This is a list of the top content on Live Musician Central for the year of 2009.
Well we’ve made it through another year and I hope all you live band musicians out there have had a good one. I know it’s been an interesting year for me. I’ve played some great gigs and I’ve had my share of problems in my live bands this year. All in all I can’t say it was the best year of my career as a live musician but it hasn’t been terrible by any means. Probably the greatest thing I did this year was start a live band project with my three oldest sons. Stay tuned and watch for my sons and I to be playing a gig very soon.
I figured to celebrate the end of 2009 here on Live Musician Central I would post up a list of the most viewed content over the year. It’s no surprise that my custom programmed Fender Cyber-Twin SE preset patches take the top honors. I’ve been programming my own effect racks for almost 20 years and I used that experience while programming my Fender Cyber-Twin SE amplifier. It stands to reason that every post associated with my Cyber-Twin SE amplifier downloads would be in the top viewed categories as well. So I decided to include the Amplifier Preset Downloads page at the top of the list and fill out the rest of the list with other topics that were the most popular but not related directly to the Cyber-Twin SE preset patches.
The following list is the top viewed content on Live Musician Central for the year of 2009. I’m glad that so many people have visited and I hope that you’ve all found something useful here on Live Musician Central. Here’s to a fantastic and excellent 2010!
Review of the Philosopher’s Tone compressor/sustainer guitar effects pedal from Pigtronix.
Last week I picked up the new effect pedal from Pigtronix called the Philosopher’s Tone. It’s an analog compressor/sustainer that gives you the ability to sustain your held notes for a very, very long time. I had the opportunity to use it in my live band at a gig this past weekend and figured I’d let you all know how the Philosopher’s Tone performed.
Live mixing can be tricky when it’s a small room or you have limited sound reinforcement.
In my live band we have a microphone on every drum and on every piece of equipment onstage and it’s all run through the main P.A.. It’s by far the best way to get a good mix and the best way to control your live sound level. Of course we have invested a lot of money in our live setup and we also play fairly big venues so having everything mic’ed up and mixed through the P.A. is not a problem for us. But there are times when we play a smaller room and we don’t need to mic everything up. There was even a time when all we could afford was a drumset, instruments and amplifiers and a microphone with a small P.A. for the singer. That’s when it can be tricky to get a decent live mix. So what’s the best way to get a good live mix without mic’ing everything? Here are some tips for you to help you with your small venue and and small budget live mixing.
Matt discusses the effect of the Fender 25% price increase on the average working musician.
Yes fellow musicians it’s true, Fender musical instruments has raised prices on their professional level instruments by approximately 25%. That means the American Deluxe Stratocaster you’ve been saving up to buy for $1249.00 is now going to cost you $1599.00. That’s quite a painful price increase when you’re saving up your hard earned gig money to buy a professional level Stratocaster. Is it fair for Fender to do this? Of course it is, this is America and you can charge whatever the market is willing to bear. As always, it’s the choice of the musician’s to buy or not to buy and it’s going to be very interesting to see how this is going to affect buying choices.
The Sennheiser HD380 Pro Headphones are excellent in the studio or for casual listening as well.
I’m not only a live performing musician but a studio musician and producer as well. I have tried dozens of different headphones over the years and almost invariably breathed a sigh of relief when an old pair died just so I would have an excuse to buy another pair. It seemed like finding the perfect pair of headphones was like searching for the holy grail. To be honest, I still haven’t found that perfect pair of headphones but I have found a couple headphone solutions that have kept me satisfied for a while now.
Reason 4 music production software is a must have software for all modern keyboard players. It’s invaluable in your home studio as well.
When I started playing in live bands the hottest synthesizer on the market was the Yamaha DX7. Back then it was great to have a keyboard that could play lots of notes simultaneously and do a decent job of sounding like the instrument it was emulating. Most keyboard players brought multiple keyboards to the gigs and there was a lot of setup time involved. I remember spending hours working on the perfect soundpatches for my Roland keyboards. The thing about playing keyboards is you can never have too many sound options. It was an expensive proposition to be a keyboard player as it would cost the player thousands of dollars to get the necessary equipment to play in a live band. The dream was to have racks of synthesizer modules at your disposal to create the incredible soundscapes that you could hear in your head. But only the top paid musicians could afford to live that dream. The rest of us had to make do with whatever synthesizer equipment we could afford. It’s amazing how times have changed with the development of incredibly powerful, software based synthesizers like those found in Reason 4.0.
If you’ve never heard of Reason which is developed by Propellerhead it’s basically a virtual studio rack into which you can load mixers, effects and synthesizer modules. If the equipment that you have access to in Reason 4.0 was sitting in a rack in your studio it would cost you thousands and thousands of dollars. You can place multiple copies of the same equipment into the rack to work with for sound creation. So if you want 15 analog synthesizers to work with, you got it. The virtual rack is infinitely expandable as long as your computer is powerful enough to run all the devices you can load into it. What types of devices can you load? Reason 4.0 comes with synthesizers, samplers, drum machines, REX file loop player, mixers, vocoder, studio effects, mastering tools, pattern sequencers and more! It’s amazing how many devices come in this software package. If you have the urge to load 11 compressors and 10 samplers with 5 synthesizers, you can do it. You can chain as many mixers together as you wish to mix all of your devices. You can keep adding gear until your computer chokes but it will take a lot to do that as Reason 4.0 is quite conservative on your system.
Celemony Melodyne Studio is an excellent program for timing and pitch correcting vocals as well as instruments.
A while ago I wrote a post on Live Musician Central about working with Celemony Melodyne Uno to pitch correct your vocal recordings. Melodyne Uno has been a great tool for fixing out of tune notes on my studio recordings. I have really enjoyed working with Melodyne Uno but I finally decided I wanted more features and the ability to work with multiple tracks simultaneously. So I went ahead and upgraded to Celemony Melodyne Studio 3.
Melodyne Studio 3 has been fantastic to work with. As I said, my main motivation for upgrading was the ability to work with multiple tracks simultaneously. It does this perfectly and the ability to work with multiple tracks at the same time means that my recording projects get completed a lot faster. It’s so nice to be able to compare two, three or more harmonies together while having the ability to shift individual notes in any of the lines. Being able to bounce between tracks instantly and then being able to hear how the harmonies play back is really a huge time saver. Continue reading “Advanced Vocal Pitch Correction With Celemony Melodyne Studio”
Loaded with features right from the factory, the Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster is the best guitar you can buy.
Being a guitarist in a live band, I’m constantly asked “What guitar do you play?”. The truth is I have a modest guitar collection of about 12 guitars so I play a lot of different guitars. But there is one particular model that stands out above the rest. That is my beloved Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster. I actually have two American Deluxe Strats and A Jeff Beck Signature Strat that is very similar to an American Deluxe Stratocaster. The two I’d like to talk about today are my 2004 50th Anniversary American Deluxe Stratocaster and my 2005 American Deluxe Ash Stratocaster. They are both very similar to each other and incredible guitars.
I got the 50th Anniversary American Deluxe Stratocaster when it was released in 2004 because I had always wanted a collectible guitar and I love the Stratocaster. My Jeff Beck Signature Strat had been serving me well for about 9 years and I was looking for another good guitar. The reason I got the American Deluxe version rather than the American Standard version was because I absolutely love the feature set that is on the American Deluxe Stratocaster.
Review of Behringer PMP6000/B1520 PA Package and Yamaha EMX512SC/S115V PA System including powered mixer, microphones, monitors, speakers and cables.
In a live band there are certain things you need when you play a Gig. The biggest and most important is a Public Address system. Without one you will not be able to amplify your singers properly. You just can’t get away with running the vocalist through a guitar amplifier.