Monday, January 25, 2010

Saturday in Staten Island

I had a great time on Saturday.  We played a Hit Me With It gig at the Dugout in Staten Island.  It was Ann Marie Nacchio, Andy Ascolese, Chris Kuffner and me.  It was great to hear Chris play again.  We had a lot of fun.

I know that lately, Staten Island has been the punchline of every east coast guido joke in mainstream media, but I gotta say that I definitely saw another side of my beloved hometown on Saturday.  It was getting late and I looked out into crowd and saw nothing but talented people.  Every person in the audience was a badass.  We were playing the song "I Wish" by Stevie Wonder and we were jamming on the Ebm7 to Ab7.  Chris just played a fantastic bass solo and then I decided to try a little audience participation.  I had a wireless on my guitar.  I went out into the crowd, and started handing the guitar around.  Everyone who played took a great solo.  Not good...great.  No one did a few stock licks, they were all hitting chord tones while playing amazing rhythmic stuff.  I just thought to myself, "Where else can this happen?"  Sure, Staten Island has its fair share of Jersey Shore cast members, (I have no problem with them) but it also has a wealth of great talent, and that often gets overshadowed by the stereotypes. This isn't a complaint, it's an observation.

By the way, I'm now referring to my belly as "The Situation."  Time to fill "The Situation" with some pizza.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

NAMM Day 4

I heard Rivera amps today. I thought they were very good. To my ears it sounded like a fender with modern attitude. The EQ worked well and there was plenty of gain.

I checked out Melodyne again. It was supposed to be released around the last NAMM show but it just came out in November, so I guess it still counts a new product. Melodyne is mind blowing! You can edit polyphonic audio files. If you play a chord on guitar, you can edit the individual notes of the chord. You can edit time pitch and vibrato. It's awesome.

I saw a neat double bass drum pedal called Dualist. It's one pedal that has 2 beaters. When you release the pedal the 2nd beater hits. Sure, it's like cheating, but I'm a crappy drummer and have no problem cheating.

I looked at a small 8 input soundcraft mixer that looked good. It was surprisingly small considering the amount of features it has. It looks like it might be a good move for live pa on a bar gig.

I wish I could write something about guitars, but I feel like most of the guitars I looked at were way overpriced. I don't really feel comfortable paying over 3 grand for a guitar, so I don't think I'll mention those companies, even though they had some nice stuff. I did order another music man. You can beat their quality and price.

I had a very good show overall. I got hooked up with some great companies and I can honestly say that I've never seen so many giant breasts in one place in my entire life! It was very hard to stay focused, but I was able to work through it.


NAMM Day 3

I listened to a lot of amps today. The 1 watt Bugera was pretty cool. It sounded like a loud amp but at a low volume.

Blackstar amps were also really good sounding. They had a great tonal quality, and nice gain.

I went back to ENGL for the 9th time today and tried out their 1 rack space tube preamp. It was amazing like everything else they make. I spoke to the guys from the company, and I have a feeling that I will soon be an ENGL endorsee.

Voodoo labs makes a box that will use midi program changes to switch channels or any other 1/4 inch relay switch. It's awesome.

I played a cool bass ukulele that was one of the most fun instruments to play.

Peterson has a guitar (and a bass) to midi box that is monophonic. It's very small and works well.

I was invited to play at a jam tonight with Chris Slade, Alan White, Liberty Devito, Jimy Sohns, and more. It was a lot of fun.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

NAMM day 2

I spent most of the day rehearsing for Icons of Rock Jam, but I did get a little browsing in.

Jamlink is a little box that allows you jam with other musicians over the internet in real time. I jammed with someone in San Francisco while I was 400 miles away in Anaheim. There was a slight latency, but it wasn't enough to be disruptive. Supposedly, you can link up with relatively low latency up to 500 miles away. It was pretty cool, and opens up some interesting possibilities.

I played a funky Lakland bass with a short scale. It had a crazy retro look to it and played really well.

I saw an amazing presentation by Rudy Sarzo on how to make 3d videos in Sony Vegas. It's really easy to do and I plan on experimenting with it when I get home.

More to come tomorrow!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

NAMM Day 1

I saw a lot of cool stuff today. As usual, I was most impressed by TC electronic. Their new polyphonic tuner pedal is great. You strum all of your strings at once and it gives you 6 LEDs that meter all 6 strings simultaneously. Awesome. Their nova delay pedal is also amazing.

Engl amps are fucking amazing. I need to get one. It's not capabable of getting a bad sound. All their stuff is also midi controllable which I love! I loved their 4 channel head and the combo too.

Music Man had a good showing. The dual humbucker Albert Lee is really nice. It sounds great. I really like the new 5 string Big Al bass. It has guitar-player friendly string spacing. If I was doing more bass gigs, I'd probably jump at it. I got my eye on a few things from Music Man.

The new soft synth player from Muse is really nice. I think I will have to convince BOC to buy it. It holds software plugins and it's only about the size of a lunch box. Very cool.

I'm a bit jetlagged, and overwhelmed from the first day, so I'm having a little trouble remembering some of the stuff I saw.

More to come tomorrow,