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Messages - COF

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General Discussion / Re: You can throw roses!
« on: December 11, 2018, 15:47:28 PM »
If you did not keep me so busy I would have time to check the site!
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Gear Reviews / Behringer XAir-X18 Digital Mixer/interface
« on: December 11, 2018, 14:31:17 PM »
When my band recorded our last album, we were using an 8 channel interface, which made us struggle with only 4 inputs to mic up the drum kit.  I was faced with a few choices for increasing the number of inputs for our next go around.  One option was to use an ADAT  channel strip for $400-$500 to add 8 more inputs.  Another option would be to purchase a 16+ channel interface, which get very expensive beyond 8 inputs. At the same time, my tired old back was struggling to haul our huge analog mixer in its flight case to our gigs.  I had been shopping for both a digital mixer *and* a channel strip.  That's when my research led me to the Behringer XAir-X-18.

The XAir-X18 is an 18 channel digital mixer that doubles as an 18 channel digital interface.  Two birds, one stone.  I'll be honest, I've been very leary of Behringer products in the past.  They haven't always been known for their quality, but I've been forced to admit that a lot has changed.  At this point, I find the X-Air such an important piece of gear that I don't know how I lived without it.

Initially, I was worried about the quality of the preamps, as I do a LOT of recording.  My previous unit had fabulous preamps, and I was very afraid that the preamps on the XAir wouldn't be up to snuff.  The pramps on the XAir unit are designed by Midas, which makes excellent quality gear.  My concern was that 'designed by' meant that it was something Midas would never put their own name on.  Come to find out that Midas released their own version of the rack mount XR18, which was simply a rebadged unit at twice the price.  I have found that these preamps, while a tiny bit bright, are also extremely clear.  While recording my acoustic guitar, these preamps were clear enough to show me a problem that was buried by the color of my old preamps.  In a back-to-back test, I could see the same range peaking in the spectrum analyzer, but it was much more clear listening back when using the Behringer.

Another great thing about this unit is that it is small and light.  Anyone who's been in this business for any length of time knows that easy to transport gear is a blessing.  Gone are the days of breaking my back hauling around a massive analog mixer.

In regards to features, this thing is loaded.  Tons of built in DSP such as EQ, Gates, compression, reverb, chorus, delay, etc, etc..  Tons of modeled effects.  If I were to list them all, I'd be at this all day.  It also has a 100 band graphic EQ/spectrum analyzer  that makes it extremely easy to ring out feedback in with pinpoint accuracy on a narrow frequency when playing live.

It also allows you to save scenes, so if you play a number of different venues, or mix for a number of different bands, you can save the settings for the band or venue and quickly reload it without having to set everything up from scratch.

I have to admit, however, that learning how to configure the routing was a chore.  I had to RTFM and supplement that with a lot of youtoob vids.  I do have to say, however, that if the device can do it, Behringer probably has a professional quality instructional video on how to do it on youtoob.  The vids were tremendously helpful initially in getting everything setup.

This unit does not come with a control surface.  You can use any IOS or Android tablet or phone to control the device by downloading and installing the control app.  As you can have more than once control surface connected at once, you can allow each band member to control his own monitor mix with his/her cell phone!  It comes with its own internal wireless router.  However, the internal wireless router is one of the weak points of this unit.  If you are in a large venue with a lot of smartphones, you can have issues with the control surface disconnecting from the internal wireless router.   While it's possible to use a wireless frequency scanner and set it to a channel with less traffic, the best solution is to plug a more robust external router into the ethernet port on the back of the device.

This is such an incredibly capable device that has SO many features, I'm sure there are some things I'm missing.  If anyone has any questions, feel free to post up and I'll answer as best I can.
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Gear Reviews / Stewmac Original Z File
« on: December 08, 2018, 13:15:16 PM »
For anyone that does, or is thinking about doing their own fret work: the Original Z File is about as fool proof as it gets for re crowning your leveled frets. Now you can do immaculate work with a 3 corner file, but it’s a skill that takes time to get repeatable results.

The channel in the Z File is angled in such a way that the File never comes in contact with the top of the fret. This is crucial, because if you nick the top, you have to re level all the frets; or best case, create a “fall away” if it happens to be high up the board.

There are 3 Z Files available from Stewmac. I only have the original; but I imagine the other 2 are just as awesome for their purpose. There are a few easily searchable YT vids for anyone interested in more info. Cost is roughly $100, and is well worth it if you maintain multiple guitars.
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Recording and Production / Re: Experiencing a weird issue with recording
« on: December 05, 2018, 16:08:12 PM »
What you really need is an interface.  You can get by with a cheap mic... Believe it or not, I mic up my cabs with $39 GLS Audio ES-57's.  While I *do* own some more expensive mics, the ES-57's work a treat.

You can get a reasonable starter audio interface in the $100~ range.  Before I knew anything about this stuff, I was completely skeptical about audio interfaces.  I'm a computer guy, computer hardware should be good enough, right?  Nope.  There's no way I can possibly express the difference.  You simply need an interface.  If I know a little more about what you want to record now, and what your plans are for the next year in regards to what you want to record, I can offer some suggestions as to some decent starter interfaces.  How many instruments are you planning on recording at one time?  Are you planning on using a keyboard controller for soft synths?  For the record, when I'm putting my tracks together and recording the initial scratch track, I never use less than 2 inputs.  I've always got one mic on the guitar and one in my face.  More if I've got my drum machine going along with the scratch track.  I narrow that down to 1 mic when I'm doing the overdubs.

Next, we need to get you away from Audacity and onto a real DAW.  Bandlab now offers the entire Cakewalk Pro suite for free here.

Hit me back with info on what you're looking to do and I'll send you some interface recommendations.
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Recording and Production / Re: Experiencing a weird issue with recording
« on: December 05, 2018, 14:13:17 PM »
Thanks, Buddha. Yeah, onboard sound card is what I meant. Maybe I'll pick up a sound card and throw it in the pc. Sounds like there isn't much point in buying a high-end one if you couldn't tell much difference between the two. That's good to know.

It probably is the mic as I just picked up a cheap one figuring it couldn't be any worse than the one in my phone. I didn't expect the volume swells or whatever it is that's happening though. It's rather annoying! I'll do some experimentation later today at various distances to see if it is interference. Barring that what's a reasonable price point for a decent mic? I know nothing about what I should be looking for when it comes to microphones.

Ed: Oops, guess I should have posted this on the recording board. Didn't see it right off. Feel free to move the post there if you like.
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Recording and Production / Experiencing a weird issue with recording
« on: December 05, 2018, 00:14:48 AM »
So I picked up a cheap mic because recording on the cell phone, uploading the recording and downloading it again is kind of a pain in the butt. Anyway, I'm placing the mic in front of my amp and recording it into the computer via Audacity. I'm getting this weird oscillating effect from somewhere and I'm not sure what is causing it. It's a weird fading in and out effect.

Oscilationeffect - Instaudio

Is it because of the cheapy mic? Or do I have some settings I need to adjust somewhere? I don't have a sound card so the recording is being processed on the motherboard of my computer; maybe it's that? Anyone have any ideas?
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General Discussion / Re: You can throw roses!
« on: December 02, 2018, 17:01:31 PM »
LOL Read 42 times.

I'd call you an attention whore but that'd be mean and that's kinda what you're supposed to be doing. Keep 'em eating from the palm of your hand, kid.

Also, blame @COF if you don't like tonight's movie.
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General Discussion / Re: You can throw roses!
« on: December 01, 2018, 16:32:35 PM »
LOL Hun, I'm a horrible influence. At least you started off in style!

"I am EH, hear me roar!"

Well, gents... If a LITTLE GIRL can start making posts and sharing, what's stopping you?

You did a great job, kid. Even the mix is good to my ears. A little bit heavy with #1 at the 2nd solo, maybe tone it down a bit and let the acoustic through a little more. Did you keep the .wav files?

Disclosure: I wasn't sure what she was going to do with this song. She was like, "I can play that. That's easy!" Then she told me I had to do the rhythm and the backup guitar parts 'cause she still has trouble multi-tracking to her own playing. The metronome is not yet an innate sense!

That blinking light is there to remind you. The true timing actually comes from inside, not from the light. Still, she's getting better at using minimum force. She's not hammering on the strings, so you get the clean tones. She is my understudy in whom I am well pleased.

Also, she can post here all she wants. We are firm believers in nepotism! Fuck with her and I will cut you!
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General Discussion / You can throw roses!
« on: December 01, 2018, 15:54:18 PM »
Dr. G played #2 and #3. I played lead #1.Nickelback rockstar (eh #1 & tb #2 #3) - Instaudio
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General Discussion / Dedication!
« on: November 30, 2018, 15:33:07 PM »

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Don't give up on this forum, Buddha. I'm hoping that it gets wheels. You've got me excited to engage in breaking my rut and having fun playing the guitar again and this is the venue I'm hoping will do it for me.
It's not up to me, really. I won't give up on it, that's for sure. But, it's just like the FNGT. I just put it here and get it started. It's up to you folks to make it into something special.

When I started the weekly guitar threads, it was often pretty much just me sharing - sometimes only a few comments from one or two other people. I didn't give up then. I don't give up easily, actually. I built it as a framework, figuring it could do some good for people that really wanted to spend some effort working on and teaching their musicianship.

(I found a bug! Quote doesn't work in quick reply! I'm not going to try to squish it tonight.)
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