Archive for the ‘Geekery’ Category

 

Follow us on Twitter

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Tweet. Tweet.

We’ve set up a Twitter account for the band. You can find us tweeting as @DD69music.

We are very, very excited.

My 4-track is an antique

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Saw this video the other day (tweeted by @wmcfest).  So cool.

Slacker media

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Tomorrow night @hellpellet and I are heading out for “Slacker Media Club”.  It’s a group of folks that have become acquainted via Twitter, and the name is a play on the usual “social media club” moniker.  In our past get-togethers we’ve realized that we’re not exactly coming together to do our hardcore marketing spiel for each other.  It’s more of an excuse to hang out, make some new friends, have some drinks, and catch up in person.

I have to say that I have made more new friends via Twitter this year than I have in a long time.  Whether it turns out to be a good way to share DD69 music remains to be seen, but it’s really been fun so far, and I’m looking forward to more.

Modding KBilly’s amp

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

KBilly has a 25 watt Fender Frontman amp.  It’s a little combo that is great for practice, and has a surprisingly biting tone, especially when it’s cranked up.  We’ve recorded it on a few upcoming songs with great results.  KB also has a 4×12 speaker cabinet of unknown origin, which he recently liberated from storage.  The mission: add a make/break 1/4″ speaker output to the Frontman.

What that means is that we wanted to add a speaker output to the amp that would disable the amp’s speaker if an external speaker (like the 4×12 for instance) was connected.  Otherwise, the amp would work normally.

It was a pretty simple job.  We dismantled the amp, which consisted of removing four screws from the cabinet that hold the actual amplification electronics in place, and disconnecting the speaker.  The speaker was connected using simple crimp-on connectors, so we just had to pull them off the metal tabs at the base of the speaker.

KB brought the appropriate output jack hardware: a ‘closed-circuit’ 1/4″ jack.  This would allow us to insert it into the circuit and preserve the ‘default’ connection, but on inserting a cord into the jack, the ‘default’ connection would break and the signal would be routed to whatever the cord is plugged into.

We did a dry run, wiring up the output jack between the circuit board and the speaker, and everything worked perfectly.  We clipped the crimp-on connectors off of the speaker leads and soldered the wires to the output.  We also soldered the new speaker connection wires onto the jack’s connectors.

KBilly daringly drilled a hole into the metal panel on the back of his amp.  Impressively, he didn’t do any additional damage.  Yay for you KB!

We mounted the output jack in the newly created hole, threaded the speaker wires down to the combo’s speaker and made connections, and then we tested it out.

Bam!  An 8-ohm speaker out from the practice amp.  We had to disable three of the speakers in the 4×12 cabinet, since it wasn’t wired correctly for 8-ohms, but KB will rectify that in his own workshop.  Allegedly.

Does my Mojo make you horny baby?

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

mojo-screenshot

With the new Pro Tools setup, I can finally use some cool virtual instruments.  Thank goodness, or some of these songs would never be finished.

I got a virtual horn section called “Mojo” from Vir2 instruments (B&H Photo had the best price, by the way).  I finally had a chance to install it and try it out.  It does not disappoint.  In fact, it’s pretty kick ass.

It uses the Kontakt player to access its massive library of horn sounds.  There are a set of core instruments (saxophones, trumpets, trombones and more) that have all kinds of play and release articulations, all controlled by MIDI messages.  I connected my Fantom to the DIGI 003, created an instrument track in PT and went to town.

Mojo is definitely tweak-friendly.  There are tons of options for making the horns sound and perform the way you want.  It was a little tricky getting used to hitting the keyswitches for setting articulation while I was playing, but I was able to manually write in MIDI notes to do that if I fouled it up while performing.  Same goes for release articulations, which are the things that you can set for when the note is released (like falls, doits and slurs – sounds like things that happen after you’ve been drinking, doesn’t it?)

I put together a three-piece horn section for an upcoming tune.  I had previously used the Fantom to lay down horn tracks, and while the Fantom’s horn sounds are pretty good, the difference between them and the Mojo horns is definitely noticeable:

First the Fantom “horns”:

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Now the Mojo version:

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Righteous.  I had been trying for eons to get a real horn section together and schedule a recording session, but it was always logistically difficult to find players, coordinate schedules, chart the horn parts, blah blah blah.  For less than what a single session would have cost, I can use this plug in for every tune that needs horn parts.  It’s sick!

Now I must return to writing horn parts for every song ever.  If you need me I’ll be working my Mojo, baby.