://www.l2pnet.com/beat-buzz-shield-bass-pickups/feed/ 0
IK Multimedia Launches iKlip A/V http://www.l2pnet.com/ik-multimedia-launches-iklip-av/ http://www.l2pnet.com/ik-multimedia-launches-iklip-av/#respond Thu, 30 Jun 2016 06:49:37 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2554 iKlip A/V gives professional audio to broadcast-quality videos on mobile phones and compact video cameras thanks to its integrated XLR mic preamp, wireless receiver support, steady hand grip and secure device and camera holder June 23, 2016 – IK Multimedia is pleased to announce that iKlip® A/V, the first broadcast mount for professional audio and […]

The post IK Multimedia Launches iKlip A/V appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
iKlip A/V gives professional audio to broadcast-quality videos on mobile phones and compact video cameras thanks to its integrated XLR mic preamp, wireless receiver support, steady hand grip and secure device and camera holder

June 23, 2016 – IK Multimedia is pleased to announce that iKlip® A/V, the first broadcast mount for professional audio and video recording with smartphones is now shipping. iKlip A/Vnow gives broadcasters, videographers and digital storytellers the ability to capture and monitor professional-quality audio for their videos on the go using its integrated high-quality XLR mic preamp with phantom power and built-in wireless receiver support. It also helps deliver a steady picture thanks to its secure smartphone holder and ergonomic handgrip. iKlip A/V gives everyone the power to use their smartphone or compact video camera as a full-featured broadcasting solution with professional quality audio.

IK Multimedia launches iKlip A/V

Exceptional audio
Until now, getting pro quality audio while shooting video on a smartphone had been a challenge. Developed in Italy with input from professional field reporters and broadcasters as a cost effective – and more readily available – alternative for field reporting, iKlip A/V is designed to help videographers capture professional quality audio for their mobile video productions. iKlip A/V is also perfect for mobile reporting through online media outlets or social channels like Facebook, Periscope or Snapchat, or smartphone filmmaking for YouTube, Vimeo or Instagram. It features an integrated microphone preamp with gain control that lets users record with high-quality external microphones thanks to its XLR input. iKlip A/V also delivers 48V phantom power for high-end condenser mics using two AA batteries and features a built-in support bracket that can hold most popular wireless microphone receivers. Its input gain control, headphone monitoring output and 1/8″ TRRS audio output ensure a great signal no matter what microphone or device is used providing streamlined recording experience.

Steady and secure
iKlip A/V features a large ergonomic handheld grip and an expandable smartphone holding bracket that shares the same technology as IK’s iKlip Xpand Mini and the iKlip Grip for ultra-steady shooting. It can securely hold any iPhone, iPod touch or Android device with a screen size from 3.5″ to 6″. iKlip A/V can also be attached to a monopod or tripod thanks to the standard female threads on the underside. Its smartphone holder bracket can be detached and replaced with a compact video camera thanks to its standard camera mount. No matter how it’s used, iKlip A/V delivers an effortlessly stable picture quality.

Completely connectible
iKlip A/V works with any smartphone or camera that accepts a 1/8″ (3.5mm) TRRS (CTIA/AHJ wiring standard) audio input. With an optional iLine Camera Adapter cable, iKlip A/V can be used with any camera that has an auxiliary microphone TRS input, meaning that it can deliver great broadcast-quality results with any compatible device that can either fit on its grip or fit on iKlip A/V’s standard camera mount.

Pricing and availability
iKlip A/V is available now from photo/video, music and electronics retailers worldwide, and from the IK online store, for only $/€179.99 (excluding taxes).

For more information, please visit www.iklipav.com

The post IK Multimedia Launches iKlip A/V appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
http://www.l2pnet.com/ik-multimedia-launches-iklip-av/feed/ 0
Always Be Humble…humility goes a long way http://www.l2pnet.com/always-humble-humility-goes-long-way/ http://www.l2pnet.com/always-humble-humility-goes-long-way/#respond Mon, 27 Jun 2016 04:35:54 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2533 BY PAUL MILLS Always Be Humble…humility goes a long way The teenaged cashier saw a guitar pick mixed in with the coins as I was paying for groceries at Smiths and asked me if I was a musician. I said yes, hoping that would be the end of it. But then he asked how I […]

The post Always Be Humble…humility goes a long way appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
BY PAUL MILLS

Always Be Humble…humility goes a long way

The teenaged cashier saw a guitar pick mixed in with the coins as I was paying for groceries at Smiths and asked me if I was a musician. I said yes, hoping that would be the end of it. But then he asked how I liked Vegas, what instrument I play, what kind of music, etc.

Not wanting to go into my life’s musical history while I was paying for a gallon of milk, ramen noodles, a 12 pack, kool-aid drink mix and a Nestle Crunch bar (impulse item), I politely said “I like it and I play around town from time to time”. He then told me that HE was a SINGER and had been playing music in Vegas for awhile. He continued by saying he DOESN’T have a band but he sings Karaoke quite a bit and is on the verge of a record deal. I smiled and politely said “that’s cool, congratulations”.

Meanwhile, there were people behind me who were probably in a hurry, and didn’t seem to be interested in this exchange. He continued waxing philosophic about the music industry while boasting about his vocal ability. As he fumbled in the cash drawer, he continued telling me that he was close to securing a recording contract. I smiled and said “that’s great” (thinking to myself, “you never know, it could happen”)

Although I was in a hurry and the people behind me in line also appeared to be in a hurry, I continued listening while reaching for the change that he somehow WAS NOT seeming to produce from the register. He was too busy talking and telling me to ”hang in there” and “keep practicing,”etc. Then he said something that almost made me roll my eyes (but I didn’t)… With an air of smugness, he said,(direct quote) “you gotta pay your dues like I’ve done and it could pay off for you also”.

Any other time, I would have said “yep, you’re right, good luck to you,” But his youthful smugness, LOUD, boastful, unsolicited and uninformed advice along with the growing impatience of those in line behind me got on my last nerve. He pushed my “are you serious?” button when he FINALLY handed me my change and said, “man, if you ever need any advice, let me know.” If you pay your dues and get some experience onstage, you might end up in a band and make a little money…I might even be looking for a band soon.”

Before I could stop myself, I sharply replied “I’ve been paying my dues LONGER THAN YOU’VE BEEN ALIVE…and I’ve been performing for over 40 years!…But I’ll be sure to let you know if I need any advice on almost getting a record deal!”

I walked into a pouring rain thinking how unusual it was that I reacted like that. I normally have more patience in those situations. I was rude and I was ashamed at my behavior. Then, while trying to open the door to my car, the Nestle crunch bar flew out of the bag and landed in a puddle of water. I stepped on it while trying to pick it up, and dropped the 12 pack, sending cans rolling all over the parking lot—-I dropped my keys while chasing down the rolling cans and it took me awhile to find them on the rain-soaked parking lot.

When I finally got in the van, I was soaked…the groceries I bought were even more soaked and were all torn open. Was this my karma for being rude? I wasn’t sure, but I thought in the future, I will certainly be more patient and supportive of those who are just starting out in this crazy business of making music. It was then that I realized…I forgot to get toilet paper!

The post Always Be Humble…humility goes a long way appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
http://www.l2pnet.com/always-humble-humility-goes-long-way/feed/ 0
Generation Axe http://www.l2pnet.com/generation-axe/ http://www.l2pnet.com/generation-axe/#respond Sat, 25 Jun 2016 04:07:59 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2528 Recently,  I was fortunate enough to attend the Generation Axe show at the Wiltern Theater. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the show it was put together by Steve Vai. The line up was Steve Vai, Nuno Bettencourt , Zakk Wylde , Yngwie Malmsteen and Tosin Abasi. Well normally this much guitar on a […]

The post Generation Axe appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
Recently,  I was fortunate enough to attend the Generation Axe show at the Wiltern Theater. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the show it was put together by Steve Vai. The line up was Steve Vai, Nuno Bettencourt , Zakk Wylde , Yngwie Malmsteen and Tosin Abasi. Well normally this much guitar on a show gets to be a bit repetitive but this was not the case here. Each guitarist did a short solo set and in between the change over one or more of the guitarists would join them on stage for their song. This format really worked and made the 3 hour show fly by. Each player really brought it and at the end of the show they all jammed a couple songs. Also of note, is the great production stage show.. Props to Mr Vai for creating such a great show that everyone can enjoy (Did I mention the show was sold out?) . I definitely think this will change the way guitar shows are done.I’m glad I went and I strongly suggest you go to if you can.

PS The pic attached is Zakk Wylde, Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen jamming together during the show….Generation Axe Pic.jpg

The post Generation Axe appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
http://www.l2pnet.com/generation-axe/feed/ 0
Yamaha EMX Series Delivers Powerful Performance, Greater Portability and Updated Look http://www.l2pnet.com/yamaha-emx-series-delivers-powerful-performance-greater-portability-updated-look/ http://www.l2pnet.com/yamaha-emx-series-delivers-powerful-performance-greater-portability-updated-look/#respond Thu, 23 Jun 2016 21:03:48 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2525 Since its debut 30 years ago, Yamaha’s EMX Series has earned a reputation of providing compact, reliable, versatile and easy-to-use mixers that require minimum setup and connections. Yamaha is the best-selling line of powered mixers in the U.S. Like their predecessors, each of the new models seamlessly integrates a mixer, power amp and digital effects […]

The post Yamaha EMX Series Delivers Powerful Performance, Greater Portability and Updated Look appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
Since its debut 30 years ago, Yamaha’s EMX Series has earned a reputation of providing compact, reliable, versatile and easy-to-use mixers that require minimum setup and connections. Yamaha is the best-selling line of powered mixers in the U.S. Like their predecessors, each of the new models seamlessly integrates a mixer, power amp and digital effects into a single chassis.

The new EMX2, EMX5 and EMX7 feature Class-D power amps delivering 500, 630 and 710 Watts respectively of power for lightweight, powerful sound reinforcement for bands and mobile DJ performances.

All models include legendary Yamaha SPX effects for hall, plate, room and echo reverbs.The EMX2 and the EMX5 have an updated 1-Knob Master EQ™ sound contour control to easily adjust the overall sound frequency balance. The EMX7 features a flex-type graphic equalizer (Flex9GEQ) that allows the user to select up to nine bands out of a total of 31 for fine tuning±15 dB.

A new Feedback Suppressor incorporating proprietary Yamaha digital technology instantly eliminates annoying feedback with the single push of a button.

The entry level 10-input EMX2 features 500 Watts (2 x 250 Watts) of amplification, four high quality microphone pre-amps and three stereo line inputs. This model is surprisingly compact (14.8” x 5.8” x 8.7”), making it easy to fit along with speakers in the trunk of a small car.

The EMX5 and EMX7 each offer 12 input channels and can output to 630 Watts and 710 Watts respectively. Users can connect up to eight microphones or line-level devices, such as keyboards and CD players and portable MP3 players.

The EMX5 and EMX7 are housed in an impact-resistant, powder-coated metal chassis for convenient operation on either a tabletop or in a rack (rack mount brackets available separately). Large handles on the front and back of the body serve double duty, making the mixers easy to lift while protecting knobs and terminals on the surface of the chassis from impact or pressure.

All three models feature Phantom Power to allow the user to plug in condenser microphones for higher audio quality and better frequency range. For even greater flexibility, input 4 on the mixers features a high-impedance input for acoustic guitar or bass without the need for external processing. And because each of the EMX Series models incorporates the amplifiers, users can easily connect passive speakers or add a Yamaha DXS Series Powered sub-woofer via a single connection, for configuring a PA system that requires a more prominent bass performance.

The post Yamaha EMX Series Delivers Powerful Performance, Greater Portability and Updated Look appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
http://www.l2pnet.com/yamaha-emx-series-delivers-powerful-performance-greater-portability-updated-look/feed/ 0
Top 8 Ways to Record Your Gig http://www.l2pnet.com/top-10-ways-record-gig/ http://www.l2pnet.com/top-10-ways-record-gig/#comments Mon, 20 Jun 2016 05:05:15 +0000 http://www.l2pnet.com/?p=2511 While editing Riley Wilson’s latest Solo Gigger blog on recording gig–less as a way to promote yourself and more as a way to improve your act–I started to insert a bunch of examples of hardware and software tools and then stopped, realizing that this really called for its own, stand-alone post. So, here ya go… […]

The post Top 8 Ways to Record Your Gig appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
While editing Riley Wilson’s latest Solo Gigger blog on recording gig–less as a way to promote yourself and more as a way to improve your act–I started to insert a bunch of examples of hardware and software tools and then stopped, realizing that this really called for its own, stand-alone post. So, here ya go…

Recording gigs is a great way to get a real idea of how a show went. Let’s be real, in the heat of battle, it’s all but impossible to objectively gauge how things are going. An enthusiastic audience can make you think that a mediocre performance is world-class. (It happens. Especially in a bar/drinking environment. They may be hootin’ and hollerin’ because they are celebrating a birthday or someone’s pending nuptials or because their team won that night or just because they have been, you know, drinking.) Conversely, an empty room through no fault of the performer–it’s Sunday night in a place that caters to weekend tourist, maybe?–can make the best performance feel like it part of a bad elementary school talent show.

If you’ve never done this before then it can be a bit of a shock watching or listening to yourself in a recording that was not done in the controlled confines of a studio. But it is the #1 way to make yourself better at what you do. Even above rehearsal and practice. You can’t know what you need to practice to get to where you want to go if you don’t have some concrete idea of where you are right now.

So let’s get started. There are basically two ways to approach audio and video recording of live gigs: Using dedicated gear and using apps or software that are part of what you are carrying and using already. We’ll start with some dedicated gear.

 

HANDHELD RECORDERS: AUDIO

You can get a cheap “voice” recorder for next to nothing and find them virtually anywhere. I have seen no-name models in the 20-buck range at my local Walgreens. But it is important to find one that is made for music recording. The issue is not features or even the basic process of converting analog audio input into digital bits and bytes. (Although purpose built music recorders tend to use higher quality ADA convertors.) The issue is the mics. You need something with a quality mic that will take  high volume levels without distorting or the unit has to offer the ability to control the overall input level or have auto level control. Here are three in the cheap, mid-priced and the “I have a great day gig and can spend whatever I want to” ranges

3. Line 6 Backtrack.

backtrack

This one is actually not currently being made but you can pick up a new-in-box one on eBay for about $35. I still have and use one. The great thing about the Backtrack is the total ease of use which stems from the fact that it is purpose built and designed for use on a gig or in a rehearsal. If you’re a guitar or bass player, you can put it on your strap for super easy access.

Recording is as simple as pressing a single button and you can use the good-but-not-great built-in condenser mic or if your just worried about your own instrument, there is a looped, 1/4″ input and output. A big button on the side starts recording or playing depending on if the on-off switch is in the On position or the Play Only position.

There are two other switches that help set the BackTrack apart. A small one on the side is labeled Play Marked or All. In Play mode (and yes, there’s a headphone out so this is a totally self-contained unit if you want it to be) this allows you to play everything recorded to the unit one after the other or you can use it to playback one recording in a loop.

And speaking of Marked. There is a big button on the front of the unit called Mark. What this basically does is splits the digital file at the point in time where the button is pushed. What this can do is give you, at the end of a gig or rehearsal, a bunch of individual files for each song which is a huge timesaver on the backend. I have spent so much time splitting one file–or group of files if we are multi-tracking–into individual song files to be used for various purposes after the gig that it’s just depressing to think about.

Like I said earlier, you can use it stand-alone for playback by just plugging in headphones. Or, you can connect it to a computer–Mac or PC–via a mini USB port. You also use that port to recharge the internal battery. When connected, the computer will see the BackTrack as an external drive and the audio files can be copied or imported. The files are 24-bit 48KHz WAV files. So, higher quality than a CD for anyone who remembers those.

 

2. Tascam DR-100  Tascam DR-100

This recorder adds a ton of features and a pretty hefty increase in the price. Used ones go for a bit under two bills and a new one is closer to $300. You get a lot for the extra dough. Stereo operation. Four mics that are selectable in pairs for either a cardioid pickup pattern like a typical vocal mic or an omni pattern that picks up evenly from all directions.

You can also choose between options for bit depth and sampling rate so you can choose between optimizing for quality or for smaller file size. You get line inputs as either XLR or a stereo mini-jack. Recording is to an SD card which makes capacity literally limitless

 

3. Sony PCMD100    Sony PCMD100

The gold standard of handheld digital recorders. And your gonna pay for it. About $750. The built-in mics are the best you’ll find on a handheld unit and the swivel into X-Y or wide stereo configurations. You get a bunch of accessories like a soft case and wind screen for the mics and a wireless remote. And the recordings are extremely high resolution. You also get 32GB of internal flash memory for recording to as well as the SD slot. If the Tascam DR-100 is a Lexus, then the Sony is a Bentley or a Maserati. Either one will get you where you want to go but one does it in a bit more style. And you pay a hefty premium for that style.

 

HANDHELD VIDEO

As the video camera built in to the average smartphone has become of higher quality than dedicated camcorders of just a few years ago, the bottom has fallen out of that market. But there is one company that continues to do pretty well selling portable video recorders while bigger name camera companies have pretty much abandoned the market. And they do well because the focus is on video with really outstanding audio. If you see a musician shooting video on a gig and it is not with their phone, then take a look and you will almost certainly see the name Zoom on the recorder. Again, three choices from cheap to pricey.

 

Zoom Q4 Handy Video Recorder   Zoom Q4

Form factor of a typical video camcorder but the emphasis is on audio which records at 24-bit/96KHz. Video is at 1080p (which is as good as most smartphones but not the 4K that some of the highest end ones record) and the frame rate is 30 frames per second. Good for viewing on a computer screen but high-motion stuff may feel a little jerky on a large hi-def TV. You get either auto or manual level control and a switchable low-cut filter. Under $200 new

 

Zoom Q8 Handy Video Recorder

Looks pretty much just like the Q4 but adds some neat extras. Video resolution increases to 2034 x 1296 and the frame rate goes up to 60fps for way smoother motion. It also supports five different video modes including 3M HD which will make uploads tZoom Q8o YouTube much faster as it does not require extensive processing after upload.
But the big stuff is, again, audio. The mic capsule with a pair of condensers in an XY configuration is removable and can be interchanged with one of five different configuration option including a shotgun mic for capturing quieter sounds like speech from greater distances. And, there are two line level inputs on combo XLR-1/4″ connectors and the Q8 will record FOUR track of audio at once. In fact, you can use it as a 4-track audio recorder with no video.

Under $400 new.

 

Zoom Q2HD Handy Video RecorderZoom Q2HD

The specs are actually a little lower than the Q8 in terms of video resolution but the physical format is something you can carry in a front jeans pocket. 1080p at 30fps and 720p at 60fps. But the same 24/96 audio. Line inputs but on 1/8″ mini jacks rather than an XLR-1/4″ And it only supports SD cards up to 64GB where the camcorder formats support 128GB cards. But users report they still get about 2 hours of video at 24/96 audio on a card of that size.

But you pay for the convenience of the smaller format. THe price is more than double that of the Q8 and triple a Q4. About $950 new.

 

 

APPS

So if smartphones are such great recording devices, why does so much band footage shot with them look and sound like crap? It can be a million things but generally lower frame rates don’t help and the hard truth is that the mics in even the most expensive smartphones are… Well, they have gotten a bit better over the past few years but they are still just not made for high volume situations or audio content with a lot of low-end. But there are a few add ons that can make an enormous difference. (Because the Rev. is an iOS guy this is all iPhone stuff. You Android folks will have to do your own research…)

 

Retro Recorder    retro recorder

The best 99 cents you’ll ever spend for your phone. Made by the good folks at McDSP who produce some of the most highly-regarded audio plug0ins for high end systems out there, Retro Recorder marries a cool cassette deck retro vibe to some rocket science audio processing to vastly improve the audio capabilities of an iPhone. You are still limited by the mics but we’ll get to that…

 

 

 

 

Shure Motiv MV88  shure mv88

Probably my favorite piece of new gear from last year’s NAMM show. The MV88 is tiny. I carry one everywhere I go in the courier bag that holds my life for gigs. It plugs right into the Lightning/charging port of an iPhone and sport high-quality matched cardioid and bi-directional element in a mid-side architecture. All of that means that the stereo imaging is phase-correct and exceptionally clean. It swivels so it can be used with the the iPhone in various different positions and the app (that’s the only drag is that when you break it out of the box, you still need to download the app from the App Store) gives you five DSP modes for different types of recording ranging from speech to music plus you can adjust everything from input gain to stereo width to wind reduction plus five bands of EQ and compression/limiting. If you’re using it with a video app, it will make many of those adjustments automatically.

$149

 

 

 

 

The post Top 8 Ways to Record Your Gig appeared first on l2pnet.com.

]]>
http://www.l2pnet.com/top-10-ways-record-gig/feed/ 1