The Company band (sigh)

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  • Cleared the air with the other guitarist and told him "I was frustrated with a lot of people in that room" -- which was totally true, but he (deservedly) got the brunt of it.

    I don't know what was said after I left, and didn't ask, but he said: "I get why you were pissed. And nobody said you were wrong."

    Which I thought was both interesting, and cool of him to say.  He's not a bad guy, just a doofus who's kind of impossible to play with because he won't play the parts he's supposed to play the same way from week to week.

    He acknowledged what he was doing is an issue (though we had gone over that with him back in week 2). We'll see if it changes anything. My money is on no.

    Dry run show tomorrow night for family and friends in a rehearsal space's showcase room.  And it's gonna snow. 
    In the midst of the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 17,760
    edited December 2017
    So last night it's snowing heavy. I have to go to this dry run thing in Manhattan. But first, I had to stop at my office, drop off my second amp for the Wednesday gig, and pick up my stupid pedalboard -- that's so heavy I wheel it around on a portable two wheeler -- before heading to the studio for this warm-up gig. First Uber ride $23, which is a fairly normal price from Brooklyn into Manhattan. I've got a backpack on, my guitar in gigbag, and carrying an amp head.  Not too bad since it was basically door to door service.

    I go up to my office drop off the head, grab the pedalboard on the two wheeler, head back down to the lobby, request Uber number two: $23 -- just to go from downtown to midtown. Normally that's maybe $8-$10, but because of the damn SNOW, the demand is high, so the jack the rates. So I'm already down roughly $50.

    I get to this place, and the idea is that we've rented ($200 an hour for 3 hours - paid by the company) this showcase room that has a good size stage lights, PA, several backline amps, monitors, drums, sound person -- everything you need to supposedly put on a show.
    This was the room:
    https://www.smashstudios.com/showcase-suite-1/

    But the amps we had were not what's shown in these pics.

    And we do a dry run of the gig in front of some friends and family.  Except there are a few key things missing. Like mics on the drums -- except on on the kick (but not the snare).  Mics for the amps. 

    I was told beforehand there'd be a Marshall half stack. I said great. I'll use that. When I get there, I find this ratty old non-master volume JMP. I plugged it in and it sounded like ass. All treble, Norelco razors in a bowl of rice crispies (snap, crackle, pop). Next to that was a much newer Vox head that may have been AC-30 or similar -- it had Top Boost. So I ran that through the Marshall cab, and it sounded OK. Not great, but OK.  

    But THIS is WHY, despite the HIGH pain in the ass factor, I've lugged two of my own lunchbox heads into the office for Wednesday, because all the amps in these places are beat to shit, and you can't rely on getting a workable sound, much less a good one. The other guitar guitarist used a Fryette half stack. He sounded too metal most of the night.

    We start sound checking, and even with like 6 monitors, we can't get the levels right on stage. Only thing going through the monitors was vocals. So because the amps aren't mic'd I can't hear the other guitarist on the far side of the stage, and he can't hear me, even though we're both loud enough to bury the vocals.  And we can't hear the drums, because they're 10 feet too far to the back of the stage, not mic'd, and because our drummer hits like moth.  So I said, turn the guitar cabs sideways and use them as side-fill monitors. This is a trick I learned from Wolf Hoffmann.  So at least we guitarists could now hear each other. And I'm told it sounded ok from the audience side, but it was very challenging on the stage to hear our wimpy drummer and the little-girl-voiced singer during Barracuda (and it always will be). 

    So once we had the sound as good as it was gonna get, we ran through the set before the friends and family showed. And it sucked.  And with all the colored lighting on stage, I found one drawback to the new Chubtone, and I hope it was just due to this room -- I couldn't see the side dots on the fingerboard.  I don't know if that's because they're abalone, or what, but under colored stage light, the dots blended right into the rosewood. So I did my best to tip one of the cheap, hardware-style clamp-on white lights toward my area of the stage, and that helped a bit.   

    So once we finished the set, the band folks has started having beers, so I busted out my flask of bourbon, and poured myself a nice drink. This loosened me up, and immediately improved my mood. This was gonna be what it was gonna be. I might as well make the best of it and try to enjoy it. So I had another while we were waiting for the audience to show up, and chatted with one of the singers about whisky.  I was good and loose now!

    Once the audience arrived, we ran through the set, and but for a few minor glitches that they wouldn't have picked up on, it went OK.  Certainly better than when the room was empty.  And then it was over.  The people enjoyed it. 

    So we packed up and decided to head up the block to get some food and more drinks. And I should have just had the food (Irish Nachos -- imagine potatoes instead of tortilla chips), but I was relieved this part of the process was behind us.  The other guitarist gave me a ride back to the office again, to drop off the pedalboard, which saved me another $20+, and I took the subway home with just the guitar.

    And yes, I still have a headache from too much whisky, but it's fading. I've certainly had far worse hangovers. 


    Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
    mdsoul.JPG 180.7K
    In the midst of the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.
  • mr_crowleymr_crowley Posts: 6,614
    That's great Dave! Nothing you can't solve with some bourbon, eh? ;) It's always a nice feeling when you can work stuff out and wrestle through it. You gotta take it for what it is, I am sure you will nail it at the company party. Good luck! :) 

    As for the problem with seeing the dots - I've never personally encountered problems with that but I know guys that have had pieces of electrical tape (I guess any coloured tape will do) on the back/side of the guitar neck to sort that kind of problem out. Just a thought :+1: 
  • That's not a bad idea as a fail-safe. Thanks!

    In the midst of the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.
  • TravisWTravisW Posts: 988
    I've had that happen with side inlays, and it's not a whole lot of fun. For that reason alone, I prefer side dots on light fingerboards, which is obviously not an option if you don't have binding. 

    I got used to doing the side fill thing with amps when I realized that it was much easier to hear, easier to mix for the sound guy, and meant that I didn't have to rely on a monitor mix to hear my guitar - I hate hearing the guitar through a horn in the small a box at such a close distance. So while it isn't exactly visually inspiring, I love it from a practical point of view. 

    Overall, it sounds at least as though you had fun, which I suppose is the point of the whole thing. 
  • So last night it's snowing heavy. I have to go to this dry run thing in Manhattan. But first, I had to stop at my office, drop off my second amp for the Wednesday gig, and pick up my stupid pedalboard -- that's so heavy I wheel it around on a portable two wheeler -- before heading to the studio for this warm-up gig. First Uber ride $23, which is a fairly normal price from Brooklyn into Manhattan. I've got a backpack on, my guitar in gigbag, and carrying an amp head.  Not too bad since it was basically door to door service.

    I go up to my office drop off the head, grab the pedalboard on the two wheeler, head back down to the lobby, request Uber number two: $23 -- just to go from downtown to midtown. Normally that's maybe $8-$10, but because of the damn SNOW, the demand is high, so the jack the rates. So I'm already down roughly $50.

    I get to this place, and the idea is that we've rented ($200 and hour for 3 hours - paid by the company) this showcase room that has a good size stage lights, PA, several backline amps, monitors, drums, sound person -- everything you need to supposedly put on a show.
    This was the room:
    https://www.smashstudios.com/showcase-suite-1/

    But the amps we had were not what's shown in these pics.

    And we do a dry run of the gig in front of some friends and family.  Except there are a few key things missing. Like mics on the drums -- except on on the kick (but not the snare).  Mics for the amps. 

    I was told beforehand there'd be a Marshall half stack. I said great. I'll use that. When I get there, I find this ratty old non-master volume JMP. I plugged it in and it sounded like ass. All treble, Norelco razors in a bowl of rice crispies (snap, crackle, pop). Next to that was a much newer Vox head that may have been AC-30 or similar -- it had Top Boost. So I ran that through the Marshall cab, and it sounded OK. Not great, but OK.  

    But THIS is WHY, despite the HIGH pain in the ass factor, I've lugged two of my own lunchbox heads into the office for Wednesday, because all the amps in these places are beat to shit, and you can't rely on getting a workable sound, much less a good one. The other guitar guitarist used a Fryette half stack. He sounded too metal most of the night.

    We start sound checking, and even with like 6 monitors, we can't get the levels right on stage. Only thing going through the monitors was vocals. So because the amps aren't mic'd I can't hear the other guitarist on the far side of the stage, and he can't hear me, even though we're both loud enough to bury the vocals.  And we can't hear the drums, because they're 10 feet too far to the back of the stage, not mic'd, and because our drummer hits like moth.  So I said, turn the guitar cabs sideways and use them as side-fill monitors. This is a trick I learned from Wolf Hoffmann.  So at least we guitarists could now hear each other. And I'm told it sounded ok from the audience side, but it was very challenging on the stage to hear our wimpy drummer and the little-girl-voiced singer during Barracuda (and it always will be). 

    So once we had the sound as good as it was gonna get, we ran through the set before the friends and family showed. And it sucked.  And with all the colored lighting on stage, I found one drawback to the new Chubtone, and I hope it was just due to this room -- I couldn't see the side dots on the fingerboard.  I don't know if that's because they're abalone, or what, but under colored stage light, the dots blended right into the rosewood. So I did my best to tip one of the cheap, hardware-style clamp-on white lights toward my area of the stage, and that helped a bit.   

    So once we finished the set, the band folks has started having beers, so I busted out my flask of bourbon, and poured myself a nice drink. This loosened me up, and immediately improved my mood. This was gonna be what it was gonna be. I might as well make the best of it and try to enjoy it. So I had another while we were waiting for the audience to show up, and chatted with one of the singers about whisky.  I was good and loose now!

    Once the audience arrived, we ran through the set, and but for a few minor glitches that they wouldn't have picked up on, it went OK.  Certainly better than when the room was empty.  And then it was over.  The people enjoyed it. 

    So we packed up and decided to head up the block to get some food and more drinks. And I should have just had the food (Irish Nachos -- imagine potatoes instead of tortilla chips), but I was relieved this part of the process was behind us.  The other guitarist gave me a ride back to the office again, to drop off the pedalboard, which saved me another $20+, and I took the subway home with just the guitar.

    And yes, I still have a headache from too much whisky, but it's fading. I've certainly had far worse hangovers. 


    cool pic
  • Duojett71Duojett71 Posts: 9,456
    The guy with the Explorer looks like he should be working at Home Depot or bagging groceries. I didn't think it was possible to make an Explorer with a bullet belt look un-rock n roll....on the other hand the girl on the far right with the leather pants looks like she can rock....I'll play in her band any day of the week....
  • Seven MoonsSeven Moons Posts: 8,777
    Well, at the end of the day, iit sounds like it wasn't too bad and you kinda enjoyed it. That's cool.  :+1: 


    Duojett71 said: The guy with the Explorer looks like he should be working at Home Depot or bagging groceries. I didn't think it was possible to make an Explorer with a bullet belt look un-rock n roll....on the other hand the girl on the far right with the leather pants looks like she can rock....I'll play in her band any day of the week....

    The older guy behind Dave isn't exactly Wacken-ready either  =)   But I agree about the girl on the right. Nice looks. 
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 17,760
    edited December 2017
    Duojett71 said:
    on the other hand the girl on the far right with the leather pants looks like she can rock....I'll play in her band any day of the week....
    She can SING really well, but she doesn't ROCK. Think RnB/pop. She's the one in the band I have the least issues with. She shows up on time, prepared -- with notes when she needed them. And she projects when she sings.  She should be singing Barracuda, because she could actually sell it, but she doesn't want to because it "isn't her." Unfortunately, it sure as shit ain't the other girl.  Never mind that most of the set "isn't me," but I'm playing them anyway. 
    Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
    In the midst of the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.
  • Duojett71 said:
    on the other hand the girl on the far right with the leather pants looks like she can rock....I'll play in her band any day of the week....
    She can SING really well, but she doesn't ROCK. Think RnB/pop. She's the one in the band I have the least issues with. She shows up on time, prepared -- with notes when she needed them. And she projects when she sings.  She should be singing Barracuda, because she could actually sell it, but she doesn't want to because it "isn't her." Unfortunately, it sure as shit ain't the other girl.  Never mind that most of the set "isn't me," but I'm playing them anyway. 
    ..said every session pro in history!
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 17,760
    edited December 2017
    My boss just told me to submit my uber expenses and she'd approve them. I have a really good boss!
    Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
    In the midst of the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.
  • BytorBytor Posts: 1,595
    That's awesome that she did that  B)
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 17,760
    edited December 2017
    Well we had the gig last night, and it mostly went OK.

    Coldest day of the year so far, but not raining or snowing, so I broke that streak we had running with FEINTS. We arrived around 3pm at the huge, cavernous GOTHAM HALL. Yes. Very Batman

    The stage wasn't very big, but not too bad. The sound guys already had most things set up.  They had rented the two 1x12s with Celestions I had asked for -- Mesas -- which was just fine. I showed up with my Fargen and ATMA heads, the stupidly-heavy pedalboard, the Chubtone, and my beater Strat as backup.

    Got set up, and as always, within 15 seconds, guess what the sound guy tells me? We sorted that out, and proceeded to soundcheck for the next two hours.  The most I've ever done. Everyone got their own monitor mix with whatever they needed in it.  And when the room was empty, things sounded good out front and we could hear each other reasonably well on stage.  Then we had some time to kill before the people from the office started filtering in around 6ish.  I went and had some food (good food), and a drink (mundane bar), to hold me till after the gig.

    We hit the stage about 7:15 and ran though the set, and, as I say, it mostly went ok. No major train wrecks, but it was now harder hearing each other with like 400 people in the room. So there was the odd moment or two, but nothing the audience would have cared about.  Feedback was quite good. Several people told me they enjoyed the show and my playing.

    There were professional photographers snapping shots all the way through (one guy took a ton of me) and some video too.  When those become available, I'll post them.  Until then, here's a couple taken by a friend of mine.





    I didn't stay real long after the gig. The party itself was kind of dull.  So I sent for an Uber XL (which I am expensing), and by myself, loaded two amps, the board, two guitars, my clothes bag, and accessories backpack out to the SUV, and headed home. 

    Conclusions
    • I ABSOLUTELY MUST replace the side dots on the Chubtone with some bright white dots. The abalone totally vanishes in low/stage light. I'll likely drop it off with Stanley over the holidays. 
    • I love the sound of my FEINTS rig, but it's too impractical for life in NYC. Even two Lunchbox heads are too much to be schlepping around the city when you don't own a car. 
    • IF I continue to do play with this band, I'm going to look into a Blug Amp1 or more likely, the Yamaha THR100HD. I'll also need a scaled-down pedalboard.
    • I don't know if I want to do this again. It will depend on a few things. I'm kind of 50/50 on it at the moment. 
    Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
    GH1.png 15.3M
    GH2.png 15.1M
    In the midst of the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.


  • In the midst of the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.
  • Well we had the gig last night, and it mostly went OK.

    Coldest day of the year so far, but not raining or snowing, so I broke that streak we had running with FEINTS. We arrived around 3pm at the huge, cavernous GOTHAM HALL. Yes. Very Batman

    The stage wasn't very big, but not too bad. The sound guys already had most things set up.  They had rented the two 1x12s with Celestions I had asked for -- Mesas -- which was just fine. I showed up with my Fargen and ATMA heads, the stupidly-heavy pedalboard, the Chubtone, and my beater Strat as backup.

    Got set up, and as always, within 15 seconds, guess what the sound guy tells me? We sorted that out, and proceeded to soundcheck for the next two hours.  The most I've ever done. Everyone got their own monitor mix with whatever they needed in it.  And when the room was empty, things sounded good out front and we could hear each other reasonably well on stage.  Then we had some time to kill before the people from the office started filtering in around 6ish.  I went and had some food (good food), and a drink (mundane bar), to hold me till after the gig.

    We hit the stage about 7:15 and ran though the set, and, as I say, it mostly went ok. No major train wrecks, but it was now harder hearing each other with like 400 people in the room. So there was the odd moment or two, but nothing the audience would have cared about.  Feedback was quite good. Several people told me they enjoyed the show and my playing.

    There were professional photographers snapping shots all the way through (one guy took a ton of me) and some video too.  When those become available, I'll post them.  Until then, here's a couple taken by a friend of mine.





    I didn't stay real long after the gig. The party itself was kind of dull.  So I sent for an Uber XL (which I am expensing), and by myself, loaded two amps, the board, two guitars, my clothes bag, and accessories backpack out to the SUV, and headed home. 

    Conclusions
    • I ABSOLUTELY MUST replace the side dots on the Chubtone with some bright white dots. The abalone totally vanishes in low/stage light. I'll likely drop it off with Stanley over the holidays. 
    • I love the sound of my FEINTS rig, but it's too impractical for life in NYC. Even two Lunchbox heads are too much to be schlepping around the city when you don't own a car. 
    • IF I continue to do play with this band, I'm going to look into a Blug Amp1 or more likely, the Yamaha THR100HD. I'll also need a scaled-down pedalboard.
    • I don't know if I want to do this again. It will depend on a few things. I'm kind of 50/50 on it at the moment. 
    try a blues cube before you buy anything.  i’ve got the 30w and it sounds great.  takes pedals well, etc.  Roland Cube amps are portable as can be.
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