For the Musicians – Gear Banter!

Live, breathe, and post about gear here. Recording Tips, Guitars, Basses, Keyboards, Drums, Mics, Effects, whatever.

15 thoughts on “For the Musicians – Gear Banter!

  1. That is a beauty. I come from a synth/engineering background, and don’t know much about guitars. Is there a resource you can recommend that helps an idiot like me learn about them–looking at them from an engineer/producer/listener perspective. You know, like which guitar/amp/pedal combinations provide certain classic sounds we all know and immediately recognize?

  2. Guitar Geek is a really cool site. Basically it describes a slew of professional musicians rigs so if you like the sound of say Eddie Van Halen you can see his entire set up which will give you an idea of how to get his particular sound.

  3. YLTwatcher, guess what? You can use Reason Adapted just as a straightforward plug-in in ProTools. Recording is a slightly different matter, however. But not that difficult.But what sucks about ProTools is that it has a hard time dealing with reverb, no matter how little I use which is silly. Maybe it’s my computer. It shouldn’t be that difficult, though.Anyone know any good drum plug-ins? For Mac?

  4. I have come to two conclusions:1) Macs no longer are better than PCs for music. 2) ProTools uses system resources like no otherThe only thing better about macs for music is that they don’t get viruses and spyware, and you don’t have to worry as much about configuring them to work right. Other than that, PCs have the advantage. They are cheaper, faster and have way more free software and plug-ins written for them.ProTools is only successful because they got there first and are therefore in all the big studios. You are somehow not a “pro” if you do not use PT on a Mac. PT is the Microsoft of DAWs. They make you use their hardware, their plug-in format, certain chipsets, hard drives, etc. You can’t use the software unless you have the audio interface hooked up, which is really silly when all you want to do is edit some tracks on the plane, and have to bring along the Hmmm-Box to basically use as nothing more than a giant dongle (my dongle is bigger than your dongle). There are so many products out there for mac and pc that are more powerful, flexible and intuitive than PT, and none of them suck up system resources. You can have way more tracks and plug-ins running on the other DAWs than in PT. There are benchmark tests out there comparing the resources used by Pro-Tools with other software, and they all kill PT for sheer number of tracks and plugs. But, like I said, all the “real” studios have pro tools. But remember, they do not have native PT LE. They have the big expensive stuff. It works really well, sounds good, is stable. But that’s because it is on a perfectly tweaked system with the PT hardware taking on most of the processing burden. I used to think I made a mistake going with a PC running Cakewalk. Now I am glad I did. Look how Apple just left everyone out to rot who has a non-Intel machine. Every few years, they change something that makes what you have obsolete and unable to run the latest stuff. OK. Rant over.

  5. I agree. I tried Pro Tools LE and the thing ate my computer, chewed it up, and spit it on the floor in pieces. I use a really really easy to use program call Makie Tracktion. I really like it because it’s easy to use, is really low on computer resources, cheap, and come bundled with amplitude, sample tank, and a bunch of other very usable plug in’s. Not bad for $200. Oh, it also has a really cool mastering plug in that works rather well. The one thing I hate about PC’s is viruses indeed. I should have never hooked it up to the internet. Even when the darn thing is sleeping it gets crap put on it. I woke up one morning and all the sudden AOL Im and MSN messenger mysteriously appeared on my desktop. And we all know those things suck for eating away computer resources if you forget to turn them off. So now I have to run spybot and register cleaner as well as defrag on a consistent basis to keep my computer running smoothly. With Tracktion I can get about 40 tracks with a couple of plug ins going before my computer starts to freak out. Not bad. I have a pretty crappy computer too.

  6. Yeah, I have heard it’s really good, as long as you don’t need much in the way of MIDI. What’s your experience using it for MIDI sequencing? Tracktion comes free with a lot of Mackie and Tapco audio interfaces. That new one Mackie has that has a base station that stays at home and a portable pod unit you take with you looks pretty cool. Actually, I bought an awesome interface recently for $399 that originally cost $1200 when they first came out. It has been totally slammed by everyone because the drivers for it used to really suck. But from what I understand now, as long as you have a compatible firewire card and maybe adjust a few things, it is very stable. I have not bought a firewire card yet, so I have only used it for its mic pre’s, which are excellent. In fact, even if you never hook up the firewire, it is worth twice the price for the mic pres alone. You can use the inserts as outs and just use it for a stereo mic preamp. It is smooth and clean with lots of gain (enough to use with ribbon mics) and people say good things about the way their bass sounds through the instrument input. It is the Yamaha I88X. The cool thing about it is that it uses a audio/MIDI networking protocol called mLAN. You can hook multiple mLAN units together and route any input to any output, etc.–all controlled by computer. I plan to eventually get the Yamaha 01X mixer/control surface to connect to it. Then I will have like 40 inputs and a ton of outputs and moving fader automation with full DAW control. Pres kinda suck on that thing, but no worse than your typical 90’s Mackie board. Another cool thing is if you take the mixer to a gig, it remembers the way you had it configured the last time it was hooked to your computer. Or you can take a laptop with you to change how things are routed. both come with some cool plugins.

  7. ya know, I don’t do much with midi at all. MIDI has always sort of escaped me. I’m still doing everything the ‘ol fashioned way. Do you know of any good MIDI tutorial sites where I could learn more on it’s uses? Right now I just run some synth stuff through midi and it works fine, but I have never pushed Tracktions midi to it’s limit to say the least. I use a Boss DR-880 for a drum machine and I love it. It sounds real and I can program that thing to get all my drum sounds…which are very realistic. Especially when you play the pads themselves as the pads are touch sensitive so it gives a very real feel to the drum parts. And the sounds are very realistic. I guess that’s why I don’t do much sequencing or MIDI work.

  8. I really don’t. I’m not trying to sound smug, but I have been using MIDI since 1988, so I don’t really need to look up stuff very often. Actually, I am by no means an expert, and the stuff I do with MIDI is pretty unsophisticated, but I get by. Usually, when I run into problems, it’s because Cakewalk won’t do what I want to do with MIDI controllers (or I can’t figure out how to make it do what I want) or I need to look up what controller number does what, and what value ranges are associated with it. That’s about it.

  9. Hey, Mahsheet, I know you have been talking about getting some new mics. Well, if you are thinking about also getting a new audio interface, you need to check out this deal:http://www.bayviewproaudio.com/FirePod_w__free_Cascade_Microphones_and_BPA_cables-p-22446.htmlThey give you one LDC, two SDC’s, and mic cables when you buy a firepod interface (and they have the same low price as everyone else). Plus Presonus is giving away a headphone amp free when you buy the Firepod. That’s a good deal.

  10. Holy Crap! That’s a heck of a deal! I was looking at the Presonus FirePod for a long time waiting for the price to come down. I love all those inputs, but now bundled with those mics!? And I’ve heard nothing but great things about the FirePod. Thanks for the link!

  11. I have never heard the mics, but so far, all I have read from people is that they are pretty much the best of the value, Chinese-made mics out there, with great stateside quality control. If I had not just bought a similar firewire interface, I would jump on this one myself.

  12. Hey, AES is happening in SF this year, and TapeOp can get you a free badge (while supplies last). If you do not subscribe to TapeOp, you should. It is free, if you don’t mind it being sent 4th class mail. If you do mind, it is not that expensive. It is absolutely the most useful recording magazine I have ever seen. The editor is a real studio owner based in Portland, and he created the magazine because he wished something like it existed when he was starting out–and he says he still learns from it himself. A very nice, unassuming guy. Anyway, their latest newsletter said the following:Tape Op will be exhibiting at the 121st AES (That’s the Audio EngineeringSociety) Convention to be held October 6-8, 2006 in San Francisco, CA.We’d like to offer you a free badge to get into the conference!So, come on out, check out all the great exhibits (More freakin’ audio gearin one room than you’ve ever seen in your life), meet the designers of thatgear and meet us, the folks who make Tape Op magazine.Go here to get your free badge, but don’t lag, registration expires soon:http://www.aes.org/events/121/vip.cfm?246

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