Friday, 30 May 2014

Squeeky bum time tomorrow

So tomorrow is our 1st Gadgeteers gig...we probably picked the worst possible time to do this, because its a long weekend here in the Catholic south where they've been celebrating Ascension day on Thursday so it turns into a 4 day break..
Nice, but it means a lot of our friends and colleagues who would come to our gig won't be around... but no matter there will be a few people and it is a gig so we'll get the experience of a full live set... :D

In preparation I've been setting up my pedals ....
Time for some gear case you've not been following my ongoing problems with Gear Acquisition Syndrome.... heres my lovely rig.
I spent the other morning rejigging my "gig" box to make a bit more space and use the new Goliath Powerplant and here's the final result. I was able to fit a few more things into the box...course I need to build even more muscles to haul it around cos its freaking heavy, but the upside is can set up in 2 mins, just remove the lid and plug into a PA and I'm off.
Purists might want to argue points about tone and sucking etc but bear in mind this is what I use in my bands where I need to wear several hats, as backing singer, keyboard/string/fx filler, as well as lead or Rhythm Guitar are needed so I have to have flexibility and like to keep it all in one spot.

The size of the rig is kinda dictated by the two massive pedals at the front an RC-300 looper (wonderful thing) and the GR-55 Synth. My main guitar sounds come from the Adrenalinn III box  on the top row, which  emulates a host of different amps and cabs as does the COSM modelling in the GR-55 so I can pretty much get any sound I want.... At home I just use a Tube Screamer into a Fender Champ 800..but band work has different requirements
The Adrenalinn can be further controlled and turned in to a pretty cool synth on its own with my FCB1010 midi control board, not shown here... I usually only set that  up for live playing or video recording. But for most of the time it just pretends to be a Fender Deluxe or a Marshal Plexi..I don't know how accurate it is, I just know I like the sound.
The Digitech pedal gives me various Wah and distortions and is a cool Lead/Loud Pedal when I need it.
Vocals...I am a shit singer, so I process the hell out of my voice.. the 2 TC Helicon pedals in the middle give me fx as well as pitch correction so I can do robots. harmonics, megaphones, vox, etc....then then go into the big TC Helicon Voicelive 2 box when I need to sing straight but with a bit of reverb and pitch checking to make it sound reasonable.
Under the deck is of course the power.. The Wah pedal and the GR-55 need a bit more power than even the Goliath can manage so they get their own power supply, but everything else is run by the Goliath which is a meaty and pricey bit of kit.
I like this Goliath but am a bit worried by the heat it generates, I blew up a much cheaper unit I bought previously and would hate for this one to blow as well, even though I'm within its output limits, the RC, VL2 and ADIII do draw a lot of power close to the 450ma limits, so it gets hot. I am going to attach a CPU heat sink to the top of it with some Thermal tape to help it shed heat a bit better and reduce my paranoia..If I can work out how to fit a fan too I'll keep better..

There's also a mic receiver unit for my wireless mic, and an In Ear monitor transmitter, which  is fed by the RC-300, which is where all the different outputs go into for output to the PA or when recording, the USB. That's only used when I am playing by myself otherwise I take a monitor feed from the desk.
The RC-300  can configure all its switches and pedals to different thing, it also has a very nice drum machine in it (so does the Adrenalinn) my template configuration for it, is to have the foot pedal set from 50%-100% input gain so it acts as a solo button. The loop fx button is a mic on/off switch, I sometimes split the mix input to a small mixer so I can loop instruments while singing. The Voice Live 2, also does some very cool funky harmonies and distortion fx so it can create some amazing tones even from my crappy vocals...
Anyone with more than a couple of pedals knows the wiring and patch cable maintenance is a pain, so keeping things in one box is my solution to it.. I'm still not happy though,  I've used the shortest patch cables I can, but I still plan to make my own cables to exact fit sizes. Also some of the power cables are a bit long, so I am hunting for shorter versions.
The only other thing I am planning to add is a Beat Buddy drum pedal which is due to ship in July..not quite sure where it will fit...but I will work it out.
It looks more complex than it is, but it turns heads when I set it up.
Finally its all driven by 1 guitar, usually Margaret, my Patrick Eggle Berlin Stage T with a GK3 fitted, but I also use a  backup Fender Strat with a GK-2 fitted, called Penny

Once the gig is out of the way, I have yet another gig to get ready for, the next Starrcase Gradation  event is coming up in about a month, I need to check the date but its been a hectic few weeks with double rehearsals for Gadgeteers as well as Starrcase gearing up to gig mode....

Both bands are getting better every time we its exiting stuff..

Not had a lot of time recently to do any videos but have been hearing a lot of great songs that I want to do loop covers off, so will try to fit something in when there's a quiet spot.


Monday, 26 May 2014

5 more sleeps

counting down the days to the Gadgeteers 1st proper gig...we did a small spot at THE birthday party :) but this will be our first ever proper on stage gig. on Saturday 31st...we're shitting bricks over it... Only 2 more rehearsals to go

I'm hoping to grab some video and sound bytes on the night, lets hope it all goes to plan...we've been preparing for this for nearly 3 years now since the 1st Expats jam sessions started. We've come a long way, though still playing some of the same songs.......I am tempted to say badly but we have got better...Especially in the last weeks with the focus of a gig on our minds.

If anyone local is reading this, please come along and show us some support, we're at Sound Dog, the address is Oude Baan 8,  and were starting things off at 7-30.


Monday, 12 May 2014

Paid GIG!!

I am now officially a gigging musician, 100 euros divided by 7 ;)

heheh, its feels good.

Out Saturday gig though was a lot of fun, we had the audience bopping but it did highlight a major problem we have playing live... We have no clue how to mix the sound.

As a result, the recording we made direct from the mixer was dire. Just incredibly bad. With 2 members totally dominating the mix.... Fortunately the audience probably didn't have to worry about it, since they would have got a lot of the monitor mix as well which was quite they at least heard something better than we mixed...and we got paid so it couldn't have been too bad.

I'm researching solutions to this live mixing issue and thing I've found the always not a cheap solution but worth it, and as long as I can get use out of it for myself I'll invest in it.

cool gadget, will need to sell a few other mixer toys to pay for it.


Thursday, 8 May 2014

All set up and sweet

Here we are, the new board layout..though I did switch the 2 VoiceTone pedals around after this was taken. Cables are still a teeny bit messy, but I can't really afford to go buying custom lengths.

Underneath the tier, is also a mess, with 2 long power strips, 1x 3pin UK and 1x 2pin Euro with 7 individual power units to power everything. I plan to replace almost all of those those with a single mega power unit in the summer when my tax rebate comes through.

Still heavy, still needs wheels to lug around but I'm pleased with it. Wait till you see the 2nd and 3rd board I can attach to it :D

2nd board has my other GR30 synth, and its UX-20 switch to control it, its not complete yet as it will also have my Beat Buddy Drum machine when it arrives in July, just to give a bit more flexibility. I've had a few test plays and its so cool to have looped arpeggios while you play other things and not have to worry about loop timings.

The 3rd board is my good old mobile board from the old Layout, it can route a shared guitar signal via the UX-20 through the GR30..I probably won't use it but its there if I want to.

oh and then there is the control the Adrenalinn III, its not essential to use but it is easier....hmmm my floor space might be getting eaten up again :)

Do I have a problem?