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Ed_S

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Everything posted by Ed_S

  1. That would be very nice - I always wear earplugs on stage and when I’m going out to see gigs, but there have been times I’ve gone out with no expectation of encountering live music and no plugs, only to get forced out of a bar by a band tipping up and giving it the full beans. Some of them I would actually have liked to have stayed and watched, too, but just couldn’t. If the bucket method was employed, would it then be reasonable for bands to ask publicans what kind of crowd they can guarantee to make sure it was worth their while? I have no idea how the system operates in the states - is it just that they’re culturally used to the tipping thing, and a ‘small’ crowd over there isn’t just the quite literal one-man-and-his-dog that we might experience, and hence enough to make a wage provided you aren’t terrible?
  2. Fiver if I’m taking a punt on a complete unknown. Tenner-ish if they have a good reputation or it’s a tribute to a band I like so at least I’ll know the songs.
  3. I broadly agree with you, but I’m a real ale drinking, beer-festival going type who will walk to a pub several miles away and call it my ‘local’ because they have a better selection of beers than the other pubs I pass on the way there, so for me the beer is absolutely not incidental to the pub experience - it’s central to it. Clean and welcoming premises with a good selection of well kept ale is what gets my sort to frequent a pub, not food or even live music. As ever, other opinions are available and mileage varies 🙂 Maybe that’s part of the perceived lack of value of music, though - when even putting bands on can’t save a pub that’s failing because it’s just an unpleasant place to be, and thus the old panacea fails to work, our value decreases in the estimation of the industry..?
  4. I think you’re absolutely right - a lot of pubs and venues don’t promote as well as they could. You’ll have to forgive my originals-band-centric thought process when it comes to promotion as for us it’s very much a joint effort whereas I can understand that for a working and travelling covers or tribute band the division of responsibility could be different. That said, I see a lot of bands of that type using social media and friends-of-friends type connections to get the message out in the right areas of the country, and it boosts numbers and makes them more connections to use next time round. I guess my theory there was that if you want to command top money for your services, drumming up a markedly larger crowd than the owner would have managed on their own could only help you to stand out. The pizza shop thing.. I know what you’re saying, but them selling pizza is like a pub selling beer; they were doing that anyway. If they had a celeb pizza chef in for the night to try and shift more pizza then I reckon they’d advertise the fact locally, but might expect that the visiting attraction would do likewise through their channels, otherwise you’re missing half the potential draw.
  5. It's a totally valid concern, though I must admit I never know quite how to feel about the term 'devalue' when applied to music. I always end up wondering what an hour of music is actually worth to me and I invariably keep coming back to the idea that I'd have to not want to be there doing it for it to take on a monetary value. That's the point that something becomes a job and I'm just swapping my time for your money. I still have no idea what I'd charge! My thinking usually ends up coming round to the idea that it's not music itself but rather the professionalism surrounding the provision of music that isn't valued. If a free band is taking work off paid ones because they're just as musically talented, they promote like crazy, reliably turn up no matter what their personal circumstances and hire deps if required, bringing everything they need, all well maintained and safety tested, with full PLI cover, setting up neatly where they're told and playing in whatever stage-wear is appropriate, for as long as agreed and at the volume required, then pack down and disappear like they were never there... and they still want to do all that for free, then I think you'd have to just take that one on the chin. If they're missing any of that stuff out, then I think there's still space for people to charge for their services as professionals.
  6. I always get home from gigs having played for free and paid for transport, food, beer, and any other related expenses like batteries and strings as well as a per-gig share of the yearly cost of instrument and liability insurance. But we're an originals band and we all have jobs that pay the bills, so it's a hobby and if our songs are good enough to have complete strangers reacting positively then that's all the payment we need from music right there. A personal 'loss' of maybe £60 a gig in the name of enjoying myself is perfectly acceptable to me, but I totally understand that it may not be to many others. My own view is that the different ways of approaching gigging shouldn't have to hurt each other; if you need money from music to support yourself and/or your family I actively want you to have it; have the money that they didn't pay me for my originals gig on Thursday night for your covers or tribute gig on Saturday night, but please do something for it that I didn't because I was too busy at work and too tired when I got home. Advertise it better, do the social media thing and hype it up, fill the place, drink the bar dry, make them some real money and keep the venue open with a better reputation for good bands as that's all to my advantage as well. It just seems to be that from talking to a few venue owners over the years, they offer very little because it's the amount that they can afford to lose if a band turns up having done no promotion, draws no punters and scares away half the regulars. Instead of saying it's disgusting that they're paying a pittance, maybe take the gig, do the promo, absolutely storm the place with the full-on lights and smoke package and then say "we'll come back x times a year and do that every time, guaranteed, but our normal fee is higher - we took this one as a bit of a promo to show you we're worth hiring and can help your business".
  7. Yup, that's the smell! Hopefully it'll die down to the point where I actually have to be doing the playing-with-my-teeth thing to notice it, but as it stands it's right there.
  8. I've been enjoying the TM4-SL so I decided that since I had a week off work I'd rummage through my cupboards and drag out anything that wasn't getting used (and probably wouldn't again) to see how close I could get in monetary value to the black TT4-SL that arrived at Bass Direct a few weeks ago. Turns out that with an armful of stupid and mostly still-boxed impulse purchases identified, even at the '2/3 of what we can sell it for' rate offered by my local I just managed to hit the target and my second SL arrived yesterday. Not had time for pictures yet, but it's actually nicer-looking than the shop photos managed to make it look, and once I've sorted out the action and intonation this morning I'm sure it'll be just as pleasing to play as the TM. My real reason for posting, however, is to see whether there's generally such a thing as 'the Sandberg smell', or maybe just 'the SL smell'? Both my SLs have the same quite strong smell round the pickups, and it's disturbingly close to that of a leaking big electrolytic capacitor attacking a printed circuit board, which can be a bit worrying when you're all set up on stage, take your bass out of its bag, plug in, switch on your amp and then get hit with the 'something electronic just died' smell ...and I work with large collections of servers and networking equipment for a living, so I can detect that smell through a datacentre wall!! I assume it's either whatever epoxy the pickups are potted with that's not fully cured, or maybe some kind of flux that's been used in the soldering process, but it's not looking like a particularly common complaint when I search for other experiences. Anyone here got the same or, at the risk of sounding a bit iffy, is it just my pair that smell strange?
  9. Absolutely agree - I used to gig the Markbass CMD121P and it was good quality and loud but didn’t sound all that ‘big’ without the NY121 extension cab which I rarely had the room to transport. I swapped it for a Rumble 500 and whilst it’s not as conveniently sized as one MB cube, it’s certainly more convenient than two, and I’ve put wheels and side-handles on it to make it easier to transport. Most importantly, sound-wise it does the business very well on its own and that’s in a fairly loud melodic metal band with two guitarists and a drummer who isn’t shy. The only problem I’ve had with it so far is one gig where it seemed to be a bit more susceptible to RF noise than the MB was, but even then it was just a bit of background hummmm. My only experience of TC was a BG250-208 that fizzed, popped and stopped working on its second or third time out. Never fancied another since, though not in a ‘mistrustful of the brand due to a product failure’ kind of way, just a ‘they haven’t made anything I’ve fancied trying since’ kind of way.
  10. I do like the idea of not wasting money on a cheap backup bass and just either taking one bass and trusting it implicitly or taking both my main basses, but instead I take one main bass and an Ibanez GSR180 that I’ve fettled and now plays really nicely. That way, if I can only keep track of one and the other has to be left in a gear store or dressing room then it’s a simple choice which one I risk getting nicked, if I have to leave one with another band member to transport for me because I’m coming straight to a gig off the train from work then it’s a simple choice which one I risk getting non-optimally handled or stored, and if it all kicked off in a venue for any reason then it’d be a simple choice which one I left behind when I grabbed my main bass in one hand and my pedalboard in the other! 🙂 It may well be wasted money and dead weight (in fact I hope it is!) but as long as it makes me feel better then I see that as getting what I was paying for when I bought it. For such a cheap instrument it is very playable, though; to stick with the get-you-home-spare-wheel thing, I’d recommend the cheap Ibanezes as ideal space savers!
  11. I remember a bassist in another local band coming up to me a bit worse for drink and telling me how much he respected me for standing my ground against the rest of my band and persuading them to let me use a wireless kit and get out at the front with my foot on the monitor, as he’d tried to have that conversation and been told the answer was ‘no’. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that no such conversation had ever taken place in our band and I’d actually be more likely to get told off (jovially, of course) for just standing there at the back and not putting on a show! Maybe if I had a mic set up for backing vocals and/or constantly needed to do the pedalboard tap-dance I’d stay a bit closer to my starting position, but as it is I don’t even feel the need to stay on the stage all the time. Get wireless, go walkabout, throw a few shapes and take up some space! 🙂
  12. We supported a semi-famous guitarist from the states doing a solo tour across Europe with a band of hired guns, and on the day of the show got told by their tour manager that we had to provide literally everything apart from guitars, cymbals and sticks because that's all they were carrying with them to save on transport costs. We told the guy that they'd need to go and hire or borrow some amp heads and a snare drum, which they somehow managed to do, but they never said so much as 'cheers' for the rest and their drummer also spent a significant amount of time telling ours how much he, let's say, 'disliked' his kit. They weren't particularly good, and at the end they just waltzed out and disappeared. My most recent irritation was turning up to a battle of the bands with very limited gear storage space and a 'heads and breakables only' policy on the pre-gig info from the promoter, to find that all the other bassists had their rigs with them. I didn't twig why until it was our slot and I asked where the house cab was. "It's away being fixed mate - it's been dead for weeks", was the cheery response from the promoter; nice of him to tell everyone. I have a sansamp on the end of my board so I just went straight into the desk and got on with it, but I could barely hear myself on stage so I got eye contact with the soundman and gave him the universal 'point to my ear, point at my bass, point at the monitor wedge, point upwards' thing, which, given that he gave me the also-universal 'thumbs up' thing, suggested he'd understood and I'd soon be able to hear. It wasn't the case - I played the rest of the set by the numbers and thought 'sod it'. We went through to the next round of the competition, but later I read a review of the gig which said that the bass was drowning everything out during our set, so I can only put two-and-two together and guess what had happened there! I guess that my point across those two anecdotes is that you should stand your ground with what you are and aren't willing to lend, because very often you won't get any thanks for it, and that even when I turned up to a gig without enough gear through no fault of my own, my first instinct wasn't to go to the other guys and try to borrow their stuff.
  13. As a kid I got taken into a musical aptitude test (‘the Bentley test’, I think it was called) without any clue why or what one was, got told I had perfect pitch (which I’m still not completely sure about to this day) and about 6 of us from the year group got the option of a loaner violin from the music services and paying for lessons. My mum went for the idea and I worked my way up from scratch to playing with orchestras that had a grade 8 standard entry requirement. Thing is, the only grade I ever took was 3 because my theory knowledge was always nonexistent, and whilst I could sight read very well when I had to, it was just a means of mechanically mapping the dots to the instrument and there was never really any understanding or analysis going on of what I was doing. As soon as I knew what my part was meant to sound like, I stopped looking at the dots and just played it, watching the conductor for extra dynamics etc. For the one exam I took, my teacher resorted to saying things like “if they ask you to play -whatever- arpeggio then just think ‘the sad sounding one with the extra bit on the end’ and start on the note they mention”; like I say, no actual understanding or desire to understand but still a pass with merit. I never practiced at home - the thing never left its case between lessons, rehearsals and performances. It worked well for a long time and I enjoyed playing in the orchestras, but my teacher was quite rightly getting fed up with my indifference, and I was getting bored with his attempts to make me learn things I had no interest in knowing, so I gave up violin and started playing guitar and bass. I’ve never had a lesson and still have no idea what I’m playing, why or whether my technique is any good, but all the years of classical music have helped by ‘tuning in’ my ear so I can apply musical devices, even if cluelessly, and I suppose my fingers were used to playing on strings! Part of me understands the value of tuition and wishes I’d actually worked at music theory, but the other 99% is perfectly happy to be self taught and sans-dots. Plus I play all the time at home now because I want to rather than am expected to.. my basses are only ever in their cases if they’re going somewhere!
  14. I’ve got an ABM1000 that was built in Essex and is probably my favourite amp... but I rarely take it out because I’m normally using a shared cab in a smallish bar where it’d be overkill. When I do use my own cabs on bigger gigs, they’re gen-2 Barefaced... but the cab I actually use the most is a Markbass 4x10 that lives at our rehearsal studio. I have a Shuker that I could finish the whole arrangement off with, too... if it didn’t weigh 10lb 10oz, making it pretty much only playable whilst seated! So, most of the time it’s a lightweight Polish or German bass through a tiny little Italian amp head into a random cab. Ah well, at least I bought those things from UK retailers!
  15. I’m in the ‘yes’ camp - an EBS black label Multicomp on my main originals band pedalboard, a Boss BC-1X on my occasional covers project pedalboard, and a Markbass Compressore for recording in the studio.
  16. I owned a mid-price one for just long enough to help me ascertain that I didn’t need one often enough to justify the much higher cost of one that would be worth owning when I did need one. These days I don’t need one at all. I want one, of course, but I want other stuff more with the same money! 🙂
  17. No probs at all! Just got home and had a check - it’s actually 2.85kg, so a little heavier than the figure I had in my head, but not far off.
  18. Sticking with the Ibanez theme, last year I impulse-bought a GSR200b that I picked up by chance in the ex-demo section at my local. No idea why it was languishing - I couldn’t find a mark on it - but it was very light and had a great feeling neck with really nicely finished frets, so for £140ish I had to take a chance on it. Despite my plans to swap the hardware and pickups for something more reassuringly expensive, when I actually got it home and put some decent strings on it, it turned out to sound really lively, stay in tune and be easy to adjust, so it’s staying exactly as it is! I know it’s well under 3kg (2.7kg rings a bell but I’d need to confirm that) so cheap, decent, long scale and lightweight solid-body basses are out there, if somewhat rare.
  19. Such a shame it's not an ebony or maple board. I'd have been seriously tempted by either of those. Reminds me of my Shuker before it was refinished, right down to the extra scale length. Will just have to keep on enjoying my TM4-SL for the moment. Maybe one day I could get them to do me one of those in satin orange and black with maple board 🤔
  20. I’ve used the G30 for years (same one since they very first came out) and never had any show-stopping issues with it. I bought a spare belt pack for it just in case they were as flimsy as many people suggest, but haven’t needed it yet - the original still has its battery door and belt clip intact. The only issue I’ve had recently was in a venue with a Line6 digital mixing ‘board’ - the sort with the iPad instead of an actual board - which seemed to be taking up 3 out of 6 available channels for its own purposes, and when we took up the other 3 for two guitars and my bass the sound guy started complaining that half his faders went into DFA mode 🙂 it was only a 30min battle of the bands set so we just cracked on and nothing dropped out, but that seems like an odd oversight on their part; you’d think they might like the idea of people using a full set of all their kit. I bought a ‘hound to have a play with over last Xmas after a lot of people on here seemed to be giving it good press, but sadly it just went straight back in the box and is still there now; nothing wrong with it as such - it works - but it’s not for me.
  21. Think I’d go for: Joacim Cans - vocals Howie Simon and Doug Aldrich - guitars Erna Siikavirta - keyboards Marcel Jacob - bass Jimmy DeGrasso - drums Sadly Marcel’s no longer with us, so Billy Sheehan would need to dep if the rules change to say anything about actually being alive!
  22. It’s a fair shout - I think I’ll live with it for a while, though, and see how I get on. Pretty sure it’ll be fine and I’ll just change hand position to achieve the tone I want. And nobody in the audience will notice 😉
  23. Yeah, I believe that’s what it’s doing. It’s probably all written in the instruction ‘leaflet’ hang-tag but I have to admit I put that to one side and just jumped in ears-first 🙂 The only other option I can think of is some kind of preset mid shift, but it doesn’t sound like one of those. Heh, I think ‘leave as-is’ will win to be honest - it’s only a minor thing. I can still make use of it for whole songs where it’s a more appropriate tone, and of course recording sessions where you can pause between sections to flick as many switches as you like 🙂
  24. Yeah, I liked that about it - it’s not a massive jump between the two modes which I think was a good call on their part. The one thing about the preamp that I wish was different is the positioning of the toggle switch, as I play predominantly with a pick but move to fingers for certain quieter passages and then go back to the pick. The split setting would have offered a way to take a little of the edge off the attack for those sections but it’s too close to the rest of the controls for that - I'd end up changing things I didn’t mean to and causing myself a problem! Of course, I realise there’s only so much space on/under the bell-plate so the switch is where it has to be.
  25. One proof of ownership as is the law: The grain is pretty nice on both sides - it has a kind of iridescent look to it depending on the lighting - and although tobacco burst is not my usual 'thing', the comments from the rest of the band with regards aesthetics were all along the lines of: "it looks like a bass - you could turn up to any gig with that so it's fine". I'm really not a fan of any kind of patina / mojo / road wear, so I hope the finish holds up. I don't expect bulletproof but I'll look after it as best I can, and I expect it to hold up its end of the deal! We'll see. Sound-wise it's very useable just with the volume at full and the balance and eq all on centre detents. I ended up giving the balance a slight nudge towards the bridge pickup for a bit of definition and then adding just a bit of low end with the eq, but certainly nothing drastic. The preamp seems to be quiet, the controls are smooth and definite and the passive mode isn't just a failsafe for a dead battery - it actually sounds nice in its own right. The best thing I can say is that I got it sounding right within the first song and then left it like that for the rest of the rehearsal without feeling like I had to keep fiddling with the sound. So far so good; it plays nicely, feels like a quality instrument, sounds classy and looks.. acceptable.. 😉
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