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rct

Almost normal Band Life...

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So we got together today after 3 months off.  We stayed in touch and even Zoom/Skyped a couple of failed times, which was great comedy.  Everybody is well, we were masked and stayed apart in the big studio space.

Drummer guy is a trauma surgery nurse.  He flaked at the last minute, no surprise there, said he thought it was too risky.  Truth is he hasn't touched a drum stick in, well, 3 months now.  Fortunately we had the Drum Machine on hot standby and motored on without him.  Bass Player, Other Guitar Player, and myself have all played with the very same drum machine, the three of us last time was before the turn of the century.  Same old Alesis, still chugging.  We made the executive decision to gently can the drummer and move on, maybe find another, but have a couple gigs coming up we hope that we will do without one.  Much better for volume control and slightly less weird than the weirdness we always seem to end up with behind the kit.

So we took about ten minutes to warm up and then we were fine.  Everybody sang well, played well, and you could tell we had been practicing the things we said we would do.  Changed up the setlist to accommodate the machine and we have prolly another 50 we could pull out of our keisters if we needed them.  So all in all it went well.  It felt really good to be playing with others again, singing with others again, looking very forward to July 4th when they are opening the casinos but I didn't tell you that it's not official yet.  Adding a crapload of songs too, so I have to uh...get busy here in a bit.

The big question of the day was the Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb, and it was a hit.  They heard the Ron Sound and that was good enough for me, so it's a keeper.   Plenty of volume, loads of headroom, no noise to signal ratio increase, no wooshing or woofing, all that good stuff.   When we can do normal things again I'll trade a buncha junk for another one, one for the studio and one for home.  I like that.

My expensive quite a few years old lots of miles Shure BLsomethingorother wireless has been getting sketchy for the last six months or so with odd sort of random volume drops by quite a bit, some wooshes out of nowhere, some phasing stuff.  It's either transformer or the actual jack in, futzing with the jack helps at times.  It flaked out completely today and I couldn't get it back to unity volume so I threw it across the room and happily cabled up.  I'll be that way for a while or a short time, I move slowly with these things.  I do prefer it for the gigs, helps me hit the Flying Triple Back Spin Flip over the flaming monitor and stuff like that.

My decades long love/hate with Compressor is finally over and I can wholeheartedly say I'm just not into you Mr. Keeley.  Off the board it goes, do not like, as I have done quite a few times in the past.  Great for recording, not so great for a live band.  I honestly don't know why I keep trying, but I'm not any more.

I need a competent, quiet EQ back at the ampliphone, probably the Earthquaker Tone Job, it's quiet and does what you want it to do.  Don't need a dozen sliders or anything, just some trebs and some mids. Little bass too here and there.  But definitely boost and cut, some of these places are just glass and tile Treble Monsters.

After a few hours of sweating and grunting like the old pigs we are, we got down to the serious questions in this difficult, serious time.

I wondered if anyone had found any Mask Porn sites and nobody had, so we moved on to how weird groceries are and stuff like that.

Good times again.

rct

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Good to hear you're  playing with others again. 

And I really wish I lived close by.  I would have come over and played drums with you guys. I'm way better than a drum machine.  I'm a drum animal.  

Wasn't that the drummers name on the muppets? Animal. lol

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We would love to have you sit in with us, we really would.

rct

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We're all starving for good news -  and you sure rang the bell !   Nice to know Live Music is coming back.  Thanks. 

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That`s great to hear, my lot still won`t shift, bunch of bloody..............

I`ve just being given one of them Alesis  as we can`t get a steady drummer, any tips for setting it up? 

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45 minutes ago, Mutha said:

That`s great to hear, my lot still won`t shift, bunch of bloody..............

I`ve just being given one of them Alesis  as we can`t get a steady drummer, any tips for setting it up? 

 

Not a clue I'm afraid.  That is the all Bass Player, doesn't let us touch it.  Tape the pedals down and put a label on top so you don't confuse Start/Stop with Fill when you don't want to.

 I use a Boss DR880 in my studio, I can build a song on that fairly quickly. Sometimes.

rct

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Nice description, as always Ron. [thumbup] Things can only go up from here (famous last words)

My "big" band started rehearsals 2 weeks ago also. First one was going pretty good until I F'd it up by over indulging in the spirits and became useless. Will never do that again. Totally abstained from alcohol the second time and it went much better.   We have an outdoor gig on June 18 still scheduled that we are preparing for. Our drummer too is the most worried about rehearsals and gigs,for good reasons. He has some underlying health issues so no one can blame him for being cautious. I've been playing through some POS Peavy digita ampl that was left in the basement. I hate the thing, but just deal with it for practice rather than drag my PRS or even BOSS Katana out.

Can't wait to see your first gig comment. 😎  

 

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It feels good to get back some normalcy don't it?

We jammed for the first time in 3 months  last Wednesday.   Everyone seemed to be right where we left off in late February.   No train wrecks as we plowed thru 2 sets of material.  Half of which are originals

About compressors,, they are a  bit of a kludge sometimes aren't they. 

I just picked up a BOSS CP1x and so far it seems pretty transparent.  It will replace a TC Electronics Hyper Gravity which I've never gotten along with .

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We're not back to normal, not quite yet. 

Our drummer is deathly afraid to go out, and can't be coaxed out to come practice. 

We held our first band practice anyway, three weekends ago. 
It was time to knock the dust off of things, even if it was just the 3 of us. 

Luckily, my neighbor David came over and played bass, and Stacey shifted onto drums. 
(David is the bass player for a local southern rock band, and he has filled in with us on many live gigs over the years.  He's really good.)

I hosted the practice out in my garage, instead of in the cramped music room.

All mic stands were six feet apart, I swear.
And everything was wiped down with alcohol.

Or, I drank some alcohol. I forget.

Anyway.
A good time was had by all.

I apologize for the appearance of the hemp rugs. 
They're ugly I know. 
But there's normally an elderly BMW and a new van standing on them, and things get sluiced-in from the road. 

🤥

3-may-band-practice-jpg.715905

Edited by sparquelito

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Great topic, by the way. 

Thanks for starting it up, RCT. 
We all appreciate the thread, and the shared desire to get back to normal. 

Mutha, PM sent, sir. 
I have two Alesis digital kits, and can help you with the setup details. 
😙

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34 minutes ago, sparquelito said:

I apologize for the appearance of the hemp rugs. 
They're ugly I know. 
But there's normally an elderly BMW and a new van standing on them, and things get sluiced-in from the road. 

🤥

3-may-band-practice-jpg.715905

Looks like a perfect rehearsal space to me.  The music doesn't care about oil stains. Looks better than some bars I've been in.  

A little break can be healthy. Any time I stopped playing for a few weeks it was like my batteries were recharged when I picked it up again. 

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Yes excellent to hear that....  [thumbup]

Theres a new normal we all have to get used to for a while..   I know this has hit the whole performing arts industry bad...  So its really good to hear that things are moving again, even if its slowly.. 

Makes us all appreciate some of the things we may have taken for granted before all of this huh..

Living alone I haven't had any human physical contact for months now, cant see my friends or hang out.. Really not fun. 

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Happy to see these pics.  Out of curiosity -for you folks who gig out regularly - how often do you get gigs?  What types of venues?  Just saw an outside show advertised, anyone see anything coming up?  Any originals,  how are they received?

Since black dog posted about doing a back flip and ripping out a solo (something like that), i've been practicing (back flips) and getting ready for the open mic circuit to open back up.

Edited by uncle fester
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On 6/7/2020 at 7:29 AM, kidblast said:

About compressors,, they are a  bit of a kludge sometimes aren't they. I just picked up a BOSS CP1x and so far it seems pretty transparent.  It will replace a TC Electronics Hyper Gravity which I've never gotten along with .

 

They are...something.  Artifact-y.  They give my sound a hangover that I can't shake.  Something about that bit of dirt shove you get when you just get it to where you know you are using a compressor.  Something in the top end gets scritchy, fuzzy maybe.  Not sure.  Just tired of trying it.  I've been using the PedalBoard of Doom all week without it and I sound like I sound again.

rct

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10 minutes ago, rct said:

Something about that bit of dirt shove you get when you just get it to where you know you are using a compressor.  Something in the top end gets scritchy, fuzzy maybe.  Not sure.  Just tired of trying it.  

I totally understand what you're saying with all pedal compressors except the Boss CP-1x (mentioned above).  It tracks incredibly well.  Great comparison to the CS3 here: 

 

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Nice.  I'm not using a Keeley at the moment, probably the third or fourth compressor I've not used.  One of them was a Boss at some point,  I didn't use that one for a while.  I have some rack stuff for recording so I think I'ma give up entirely on compressor out with the fellas.  Again.

rct

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It's not for everyone.   Chances are between your cables and your amp, you already have some natural compression going on anyway. 

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On 6/7/2020 at 4:55 PM, 'Scales said:

Nice one Sparky...I just hope those aren't your handkerchiefs hanging off the mic stands (not virus appropriate !) [laugh]

excuse my ignorance, but....no foldbacks, no amps?.....ok how are you doing that? (Our rehearsals looks like a sound guy's nightmare by comparison!)


The bass amp, an old Crate, was just off-stage to the left there. 

My ancient Marshall was just out of view to the right. 
Right in front of the motorcycle. 

The colored bandannas help to wipe moisture off hands, and they are generally color-coded to the mic cables leading to the PA inputs. 
(Need to turn Lisa up, grab the volume knob above the pink cable, etc etc.)
:)

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It isn't weird, doesn't have a psycho ex-wife, psycho ex-girlfriend, and/or psycho current girlfriend.  It always shows up, it well practiced, we can get it into the PA with no problems whatsoever.  For a guy like me that doesn't have time to be cuing everyone it is a godsend, it is miraculously always on the One when it is supposed to be.  So yeah, it is a good thing.  But at the same time it does suck to not have a real drummer.

rct

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YaY rehearsed again today.  Went well, tried a couple new ones out and promptly canned them.  Have a drummer after the 22nd of June when we go back to rehearsing nights.  Good stuff, it is good to be busy playing again.  It's like riding a bike except way more dangerous.

rct

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8 hours ago, rct said:

YaY rehearsed again today.  Went well, tried a couple new ones out and promptly canned them.  Have a drummer after the 22nd of June when we go back to rehearsing nights.  Good stuff, it is good to be busy playing again.  It's like riding a bike except way more dangerous.

rct

it will be real good when you all can gig again..  our gov'ner (Baker) move pubs and bars to phase 4 opening, which is not any time in the near future.

Wont be any rooms left around here to play by then.

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