Thursday, February 12, 2015

Why Live Music Sucks B/W The Electric Bass Guitar

There is no target audience for Dude In Hat Spilling An Entire Beer On You, and yet that’s what we built this entire discipline of art upon.

This essay is hilarious.
You know what instrument is hard? The electric bass guitar.
Just to back up for a minute, one odd thing about be bass is that there is no centuries-long established technique for it*. As an instrument it is very roughly similar to the upright bass but has a vastly different scale (length), is held differently (more horizontal like a guitar than upright like an acoustic bass or cello) and has only been around for what, 80 years? Maybe not even that long. But one can easily see why it became as popular as it did -- large, acoustic, double-basses are a huge pain to lug around and let's face it they're never as loud as you really want them to be.
But while I feel that I might have the most tenuous grasp on what I don't know about playing other standard rock instruments like guitar, or keyboards, or even drums; the ability to even think about how to play a bass guitar simply escapes me. I don't even know what I don't know. The electric bass guitar is rather uncontrollable. Getting the dynamics to be even is a nightmare. Even with a pick it's just not something legitimate humans want to become involved with.
Mouse seems to use a left-handed technique.

Now I realize that much of this is prejudice. I've not put in as much time as I should, certainly, on the electric guitar, but I've put in enough time to have some remote and conceivable (if not achievable) sense of control over the instrument.
But the bass is flippin hard to play. I simply cannot make it sound professional at all when I play it. Rather than do something rash like practice, I'm just going to quit. No more bass for me.

*This is also true of the trap kit (notice that there are "traditional" style drummers and "two-fisted", or whatever they're called, drummers) as well as the Hammond organ and electric guitar. But with organ and guitar there are some older traditions, and with drums... well I don't know if I would qualify this whole thesis of mine with drums. Let's just pretend that everything I say is true and leave it at that shall we?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Todays things

Naiant Studios makes a bunch of neat audio adapters. In particular they make inline attenuators. As I'm having an obnoxious time dealing with the outputs of preamps being too hot for my Focusrite A/D's. With 24dB of attenuation I think I'll be able to push the preamps any way I like. I look forward to that.

Delano is a bass pickup manufacturer.
Peter's is the best chocolate manufacturer in the world.

Alas, the Alien Mind

Marc has been blowing up with great musical motifs. And it's all stuff I wouldn't have thought of in a million years. Thursday was fretless bass night. In order to not embarrass me, Marc had lines painted on his fretboard. But he also brought a little digital multi-effects pedal. You can hear the impact of such things in the following recordings.
It's interesting to me to see what happens in creating a band. In this case we fall into a particular sound. Obviously we go in the acid rock direction with little or no prompting. Hard but psychedelic. Marc is a remarkably controlled player. I mean, he plays bass as his job so you'd think he got plenty of practice in all this time but really, his dynamics are very smooth. I'm liking the languid yet clearly "rock" direction we're taking. There are, surprisingly, no keyboard overdubs.

The drums are either played by me or they're MIDI version of other songs or Oddgrooves. These are both "laptop mixes" but I suspect we're going to want to expand on these musical ideas in the coming weeks. Dm to F to Ab to E. Man, that is just awesome. To me at least.
The chords to Any Color You Like.
Nick Mason makes his own drum sound library.
Presumably a whole MIDI library of Pink Floyd songs can be found here.

Moving the Blags

I'm re-consolodating my blogs.  I know, you wanted them separate. But my little mind just doesn't work that way. All my blogging -- ...