Saturday, November 26, 2016

2016-11-27 9 Volt Batteries are from HELL!!!

Fellow Weekend Warriors,

Here is a pressing issue which seems to be greatly understood by a lot of people. -especially beginners.

"OMG Trashed, I don't want [insert active pickup here] because they will frequently need batterizz."

Well... I have had quite a few guitars with active EMG's (81, 85, 60, etc.) and I have NEVER had one battery die in less than a year. The Gibson SG I have them in now have had them for five years (granted it doesn't get a ton of play).

The secret - don't leave your cord plugged into your jack. The jacks are switched (known as 'normally open') and the plug when plugged in completes the circuit.

The obvious disclaimers: just like you keep extra strings, DO keep extra 9V batteries around. If you get the guitar used, you don't know how long it has been in there, so I (just my preference) swap it, as opposed to wondering when it will die on me. Also, batteries are not all created equal. Tread carefully.

NOW for pedals...

MOST pedals have switched INPUT jacks, (like the switched jacks on active pickups) and will NOT drain batteries unplugged. If you leave them plugged in, (especially on a higher current pedal) you will have a dead battery fast.

Another argument is (regarding pedals), why the hell would you use batteries? They are expensive and unreliable as you don't know when they are going to die. The solution to that is a $25 Visual Sound (now True Tone) 1 spot will power your entire board, and will do just about everything you need. [For the record, an ISO powered block is much better, but you are looking over $100 easily for such unit].

"So Trashed, when do YOU use batteries"?

I use them as sparingly as possible. The ONLY time is if I am going to a small gig or open mic if I am running only two or three pedals, and you don't have to fuss about power and related issues. I test the battery before I put it in the pedal, and take it out RIGHT when I get home.



Sunday, November 13, 2016

2016-11-13 *BONUS RANT* Mic your Shit!

I am sick of going on Youtube and seeing video after video of absolutely shit tone. Yes, some of them are 'deplorable idiots' who do indeed use junk and sound like it and are in denial. Maybe some just really don't know.

If you are demoing a decent amp or pedal or guitar, and use a damn mic! You can't make even the nicest of amps will not sound good with a shitty phone recording or a shitty point and shoot camera with the mic on there. Period.

Mic'ing an amp is not hard to do, nor is it necessarily expensive.

"So Trashed why use a mic?"

Here are just a couple of reasons. Hearing the noise from you banging your strings blended with the noise from the amp is flat nauseating. Also, you pick up room noises from some (the real idiots) that have a TV on in the background or their mom yelling out of them telling them to get out of their basement (an unforgivable sin in my opinion). Do you have no pride in your craft? Also if you are recording, the STANDARD is the mic'd tone, that is what you hear on most recordings (especially small time), so don't you want to sound 'professional'?

Why record your amp without a proper mic? There are VERY few decent reasons. NONE of which I can think of at the moment.

Also, it is NOT nearly EXPENSIVE as people think. Even an outdated computer can reasonably hold it's own to a few tracks. $80 on an SM-57, a $100 interface, free DAW (Audacity), at a minimum headphones, and let it rip. The quality is immensely better than whatever you are using.

Video is a different animal, not nearly expensive as it seems as well, especially with how good some cell phones can record video (my cell will record in HD and do well). 

The biggest factor is lighting. You may need to spend a few buck on that. The cheap-ass way? take some umbrellas, spray the inside with a metallic paint, and shine a desk light in and arrange them to light the room.

So don't be an idiot, don't be lazy, do it right.

Here is what I use (and I am fairly new to it to be honest). I use SM57 for a mic for the most part, I use a Focusirte Scarlet 2i4 for an interface, Reaper for a DAW, and some higher end Sennheiser headphones and some KRK rockitt 6" monitors (they are my weak point at the moment, but i got them cheap). For Video I use a Nikon DSLR (1080p) and a Rode Video Mic for speaking parts. I use Adobe Premier Elements and go from there. It works great, I will be posting more videos in the near future when i have some more time to make them and get more familiar with the rig.

So if you do it, DO IT RIGHT.

That is it for now bitches.

Cheers, Trashed