A quick lick – and a rig du jour update from Ho Chi Minh City

Greetings from the former/current Saigon. (Technically Ho Chi Minh City but many of the locals call it Saigon).  I had hoped to post a couple of blog updates up before I left, but instead was running around checking things for the trip. Now a jet lagged – iced coffee and soon to be bahn mi –  fueled post:


1 lick or 2?

So first – here is a lick that works off of the swept pentatonic idea (alternating 3 and 1 note per string ideas) that I explored in the last online lesson (you can find a pdf of that lesson here).  While the online lessons have focused a lot on pentatonics – I wanted to add the tritone to make “the blues scale” and show how this approach could be adapted.  Here is the idea ascending:


It’s very scalar – but I added  a couple of points of interest:

1. the little descending turn around allows you to play the basic ascending idea starting on both up and down strokes.

2.  I started on the tritone (if played over E minor) or the b3 (if played over G major) instead of the root.  If you’re playing this over G – think Bluegrass metal ; )

3.  The motion is more diagonally oriented than the strict pentatonic example but is the same basic approach.  I start the lick with my first finger and then shift positions for the D on the 12th fret of the D string and the D on the HighE.


Here is an mp3: Lick1

As variation – I took the same concept and applied it in a more positional approach.  Be careful with this stretch!  If it hurts stop immediately!!!



Here is an mp3: Lick 2

And finally here are the 2 licks played back to back:  backtoback 1


Laptop Rig

So I bit the bullet and got an apogee duet.  WOW!  It really has made a stunning difference in resolution and I suspect will help a lot with future mixes I’m working on. With that in mind I wanted to share with the rig I used for the mp3s above.

Here was the basic amp setting I used in Pod Farm 2.0.  This was based on a customtone forum patch called Electric Gypsy.  I just swapped in a tube screamer and bypassed the cab (using the Recabinet impulse responses instead).  One of the big revelations that I found in pod farm is that I could put preamps AFTER the power amp.  Adding that in to the signal chain opened it up a lot.



I blogged about using impulse responses over the cabs before.  The lie 6 cabs sound good – but to my ears the IR’s add a whole other area of depth.  Here are the IR’s I used – these were from the Modern 1960 4×12 set.  The screen shot is from LA convolver.



Finally – a screenshot of how it all lays out in AULab.  I just hit the record button in au lab and edited out the noise before and after the take in fission.



FNH Guitar –> Apogee Duet–>AULAB–>PSP Vintage Warmer–>Pod Farm 2.0–>La Convolver (w. Recabinet IRs)–>Sooperlooper


I’m still tweaking things – but I think that soundwise everything is improving a lot from where it was even a month ago.  Once I get an A/B set with the floorboard – I think that the laptop is going to be the rig du jour.

One last note – the macbook has is using 4 gigs of ram and was updated with a 7200 rpm Seagte internal drive. (500 gig from OWC).  My computer accepts a 4gig chip in 1 slot – so I may go up to 6 gigs – but the faster internal drive made a big performance difference in the machine. I’d say you’d really need to have that if you’re going to try to go this route.

* Note – I’ve recently posted more on this topic here which may be of interest to you.

2 thoughts on “A quick lick – and a rig du jour update from Ho Chi Minh City

    • Thanks! I was trying to find something to indicate upstroke-downstroke in Finale – and this was as close as I could come. No I’m back in South Pasadena now – but plan on getting back to HCMC eventually. I really like it there!

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