Being a guitar player and using very voltage sensitive amplifiers, I have always struggled with getting good clean power to my equipment. Bad power can cause all sorts of problems from strange noises to complete equipment failure. Today I’m going to recommend the power conditioner I use on my guitar rig, the
Furman PL-Plus II Power Conditioner with Voltmeter.
First off, let me say that I love my music loud! As I mentioned in an earlier post I take protecting my hearing very seriously so I like to know exactly how loud things are. Today I’m going to talk about Sound Level Meters or SPL Meters. They’re also known as Decibel Meters and are very useful in many situations.
One of the most important pieces of advice I can give to young musicians is simply to take good care of your hearing. I was diagnosed with a hearing loss when I was 16 years old and had only been playing in a band a couple of years. I was still pretty careless with my hearing for much of my early career. Finally the hearing specialists started telling me I needed hearing aids. That got my attention and I’ve been very careful with my hearing the last 15 years or so.
The best thing I’ve done for my hearing is to get a pair of custom molded, sonic filter type earplugs made specially for musicians. I have the Westone ES49 Custom Fit Earplugs. Mine are a light tan color and are barely visible from the audience. They sound fantastic and because they are custom molded to my ear they’re extremely comfortable.
There are a lot of people out there talking about the new Gibson Robot Guitar. If you’re unfamiliar with this guitar let me tell you a little bit about it. The Robot Guitar is essentially a Gibson Les Paul Studio model. From a distance it looks just like a plain old Les Paul. From the front, the only thing that really looks different is one of the tone knobs. Once you take a closer look you’ll notice that the tuners look normal from the front but from the rear they’re bigger. That’s because each tuner has its own motor that will tighten or loosen the strings automatically. What’s surprising is the tuners don’t actually weigh any more than a standard tuner. They’re controlled by a pair of CPU’s that are connected to tuning sensors built into the bridge. All these components work together to automatically tune the Gibson Robot Guitar.
This is my favorite bass guitar of all time. It’s such a simple instrument with a simple design and setup that it’s surprising how many things there are to love about it. Body and scale wise it’s the bass version of the Fender Stratocaster. When it originally came out in 1951 it didn’t have the excellent body contouring that it has now. They gave the Precision Bass the comfortable body contouring in 1953. The Precision Bass actually helped spawn the design of the Fender Stratocaster. The Precision Bass was the first Fender offering to have the double cutaway design and the body contouring, both of which went on to be incorporated into the design of the Fender Stratocaster. The P-Bass is still selling today, 57 years after its introduction. It has helped shape the sound of all modern music.
When I was first learning how to play songs by ear from the original recordings it was a huge struggle for me. I was trained to read music from a young age and playing by ear was a whole new world for me. I remember sitting on my bed and working on a song for several hours before I finally had it down. The hardest thing of all was learining how to play the guitar solos. The notes flew by so fast that I couldn’t begin to pick them out.
This is a great question and the answer is easy. You should run as many of the instruments as you can through the P.A.. It’s the best way to get an even live sound when your band plays. There are a lot of advantages to having everything running through the P.A. and it’s a must if you have a live soundman.
The biggest advantage of running everything through the P.A. is the fact that you have a central location to control the overall mix of your band. Your soundman can’t do much if all the guitar amps are running louder on the stage than the singer coming through the P.A. and the soundman can’t control them. Continue reading “How Many Instruments Should I Run Through The P.A.?”
Review and recommendation of the Shure SM57 Dynamic Microphone. It’s the best in the world at instrument micing.
If you’ve been in any recording studio or seen any band live with microphones on the guitar amps, you’ll have seen the Shure SM57 Instrument Microphone. This mic is a dandy! (and I don’t say “dandy” very often). My experience with the Shure SM57 has been nothing but positive. The microphone is tougher than nails and my guitar amp sounds fantastic with my pair of SM57’s on it.