Snowball USB Microphone

I’ve used their 8 Ball and that’s a cracking little mic for the price. If this is as cheap as $54 I’d buy as many as I could afford! Seriously tho, Blue are a pretty heavyweight mic company and even their budget range tends to be serious quality for any given price point, so with that reduction I’d say buy it. I’m actually a little envious of others good fortune! When I was looking for a Snowball USB Microphone, a friend informed me that there is a great deal here! on GC. I’m pretty happy with my Blue Snowball USB Mic.  I’ve had it a few years. It has survived the horrors that is the corner of my desk and the floor below and still works.

 

Musician’s Friend

I have ordered accessories and guitars from Musicians Friend, Amazon, Sweetwater,  Zzounds and Guitar Center. While I never had a bad experience I have to rate Musicians Friend as my new top one. I ordered my last guitar through them and like my friends, I was impressed for the huge discount, fast and smooth transaction. Then the fact they called me to let me know they finished packing the guitar up, sent me an email with pictures of it, sent me candy with it, and called me a week or so after I got it to make sure it was okay and that I liked it all led to my decision to make them my go to play for my future guitars/amps/whatever purchases. The musicians friend store locator also is a powerful and easy to use location management system. It allows you to save time and money and is fast, accurate and allows clients to get the information they want without intruding on their valuable time. The musicians friend store locator is able to answer client enquiries 24 hours a day every day of the week – including holidays.

Apogee Mic 96k

Works well for me on my 15″ MBP i7. My iPad is old so I don’t use it (96k = lightning cable). Iphone 6 works well but you can only have 1 audio in (i.e. no phone patch) If you do wanna phone patch, it seems to pick up the cell interference from days of you are so that’s no good but how does it sound? It sound awesome! Gain control is a little too swift but it is easy find the right level and for portability the apogee mic 96k is great. It’s easy-going enough that I take it with me most places, and it also comes with a lightning cable. Had no trouble with it, however it was a gift and a little more than I would have liked to pay myself.apogee-mic-96k

apogee-mic-96kapogee-mic-96k

XLR Adapters

My personal favorite are the daddario xlr adapters. I use it to connect my guitar to the computer through an interface and I am really pleased with the result. I used to just buy the cheapest all-metal adapters, and the ones I have still work fine, but I thought I’d try out this adapter. I like the more modern look, and I have had good luck with Planet Waves gear in the past.

planet waves

Recording Mixer

Pretty much all that I’ve read n the ZED R16 has been positive, including the pre amps and the EQ. I’m looking at getting a desk eventually and this recording mixer is of my main choices. I want a desk that will meet all my recording needs. 16 channels should be enough for me. 

I have a friend who’s had a Zed R16 as the main interface in their studio for a year or so before they closed.  The desk is now in use in another studio – 4 years old and in absolute perfect condition without any maintenance.

The drivers were rock solid with reaper and my friend never experienced a single problem, build quality is outstanding for the price. I’d say the reviews are pretty spot on.

Regarding the sound of the mic pre’s and the headroom, the pre’s are slightly on the warm/thick end of the spectrum, they added a fair bit of weight to everything my friend recorded with them. They aren’t amazing, but you would need to be  spending frankly silly money to get better, and certainly wouldn’t be the weakest link in most studios – in other words, good enough for professional work. The EQ was of a similar standard, certainly good enough for real work and very useful to get the right sound going in. Headroom was also never an issue, either during recording or using the desk to sum a mix.

ZED-R 16

ZED-R 16

Acoustic Guitar Stand

What a gem!  If you are looking for a magical experience on par with some of the worlds best then this is your spot.  A selection to die for of high-end gear mixed with some affordable pieces.  A sales staff with a depth-of-knowledge that will knock your socks off, and an experience that will inspire you to buy.  This is where I purchased a new guitar and an acoustic guitar stand

There’s a reason people make the pilgrimage to this store.  If you haven’t wandered any of their outlet, you are missing out.  If you haven’t stopped just to chill out and chat, let alone try an unreal selection of instruments, you are missing out.

The sales staff are accomplished players who know their craft.  I wasn’t even shopping the price range of a Collings I-35 hollow-body but the associate insisted I learn about this masterpiece of design and build quality as to put it on my list of desired guitars.  He plugged me into a Carr Imperial amp, tuned it up, suggested a setting and I proceeded to feel notes bloom from the fretboard that were so rich and beautiful I almost wept.  Do I sound like I’m going overboard?  Yes!  Am I exaggerating?  No!

Acoustic Guitar StandAcoustic Guitar Stand

Brass Nut

brass nut

I have a friend that have replaced countless Gibson nuts. The issue is that the sides of the original nut are lacquered over. That finish has to be scored there (and on the headstock side) to remove the nut. If done wrong, yes, the finish can chip.

When you install the new brass nut, you have two options:

1. Fit the nut to be flush with the finish on the neck/binding. You new nut will not be finished over.

2. Make the nut undersized in width by a hair and build up lacquer on the ends to make it look stock. That’s a lot more work, with no benefits other than cosmetics.

brass nut

My personally find Gibson factory nuts to be too high most of the time and like to cut them deeper as well. The trick is, of course, not to go too deep.

Launchpad Pro

Launchpad Pro combined with LPC-Live 2 is going to seriously compete with Push at these price points. LPC-Live 2 is essentially a Push emulator for Launchpad. Been using it for a couple of years now, well worth the $22 and honestly has enabled me to hold off on a Push. These new features (RGB, scale display (which LPC-Live 2 already has) are going to really add to the appeal). The Push still has much more functionality, but that is a mighty fine price point. launchpad pro also probably is much easier to transport to & from gigs than the Push is. I am really liking the midi out functionality, but the push is still way more integrated. This is a sweet Launchpad.

Launchpad ProLaunchpad ProLaunchpad Pro

 

 

Presonus MP20

I picked up a used Presonus MP20 for stupid cheap a couple of months ago and I really like it. I am aware of all the mods but I don’t think I’m going to touch this one. It sounds really good to my ears. Has a good thick sound with a nice sheen to it. I’ve tried this thing on acoustic guitar and vocals and boy am I impressed with it for the money. Anyone have any recommendations on other good uses? How do the Instrument inputs sound? Also want to say how often I’ve seen negative things about this unit and wonder why??? Maybe mine has mods that I’m not aware of but it sounds dang good!

For the Presonus MP20 should easily meet all needs. I do know people that still love their Presonus MP20. I have owned the MP-20 for about two months now, together with a Grace Design-101, a pair of racked Ward-Beck 470Ds, a Focusrite Penta, and a few other “minor players” (such as an Art tube MP, etc.). I love all four for different reasons, but can tell you that the MP-20 is a great unit and more versatile than all the others I have. For example, it is a perfect “stereo stand alone unit” and I plan to do a “live” recording using only two room mics through the MP-20 direct into a DAT.

Presonus MP20

 

Simmons SD1000 6-Piece Electronic Drumset

I myself am an edrummer, and this time last year I was unsure what kit to buy….Roland, Yamaha or Alesis.

I ended up going down the Simmons SD1000 6-Piece Electronic Drumset route. The reason that I bought this kit was because it is equipped with Variable Attack Response (V.A.R.) technology, the pads give the drummer more internal memory and intelligent sample triggering across 4 different velocity zones for each trigger input. The Simmons SD1000 itself uses 8 samples per trigger zone: 4 velocity zones, plus 2 alternating samples per velocity zone.

The result is natural dynamics, smooth decay times which eliminates artificial-sounding “machine gun” playback or ghost notes when playing rolls — true response between hard and soft strikes. It’s the most realistic sound and natural response ever from a Simmons electronic drum kit.

It really is fantastic with a large amount of high quality sounds and articulations, and is capable of doing pretty much everything that the high end Roland kits do.

The other reason that I got this kit from musciansfriend was because of the price and what you actually get for your money, which is the SD1000 sound module, nine S1000 series pads, new multi-position hi-hat controller, and an eye-catching anodized-blue rack.

Simmons SD1000 6-Piece Electronic Drumset