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saturn1

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  1. This seems pretty accurate to me. I might expand the definition of a 'hybrid' band to include a band that mixes their original music with their own arrangements or versions of cover tunes in a style that fits. Playing songs that people know in a personal style can help bridge the gap. I would suspect, though, that your rules for original bands are probably more applicable to this type of hybrid. There are definitely fewer people who seek out new music than there are those who prefer the familiar. I am lucky to live in a city that has a number of venues that support original/hybrid acts in a variety of genres. Nice article.
  2. "Mixing is as difficult to master as playing a musical instrument" Ain't that the truth! This is a helpful article. Nothing significantly different than other things I have read and heard, but some of your descriptions and explanations provide a different way of looking at parts of the process. I have been reading books, mixing and re-mixing, reading articles, mixing and re-mixing, taking on-line courses, mixing and re-mixing... I'm getting better, but it does seem like slow going. Or perhaps it's just me.
  3. I have one question, Craig. In the EQ section you say, "Also, using the low-pass filter on instruments that veer toward the bass range, like guitar and piano, can help trim their low end to open up more space for the all-important bass and kick drum." Did you mean that to say, "using a high pass filter..." or am I misunderstanding the concept?
  4. $400 for a Vox AC10c. Full disclosure, it took three of them to get one that wasn't defective, but the local dealer was great to work with and replaced the first two with no real hassle. Had this last one about six months now and I like it more every day. I let other folks play through it just so I can hear how good it sounds from across the room. It has become the most favorite amp I have ever owned, and that's a fair number of amps in 50 years.
  5. This is an excellent post with lot's of useful ideas and techniques. In keeping with the OP's question, MasterWriter puts all of the tools mentioned in the first eight lines of WRGKMC's response in one place. It's not software that you own, per se, as it is a subscription model. They do offer a free trial so you can see if it's helpful. I have been using it for about six months and find it useful in adding color, context and coherence in the times when I get stuck. Sometimes changing a word when you can't find an appropriate rhyme can set a song off in a whole new direction.
  6. As a general rule, hardware companies don't do well with software products. Often times the fit seems to be logical and the synergies appear strong, but there is a different mindset with hardware manufacturers than there is with software developers. Before Gibson, Cakewalk was owned for a while by Roland, another successful hardware company, who also seemed to struggle to understand the mindset of Cakewalk. I think that the professional DAW market is a niche market where much of the growth potential is not only finite, but also relies a great deal on converting the users of competing products. The conundrum in this market is that the clear market leader has major product shortcomings, lacks many features and is owned by a company who is notoriously difficult to deal with. Through effective marketing and sheer inertia that company has, thus far, retained its market dominance. Other DAW developers have recognized the shortcomings of the incumbent product and tried to leverage those to build a better product and displace the recognized brand. Unfortunately, they seem to only vie against each other for some remaining market share while the incumbent stays firmly entrenched. Many professional users of DAW software also recognize those shortcomings but, understandably, don't want to have to spend the energy needed to convince potential customers that the 'name brand (buzzword)' product has little bearing on the quality of the work produced and may actually work to the detriment of achieving the desired outcome within the available budget. So, they say, "Yes, I use *******." It is much easier than trying to educate a potential customer as to why the tool is not as important as the resulting product. I don't think they are wrong. It is the competing software developers' job to make the question irrelevant. Sonar Platinum, Cakewalk's top-of-the-line product, has features and workflow approaches for audio production, mixing, MIDI and track creation that are much more advanced than the incumbent's. We all know, however, that a better product doesn't necessarily mean a more successful product. I am sure that users of Cubase, Logic, Reaper, Pro Studio, etc. know exactly what I mean.
  7. Thanks for the feedback. They seem to sell a sh--load of these amps and I was curious to see if my actual experience is the norm or the exception.
  8. Back in August I bought a VoxAC10c from a local dealer. I really liked the amp - great tone, flexible, light and plenty of volume for what I do. After about three weeks it started making a god awful noise after it had been on for about 10 minutes. I went back to the dealer and we plugged it in and the same thing happened. They went in the back room, pulled out another one in a sealed box and swapped it on the spot, no questions asked. This one sounded just as good and I was enjoying using it both in the practice environment and on gigs. Then one day, after about six or seven weeks, while practicing it just stopped producing sound, all at once, just stopped. The power light remained lit, but no amplification. I changed cables, changed guitars, cycled power, left it off for a few hours - same result, power lamp came on but nary a sound came out the speaker. I opened it up - fuse intact, tubes were all fired up. So I went back to the dealer fully expecting that after almost two months this was going to be a warranty repair scenario. Instead, they looked it over, opened it up, saw what I saw and offered to exchange it again. Because the one they had left in stock was from the same shipment they decided it would be best to wait for the new shipment to arrive sometime this week, in case it was the proverbial 'bad batch.' Because I like the way this amp sounds so much I will try again, but I'm curious if any one else has had quality issues with a Vox AC10c.
  9. At least take a look at the Tech21 Power Engine - just a clean power amp that won't add any color to the signal from the Kemper. It has a 12" Celestion. It's only 60 Watts, but it's a loud 60 watts and you can daisy chain them if need be.
  10. Also, great thread. The advent of the Beatles moved my high school band from playing the Ventures and other instrumentals into a much expanded repertoire. Rubber Soul has always been the seminal Beatle's album for me, mostly because of the new depth to the lyrics lyrics and the musical complexity, but Revolver is a close second. It is only later in life that I have come to appreciate the technical nuances of the production of the post-Rubber Soul albums.
  11. 'Ob la Di' is essentially a polka. Years ago, when a band I was in got roped into playing at a wedding reception because we needed a gig (and they paid better than bars), we would play 'Ob La Di' when the inevitable polka request came in. It always worked. The older folks twirled their way around the dance floor, smiling away, the younger folks sang along and were thankful it wasn't another rendition of 'Beer Barrel Polka."
  12. I have an 00 size guitar that was made by Jack Needham from the Pittsburgh, PA area. He works under the name Square Deal Guitars. This has koa back and sides, an engleman spruce top, mahogany neck, ebony fingerboard. I have had it about six years and it essentially replaced all of my other acoustics. It is light and responsive. The only thing it doesn't do well on is playing loudly in a group with other instruments. I wanted to add a picture but the file size was too large.
  13. The art work and the information are the main reasons I still prefer physical media. Not just lyrics but engineers, producers, studios, musicians, songwriters - all these things that get lost when it is purely digital delivery. Plus it has taken away a very valuable source of promotion for those folks. Imagine how many recording, mix and mastering engineers got more jobs cause someone liked what they did on an album. Now they're virtually anonymous. There's a lot of fallout from this change in music distribution methods and almost none of it is good.
  14. I travel a lot for my paying job. One of the things that balances spending a lot of time in airports and hotels is the opportunity to visit music stores, both local and chain all over the country. I have been in at least 50 or 60 local shops and probably 50 Guitar Centers. In terms of inventory, attitude and environment the ratio of good to not so good ones is just about the same. It usually only takes about 7 minutes to figure out which type you are in and beat a hasty retreat if needed. The local shops, particularly stores catering to pros and semi-pros (as opposed to students) do seem to have a better overall level of staff knowledge, although the better GC's are a match. What I like about the GC's is I can play just about any instrument I can reach without worrying about having to find a staff person to let me and starting to feel the pressure, however subtle or overt. I'm hundreds of miles from home in a rented car and probably making two more flights before I even head for home, unless you have the guitar of my dreams within the budget of my nightmare, I'm probably not buying. On the other hand, I actually have bought instruments in these situations and had them shipped to me. An unsolicited plug for one of my favorite shops - Luthier Cooperative in Easthampton, MA. It's a vintage instrument shop with a performance stage where they have concerts and open mics, AND A BAR! Right in the store! I never wanted to leave.
  15. I got SiriusXM with my car about a year ago. After the free trial was over I found that there was a lot I liked about it, particularly on road trips. I listen to a lot of different things at different times so I have about 15 channels preset. Most of the similar genres are grouped together so you can easily get to a lot more without having to have them preset. I listen to the decade based channels occasionally but like most popular music there is a fair amount of music that was nice enough at the time but doesn't appeal to me now. Maybe one out of three songs on any of those 60's on 6, 70's on 7 up through the 90's are songs I'm glad I heard. There are some other channels though that have a higher percentage. The Loft (Channel 30) has a nice mix of newer and established artists that are a little outside the mainstream, Classic Vinyl plays late 60's to late 70's rock, Deep Cuts has songs that got less airplay during the same time frame. First Wave plays alternative from the early 80's through the early 90's - artists like the Police, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Ramones. Not my cup of tea, but there are a few metal and arena rock channels. I'll listen to one of the 4 or 5 jazz channels from classic Miles, Coltrane, Oscar Peterson, Grant Green through more modern and some 'smooth jazz', even a channel named 'Strictly Sinatra'. Blues, Bluegrass, College, Classical, whatever. All in all, I can usually find something to fit the mood, even if the mood only lasts for 20 minutes or so. As for the sound quality, yeah it's not as good as CD's, probably not even as good as my iPod when I use that instead, but it sure beats sorting through discs and the content certainly is agreeable to me than anything I can find on the radio. Besides, I'm in the car. If I want to listen to high quality audio I will sit in my living room or my studio. It's a secondary activity when I'm driving.
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