It’s been a while since I had a gear post, but I thought I’d put up a quick update that some of you might find interesting.
And besides – what guitar player doesn’t like gear (or reading about gear?)
That Muse Of Guitar
The Guitar-Muse posts are on a bit of a hiatus for the moment, but I did a short series for them about the evolution of my live rig and getting it down to something manageable for travel. You can read those posts below:
I never got to do part 5 or 6, but for people that are interested here’s some of the things I make sound with now (and it may be something you can apply to your own live rigs):
Electric – The Exonerated
As part of the Buck Moon Arts Festival, I volunteered to do live accompaniment for a staged reading of the play, The Exonerated. The play called for a Slingblade/Daniel Lanois sparse type of accompaniment. As the drummer I wanted to work with wasn’t available, I brought my full rig and laptop.
What you’ll find here:
- FnH Guitar (not pictured) being played with picks, slide and ebow running into
- Nady TD-1 (with 12AU7) going into a
- POD 500X HD
- (there’s an additional expression pedal as well) running the effects send into a
- Torpedo C.A.B. and running that out to a
- QSC K-8 speaker.
The laptop is running Logic Audio/Absynth and a few other apps and I’m triggering sounds and loops with the Korg Nano Key. The audio leaves my headphone jack and goes into the 1/8″ input of the POD.
Perhaps you noticed the white Zip Ties….I tried using just the Velcro on the PedalTrain and when I opened the bag, all the pedals were pulled off the board and on the bottom of the bag. I went to the hardware store and got the longest ZIP ties I could to hold everything down and all was right with the world. A dedicated power supply for everything would be nice, but as that would require having the power input completely re-wired on the TD-1, that’s on a back burner for now.
I really dig the Scuffham amps S-Gear, so if I could have gotten the Scuffham amps and SooperLooper plug in in AU Lab to play nice with the Line 6 USB shortboard I might have just brought the Apogee Duet, laptop and shortboard.
But my laptop isn’t getting any younger and a new laptop is out of the budget right now so rig B right now is my iPhone, Sonic Port, Positive Grid, Audio Bus and Loopy HD. I dig the loop features a lot and if the AirTurn BT-105-PB4 works the way I think it will I might be able to make it one of my default live rigs.
Having said that, the POD rig does a LOT of things really well and while I like the Positive grid guitar tones, in its current incarnation it can’t touch the POD for non-guitaristic tones (i.e. the weird stuff – i.e. the good stuff). Using a RADIAL splitter and a SONUUS i2M to allow the guitar to be a MIDI controller is also something I’ve experimented with before and will come back to. Again – it depends on the consistency of the laptop.
I also have a ZT junior amp, which I really dig and I’ve done a couple of background music gigs that just required showing up with a small amp. For a straight jazz, country or for just a warm clean tone in small settings it’s my go-to.
The last set up on my Tam Hiep made it borderline unplayable due to a sympathetic vibration on the low E string. File that under substantial repairs/bummer.
In the meantime, since I don’t want to gig with my Jeff Chappel guitar – I’ve gone back to Yamaha APX’s for live use. I have an APX700 12 string that I’m using for more Dastgah/Maqam type things with a B-F#-B-F#-B-F# tuning. Right now I have it set up for octave tuning but will likely use the same adaptations I used on the Rogue (i.e. making it a 10 string with unison strings on the D and G strings.
I’m keeping an eye out for another APX700ii, 700 or 500ii. The Yamaha and the BT-105 are the last anticipated gear purchases for quite a while but we’ll see what happens.
In terms of amps and effects. It depends on the situation but the Yamaha AG-Stomp does everything I could ask it to do in a live setting and a ZT Acoustic lunchbox is arriving via UPS today and I anticipate that that will solve any live need I could possibly have.
That’s it for now!