Category Archives: Stress Reliever

Egnater Tweaker

The Egnater Tweaker is a cool little amp. I also purchased a year ago a 15 watt version  egnater tweaker at guitarcenter.com, though in head form. It is certainly loud on its own, and the volume on that is really good.  I’ve blended mine using both the “AC” and “Brit” modes with another amp but prefer the Brit mode since I can get a good midrange out of it. I think it sounds awesome with my les paul.

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Stupid Deal Of The Day

That IS a great deal for a G&L USA ASAT Special Maple Fingerboard Electric Guitar 3-Tone Sunburst Black Pickguard! This is musicians friend stupid deal of the day.

If you’re not familiar with G&L you might not know Leo Fender (the L) and George Fullerton (the G) were the brains of the operation and owners/founders of G&L. This style trem is where Leo took this design. He and George saw everything they were doing with G&L as improving on the original ideas he launched at Fender which he sold to CBS in the 60’s. But he started up G&L many years later and resumed focus on great guitars and making them better. Fender still makes some great stuff but G&L are the modern and more evolved alternative, similar to Carvin in that respect.

And this bridge is a killer 2 point non-locking system. It’s a blend of the old style but with better adjust-ability and range as a floating system. Smooth as butter too.

It’s a lot like what Carvin is offering as a 2-point Vintage style, but better. But I really like both Carvin’s vintage style trem and this one. The G&L wins though no question.

There are a lot of cool things he did with G&L, the ASAT bridges a couple great improvements on T-style bridge vintage and modern. MFD pickups, the Passive Treble and Bass cut controls on Legacy models like this one (a killer tonal range improvement). And much like Carvin G&L pickups are very underrated great pickups, but they spec SD’s in a lot of models as well.

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Violin Strings

It depends on what your violin likes. I think that Dominant are generally safe and work on more variety of violins than any other string that I can think of. They have been around for a long long time too.  how many strings on a violin , there are 4  strings and you can  get a set for under $50. My cousin tend not to use the perlon A-string because they don’t last long for him. He can wear one out in a couple of weeks. If you have a very weak sounding fiddle you may want good steel core strings but beware that you may get a metallic and harsh sound.

violin-strings

No one can really say what kind of strings will work best on another violin without trying. Most pros try many different type of strings and learn which work for their particular fiddle. Dominants are used by many pros and even frequently used on fine old Italian fiddles.

pietro-gianotti-master-violin

scott-cao-violin

stentor-violin-arcadia-4-4

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Musicians Friend Catalog

It is one of my favorite  place to shop. I love their prices plus , I’ve bought a guitar and tons of other stuff through them. And I know friends who have bought gear from them, all in great condition.

Only problem I’ve had is Backordered stuff. But, with the amount of business they do it doesn’t surprise me.  You can also sign-up for musicians friend catalog to start taking advantage of all the fantastic benefits.

musicians friendmusicians friend gibson

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Percussion Instruments

I have recently realized what an excellent set of percussion instruments are available with the standard K5 library but cannot find any midi files that demonstrate the capabilities to full extent. I am not a percussionist but realize that with ~40 articulations for Congas alone there is huge potential for realistic percussion instruments performances if someone with the appropriate knowledge is able to capture some midi performances. A friend advised me to invest in a pad controller (e.g. Korg nanoPad, all the way up to the bigger units like Korg’s padKontrol or the equivalent Akai ones, or NI’s Maschine) as you’ll find percussion is much more playable fromaa pad controller compared to a keyboard.

(With a keyboard you are always waiting for the key to rebound before you can strike it again, which isn’t authentic to how percussion normally works. With a pad controller, it’s more “true to life.”)

You will still spend a little time mapping the pad controller.

Also here are some everyday objects used by musicians.

1) Striking a propane tank. (make SURE that it is empty first)

2) Striking brake drums (not while they are on the car)

3) Samples taken while striking a large stainless steel salad bowl.

4) Striking a brass flywheel from a tape recorder.

5) The sound of a basketball hitting the floor in a gym. This is sampled tuned and triggered.

Here are a few that I know are cool but never used.

1) The bell housing from an engine/transmission. Many are aluminum and ring real loud.

percussion instruments

percussion instruments

percussion instruments

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JBL Loudspeakers

PA speakers are not designed for production and mastering. They’re designed to go loud. If bass is important to you then a sub is needed. 100 people absorb alot of sound.

JBL EON 615 1000 Watt Powered 15inches Two-way Loudspeaker System with Bluetooth Control
That’s why you want quality jbl loudspeakers with easy to get parts when broken. Behringer has horrible service, so buy from a good dealership. Behringer have reasonable sound but can die on you anytime. Parts are hard to get. If you push these speakers a bit, there’s a audible hiss, but it won’t get better. 50-60 people you can manage with these speakers as long as you don’t push them too hard.

i have the JBL EON 615 1000 Watt Powered 15″ Two-way Loudspeaker System with Bluetooth Control . I love ’em. They’re the ones that are top sellers. Never had any complaints, except from the neighbors.

JBL EON 615 1000 Watt Powered 15inches Two-way Loudspeaker System with Bluetooth Control

 

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Gruv Gear Fret Dampener

gruv gear fret wrap string dampener

These wrap around the neck and strings. A thick pad (foam wrapped in towel material) lays on the strings. Most would place it by the nut but it can be anywhere on the neck for more dampening. Since the gruv gear  fret dampener is not fixed it can easily be slid up and down the neck or pushed over the nut and off the strings for no dampening.

gruv gear fret wrap string dampener
If you are happy the way your instrument works then there is no need to use this.

Some reasons a stick player may want to use this is:
– Want to have a removable dampener.
– Want more dampening. Or dampener on their Stick is warn out.
– Dampener on get’s in the way.
– Want a dampener further up the neck for more dampening.

I want to try this because the retractable dampener on my NS/Stick is at a place I would bang when I play the first fret. (my NS/Stick is a prototype and might not be the same as the production NS/Sticks). There are also times I wish I had a little more dampening. I may be playing too hard but looking at the my NS/Stick a dampener that lies on top of the strings might work better.

gruv gear fret wrap string dampener

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Bass Guitar Scales Wall Chart

I don’t think there are any shortcuts. You just have to keep doing it and eventually you will get it. The bottom line is how the chord sounds. You can finger chords a lot of different ways. I don’t use my pinky for the C major. I use my first finger similar to an Am.  I have been struggling with guitar for many years. I work full-time, and play a wind instrument in two bands(soon to be one). I would encourage you to learn a little music theory along the way. When you learn a chord, play each note individually and speak them out loud. I got a chord wall chart and bass guitar scales chart too .  Also, begin to learn the definitions of a major, minor, major 7th, add9, etc. chords. Scales and modes are very helpful too.

Mel Bay Bass Scale ChartBass Scale Chart

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Lighting Effects

Years back I was in a band with no budget. For lights we went to a wholesaler and bought 24 reclaimed recessed ceiling cans for a few bucks a piece. We used conduit clamps on the front of them for gel holders and ladder hangers put together to hang them from a truss made of old TV tower. We used lamp cord and cheap plugs to wire them to a homemade box full of stomp switches. It was done very cheaply and when all said and done, didn’t look that bad with the lights out in a dirty bar. When we made a little money we bought a small light board and dimmer packs and then eventually bought a bunch of chrome PAR 56’s on aluminum tripods.

The first thing to realize when you step into the world of lighting effects is that traditionally, light are going to be your absolute largest power draw- way bigger than your PA, your stage amps, and anything else you can throw up there. In fact, stage lights will draw so much current that most bars won’t be able to support much lighting (if at all). Expect to flip a few breakers.

That said, technology is finally starting to catch up. High efficiency, low wattage bulbs are finally starting to infiltrate (albeit slowly), and LED cans are slowly starting to come up to spec with PAR cans, and with far less power consumption. Unfortunately, the price is often prohibitive.

Lighting effectsLighting effects

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Genz-Benz Amplifiers

I owned one for 4-5 years. Great, versatile amp. The cleans are amazing and NEVER break-up, reverb is plentiful and great sounding.

The mids are very unique, which  a lot of people like few like. Use them sparingly and it sounds amazing.

Great crunch and very good high-gain tones too. The active EQ is very sweet and touchy so zero-ing on a tone you love can take some time. It’s, IMHO, a very very cool amp and I miss the Genz-Benz Amplifiers from time to time for its sheer versatility.

I bought mine for 470$, which was a steal back then, I assume right now it’s pretty much the same. They used to go for 2100$ new where I lived back then, just to give you an idea.

Genz Benz El Diablo

 

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