My new project



  • OskyOsky Posts: 1,089
    [quote author=Joebuddha link=topic=13834.msg239678#msg239678 date=1383241298]
    I have to second the idea of a pedal switcher.
    It is something that I avoided like the plague for the longest time but
    I feel the technology has caught up with my needs and I've decided to break down and buy one.

    [/quote]I've been using programable fx since 1988, I couldn't imagine playing live without them now... indispensable for me.
  • OK. I looked into it.  The Carl Martin Octathingy looks nice, but it really wouldn't buy me anything with my current setup using the Rocket Fuel (two button) pedal for 2-level gain staging, because even if I set up one switch with a fast delay, and one with slow delay, I'd still have to also step on the RF pedal to up the lead setting. It's two taps either way. I'd have to completely rethink the way I'm running the rig to take advantage of a switcher.  I have a gig in a month, and a half dozen rehearsals until then. I think it's just a matter of getting used to the new configuration in that time.
    I threw me guitar out. Why bother? Why bother? Use it as a coffee table. Because I can't play it like that. 
    -- David St. Hubbins.
  • Back in the studio today. Tracked acoustic guitars for two of the remaining three tracks.

    Finally got to record with the new SJ-200, and OH MY GOD -- THIS GUITAR IS MAGIC!!

    Pete Townshend was right about the SJ-200. It records fucking amazing, and the harder you play it, the better it sounds. You get rich, warm, lower-than-dreadnought lows, and these really crisp highs from the all the maple. Together it is positively EXPLOSIVE.

    We ran two condenser mics through tube pres -- one on the neck, and one on the body.  And because there is a piezo pickup in the guitar, we ran that through the Vintech 1073, so we have three channels of tone to work with. Even with NO processing yet, the sounds are just stunning.  I AM SO PLEASED I GOT THIS GUITAR TO USE ON THESE SESSION. This was a HUGE win!

    Tomorrow, we're back to rehearsals.
    I threw me guitar out. Why bother? Why bother? Use it as a coffee table. Because I can't play it like that. 
    -- David St. Hubbins.
  • Back to rehearsal last night. We worked on a surprise cover. One that plays to all of the band's strengths, and even in the first couple of times playing it, it was obvious it works well for us. Not gonna tell you what it is yet, but it is the kind of cover we want to make our own, and we plan to record it in the next session. :evil:

    Also worked out a live ending for a big, sweeping epic that fades out on the (upcoming) recording.  We didn't play it live in our first show because we only had a 40-45 minute set, but I wanted to get it back in for our December gig.
    I threw me guitar out. Why bother? Why bother? Use it as a coffee table. Because I can't play it like that. 
    -- David St. Hubbins.
  • cvansicklecvansickle Posts: 6,301
    I'm eager to hear the SJ-200 tracks!
    Death Or Glory - Who Dares Wins!
  • Finished up tracking guitars for the remaining Feints songs -- almost a year to the day of the initial session that captured drums and bass.  :woohoo:  Of the three remaining songs, all that is left are vocals and some keys. Hopefully we'll get that done in the next few Sundays.

    I used the Super Av today to track some warm, clean, electric rhythm, and for a solo. From the initial listen, I think it did well.
    I threw me guitar out. Why bother? Why bother? Use it as a coffee table. Because I can't play it like that. 
    -- David St. Hubbins.
  • Tracked organ today for a song that is going to be EPICALLY huge, with piano, organ, 6 and 12 string acoustic, electric, and loads of vocals.
    I threw me guitar out. Why bother? Why bother? Use it as a coffee table. Because I can't play it like that. 
    -- David St. Hubbins.
  • Minor updates:

    Band rehearsal tonight for our upcoming December 6 show. As for the show itself, our photographer (the one who did our publicity shots, not the live ones) will be there that evening taking live shots, and hopefully some video footage as well.

    Amy tracked vocals for one of the final three songs yesterday, and as usual, killed it.  There's a lot of diversity, scope, and balls in the last three numbers. I think you guys are really gonna dig em.  After the 12/6 gig, the focus shifts back to recording, and my hope is that we can finish them up pretty quickly.  

    My feeling is anything we do after that is gravy, because if we never do anything more, we accomplished what we set out to accomplish. And as good as the results have sounded, and as well as we are being received (by those who've heard us), keeping this project moving forward is a constant battle. And I don't mean the marketing it to the world battle. I just mean getting the band to work regularly, just to make SOME weekly progress. But I am going to drag this 2000 lb cement block across the finish line and finish up those songs if it's the last thing I ever do!  

    There are another half dozen or more original songs in various stages of completion in the pipeline waiting to be finished and recorded. We are going to start working them up as a band after the gig. My goal is to lay basic tracks on them by February. If we do that, we can probably make Feints float for another year.

    I threw me guitar out. Why bother? Why bother? Use it as a coffee table. Because I can't play it like that. 
    -- David St. Hubbins.
  • Gig 2 in the books.

    On the plus side, the band played well, we looked good, and our photographer got some good stills, and some video clips we will be cutting in on an upcoming video (the sound from which is a sonic overloaded garbled mess, so it's not worth posting as is).  Will post pics when they are ready.

    on the negative side, there was a lot.

    The venue was a fiasco. Load in through a long narrow alley. Any thoughts of us even wanting a residency there went out the window before the first act even hit the stage (we were the headliner).  The back stage area was too small for the gear of three bands. They had a Improv group on before the bands -- and that made things awkward, cause they had to clear out before any of us could get on. No soundchecks per se.

    The guy who ran the place was a cockstretch. It was actually a decent room, but their sound system really isn't enough for rock bands. The sound guy was a douche.  He told me I had to turn down. Twice.  After turning down twice and it still wasn't enough, I said: "that's about as far as I can turn down." So he took me out of the PA, and when I realized that after the first song, I turned back up.  :fu:  WTF? I'm running SEVEN WATT AMPS -- not even full out -- and 1x12 cabs.  

    And to top it off, it's December in fucking Boston, and it snowed for the first time this year.  So turn out was poor. And the people who were there were rather quiet and subdued, so there wasn't a lot of energy the band could feed off.  That said, we rocked them hard, and those that were there did really seem to like us.

    Load out was just as maddening as load in. And it was snowing.  Rolled into bed at 4am. Slept till 2pm.  I have many aches and pains today reminding me that this is a younger man's game.  

    I maintain: GIGGING IS A SUCKER'S GAME.  We don't want to play again till spring.  The focus will be on creating content.
    I threw me guitar out. Why bother? Why bother? Use it as a coffee table. Because I can't play it like that. 
    -- David St. Hubbins.
  • TravisWTravisW Posts: 1,058
    Gigging IS a sucker's game up to a point anyway. There's a whole lot of work, and occasional reward - sometimes none. That's the tough thing after busting your back for a few hours to be rewarded with enough money for a few beers, maybe the appreciation of a small handful of people, and the opportunity to shuck gear again.

    Some gigs are great, some are lousy. For original music, I've come to the conclusion that gigging without an album's worth of recorded original music that people can take home is little more than...well...a sucker's game.
  • I was thinking about you last night and wondering how it was going. Very happy to hear that you played well and sorry to hear that there were some challenges. I imagine they would have seemed less like challenges if the weather hadn't put a damper on attendance. You know, if everything is going great it's easier to overlook the shitty parts, right?

    I notice a recurrent sentiment on your part as far as gigging. This wasn't the first post by any stretch from you that completely negates any value in live performance or at least your opinion of having to do it on a regular basis. It's very clear that you don't enjoy it and that it isn't a great vehicle for helping you achieve your goals as far as your project goes. While I totally respect your feelings and opinions on the matter of gigging, I must offer an insight from the other side of the fence.

    You are kind of a technical, cerebral, sort of guy. The allure of mixing, recording, balancing, and all things studio really appeal to you. They get your blood pumping.

    For some people the blood gets bubbly from the adrenaline and dynamics of live entertaining. For some, live entertainment isn't the vehicle to charter them from point A to point B, but rather it IS the point B. For those who enjoy performing for a live audience I think it can be their very life-blood. The whole purpose and the whole culmination of everything they strive for can be witnessed in the exchange of energy between what's happening between "on stage" and an audience. The sustenance of that relationship can yield magical things for both the performer and the audience. It may not be your bag, but I know you've read enough/watched enough interviews to know that there are lots of people who feel that way and would be puzzled by someone who dismisses live performance or even the lowliest gig as something that only "suckers" do. You are missing the point of what live performance really is about if you don't understand that at all. Famous or not, lucrative or not, I'd hardly call it a sucker's game.

    I'll use a very personal example.
    Long, long, long before Jeb and I had any romantic interest in each other, I was a fan of a couple of his bands. I remember seeing him for the first time after he'd left the hospital. (It wasn't at a gig.) It was painful to see. My buddy who was always good for a creative comment, absurdly funny remark, or a charismatic smile looked like a shell of himself. Without getting too melodramatic about it (and because I don't want to get in trouble when Jeb sees this) I'll just say that it was very difficult to see such a dynamic, warm, and charismatic person look so frail, empty, and distant eyed.

    A little bit of time went by and I was having a giant house party where I lived in DC. Being one of my BFF's, of course Jeb was invited. He offered to play.
    It was the 2nd time he'd played music since leaving the hospital. I missed the first one where he'd collapsed on stage as a result of being a brand new diabetic (no internal organs left to produce insulin) so my party was really going to be his first try. As you know, playing live is pretty physical, so in this atmosphere he'd be able to take it easy and stop for breaks whenever he wanted.

    I watched him that day pretty closely. And I watched the people at the party respond to the music. And you know what I saw? I literally saw the power of live performance. I saw it in Jeb's eyes. I watched him come back to life that afternoon in my backyard. The life-blood of a live audience should never be underestimated.

    Additionally, our lives together are greatly based in the fact that Jeb is a working musician. Read: gigging musician. I'd hardly call our life a sucker's game. I love our little world. There are countless moments, people, pleasures, learning experiences, times of growth, and happiness (for both of us) that are a direct result of Jeb being a gigging musician.  You started a website and forum about guitar music from the 70's and 80's. It's curious that you would completely discount that gigging would have any value at all in spite of the fact that it is not the tool with which people reach financial success today. Yes, it's a different world out there than it was when Eddie Van Halen was up and coming. But dismissing the value of performing live entirely might be a bit of an oversight. There might not be any value in it for you personally but your goals might be different from some of the people on the forum.

    I'm not in the general habit of speaking for Jeb but I know that he feels very strongly about "spreading the love" through live performance. He receives immeasurable pleasure when his playing strikes a chord with even one person in the room and it makes him profoundly happy to know that he has the power to make someone feel good if only for a few minutes. I have a very close friend who can sing her ass off and I do believe sometimes that the only pleasure in her entire life is when she's got a microphone in her hand and there is someone who is really enjoying her singing. There's no way I can discount the value of gigging when I see the expressions on Jeb's face and my singer friend's face when they really connect with someone that way; it's just too beautiful. The meaning of humanity, really.

    *Jeb is actually at a gig right now, so I'm hoping I don't get in any trouble for this post. He's pretty private about certain things.  :hmm: :shifty: :silenced: :biggrin2:

    I can't wait to hear more from the album and hope your Spring gig is easier, more fun, and that you get a little rush from the sheer pleasure of watching people enjoy something that you have to give them.

    "My music is the spiritual expression of what I am----My faith, my knowledge, my being........When you begin to see the possibilities of music, you desire to do something really good for people, to help humanity free itself from its hangups....I want to speak to their souls."
    -John Coltrane
  • TravisWTravisW Posts: 1,058
    Gigging is way easier when there's a good routine with known factors. I remember when we first started 7th Seal, we were half shocked that there was enough of a crowd that wanted to hear what we did to actually even get bookings. As time passed, we did a lot of openers and learned a lot about the performing climate for metal bands in Fargo/Moorhead. At least now when we book something local, we pretty much know what we're getting into. If we book Bar A, we're going to have good sound, lights, stage, and be treated well. We'll also be providing at least 90% of the crowd. If we book Bar B, start and end times will be chaotic, we won't have a final answer on who is actually playing until about the day before, lights will suck, sound will at least be okay, and the crowd will be variable...but we'll have fun, even though we'll gripe up until the moment we hit the first note. Bar C will have a lot more walk-up traffic, load-in will suck, lights will suck, sound will be pretty good. So on and so forth.

    We play about once per month on average, and that's just often enough to stay in a bit of a groove. That said, it's a whole lot tougher to shake off a bad gig. There's generally not a second night to bounce back. Ten years ago, we'd do 4 and 5 nighters. The midweek nights sucked crowd-wise, but if you were lucky you could get a bit of buzz going from that to make the weekend nights worthwhile. Now, it's waiting for whatever's booked 4 weeks later, and a whole lot of trepidation if the previous gig was lousy. Momentum is SO HUGE when it comes to playing gigs, and when every show feels like it's the first show, that's tough to overcome in some ways.

  • RED_SGRED_SG Posts: 2,058
    [quote author=TravisW link=topic=13834.msg241066#msg241066 date=1386468295]
    For original music, I've come to the conclusion that gigging without an album's worth of recorded original music that people can take home is little more than...well...a sucker's game.

    Exactly. I'd go as far as saying that If you play in an original band and expect good gigs you either need to A) Be young, are still going to college or University and have a big friends circle that goes out in bars 4-5 days a week to cover weekdays,,,, or B) be a well known act. And I mean like commercial radio-TV known.

    I'm 33 years old and have 2 kids. I don't consider myself very old, but my college years and ''hanging out in clubs 4 days a week, knowing everybody around'' are over since 2005. The idea of trying to put an original band and gig is not even an option! I just don't have time to socialize and plug my band everywhere, sell tickets, go see other local acts hoping they'll feel obligated to support my band back (the whole support if you want to be supported thing). So I play in a tribute band! That project sells itself like crazy. People know what to expect. They dig it or they don't, and those who dig it fill up the venues. It's that simple.

    That being said, I still prefer working on original rather than piling covers. So I have my home studio and the web for that. I have to create music somehow, but I don't gig with my own material anymore.
  • Jen,
    I think you're drawing some flawed conclusions based on my comment.

    First off, Jeb gets PAID to play. And as he often plays several nights a week, that can add up to some decent spare income.  Jeb plays covers, it's his only musical outlet, and he enjoys it. It's also something of a routine for him at this point in his life. He plays a lot if the same venues repeatedly, so he knows what to expect going in in terms of what the club and the sound people want/expect. As Travis said, that alone is huge. Jeb's rig lives in his car, so load in and out probably isn't as grueling. The live music scene in your area is also way better than it is here. His downside is minimal. His upside is that he's paid, he enjoys playing, and unless he get's stiffed, he achieves his goal every gig. That isn't a sucker game. That's a working guitarist. More power to him.

    But that isn't our, or my experience at all.  First off, let me assure everyone -- I enjoy that time on stage playing as much as anyone. That all-too-quick 45 minutes of rocking out on pure adrenalin -- that is ME-time -- the reward for all the practice I put in. A time to finally share our music with a live audience. I love it. Good crowd or bad, good sound or crap, once we launch into the music, it is a pure rush, and I've always loved. It takes me several hours to come down from it. That's why I WILL do it again.  

    I just hate almost everything else associated with doing it.  

    Load in/out from my house is three flights of stairs each way -- for the whole band. And God knows what it is at the various venues. (The last show was wonderfully easy. The radio station gig was brutal, and this one was a disorganized cluster-fuck.) Regardless, it's a lot of gear schlepping, regardless of how well the gig goes.  We use pretty minimal gear, but it's still physically grueling at my age.  A known issue, but it doesn't make it any easier. Shit, if I had roadies, and all I had to do was walk on stage with a guitar, it would be pretty sweet. But that isn't the case.

    We don't get paid unless we draw X number of people (in fact, we can easily lose money). Because we are a new band playing originals, you typically don't draw much of a crowd -- at least in the beginning.  But we're not doing it for the money anyway.  Unlike Jeb, playing live is NOT our primary goal. It isn't the end unto itself. We are trying to turn people on to our recorded music, and live is just ONE means to that end -- and a poor one at that.

    Our primary goal is creating content. Writing songs, recording them well, and soon, making videos.  And yes, those aspects are -- for me -- much more rewarding, and have a far longer lasting value than playing live. The next goal is pushing that product out to the world. Marketing it.  Playing live doesn't serve that goal very well in today's model.  But playing live will always remain part of the picture, because we all DO enjoy the time on stage. But make no mistake -- even if it isn't money directly out of your pocket (and it can be), as an unknown original band, you are paying to play. You're paying with your time, your nerves, your muscles, and being a zombie the next day. For an unknown original band, it IS a sucker's game.  We just have to be smarter about it.

    I threw me guitar out. Why bother? Why bother? Use it as a coffee table. Because I can't play it like that. 
    -- David St. Hubbins.
  • jebbuddajebbudda Posts: 5,030
    Have Mercy .
      :tongue: :tongue:

    Playing music is in my blood . I'm lucky to be surrounded by like-minded musicians (Lifers) in a thriving music environment .  Its just what "WE"do . Lately its been taking up ALL of my time and more energy than I have to give but I still believe I have it made . In fact I've recently reached my limit and required 3 days in bed and a dose of antibiotics and now I'm ready to go again .

    I feel so lucky . I enjoy celebrity status all over town, get paid for something I'd do for free and contantly get my ego stroked . Whats not to like ?  :036:

    I do however totally understand the aspects of frustration and anxiety ...especially with " soundmen " . Its always a safe bet to bring your own " guy " to a gig like that . Even if your guy isn't a knowitall tech dude he can at least oversee everything and make sure your guitar is in the mix while your on stage.
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