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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Finding a group in Bryan TX

Looks like I found a group in Bryan TX, unlike the mess I stepped in back in December 2016. (Guitarist and Drummer could not be motivated to learn any of the tunes)

So after a while I just decided to post a huge Ad on Craigslist and had my whole resume and pics of the gear, and links to videos.

My friend in LA told me that nothing would happen, that I looked too difficult.

I netted 2 really great leads.  One over an hour away in the SW Houston area, and the local guy is just a happy guy who wants to do honky tonk Stones stuff.  I get to really work on Backing Vocals for a change.
12:05 am - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Monday, September 21, 2015

Arena Genz Benz Rack Dress Rehearsal

Well, the free Sunday gig went down.

I broke out the Arena Rack of Genz Benz gear and gave it a whirl.

The Rack was 1 GBE600 as a PreAmp running from the Effects Send to the S/S Effects Return of a GBE1200 and from the Slave out of that amp to the Master Power Amp Input of a Second GBE1200.

I was not in the PA, which was an appreciable wattage.

I was at 9 o'clock all day., as I barely touched the strings.

Women came up to me after the Gig and commented about the clarity and tone of the Bass.

One commented that she expected a disaster as the guitarist raised his Full Marshall, and I raised 2 towers (4 12's each), and was stunned by our performance, volume control, and ensemble as we played with consideration of one another and the event.

So, I have these 3 Genz Benz Amps in a single Rack, an 8U military Hardigg Shockmount case.  Inside I have patch cables for the Footswitch and the Direct Box output.  The power is brought in through 20 ft of 12/3 SOOW, to a 1 Gang Electrical box which sends a line back to the front of the case to run the effects, and three lines to EIC connectors for the amps

The whole thing is about 125 lbs.  It is a beast.

The guitar player, talking to the drummer, pointed his finger at it and said "Oh my God...have you ever seen such a thing in your life?" [a 2U rack space amp mounted above 1 3U rack space amp and another 3U rack space amp.]

Welcome to the big top boys.

The pictures of the stage were something to behold after this guy running his 8 year career with a Half Stack and the Bassist running a 115 cab.

I have intentionally told this guy, point blank, that we cannot do anything small and powerful.  We have to send the message visually that we are THE show, the center of attention, and not some gaggle of wannabes.

So, down it went.  No hick-ups, no technical problems. No over volume issues.

I had to have help on the rack, and it took about 25 min to get everything set - 6 cabinets, 10 speaker connections, 6 Power connections, 9 audio connections, 1 controller connection, 1 mic stand and mic  3 basses.

Other than wanting more mids from the rig, and the EQ section was not in the circuit loop, I was completely satisfied,

So, having 2 of something on the stage is so comforting, should one amp go down.  2 cabinet arrays also helps the confidence level.

4:39 am - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Saturday, September 19, 2015

Now it is Molly Hatchet and Pat Travers on 10/10

The plot is thickening.

Looks like we are practically a co-host band for this biker rally here in Corpus Christi.

We are on an outside Festival stage on Friday at 3PM for 90 Min.
That sounds like we are kicking it off.

At 6:30 on Sat we open for Pat Travers who is followed by Molly Hatchet.
It sounds like it is early enough for us that I can stage the entire two stacks of Genz Benz NeoX cabinets.

I am beginning to wish that I had 2 more 212 cabinets instead of the 4 112's.

The decision has been made that we are going to perform all of the originals of the Band.  If the leader can adjust to the new players updating the sound of his aging originals, and stop using the F-Bomb and M-Fing everyone all the time, we might be able to make an impression.

He knows this already.  But it might be the major impasse to moving us forward.

There is so much more that we do than his originals, the way we revisit the Classic Rock tunes we play, that I believe make the band most impressive. 

Hoping for Management, Bookings, Regional Tour Legs, and a Front-Man to come from this level of exposure.

Taking lyrics from the Guitarist will considerably aid the lyrical accuracy and vocal presentation to reach the A-List that I am aiming for.

We really need more significant gigs, shorter (unless we get a lead singer), and definitely better paying gigs.

Personnel issues are difficult enough with 3 people.  An Ego of another Star in the form of a Front-Man will be challenging.

If I get noticed by Management or a Band and later approached...if something opens up for only me, well that takes care of a whole lot of challenges and the gnawing issues. 

We then have a Sunday Gig at the Rally outside for another 90 min. as well.

We are at the same location on Sunday in the Convention Exhibition Center at an event called "Best of the Best".

A free gig that might make us some good contacts.

Seeing that the day job might keep me connected into Corpus until the first of the year, I can accept the idea of private parties and places where people do want to hear us, as the people in Corpus do not even applaud for Judas Priest and Steel Panther.

Meanwhile my effort to make some money on the merchandising of the Band is stalled.

Apparently, my first product idea has scared the owner of the band name.

If he wants a cohesive band, I cannot see a better thing for him to do than to open up the Merchandising to the other members so that they can increase their cash flow as well.

A.  If I buy more of a product that he already has, then when am I going to get paid for my investment?  He cannot take money out of his pocket on his up front sales.

B  I cannot expect him to pay for a product that he did not intend to stock or sell.  Then I am just another vendor leeching his resources.

C.  If I give him money for the product that he has...then I become an instant investor.  That might well work.  It seems to be the only way in.

If he is not going to let me in, even despite a large commitment like driving back and forth 6 hours a week to perform...well I will then understand the business plan is not viable.

When do you finally open up the Business of the Band to make it an economically viable way of life for everyone in the group, and thus create a stronger economic bond for the group?

Is he going to shoulder all of the investment cost of merchandising and then give the band members money for creating the value in the name of the Band that then drives the sales?

Does he really think that performances have nothing to do with people buying a product with the Band's Name on it?


Wednesday - was feeling things not right in this world.  I was right.  In a meeting, which went well, I learned that someone who knew the band from over a year ago did not like the new sound.  It rattled the leader.

I said that if they have not been around for a year, then they really are not a supporter of your work are they?

He had some comments on my backing vocals.  I thought I had them down on the song complained of, and did not stop playing as claimed. I offered to not do any at all.  That was not accepted, there were some songs he likes, so this is clearly not an ego thing at all. BUT somebody is working on his confidence in his business choices in working with me.

People have said, and I noticed before I joined this group, that it was not even a B Act. The guitarist could not carry the Stage and music on his own, drummer being excellent aside.  They did not suck, they were just not a good band.  Guitar will not carry it.

I knew I could bring a lot to the music, and as I told him in the Business Meeting, I am committed to make each of my performances "A-List".

He thought I was fighting the drummer in someway in performances.

I said vocal, arrangement, and timing issues can only be solved with one thing - rehearsal, which we are not doing.

I am committed for rehearsals, but the drummer is not.

Tension, well the drummer:

I. drinks and wants to start fights.  I speak my mind plainly as a gentleman and then move on;

II.  is dropping beats and not coming in on time, nor in proper meter;

III. barely makes the gigs, he always calls me for a ride when I am trying to be early.

IV.  is never available to rehearse.

Ironic thing is that he is the one that thinks he should be playing big shows.

I guess he is meeting with the guitar player and throwing me under the bus somehow.

I know that he knows that I see his weakness in his performances.
I have politely let the guitarist know that I recognize the weakness in his Lyrics, meter, which are overshadowed by his showmanship and solos.

After 10 months, we are to B-List.

The prior 2 weeks at an Open Mic we host, I was called "Amazing" by people who do not know me.  That is what I hang my hat on.

G-D, please send me another opportunity that does not have so much work involved that I cannot even discuss with the Group.  Work is not the problem, but that there is no means of discussing it, and no plan to expand my participation in the entire opportunity.

I have to lose this day job.

Time to prep for tonight, and give another A-List performance. 

6:32 pm - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Preparing for Opening for Molly Hatchet

Was once a liker of their music, but not a fan or anything.

Looks so far that we will be opening on October 9th at the big 10K arena in town.

I am almost set.

The blue 8U Hardigg Military rack is all set for power (12/3 SOOW wire) for the 2 Genz Benz GBE 1200's running the power, and the GBE 600 Preamp that Fuch's Audio Technologies is extracting for me providing the signal. 

I wanted it to be a 1U thick unit, but the PanPot Shafts are too long for a 1U at present estimations.

The Speakon Speaker Wire splitter boxes are in from Fuchs as well, but I need two more Neitrik Speakon NLFX4's (I think I got the model correct).

The money from the day job has fallen apart, so I might just have to run with the second choice full factory configuration GBE600 parked in the Arena Rack at this time.  The Rack weighs in excess of 140 lbs.

Having this all assembled for an outdoor gig that was cancelled last Friday, I broke down an put one of the 3 Yamaha PB-1's, laying around here, into the small gig 4U Hardigg rack with a Genz Benz ShuttleMax 12.0 just to see how it will do with the power and Signal Shaping Circuit of the STL-Max 12.0.

It was a success, and almost as good sounding as the GBE 600 Preamp and GBE1200 power section.

I suppose that proves the usefulness of the Signal Shaping Circuit to my tone.

Saturday was an arduous task that my curiosity would not let me escape.

I decided to break out the Digitech Studio Quad V2 out of the Archive Collection and learn to program the Digital Parametric EQ, since GearSlutz consensus was that Digital Parametrics, even mere plug ins, were of quite consistent and quiet performance, that I would give it a try in emulating:

I. GBE600 Signal Shaping Circuit engaging

a.  Low and High Shelves, and the Mid Cut;

b.  High Shelf only, for Fretless Definition;

c.  Low and High Shelves, no Mid Cut, some rooms absorb the mids and the Bass Guitar sort of disappears; and;

II. Digitech BP-8 (Same DSP Chip as Studio Quad) favorite setting, plus Ia above.

This was being done in order to see if the BP-8 with the Yamaha PB-1, running a 6 db boost at 200hz, and respective Low Shelf at 40hz, High Shelf 4K 10 db Boost, and 800hz Mid Cut of 9db, got me into the neighborhood of my tone with the Genz Benz.

The only hint on Q settings in all of this was in the GB Manuals for the Midrange.  Having achieved a nice acceptable tone from the PB-1 I employed moderate Q bandwidth spikes on all other frequencies in the test.

It was getting there.  

Taking no time to A/B the rig vs. the actual amp, I am not confident, but close.

The reason I am not confident is that I noticed an imposing hiss at about 6.3K, which is the top end setting on the BP-8 EQ that is integral to my tone.  I have revisited the settings of Ia-c and II and reduced the 6.3K frequency by 9db to make the hiss disappear.

the noise reduction effort was quite effective, but to what end against the tone that I and so many have loved? 

If I had a spare analog PEQ, with a really surgical precision Q spike filter, I could nip that hiss precisely out and keep my 6.3K boost unaltered.

Engaging the setting for II with the BP-8 and PB-1, was way too much, just like linking 2 BP-8's together, which I have done before.  The noise shelf was way over the top.   

That is simply not usable with the BP-8 which carries a Noise Gate and Tuner that I use every gig.

[I did find the output on the backup BP-8 was falling in and out. Hm.  Time to give that a DeOx bath before it goes to service.]

Glad I have a spare GBE600 to reach for my tone in the Arena Rack for the Molly Hatchet gig.
6:10 am - 0 comments - 0 Kudos