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BigRedX

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Everything posted by BigRedX

  1. Thanks! The Man Who Hides From Love is released today on Bandcamp, and will be available on all the other download and streaming services from Monday 13th December.
  2. The micro-tilt mechanism on 70s Fenders only makes the problem of the lack of precision in routing the neck pocket even worse. In theory it's a neat idea. In practice the engineering and quality control standards of the time were simply incapable of making it work. The problem was two-fold. Firstly there was a "striking plate" on the heal of the neck that the micro-tilt screw acted against. This needed to be set perfectly flush to the heal otherwise the screw would be pushing the neck at an angle rather than straight up. Secondly there was problem of the router templates wearing out resulting in over-size neck pockets. Each of these issues on their own would not normally be a problem. However combine the two (and they always were combined) meant that the micro-tilt would also push the neck sideways in the oversized neck pocket, which in extreme cases would mean that the highest or lowest string on the instrument would no longer be over the finger board at the top of the neck.
  3. Isn't that how lots of people write? I don't have the verbal skills to write any decent lyrics, so my "words" remain as random syllables until whichever singer I am working with turns them into something that make more sense, but from a musical PoV you have described exactly how most of what I write takes shape. However, I expect that my writing process takes a good bit longer than McCartney's (days rather than minutes/hours). BTW I don't have a car so your face is safe.
  4. Sometimes you need and flats and sometimes you need round wounds. It's a bit like sometimes you need to play with a pick and sometimes you need to use you fingers. Having said that in the context of a band mix, you'll get the same sound with slightly old round wounds and attenuating the treble. Having used both, these days I'd only bother with flats if I preferred the feel (which I don't).
  5. Precision certainly doesn't relate to how the instrument was made.
  6. It's the versatility and reliability of sound that keeps me using programmable multi-effects. Before that I had a load of pedals and a 10U rack of studio units in order to the same thing. Individual pedals are fine if each pedal does exactly the same job every time it's used, but the amount of distortion, or kind of echo, or amount of chorus changes with each song, so without a programmable multi-effects unit I'm either going to have to have a separate pedal for every different setting, or be mucking about with my board between songs. And as others have said the ability to have one device that covers all the different bands/genres that you play is invaluable. Currently the two bands I play with each have a separate patch for each song (often with 4 snapshots per song), and the modules I have in each patch are very different for the two bands. Even if I found myself in a band that only required a single consistent sound on all the songs, I'd still be using the multi-effects with that one great sound ready programmed up. For a previous band I had one basic setting that I mostly used with a second slightly brighter version for some songs, and a version of each with a bit more drive to fill out the sound for when the guitarist was playing single note melodies. Finally I just like the reliability of sound. I know when I hit a the footswitch to call up a patch it will have exactly what I want with no fuss!
  7. I take it Rick doesn't ask Sting why his new album was so badly mastered with over-compression and clipping in places?
  8. Over the last few years I went from having almost 50 guitars and basses plus a load of synthesisers and samplers to just 9, plus whatever plug-in instruments came free with Logic. That's still 3 more guitar and basses than I need and the extras - an ancient acoustic guitar, a Tokai Firebird copy thats in bits and a Squier Bass VI will be sold just as soon as I can get around to listing them. I've kept two 5-string basses for one band, two Bass VIs for the other, and two guitars for writing, recording and just in case I find myself playing guitar full time in a band again. The best thing about having lots of instruments at the same time was it made it far easier when it came to choosing what to keep and what to sell as I was able to directly compare them all and make hard decisions about what to get rid off.
  9. If you mean Bennerley Viaduct from the "Not Noticing" video, then unless he made the video very soon after ours the answer will be no, since last year a temporary deck was constructed across it as part of the long term plan to turn it into a permanent footpath/cycleway. Besides I'm sure it would been in the news if Sting had made a video there. We couldn't avoid on-lookers even by filming at 5 in the morning just after the sunrise!
  10. The idea that a song can be defined as a series of simple chord changes is a relatively new concept that only really found popularity with the rise of Rock 'n' Roll in the 50s. If you look at any of the classic songs from earlier in the century the "rhythm guitar" part would by massively complicated, with a chord change on every beat (if nor more often) rather than every bar or two.
  11. For a long time a "song" was simply the lyrics and the tune they were sung to. It's only with the advent of those new-fangled "beat groups" that the contribution of the instruments has been considered even remotely important.
  12. If I was going for a long scale set for a bass tuned E-E I'd be looking at getting Newtone to make me a 34" version of the Axion Bass VI strings. The gauges are .024 .034 .044 .056 .080 .100 which IMO is a good balance and gives a bit of additional weight to the higher strings, which can have a tendency to sound like bad jazz guitar with some of the more "conventional" sets.
  13. Thanks for the info. Someone has missed a trick, unless the actual PRS registrations are simply credited to "Ian Anderson".
  14. A very nice humorous story (and probably has made a good interview at some point) except: 1. It's not true. On the record label it's credited to both Ian Anderson and Gerald Bostock. 2. Unless he was very stupid/lazy Ian Anderson would have registered "Gerald Bostock" as a pseudonym with the PRS thereby getting his full share of the performance royalties. Even for a relative songwriting non-entity like myself it is simple to do. I'm registered with the PRS under my full name (which was required when I joined in the early 80s) my usual abbreviated name (which most of the songs I have written are credited to) and my Terrortones stage name (which all Dïck Venom & The Terrortones songs are credited to). Each name has its own unique CAE number, but royalties for all three names get paid to me.
  15. Since the mid 1980s, all the bands that I have been in have shared the songwriting credits equally between the band members at the time of writing the song. The only exceptions to this were: 1. Towards the end of The Terrortones when we are going through numerous guitarists and drummers (and essentially the songs were being written entirely by Mr Venom and myself), we insisted that PRS membership was a requirement for receiving a songwriting credit. Not every new member took up this offer although by my estimation all would have made back their £100 PRS joining fee by now. 2. A band I was in during the 90s where our original singer (and lyricist) quit just before we released our debut single. The rest of the band bought out her songwriting contributions. We had a proper legal contract drawn up stating that she relinquished any claim to any of the songs we had written while she was in the band and any money that was made from those songs. We paid her a fairly substantial amount of money for this. As it happened her replacement re-wrote most of the lyrics, and ultimately the band didn't make a massive amount of money from performance royalties (although over the past 25 years we probably all earned our "investment" back), but at the time we decided it was best to play it safe.
  16. IIRC the arrangement with Queen regarding splitting the royalties equally between all of them was so that the best songs got released as single irrespective of who wrote them.
  17. I assume you need to do something to the wood to kill the bacteria responsible for the salting otherwise they'll eventually consume the whole slab?
  18. Most colour names are ridiculous. My favourite useless colour name is Sonic Blue. I can't think of a colour less "sonic" than that insipid pastel shade.
  19. I probably couldn't. I mean I'm sure that I would hear 3 different bass sounds, but if they were recordings where the artist(s) in question weren't known for playing one of those particular basses, I doubt I could tell you which is which. I also think that unless they were recorded in such a way to emphasise a particular unique characteristic of the bass a decent mix engineer could get them all to sound much the same in the context of a band recording.
  20. Several years ago I was in the market for an acoustic guitar for recording. I spent a whole afternoon at a big name musical instrument retailer trying out all their acoustic guitars from the cheapest to the most expensive. It was quickly obvious to even a technically poor player like myself that I would need to spend at a minimum £1k to get an instrument that I would be happy with from a sound and playability PoV. In the end I couldn't justify spending that much and with the knowledge that I would never really be able to make do with any of the cheaper offerings now I knew what was actually possible at the upper end of the market, I left without spending anything other than an enjoyable 4 hours of playing.
  21. And on the subject of U2 as a band, I saw them for the first time in 1980 at The Boat Club in Nottingham, just after the "Boy" album had been released. A friend of mine had seen them a couple of times previously (supporting The Only Ones, IIRC) had been most impressed, and insisted that I come to the gig. Other than having heard the name I knew nothing about the band and I don't think I had even heard any of their songs. I was completely blown away by the sound and the performance, particularly The Edge's guitar playing/sound. TBH I don't recall anything about the bass, which means that it was probably perfectly competent, and anyway, back then I was still mostly playing guitar. I do recall that there wasn't a particularly big audience turn-out, about 50 people there, and because we were also with someone who knew them from when they first start playing in Dublin, I got to meet the band after the gig (not that it counted for much at the time). I went out and bought "Boy" and all the non-album singles I could find the following day. A year later I saw them for the second time Rock City for tour to promote the "October" album. This time they were deadly dull and completely outclassed by the support band The Comsat Angels. It turned that apart form the first two singles I didn't much like the new album either. Since then U2's musical direction and mine have gone our separate ways. Occasionally they will release something that I like, but those songs are few and far between. I think the last thing they did that I liked was the cover of "Pop Music".
  22. TBH anything that isn't a 4 string, long scale bass with either Fender or Squier on the headstock is a niche instrument.
  23. Some gear is important, and other gear less so - especially as the size of venues that you are playing gets bigger. And the venues don't have to be very big before the contribution made by your choice of bass amp and cab(s) to the sound the audience (and the band) hears becomes negligible. I don't play gigs of the size that U2 do, but even so for the vast majority of the gigs I have done over the past 40+ years the bass has been going through the PA, and that's the sound that the audience hears. Only at the smaller venues (<200 capacity) would anyone in the audience have heard the sound from my cabs and then only those at the front who were directly in the "line of fire". For myself, on anything but the smallest of stages the moment I stepped away from being directly in front of my rig, the sound of the bass in the foldback would completely take over. The PA feed was taken post-effects, and would have only included the pre-amp part of my bass rig (and only for those rigs where some of the effects went through the FX loop of the amp). Anything after that in the final chain - power amp and cabs - made zero contribution to the sound that the audience heard. In the studio there would be a mic on one of the speakers in one of my cabs, but there would also be a DI taken from the amp and another direct from the bass guitar, and I had no idea which of these sound sources ended up being the one used by the producer or engineer. It could have been the mic on the cab, but it could just as easily have been the direct sound of the bass going through a couple of plug-ins on the DAW. So long as the bass sounded right in the overall mix, I really didn't mind which was used. This was one of the reasons why a few years ago I sold my big, impressive looking, and expensive bass rigs and replaced them with a multi-effects unit and a powered speaker cab (which only gets used at the smaller gigs where I don't know how good the supplied foldback is going to be). In the studio I now go directly into the desk from the multi-effects. I find the whole idea of big name bassists endorsing amplification completely perplexing, and especially so if they are not actually getting the equipment for free - after all why pay for something you don't need or even use? At the kinds of gigs these people play, the bass will be DI'd and the musicians will all be wearing IEMs. All those big impressive looking rigs are there simply for show. No one will actually be hearing the sound that is coming out of the cabs (if indeed anything is actually coming out of the cabs). In the studio anything produced by the rig will be further modified by the studio outboard gear and "in the box" plug-ins, and even then unless you are doing the engineering yourself you don't know which of the multiple sources are actually being used to produce the bass sound in the context of the final mix. The only bassists whose choice of amplification makes a significant contribution to the sound that both they, the rest of their band, and the audience hears, are pub bands using a vocal-only PA system. Those are completely at the other end of the scale to the big-name bassists being used to "sell" the amplification.
  24. For most musicians the recording is no longer the main source of musical income. Its the gig where how an instrument looks is probably as important as how it sounds.
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