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Phil Starr

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  1. Phil Starr

    Anxieties with joining a ready made band - just me?

    Probably more a case of 'most of the right notes mainly in the right places' TBH I'm looking forward to learning it but need the kick in the behind of a band waiting for me to nail it. One more step up the ladder if I don't slip up.
  2. Phil Starr

    Anxieties with joining a ready made band - just me?

    I'm in the same position as you, just joined an existing band. Fortunately mine are better organised/more realistic and have given me time to learn the set. First gig with them is the last week in March. I really seriously doubt that they will play all 40 songs in one rehearsal 10-12 is more likely. I learned 17 for our first rehearsal ( I had about 10 under my belt already) The first list they sent me turned out to be an old set list with songs they'd dropped in recent gigs and they've now given me a 30 song set list for the March gig. Glad I hadn't wasted time on songs they'd dropped I made sure that all the songs at the first rehearsal were ones I was confident with and a mix of easy and more complex songs. I wanted them to feel relaxed and confident with me and chose to stick to a few songs I knew would work rather than under-prepare a greater no of songs. I printed off a list of the songs I'd learned and bless them they just played through that list, if they hadn't it would at least have showed I was working hard and that i'm organised. I'm just running through this weeks list now and adding another 7 songs, I'm leaving the stinker until last; Tommy Cogbill's Son Of A Preacher Man, oh dear Relax and enjoy it as much as you can, at a first run though with a new band just playing half a dozen songs that make you all smile will leave you and them feeling good about the world. Good luck
  3. Phil Starr

    Determine port size for a 1x12 cab

    I was going to ask what you wanted to use the cab for. The problem with putting a speaker in any old cab is that you could get an unusual frequency response and that the power handling could be affected at low frequencies. It looks like the SWR Megiliath used some version of the Eminence Alpha 10, maybe just rebadged or maybe with a few tweaks and the original cab gave it about 45litres per driver or thereabouts. Here's the spec sheet http://www.eminence.com/pdf/Alpha_10A.pdf Putting a speaker into a smaller than optimal cab will do three things potentially, You'll lose some of the bottom end with the cab rolling off fairly high. To compensate you'll get a bass boost just above that point, if you are lucky it will warm up the sound and you may not miss the deep bass in a small room. Generally you get better power handling in a small cab but that is frequency dependant it will be better at some frequencies than others depending upon the exact tuning you achieve. I'd tune the cab to around 50Hz which is the resonant frequency of the bog standard Eminence Alpha but that's off the top of my head, I haven't modelled it. Two ports of plastic drainpipe around 15cm long will get you in the ball park, but if someone comes along to run winISD for you or you try inputting the Eminence specs and doing it yourself then take their figures as mine haven't been checked. I'm playing with a new band this week and need to get on and learn their set. Good luck, have fun and if you don't push it too loud you shouldn't go far wrong
  4. For recording I'd think most people would pretty much DI for bass, just cutting out the room acoustics would be good. However you might just want the feel of an amp whilst you are playing. There are two ways of going about that, I've just spent a couple of hours practicing with everything going through my PA, a little Alesis mixer going into a couple of RCF ART310's (PA speakers) I can feed everything through that including backing tracks, my vocals, the lot. Normally I use headphones but I fancied making a noise and feeling like I was playing live. The alternative is a proper bass combo, a lot of little ones are just for practice when you get your first bass and they aren't very satisfying to play. If you are going down the 'proper' combo route then the key is for you to go and try them out. They don't need to go loud so it's just the sound quality you need, if you really like the sound then that's a great amp and you'll use it lots, if not then why buy it I've got a little Hartke 10" Kickback which suits me but that's just my taste.
  5. Phil Starr

    Responding to Musician Wanted advert

    My instinct was like everyone else it seems 'be careful what you wish for' If you are looking for a berth with a band think carefully what you want, just the rehearsal room with like minded people or a gigging band? Is genre important to you or are you just happy to play? Covers or originals? There will be plenty of other bands along so get ready in advance, get together any video, promotional pics (or at least decent pics of you playing) links to bands you've played with maybe a list of gear you own, anything that will make a band want you. Put up a web page if possible, I have one on Bandmix for example. With everything prepared you won't have to dash anything off in a rush next time. I'd give it a week and then ask them for a response, musicians are not very organised and I've just been offered a spot with a gigging band starting in March after a month in which they failed to get an audition together and I'd decided weren't interested. I know the band and they know me so it isn't quite as mad as it sounds but now I have four weeks to learn and rehearse 30 songs instead of a couple of months. After a couple of weeks you have absolutely nothing to lose by hassling them but it may be simple disorganisation.
  6. Phil Starr

    High performance drivers and cab designs

    Yeah the kappalite is an 'upgrade' compared with the deltalite and pretty much as good as it gets with current technology. Most manufacturers offer similar spec speakers with a decent excursion well designed cone and suspension and a decent sized Neo magnet. There are lots of tweaks you could design in to improve in one area or another but eventually as you improve one area of a speakers performance you start to compromise others. 'Better' then becomes a relative term defined by what your design spec is, lower frequency roll off, better excursion, less cone break up, higher efficiency, better power handling, lighter weight, it's hard to get them all. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that I for one wouldn't ever argue that any particular driver is the 'best' but the Basschat two way design is very comparable with the best commercial designs. Having been involved in the early stages of the design (though the credit is all Stevie's) I know that there was little, if anything to be gained by using the Kappalite for example.
  7. Phil Starr

    Brighten up my bass please..

    Sounds gorgeous, but high output is possibly where the brightness has been compromised. If it is something you can eq out then it isn't anything to worry about. looks like a lovely bass on their website.
  8. Phil Starr

    Brighten up my bass please..

    There is much more to tonal differences than those caused by the fingerboard. in fact I would expect that to make little difference with a fretted bass. Many things are going to affect the timbre of your bass but perhaps two of the more important are the nature of the pups and their position. The closer to the bridge the pups are the less bass biased they will be and even fairly small changes in position will change that tonal balance. Not much you can do about that without major surgery on your bass. The windings inside the pickup act as an inductor and inductors will act as a low pass filter, they cut the higher frequencies, are they humbuckers on the Mayones?. The more windings you have the darker the pup will sound and the punchier the bass. Add in the choice of tonewood, bridge design, neck profile, how the neck and body are joined and so on and you can see why no two basses sound completely alike. The upshot is that you might find each of your basses works better with a different set of strings. In the end you have two entirely different basses so just enjoy that and explore to find out what strings work best with the chemistry of each.
  9. Phil Starr

    How do you practice?

    It's been interesting to look at how different people practice, I wonder sometimes if I have it all wrong and a lot of bad habits, probably. I practice for about an hour a day fairly consistently sometimes more, sometimes less. I do wonder if I'd started with a more academic approach ten years ago whether I'd be further on now. Would I have a better grasp of harmony and be a proper reader? If so would that make me a better bassist? Within a few months of starting I was already in a covers band and I've been on a treadmill of learning new songs ever since. Every new band seems to involve learning 20-30 new songs over a 3 month period and once I 'learned' 30 songs in a fortnight. I stopped counting after hitting my 500th song. I'm guessing that a lot of us have a similar experience in covers bands and the practicalities of doing the job takes over from almost anything else. It becomes about short cuts though, check if there is a decent You Tube video? Download chord sheets and tabs. Anything to shorten the time between choosing a song and gigging it. How many root notes can I get away with? I love it but it ain't art. So practice routine? Load all the songs onto an Ipod (I know, how quaint) and listen to them on repeat in the car and out walking/working until the bass line is driven into my skull. Download any tabs/Chords, break down the song into parts and for any tricky bits make my own tabs. Then most of my actual practice is with headphones on playing alongside the originals. Nailing arrangements is usually more of a problem than the musical content of most cover band fare. I must admit I sometimes feel the need to break out of this cycle. It has given me a lot of pleasure getting out on stage and entertaining people and this was certainly a very quick way of getting there. There's always the next song though....
  10. Phil Starr

    Sack Truck

    I have the Lidl one. Does the job.
  11. Phil Starr

    1x12" Cab Design Diary

    Looking good, let us know how you get on at rehearsal.
  12. Video? oh goodness! It has gone hasn’t it! let me sort that. i actually have a great follow up to record too! Thank you both. I've tried it in the practice room with everything turned up to 11. it really works and you don't feel cut off from the room. Rehearsals next.
  13. Phil Starr

    Bass Cab Power to Weight Ratio ???

    There are actually two questions hidden in here. One is simply about shopping; I need a loud light cab, tell me which ones I should be looking at. The second question is about power to weight ratio and you are spot on, it is about sound output and not about how many watts the speaker can soak up. Sound output is a tricky concept as it is about frequency as much as absolute output. Our ears are much more sensitive in the frequencies of the human voice, one hundred times more sensitive more or less, that's why guitarists are so damn noisy A lot of bass cabs have some mid boost baked in, they are going to sound louder than other cabs without the baked in sound. The other thing is how much bass do you want and where do you want it. There isn't much bass in the output from a bass guitar surprisingly and very little at all below 50Hz, in fact you can generally filter it out without the audience noticing, in fact in a live situation you can usually filter it out without the bassist noticing. In terms of lightweight cabs that means you can reduce the size of the cab if you sacrifice deep bass. There's an added bonus too, you could lighten the cone if you know up front your design won't do really deep bass and that can raise the efficiency of the speaker. All I'm really trying to say here is that some cabs sound louder because of the tonal balance of the cab, if you don't want or like that tone it isn't a sensible buy for you. Always buy a cab that sounds good to you. Power handling isn't a sensible way to look at power to weight ratio. Some cabs are easily 10x better at converting watts into decibels compared to others, and decibels are what you want. Typically bass cabs vary by less than that and though there are exceptions youd expect most cabs to vary within a 94-100dB/watt range. that simply means the better cabs might give you 100dB across most of the frequency range for a 1W input and a lower efficiency cab might only give you 94dB. This is all standing straight in front of the cab and just a metre away. That 6dB is significantly louder, you'll absolutely hear a marked difference but it's not going to be twice as loud, just louder. That's at one watt, you an add more decibels by turning the tap up at the amp, at 100w they will both be a lot louder but there will still be a 6dB difference. The loudest sound they make will depend upon the power handling and the efficiency combined, how you hear it on the tonal balance as well. So lightweight? Small cabs, lightweight cab materials, complex bracing and lightweight neodymium based speakers. All adding to the cost (OK except the smaller cab) Efficient cabs, big cabs, large cone speakers or lots of speakers, large speaker magnets. Ultimately you can have light and loud but not light loud and cheap. If you are contemplating shopping though the best bet is a shortlist and then trying them
  14. Thanks for this Dan, I only just stumbled on it and had to try the idea straight away with my H4N. It works brilliantly in the practice room, can't wait to try it out at rehearsal and at a gig. I may not lose my hearing after all. Oh I can't find the video, any chance it is still available somewhere?
  15. Phil Starr

    Amp Quandry... Amp or Active PA / FRFR?

    There are a couple of places you can buy the RCF 310 Mk3 at just under £250 at the moment. RCF have introduced the Mk4 version so the 3 is a bargain, I bought two as monitors and PA use for our duo. They work well and at some time I will get round to trying them as PA (with subs) with our rock band. For the duo I go straight into them with the bass and at those levels it all sounds good, both DI'd (I've a John East J-Retro on the bass for tone shaping) and also when running through a Zoom B1ON as amp sim. I have thought of trying them as a pair as bass stack but IMO you would be pushing just a little too hard to get away with one playing alongside a full drumkit. It's pretty much the same as with a bass combo, a single 10 just isn't quite enough to get the sound levels a good 12 will just about make it at the current levels of technology.