Mackie 2404-VLZ3 Mixer Review

Review of the Mackie 2404-VLZ3 mixing console which is a 24-channel mixer.

Mackie 2404-VLZ3 mixing console
Mackie 2404-VLZ3 Mixer

One of the very most important pieces of equipment that will affect the sound of your live band is your mixing console. I recently upgraded to the Mackie 2404-VLZ3 24-channel mixer. This mixer features 24 channels with 20 of those channels being XDR2 microphone channels and 4 channels being grouped on two faders as stereo channels. The mixer also features two built-in effects units that feature 24 separate effect presets. The mixer also features 8 separate compressors.

One feature that really sold me on this mixer was the built-in compression. There are four compressors located on channels 17-20 which is great for adding compression to individual instruments like the kick drum or bass guitar. There are four more compressors located on the four sub-group channels. Having the compressors located on the four sub-group channels is great for adding overall compression to the instruments or vocals. I route my vocal mix to sub-groups 1 and 2 and then add compression on those faders. I do the same with my instrument mix on sub-groups 3 and 4. I love the compression feature of this mixer!   Continue reading “Mackie 2404-VLZ3 Mixer Review”

55th Annual Grammy Awards Review 2013

Review of the live performances at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards Show held on February 10, 2013.

Katy Perry arrives at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards
Katy Perry arrives at the 55th annual Grammy awards

After last year’s Grammy Awards I said I wasn’t going to watch it anymore. It’s long, it’s tedious and the speeches are almost universally boring. But it’s those moments when an artist really nails a live performance or when something truly meaningful is said during an acceptance speech that brought me back to the grammies once again this year. I always like to see if I can decide if a performance is live or if it’s just a fancy lip-synch dance number. So I watched the show hoping for an amazing performance or even a great joke or memorable acceptance speech. The show was broadcast on February 10, 2013 and this is how the whole night went down.

This year’s awards were hosted by LL Cool J and kicked off with a performance by none other than Taylor Swift. I guess they wanted an entire show to recover from a bad performance if need be. Continue reading “55th Annual Grammy Awards Review 2013”

55th Annual Grammy Award Nominees 2013

The 55th annual Grammy Award nominees in the top categories. Brodacast on February 10, 2013.

Bruno Mars Performing
Bruno Mars will perform at the 55th annual Grammy Awards on Febuary 10, 2013.

The Grammy awards will be broadcast on February  10, 2013. These are the nominees in the most popular categories for the 55th annual Grammy awards.

Record of the Year

  • Lonely Boy – The Black Keys
  • Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – Kelly Clarkson
  • We Are Young – Fun. featuring Janelle Monae
  • Somebody That I Used To Know – Gotye featuring Kimbra
  • Thinkin Bout You – Frank Ocean
  • We Are Never Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift Continue reading “55th Annual Grammy Award Nominees 2013”

Shure SE215 Sound Isolating Earphones Review

The Shure SE215 sound isolating earphones sound great but they just don’t fit as well as the SE115 did.

Shure SE-215 Earphones
Shure SE215 Sound Isolating Headphones

I have been using the Shure SE115 sound isolating earphones in my live band and at the gym for about 3 years now. They have been great headphones and I’ve really loved them. I finally wore through the cord where it passes over my ears and it’s impossible to only replace the cord in that area on the SE115’s. So I decided to purchase the new Shure SE215 sound isolating earphones which have replaced the SE115 product. I was so happy with the SE115’s that I felt confident that the SE215’s could easily replace them.

Continue reading “Shure SE215 Sound Isolating Earphones Review”

84th Annual Academy Awards Musical Performance Review

Review of the 84th Annual Academy Awards held on February 26, 2012. There were no musical performances of any note.

Meryl Streep Best Actress For The Iron Lady
Meryl Streep Wins Best Actress For "The Iron Lady"

Every year I watch the Academy Awards to see the musical performances of the songs nominated for Best Original Song. One thing I love about musical performances at the Oscar Awards is the fact that they are all live performances. The 2012 Oscars featured only two nominees for Best Original Song which was kind of a bummer because there were bound to be fewer musical performances.

This year the songs nominated for Best Original Song were:

Continue reading “84th Annual Academy Awards Musical Performance Review”

54th Annual Grammy Awards Review 2012

Review of the live performances at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards Show held on February 12, 2012.

Adele Performing at the 2012 Grammy Awards
Adele Performs At The 54th Annual Grammy Awards

I said I wasn’t going to watch the 54th Annual Grammy awards this year. I really hate the industry love-fest they have. But I love to hear how live bands and singers do on awards shows. It’s always fun to try and guess who’s lip-synching and who has the chops to pull it off live. So how did the performers fare at the 54th annual Grammy awards show? Let’s break it all down here.

The show took place on February 12, 2012 and opened with Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street band. Bruce looked excellent and he’s keeping himself in great shape. His voice was strong although maybe not as cutting as in the past. The band sounded great though. It was sad to see him without the great Clarence Clemons. Bruce did a live performance and it was a great way to start the show.   Continue reading “54th Annual Grammy Awards Review 2012”

Madonna Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show Review

Madonna Performs Vogue
Madonna Performs At Super Bowl XLVI

The commercials were pretty lame on the way to halftime and the first half of the  game was less than inspirational. It was up to Madonna to blow the roof off of Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis with her live performance. The vital statistics for the halftime show are 8 minutes to set the show up, 12 minutes to blow the world’s minds and 7 minutes to take the show down. Madonna was quoted as saying “That’s a lot of pressure.” So how did the 53-year old Queen Of Pop do in her Super Bowl halftime performance?

In recent years the NFL has stuck with the more seasoned performers for their Super Bowl halftime shows. Ever since the infamous Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfunction” which gave the world an eyeful of a healthy breast the NFL has played it pretty safe. Madonna was admittedly a bit riskier performer than Paul McCartney, Prince or even the Black-Eyed Peas as she has been known to stir up controversy in the past.   Continue reading “Madonna Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show Review”

Snark SN-2 Clip On Tuner Review

The Snark-SN2 chromatic tuner makes tuning any instrument quick and easy. Tune guitars, bass, saxophone, trumpets, oboes, violins and more!

Snark SN-2 Chromatic Clip-On Tuner
Snark SN-2 Chromatic Clip-On Tuner

I’m always looking for good pieces of music equipment that will make my life easier playing in my live band. I’ve never been a fan of having to plug a tuner into my signal chain with my guitar. I also get tired of unplugging my guitar and then plugging it into a tuner over and over through a gig. Enter the Snark SN-2 digital clip-on tuner. This convenient tuner solves both of these problems easily.

The Snark SN-2 tuner clips directly onto your electric guitar or bass and senses the vibrations from the strings to give it an accurate reading of your instruments tuning. The Snark SN-2 will also clip onto any acoustic instrument including guitars, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, oboe or anything that vibrates. The Snark SN-2 also has a built-in microphone so you can tune keyboards with it as well. It’s a chromatic tuner with extended frequency range so it will read any note on the scale and tell you whether you are in tune or not.   Continue reading “Snark SN-2 Clip On Tuner Review”

The Hairbrush Chronicles – Part 2 Lighting The Fire

In part 2, Alisha Sabin continues her story of wanting to sing in a live band and chasing her dream.

Alisha Sabin Live Singer 12th Grade
Alisha Sabin - Singer

   “Really?  You are going to make all of our customers listen to your band’s EP?”  That is the nice version on what I said to Quinn Allman.  We worked at a miniature golf course in our hometown of Pleasant Grove, Utah.  Quinn and I went to high school together and graduated from the same class.  I don’t remember much about him other than the fact that he skated around and didn’t talk to very many people.  Seemed like an outsider.  Now he is the guitarist of The Used.  During the time we worked together he and his live band were just getting started.  Their non-produced music sounded awful to me and I wondered how it would ever become popular.  It just goes to show what a live performance can do. The story as far as I know goes like this…John Feldmann of Goldfinger saw them perform, loved them and produced their first album.  From what I can recall the music he played at work sounded nothing like what they play now.  I like what they play now.  Continue reading “The Hairbrush Chronicles – Part 2 Lighting The Fire”

Introducing Alisha Sabin

Alisha Sabin will be writing articles as an author on Live Musician Central.

Alisha Sabin Performing Live
Alisha Sabin

   Hi all of you live musician’s out there on the world wide web. I’m very excited today to introduce a new author on Live Musician Central. Alisha Sabin will be writing a series of articles chronicling her experience playing in a live band. Alisha has been singing in her very first live rock band and it just happens to be my band Bonne Nuit. So be sure to watch Live Musician Central to read about Alisha’s fascinating journey taking her from singing into her hairbrush in front of her bedroom mirror to taking the stage for a live performance with a real rock band.

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