Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Top 5 Things Your New Band Needs To Do

1. Pracitce- Well this goes without saying, but if you are going to be playing some music, practice. Practice should be one or two times a week. if you band needs more then that to get some songs together; you are not good enough.
2. Record- Before you can get your first gig you need to get a few songs recorded. Three to five songs would be the perfect amount. They do not need to be done in a pro studio but you should also not be using your 1982 fisher price mic into a Boom Box. You can do some fine recordings with some cheap gear.
3. Website- You should get a yourbandname.com. If that name is not available, then maybe you should change your name because I would bet that some other band is using it. You can register and set up the website via Godaddy.com. if you don't know how to code a website, have the link point to a Myspace page. Your band should have a myspace page anyways.
4. Promote- once you get a show make sure you promote that show. You should make sure it is advertised on any and all websites you can update with the information. Most local papers have an online form for submitted events. You can also contact their "Arts" department and ask for a full story. You would be surprised how many local papers are dying to write a full length article about your band.
5. Gear- Everyone in your band should have decent gear. Does it need to be top of the line? NO! but it does need to be reliable. It may be time for an upgrade if a band memeber has a 1997 squire strat with original strings plugged into a small practice amp.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ampeg BA115 Bass Combo

What a great amp for a cheap price. It has 100 watts of power so this is great for playing out, recording or at home practicing.
If you are playing out with a band, this is the amp for you.  It has a balanced xlr output so no need to use a direct box! If you are playing out you are most likely going to be using the XLR output to run direct to the board and then also mic'ing your amp (with a sm57). It also has enough power to give you a nice monitor for your sound. plus IT IS LIGHT! So you won't toss out your back when you are dragging it from your basement to your car and then into the club.
Tone: It has the tone that you would except from an Ampeg. However, the tone switch is really just a piece of crap. There are 5 tones settings, that I guess you could use, But I did not like them. It takes a while to fine a good tone and these switches just seemed to mess is all up. I suggest using the three control knobs for the best control.
Check out Musicians Friend to buy your own!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Daddies Junky Music

This is something that has bothered me for a number of years. I LOVE going to music shops, and I do spend a lot of money at them. However, The service generally sucks. The store I am picking on today is Daddies Junky Music. I should mention that I am primarily referring to the Manchester location since this is the one I frequent the most.
Now, I understand that a majority of the employee's that work here are making less money then what I made at my part time job in high school but that doesn't mean that they get the right to be mean. They are just sometimes the rudest people and have no sense of customer service. They think that because the work at a music store they are automatically given some license to be rude to people. They also think they know more then you.. and let me tell you... they don't.
I recently went looking for a Shure SM57. If you don't know what one is, then you need to read up on them... but basically it is the most popular mic...ever. It is like looking for a Fender Strat or something like that (if you do not know what a Fender Strat is, then well... Maybe you can get a Job at Daddies). So I am getting off topic; anyway, I asked if they had an SM57. Then proceeded to tell me how that was a piece of junk and I needed to get a *(&&***** instead (i wish I could tell you what he suggested but stopped listening to him). I wanted an SM57 I know they are not the best mic, i know they are overrated, I know all of this... but everyone NEEDs to own a few; just like you NEED to have a strat. It is just standard equipment.
Lets get to the major problem of the customer service, it is not that they should not suggest other pieces of equipment but it is that he is wrong. Just wrong. The basis of his evaluation was that "everyone likes sm57s; so I can't like SM57s" You know the type. They need to not like something just because other people like it.
Now, you might be thinking you disagree with me, you might think SM57s suck, well I agree with you... I own quite a few mic that are cheaper and better. but you NEED SM57s.. go buy one!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

MXL 990 Condenser Microphone

The MXL 990 Condenser Microphone is a must have for any band or do it yourself recording person. It is a cheap mic with a great sound. If your band is doing a DIY release and thinking of recording on your own, use this mic. It rocks. Just make sure you have phantom power!
I used this mic in combination with a Roland VS-1880 and was very please with its performance with recording a wide variety of instruments and vocals. I started off by using in on a vocal track.
For vocals the mic is great. You definitely need to get a pop filter or you will peak the meters on your P's. The mic has no color added and it will sound exactly as your ear hears it. Don't expect for the MXL 990 to add color like a tube or ribbon mic.
Next I tried this on a bass and electric guitar. It worked for both very well but much better on the bass. I experimented with a number of different locations but I could never get a great sound on the guitar. For the bass though, no matter where the mic was placed, the sound was great.
Wanting to see how this baby would be as a solo mic for a band to record an entire album, i tried it on the drums. I used two of these as overheads and got pretty much what I expected. the snare and cymbals rang out and the toms were very soft in the mix. next I tried one mic placed about 20 feet away from the drums and 3 feet off the ground. BOY WAS I SURPRISED. The drums actually sounded pretty good. It would not be the way i would normally record drums but if you NEEDED to , you definitely could record the drums this way.
if you are looking to buy one take a look at Musicians Friend....

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

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Check out WitchezBrew.Com