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”

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”

Foo Fighters Concert Review Salt Lake City – October 11, 2011

Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters rocked the Maverick Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on October 11, 2011.

Dave Grohl Playing Maverick Center Salt Lake City
Dave Grohl Playing Lucite Dan Armstrong Ampeg Guitar

   I was seventeen years old when I bought my first two Foo Fighters albums. Their debut self titled album and their second, “The Colour and the Shape”. I listened to it locked in my bedroom so my parents wouldn’t hear as they thought I was headed the wrong direction by listening to what they considered to be loud and unorganized rock music. Yet it seems over the last thirteen years the Foo Fighters have been the most consistent for me, never letting me down with what they have to offer. That is why on October 11, 2011, I was not going to miss seeing them at the Maverick Center in West Valley City, Utah.   Continue reading “Foo Fighters Concert Review Salt Lake City – October 11, 2011”

Death Cab For Cutie Concert Review: Salt Lake City August 22, 2011

Death Cab For Cutie played a tight and full sounding show in Salt Lake City on August 22, 2011.

Death Cab For Cutie Live
Death Cab For Cutie at Maverick Center, August 22, 2011

   One of my favorite live bands is Death Cab For Cutie who came to play in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Maverick Center on August 22, 2011. I’m a big fan of Death Cab’s albums and Ben Gibbard’s excellent songwriting. Their albums are always a nice mix of good rock songs mixed with some mellow, dreamlike music. The albums are always very well produced so it’s very interesting to see how their songs translate live. Can Death Cab For Cutie bring it for a live show?   Continue reading “Death Cab For Cutie Concert Review: Salt Lake City August 22, 2011”

Line 6 X2 XDS95 Wireless Guitar System Review

The Line 6 X2 XSS95 has fantastic sound quality, good reliability and is very inexpensive. Here’s the review.

Line 6 X2 XDS95 Wireless Instrument System
Line 6 X2 XDS95 Wireless Guitar System

   I’ve recently been playing in a live band with my Son’s called Bonne Nuit and they were quite envious of my Shure wireless guitar system. I decided to get them their own wireless guitar systems and decided on the Line 6 X2 XDS95 Wireless Guitar System. I got two XDS95’s, one for my bass player and one for my rhythm guitar player. My choice was based mainly on the low price and the fact that this is a full digital wireless guitar system. I have been extremely pleased with this wireless guitar system in terms of reliability and especially in terms of sound quality. It’s one purchase I have never regretted. The following review was written by my son Erik Rushton.   Continue reading “Line 6 X2 XDS95 Wireless Guitar System Review”

Paul McCartney Las Vegas Concert Review June 10, 2011

Paul McCartney played live in Las Vegas to a capacity crowd that included Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon and Olivia Harrison.

Paul McCartney On Projection Screen Las Vegas June 10, 2011
Paul McCartney Live in Las Vegas June 10, 2011

   Paul McCartney and his current touring live band made a tour stop at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas , Nevada on June 10, 2011 as part of his Up And Coming tour. The crowd consisted of every age demographic from children to great-grandparents. McCartney’s appeal is universal as his music spans 4 decades with hits all along the way.   Continue reading “Paul McCartney Las Vegas Concert Review June 10, 2011”

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