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51m0n

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51m0n last won the day on December 14 2017

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About 51m0n

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    Dark Wizard of the Knights Martial
  • Birthday 26/05/1970

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  1. Another vote for the MojoMojo, sounds fantastic for just having those moments when you want to go from a clean tone (my core tone is very clean) to something a bit more sixties soul warmed up with the edge taken off the transients and absolutely no loss in low end. The other option for me was the Sold Gold FX Beta Overdrive, but that's about 5 times the price and does nothing more that I can see...
  2. Nah, no beer, no drugs, they just make everything less professional, less gets done, its all bad when you need to use your time well. One cigarette break halfway through. Ten minutes for a chit chat, then back to the funk
  3. All the more reason to try stuff out in a rehearsal... If what you do makes you cringe that's nothing to go on, if it makes the whole band cringe then time to try something else
  4. Yeah, a skill to be honed through practice. I hate talking over the mic so I've worked at it, plus I've worked at ensuring I don't have to do it too much too 🤩
  5. I do think when it comes to prepping for a gig that far too many bands worry about the songs first and foremost. I think they are just a fragment of the whole. What so often gets lost in inexperienced bands is the other bits that are super important things like:- How to transition between songs How to perform, not just play songs How to cope with the inevitable pink torpedo ups during songs, whether that is equipment malfunction or pilot error How to engage the audience during the set, which breaks down to:- How to engage the audience during songs How to engage the audience between the songs All of this can and should be rehearsed, that is what rehearsal time is for, not simply playing toons together and rocking out. IMO.
  6. We endlessly prune ideas. Last year we worked on a track for 8 months on and off, in the end it just became boring. In some ways that is a great reason to be spending a long time on a track, you see, in my experience, you cant tell what is truly fantastic in a couple of hours, or weeks even. The best stuff we have written we have played for years and years, and its still fun and intriguing to play, although the makeup of the sets have led me in particular to want to add a new set so we can swap things about better. Variety etc etc. Fact is, its good enough material to last. Sometimes you work really hard on something but you lose that initially visceral quality of it that felt so good day 1, or you realise its just a bit obvious. I record every single rehearsal, in full, chop out the best parts and they get saved, everyone is sent every single piece, its a huge huge library of variations and ideas and jamming - literally weeks of it now - that we refer back to and use when thinking about new parts. Again its to be noted that gigs are not necessarily our number 1 purpose, creating music to play at gigs is. So we can spend for ever on a track, before anyone hears it, and if it lasts the course it will be good enough for our audience to enjoy, because its something we are enjoying playing. Having said all of that one of my favourite structures we have goes:- aABABCABCDABCDEBB The track in question is almost 8 minutes long. Too complex? Or clever because it means people get to hear section A 5 times, section B 6 times, section D and E once each and so have an idea whats coming but it keeps changing at the same time. The punters seem to dig it whatever It sounds like this:- https://mistersuperjuice.bandcamp.com/track/frisking-the-whiskers
  7. Only if you are playing 3 minute 'standard-ish' toons with nominally trivial structures in my experience... Which is not having a go at that at all, its just if you are writing more complex stuff this can't be done I think, unless someone turns up with all the parts written out and you have a band prepared to work from charts a lot.
  8. Our rehearsals follow a very different format to a lot of yours I think. We 'rehearse' every other week for 3 hrs normally, if we have a big gig coming up we extend that to 4 hrs. Rehearsals are usually not related to a gig though, we are almost always working on new material. There are 7 people who have creative input in the band, a lot of time is spent working on new ideas for grooves and fitting old ideas together with new ideas in different ways experimenting with them to get something we feel is really really good. We've worked this way for a very long time (7 years) and this is a huge part of the reason everyone enjoys the band. Gigs are really good fun and all, but if you are creating music for a 7 piece band with no singer and average track lengths of 9 minutes you have to work on the material in a different way or pay everyone to turn up to rehearsals, the opportunity to be creative together is what the band is about. You see most punters on seeing us for the first time are (even if I say so myself) pretty bloody impressed, because its good music, lots of layers and interesting interactions/dynamics and plenty of hooks that reappear all over the place in different forms, even without the 'normal' front person role. Yet a lot of what is going appears to be highly improvised. If they see us again they start to 'get' that there is definite improvisational stuff, but maybe less than they thought, I get asked about this quite often (from musos and civvies equally strangely). The first 45 minutes we play is a single suite with no breaks at all. Most punters truly think its written as a single track (its not its 5 pieces that interweave and hang together really beautifully). We have tracks that took just a couple of months to get sorted, others that we refined for years to get where they are now. There are motifs in the first fifteen minutes of the set that occur literally an hour later again in subtly shifted forms, the upshot is punters think they've heard this track before from the first time they catch an entire set. Our only problem at the moment is we have finally got to the point where we have this all nailed down. And we are rather bored of the 'same' 2 sets. So we are taking a break from all gigging until November, when we will play the old sets as they stand one last time, then in December we have a gig where I hope we will be replacing at least one entire set with a new suite, with just one break in it. Cos that's how we roll So we don't really rehearse, we just collaboratively write. Rehearsal per se is just where we top and tail tracks and transitions and go over anything particularly tricksy (like the 9/4 break, its a beach, I regularly have to work that in my own time or I am going to look the proper fool and train wreck everything). It only happens in the last rehearsal before a gig, and we only gig a few times a year. I have done cover bands before and find them so tedious, not enough creativity for me, each to their own....
  9. We rehearse at close to gig volume. Works for us 😀
  10. Dude, did you read anything I wrote about compression at all, ever?
  11. Or before and after. This is one of my favourite examples of this by George Massenburg, its a long watch for a single 8 bar phrase. Welcome bass peoples to the life of a mix engineer....
  12. Mate you are missing the points of a limiter vs a compressor, I am not entirely sure this is because you don't 'get it' or because you are being deliberately obtuse I'll assume you don't get it and move on with:- Limiters vs Compressor 101 Or - why you might need BOTH a limiter and a compressor (oh crikey!) So, there are several very real differences between a device designed to primarily limit a signal and a device designed to compress a signal. They are:- Limiters are capable of far faster attack times than compressors (nano seconds) Limiters are never 'soft knee' compressors Limiters are capable of far higher ratios than compressors Limiters tend to measure instantaneous level rather than an aggregation of level over time (often RMS based) in order to achieve protection grade compression Limiters rarely have a make up gain, they are not about making things seem louder on average, they are about prevention of dangerous level spikes Dedicated limiters are almost always VCA or FET based, since these are capable of the fastest reaction to overloads Limiters set too heavy are really really obvious, and 'feel' terrible! They are things of subtlety only when used as nature intended There are similarities too:- Dedicated limiters have most of the same array of controls, threshold, attack, ratio, release Some limiters are pretty transparent, some are not, if you push any limiter too hard the artifacts become increasingly obvious, badly so Because limiters are so obvious people sometimes use them in the place of a compressor for the effect they produce, this is not necessarily a bad thing Little is better than lots almost always, unless you know what you are doing, like jazz you cant break rules if you don't know them, but if you don't try breaking them (with the knowledge of the potential issues) you never achieve anything new either Like a compressor a limiter in uneducated hands is almost always going to ruin everything.... So why would you need both a limiter and a compressor at the same time? Firstly you must really 'get' all the variables you have at your disposal when compressing. Secondly you must understand the nuances of many popular ways to use a compressor. This will lead you to understand why a limiter can also help a lot without actually causing any issues, or just ruin everything in the wrong hands. So we have threshold, attack, ratio, release and make up gain on a compressor. Setting a good obvious ratio (say 4:1) and a threshold where this is hit on almost all your notes (going for a Sledgehammer sort of effect type of sound) yeah your dynamics will be affected to an extent but you get a killer super fat tone right! Well, not necessarily, a big part of that tone is the pick attack at the start of the note, that transient spike is super cool and adds untold definition and brightness to an otherwise dark tone. The answer is to roll your attack back to at least 60ms, bingo super heavy tone, mega transient, brilliant! Nope not so fast cowboy, the compressor is catching everything after 80ms, it is crushing it to 1/4 its original volume, your make up gain then times your volume by about 4 to bring that level back up, but here's the nuance, that make up gain is not applied only when the compressor is actually compressing, it is just a general lift applied to the entire signal. So your transient is now massively uncurtailed next to the rest of the signal, it is going to hit your amp way harder than before and may even clip your preamp. You may not even hear it other than more brightness because a clipping transient tends to just sound a bit harsh or in some setting better than a not clipped transient, but that level is there and its going to end up hitting your drivers in a moment - uh oh! How do you solve for this? What you need is a really fast compressor that just prevents that transient from ever quite getting so loud as to cause an issue, but doesn't change the rest of the signal at all. A limiter does this, remember we have a fricking massive spike at the front of this signal now that we are just trying to take the edge off on the most exuberant notes, we need to measure this spike in terms of nano seconds to do this effectively so a standard compressor cant do it, it measures average level over the last n ms for a start! A real limiter will let you dial in a threshold that damps down that spike as it happens without you hearing that that is the case (super short signal bursts remember) typically the threshold will be at least 6dB higher than the threshold on the compressor, often more. The attack needs to be as close to instant as possible, the release can be quite short though, say 10ms to cover for the entire transient once the level dips below the threshold. The ratio must be at least 10:1, real limiters are more like 20:1. No make up gain at all, this is a wall not step ladder! The result is even more consistent level, the ability to get more level without damaging anything and done well, even more transparency. A limiter in this traditional setting should be after all the compression that is going on. If you are using it as a speaker protector put it after all the other fx, last in your chain before the amp and unless something is going wrong with feedback or a filter sweep or a jack being unplugged you will never see it light up at all, but if any of these things occur your drivers will be safer. So a limiter used in a traditional way does not ever truly effect the sound other than to prevent clipping/dangerous driver excursion. It doesn't matter if you dig in the part the limiter changes, if all you gain staging is set correctly, is so tiny that you are pretty unlikely to hear it, instead you wont hear your drivers melting, or your tweeters pop or some such, or even have your amps protection circuitry turn on.
  13. I said I'd try the Trickfish without my rack compressor. That head was a disaster for me in the end. Now using an EA iAmp Classic. Fab head, huge power. Used it in anger the other day, love it. But you know what it needs? A little bit of transient shaping to bring out the attack of each note just a hair.... Compressor will be back in da rack bro, you know it makes sense 🤩
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