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Everything posted by ggm1960

  1. If it feels right follow to where it leads!
  2. So many synths, so little time! Always loved Reason and everything in there. Used SampleTank and the other IK stuff quite a bit years ago. Then the AAS Ultra Analog and Lounge Lizard are fun. The Arturia ones may be the best but I haven't spent much time with them all. Hope to get some use out of that Codex someday also. This post has reminded me to go back and see if I can still get logged into some of those websites!
  3. Although I have the guitar behaving now and I'll likely wear those strings out, it's a pretty sure bet I'll try something else next time. Another thing I found odd was that the string pins don't fit into the holes as snugly as I'm used to with other acoustic guitars, it almost seems odd that they are able to hold the strings in.
  4. I would agree, looks better than it has in years.
  5. I can speak to the Taylor T5, I bought one at Sweetwater Gearfest 2018. I got it for $2k because it was the one they'd been using in the tent and apparently didn't have others within reach. I'd actually gone to Gearfest with the intent of getting one. I'd put in notice with the band I'd been playing keyboards with for several years and was waiting for them to find my replacement while meanwhile my wife and I had been going to open mics and jams putting together our own duo show. I liked the guitar right away because it played very much like an electric (more gibson than fender) and I totally intended to do some occasionally extensive noodling while my wife held down the rhythm on keys. It does sound good with a decent range of tone but I, and others I know, aren't overly impressed with the acoustic position. I quickly became frustrated with the guitar because I was having a great deal of trouble keeping it in tune. I changed out the strings with the recommended Elixir strings but the problem persisted. I seem to have gotten past that at this point however by stretching the hell out of them and turning that guitar into my bitch. Perhaps that is the nature of those strings? For many years I've preferred the GHS Boomers on my electrics. In any case I've been using it as my main guitar for our duo gigs and although I think it's over priced for what you get, it fits nicely with the classic pop music format and approach we're taking, ie; a nice clean tone and the ability to play lead guitar parts.
  6. I guess when I say that I mean one of these solid chunks of wood that read Gibson, Fender or Rickenbacker on the headstock and don't need a battery! I was a bit frustrated with the T5 for a while, couldn't keep it tuned. I don't know if it was the guitar or the Elixir strings but it seems I finally got them stretched enough where the thing mostly cooperates now.
  7. In my duo I've been using my Roland KC100 keyboard amp that I bought second hand years ago. It's a great solution since I also have my Korg Krome plugged into it. The guitar I mainly use is a Taylor T5 although I like to use my Takamine EF341SC for a more authentic acoustic tone on some songs. While the Taylor does a fair job of electric I managed to fatten it up some with my Tech 21 Fly Rig 5. It adds a lot without adding much in terms of size, weight or complexity. I might even take a "real" electric guitar to a gig some day.
  8. Thanks for these great suggestions! I'm currently gathering materials and planning my room treatment. R38 insulation, OC 703 ridgid fiberglass and foam panels all waiting to be installed.
  9. My experience around here is that, with few exceptions, if you start a new band, you start all over in regards to getting booked. There's also what I'd call a "turnover" problem where venues (mostly bars) open,close and/or change hands somewhat frequently. I'd worked with this drummer in the past and found that he doesn't like to um.....stick to a standard beat and could go off the rails with a little, shall we say, improve occasionally. I've talked to others that have worked with him since that time and tell me they find it difficult to work with him for similar reasons.
  10. I actually needed a break from that myself, it took a while for my replacement to appear but now I'm just performing in a duo with my wife. Low stress, low pay, less equipment, less gigs; it's working for me!
  11. I almost bought one of those before I got out of the last band I was in. My main function was keyboards but I also played guitar and the sound guy was mic-ing my little '59 Gibson Skylark amp. It sounded great but I was always concerned about my little vintage amp getting damaged in transport etc.. Does that thing sound pretty good?
  12. ggm1960

    Boss VE-500

    The big takeaway here appears to be that if you're using a Boss product with a Mac, you're on your own. I'm certain that for most people the driver install goes fine and they don't need any additional assistance. Why did I have a problem? Hard to say but I've run a lot of other music gear with this computer and drivers have previously been installed for MOTU interface units, Line 6 gear, the Roland FA-08 and perhaps some other things although I didn't have anything else attached at the time I had this problem. I would imagine there's some sort of resource conflict but who knows? Apparently no one.
  13. I can remember using it during home recording although it's been so long ago I don't remember the details. As I recall it was rather persnickety since it also incorporates clocking where one will be the master and the others need to play along. I believe in the end I just decided it was more trouble than it was worth.
  14. I like the idea of having break-out panels on the front, I always wanted to do that on the crazy rack rig I had with the last band I was in but never got around to it.
  15. For me it was a Gibson LP Custom "Black Beauty" I bought from a guy for $200. It was a real nice guitar but in all honesty I only think of it because of the value it would have now. I already had my '76 "Gold Top" at the time but I didn't have a good amp so another friend convinced me to trade it to him for a '78 Twin Reverb. It was the early 80's, we were younger and didn't give much thought to "vintage". We were looser with wheelin' and dealin'. I sold that amp last year to a young guy who was just thrilled to get it. Me, I don't have much use for huge tube boat anchors anymore. A few years ago I toyed with the idea of trading my '59 LP Jr for a fancy new PRS but quickly came to my senses.
  16. FB is a fast and now lookie at me kind of thing. There's a popular group there called "Cover Band Central" I suddenly found myself a member of one day. 1000's of people with a lot of comments and questions often similar to ones I've seen in forums here. It's a lot different though in that there's no way I'm going to scroll through 300 replies to a topic on anything at FB! Facebook has become sort of like a car crash to me, I don't really like most of what's going on there but yet I can't turn away from it. It's actually somewhat necessary for Brenda and my duo gig as we promote there, most people who will show up are there and so are the venues that book us. I can still enjoy posts from family and friends although the overall theme on FB is becoming more and more of a political war zone! Russian hackers can't hold a candle to some of the people I know and I'm trying harder not to take all the bait. I'm thankful for the relatively new "snooze" feature, there's always "unfollow" for more serious offenders and then if it comes to it, I'll "unfriend" like I recently did to a person I knew from here hahaha!
  17. I'm quite fortunate in that my duo gig with my wife has a built in following, something I've never before experienced in all my years of playing in bands. My wife's cousin is the de facto leader of a loosely formed bicycle riding group. They're a great bunch of people who've become good friends and they love to go out, eat and party almost constantly. When we did our first gig back in February I don't think the wine bar venue expected much but they were quickly overwhelmed. The waitresses were getting stressed out because they couldn't get through the crowd to deliver food and beverage and then at 10pm when we were done the place became a ghost town. There were also a lot of faces we didn't recognize there all night as well, the bicycle group isn't big enough to totally stuff a place but I do think their level of enthusiasm is contagious. Where FB comes in is that most of our friends/followers are on there and it makes it real convenient for us to get our gig dates out to them plus it gets picked up and shared by others while venues are also good at promoting there. It's been helpful in getting us some more gigs since it continues to be a primary pop culture phenomenon, our act is "new" and pretty much anyone who's into social activities or operating a social type of business is there. Having said all that however, we've still done some phone tag and pavement pounding and these venues are also smart enough to know they need to advertise on more conventional or old fashioned outlets as well. There is a lot of competition in this area and I'm sure getting gigs will always be a challenge.
  18. [QUOTE=onelife;n32490020]I did a lot of MIDI recording in the late '80s after the DX7 came out. I had a Yamaha QX21 then bought a Roland MPU-401, a PC and a very early text based MIDI sequencer version of Cakewalk. In those days I found it a bit of an ordeal to get everything setup and to manage the recording process - which often resulted in the musical idea getting lost or compromised in some way. [/QUOTE] I remember the days of having a hardware midi sequencer. I used one for a while in '91 but found it real tedious with the small screen and trying to manipulate things with the buttons, I don't even remember what brand it was now. Not long after I finally got my own PC, actually built a midi interface from a project in Radio Electronics magazine and was running a DOS based sequencer I believe called Trax. That all worked for a little while before more upgrades were in order but the hardware sequencer got traded off for some guitar effects pedals and I never went back there again!
  19. For a while when I was running two keyboards and a rack synth I used the Behringer RX1602. there are 16 channels and if you don't need pre's (and it doesn't sound like you do) it's a great option, line level mixer. I'd read in Keyboard magazine that the E Street band was using them and I figured if they were good enough for that group, it's probably good enough for me! Another option to consider is to buy an old Presonus FP10 from ebay. Although it's a firewire interface it can also be used as an 8 channel mixer with pre's.
  20. That's pretty much the perspective I was originally writing from, I'm a few years older than that guy but we're both in our 50's here. I suppose the upside to this particular story is that we have technical degrees and long term steady employment at a huge corporation. With marketable skills at something you find interesting, electronics in our case, working for "the man" can actually be a pretty good thing. I don't recall a time when I wasn't a musician, from the age of five my mother had us taking piano lessons and later I became a proficient and studied guitar player as well. I often think I probably could have done real well in the music business but at the age where I should have been pursuing it I was extremely unfocused and irresponsible. I still enjoy writing songs and I believe some of them are pretty good. I was really into recording back in the 90's when computers were beginning to make it possible for people to do that at home. I posted a lot of them but they got lost in the huge influx of others doing the same thing of course. I sometimes think I should try to find a capable group of younger musicians to mentor and perhaps promote but finding (or perhaps more appropriately, making) the time is difficult. I have a number of other hobbies and interests besides the time consuming business of working full time and maintaining a home, etc..
  21. That's real cool and brings back some fun memories. There's no doubt that mine was one of the FS6xx models, most likely it was the 630. I was in "reboot" mode at the time, I'd just graduated from electronics school and moved to a new town. I was living in a small trailer and just getting back on my feet.
  22. I had not for quite a while until my wife and I recently formed our own duo act. The last three or four bands I was in prior to that I really only had a feeling of being a hired hand. I just went through the motions; learning the songs that were selected, showing up for rehearsals and performing my best at gigs. Years before that I had a lot more input into what we were playing and I did a lot more of the singing, song selection, putting together set lists, scheduling, etc.. I even ran my own band a couple times where I essentially did everything! There are obvious advantages to both approaches. As a hired hand I didn't need to concern myself with the booking and business end which we all know can be a major PITA but at the same time I often felt like we could be doing some things better or my full potential wasn't being utilized and I was a voice in the wilderness. As a band leader one must be out dealing with bar owners, representatives or agents and dealing with the often frustrating business of lining up gigs and scheduling practices. Putting your best face forward and hoping for a little bit of success. I had to hope that my direction was the right thing but there was great satisfaction when it proved to be true. The last band I was in continues to be very popular, well paid and busy. Despite my association as really just a hired hand it kept me working hard. They are known for being on the cutting edge and are always adding new, often current hit, songs to the sets. My job (and some of my over and above work was my own fault) was playing keys and guitar but I took it to a pretty high level using a MBP, MOTU interfaces, Digital Performer & Reason. Besides having three (and later scaling down to two) keyboards to cover a lot of parts I often added sampling and sequencing. They were not real happy when I announced I needed to take a break and leave the band haha! Now perhaps I'm happier than I've been in a long time. My wife and I enjoy playing music and work on it at our leisure. Low pressure, low pay is ok for now!
  23. I remember having a Kawai digital keyboard I bought at the "specialty department store" back in '91/92. At the time midi was a new thing for me and I had a lot of fun with it. It's been long gone for years and I couldn't possibly remember what model it was, more consumer than professional but I'll bet it had some similar sounds. Currently I have a Kawai CE220 console style digital piano that I've thoroughly enjoyed in the front room. I just recently posted it for sale however and I believe a guy is coming to look at it tonight. As much as I love this keyboard it simply can't compete with the 1920 Steinway Model O that belongs to my wife and is also in the front room!
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