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I don’t talk about it much here, but while playing music is love, my main bread and butter is corporate audio/visual, and I’ve wound up doing more and more installations of sound systems. It’s a great fit with my computer/networking background, since the line is rapidly blurring between the two fields (at least, as far as connectivity goes).
I can set up a medium size venue running 32 channels or more of sound, multiple speaker arrays, monitors (both floor and in-ear), with main deck at the front-of-house (out in the audience) with as little as ONE (1) piece of Cat5 cable, instead of a thick, bulky snake. And I can transmit full HD video from the same location using a single thin piece of coax, or fiber.
New affordable digital mixing boards and powered arrays can reproduce arena-quality sound at a fraction of the cost previously required. (And a fraction of the weight!).
I’ll have more information to follow but I wanted to update my blog since I’ll be addressing some of the nuts and bolts of incorporating this technology here…
Got some more Sabian APX cymbals but haven’t had a chance to record them yet… here’s the 24″ I’ve had for a while.
I started out playing Paiste cymbals, but back then (and even now) they have a reputation for breaking. I couldn’t afford ’em. I probably don’t hit as hard now but now I only play Sabian so I decided to try out the APX line which is a Pro B8 alloy; I like them but judge for yourself!
These are great bargains on eBay and other places (if you like them).
I blew it and didn’t put it up here as I did on our TributeToYes.com site (and facebook page). Here’s the link to the full video!
Full promo should be up in a day or so!
We were in the studio Sunday finishing up our promo; we should have the promo video up here in a few days!
Here’s a snippet (from a cellphone camera) of our video shoot for our promo!
And here’s the full audio track from our promo!
Keep checking in!
I had the extreme pleasure of seeing Wishbone Ash for the first time last week! It’s been decades since I listened to them on vinyl, and they treated me to one of the best concerts I’ve heard in a long time. If you live in or near one of the privileged few areas they’re visiting on tour, you’ve got to see them! Check out their tour dates at http://WishboneAsh.com
I was still a teenager when first exposed to their music, and it had a distinct influence on the bands and genres I’ve listened to (and played) over four decades. When I saw that the band was playing one of my favorite local venues, I looked up the current band lineup. I had to go and take a listen when I saw that Joe Crabtree, the “baby” of the current lineup, had played with Pendragon and David Cross of King Crimson. I play drums in a progressive rock tribute band (http://TributeToYes.com), and I knew that Wishbone Ash was a significant contributor to the genre. The videos I found of Joe on YouTube showed that he was, despite his superb technical skills and pleasant melodic style of play, very humble. (You can find out more about Joe at http://www.joecrabtree.com.)
I have to admit that I remembered little of Wishbone Ash outside of the Argus album (it was the 70’s, after all), but from the first few notes of the show at the Bamboo Room I could discern the pervasive influence of their music on many other bands. The textured, melodic twin leads of founding member Andy Powell and Finland’s Muddy Manninen were reminiscent of the Allman Brothers (who were formed the same year as Wishbone Ash). The incredible tightness and fluidity of the two guitarists were mirrored by Crabtree and bassist Bob Skeat, who’s been playing with Powell for 17 years. The music brought back memories of Uriah Heep, Genesis, Procol Harum, and with melodies reminiscent of the Grateful Dead and CS&N.
While the ticket was more than I’d paid for a concert at the Bamboo Room in the past (the “cozy” venue seats a bit over a 100), it was the best concert value in recent memory. The band played new material off their excellent brand new album Blue Horizon (see link at the bottom of this blog), their “Live Dates” album in its entirety, and songs from “Argus” including their hit “Blowin’ Free.”
I’ve edited some snippets of the concert together via YouTube below (no full songs, just teasers, because you need to hear this band live) so you can experience a taste of these fine musicians.
Check out the 7/4 groove at 11:45 and the classic “Blowin’ Free” at 16:40. And find a venue where you can hear this band!
I’ve been a proponent of “non-cleaning” for years, mostly because I couldn’t find a cleaner that would faze fingerprints. But I spend a couple hours polishing my kit, cleaning all the chrome, and then have crappy looking cymbals when I play out. And since people expect my kit to look like the ones the guys playing the arenas — who all have bright, shiny [new] cymbals – I figured I’d better try to polish them up.
I tried just about everything (Off the shelf brass cleaners, Groove Juice, Zildjian and Sabian cleaners), and arrived at Barkeeper’s Friend. I comes in a power and a paste; I use the power since it’s cheaper and makes into a stronger solution than the paste. I wet the cymbal down, sprinkle the BK Friend across it, and mix it into an even pasty layer. I let it sit for a few seconds (or minutes, if it’s really nasty). Then I rinse and rub it off the cymbal. It works fabulous (kiss the logos goodbye if you’re not careful, however) but… the cymbals would tarnish up much faster after I used it, and if a drop of water hit them, it would spot tarnish. I figured there must be some acid left from the Barkeeper’s Friend. So, I decided to try this combination:
Barkeeper’s Friend, get them shiny. Rinse them like crazy, dry them up good. Then, I use Zildjian polish evenly across the cymbal (which, like Brasso, always turns black, no matter HOW good I clean the cymbals up beforehand) and polish them only part way back to the shine the BKF gave them. (My theory is that whatever is in Brasso and the Zildjian polish reacts with the bronze and instantly oxidizes.) So I have cymbals that have a bit of patina and no fingerprints or stains, and a residue of Zildjian polish. And it seems that the Zildjian polish keeps them from tarnishing as quickly.
By the way, for some reason, the BKF works much better with fingers than with a cloth, especially on spots. I’ll make a paste and I can clean up almost any spot with the paste and a finger.
Now, someone will say that cleaning ruins the sound of the cymbal. I acquired a Zildjian that had such a heavy bottom logo that it was like the paint on the roadway; I decided to to a before and after video when I decided to clean off that logo. Put on headphones and decide for yourself the difference…
If I can find a really nasty cymbal I’ll try to throw together a video showing me cleaning it up…
I just posted a new video snare drum demo, this time of a Ludwig Anniversary Edition 6.5×14 Maple snare. I think this snare rivals the Black Beauty and COB snares… While the stock P-85 throwoffs have their problems, and Ludwig has had some QC issues over the years, I’ve never played a stock snare that sounds better than the Luddies… Here’s a playlist of some of the different Ludwig snares I’ve demo’ed over the last few years… and there’s lots of other demos on my YouTube channel, including some Rogers and Pork Pies among others.
I just watched the Buddy Rich Memorial concert, and I’m never surprised to see endorsers of other drums still sneak in a Ludwig Supraphonic to play…