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Mickguard

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About Mickguard

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  • Birthday 12/31/1908

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  1. Back to the split/stereo pickup question: Suppose I took a lipstick-type pickup (because they're fairly narrow) and lined it up parallel to the bass strings? I think it would look cool, but I wonder what kind of sound that would produce, since it will be covering a longer length of the strings. Presumably I'd be able to use the height adjusters to emphasize one side of the pickup over the other. This would give me the option of installing a second lipstick in a similar fashion for the treble strings (perhaps angled to catch more strings) --I could run that through a switch into the bridge pickup's circuit, if I wanted. That way, I could use the bridge pickup for a 'normal' guitar sound. Or switch to the lipsticks for a more separated sound.
  2. Sigh....maybe they'll reissue it. I just picked up a new Stylophone...
  3. Yeah, I was thinking 'cool features' rather than 'innovation' Actually, what I'd really like in the guitar would be a built-in motorized hurdy-gurdy type wheel. I imagine that's been done too... I suppose a sustainer would be a similar effect.
  4. Since I'm in a drums-guitar duo nowadays, I'm looking for ways to fill out the frequencies and increase the complexity of the overall sound. And since I'm starting a baritone build, it strikes me as a good opportunity to try out: Two separate electronic circuits --one for each pickup. It will mean having two cables (or a stereo cable) dangling off the back of the guitar --but since the guitar risks being neck-heavy that won't be a bad thing. And I have to stick close to the mike, so I don't jump around a whole lot anyway. I'd be able to treat each pickup's signal with a different effects chain, and run them to separate amps -with the neck serving as the 'bass' pickup, natch. But I'd also add a switch that would let me join the two pickups together to a single output. Taking the idea a bit further -- I've been toying with the idea of using half of a Precision-type pickup for the neck position, so I could focus that sound only on the bass strings. Not sure if it's possible to separate the two halves of the Precision pups though.
  5. When we get into a studio, we'll be able to spend more time working out the right sound. In the meantime, I have a few kick drum samples that I like -- it's pretty easy to plug them into a track so that it matches exactly the original kick track (within a couple thousandths of a second). Takes quite a long time to program, but the result is better than we were able to achieve by ourselves. Although I use both tracks -- our kick track has a nice boomy sound to it, the programmed track has better definition. I'm doing the same with some of the snare tracks (which takes even longer than the kick). There's no way I can capture all the nuances of his snare playing with the snare hits I have, so I'm using them just to add a bit of crack to the overall mix (the snare he was playing was more woody than snarish, if that makes sense). As I'm mixing these tracks I'm finding that most of the time I'm muting the two tom mikes we put on -- the kick tracks, the snare mike and the overhead/room mike pretty much cover the full picture, the tom mikes just add in more sound than necessary. I'll be seeing a friend tomorrow who's trained as a studio engineer, I'm going to see if he'll come by to give me some tips n' tricks on mixing.
  6. I'll be picking up the book. The kick is okay just a bit flabby. I'm experimenting with building a matching track with a good-sounding kick sample I have here. That should help focus the sound (although it's going to take a while).
  7. We ended up recording in 24bit/96k ...computer and soundcard had no problems at all handling the higher resolution, and there's a definite difference over the 24bit/44k recordings I'd been making. I'm really amazed at how little noise there is (on the drum tracks....my guitar/amp/pedals are a whirlwind of buzzes, hums and other goodies). We also used five mikes finally. Couldn't get the sound we wanted with just three mikes -- partly because the drummer does a lot of work on the toms. So in the end we had a mike in the kick, one on the snare, one on the lo tom, one between the hi toms and finally an 'room' mike positioned to catch the cymbals and hi-hat. The sound is pretty decent, considering our inexperience and the rough conditions. With a bit of EQ I'm finding it pretty easy to nudge everything into place. It's going to take a while to get all the mixes done...I've got to re-record my vocals, and some of my guitar parts (since I recorded a tracking vocal at the same time)... The kick is still a little...floppy...hard to describe--doesn't have the tight focus that I'd like it to have.
  8. Heh heh, now you're talking my language. I'm definitely trying to avoid any semblance of that ultra-slick production that pretty much destroyed most music in the last decade. Even bands that should sound good get boring after a while, because the recordings are just too perfect. My favorite albums are all pretty low-fi when I think about it...I've been listening to different things lately, trying to get ideas of global sounds. And pretty much everything I'm really attracted to ends up being pretty raw --sometimes just because of when it was recorded (rockabilly) or other factors (Velvet Underground, Suicide). I think my goal here though is to get fairly clean, somewhat neutral recordings for the most part. That way I'll be able to play with the software to really develop what I'm looking for. Oh yeah, I also find it interesting that most of the music I listen to has the drums mixed pretty far down...even though in this band (since there's only two of us) the drums actually take on more of a lead role...if you can imagine that... I do have an old guitar amp speaker kicking around, I'll try stripping a jack to hook that up...unless someone is going to tell me I'll blow up a preamp that way...
  9. I read about that trick - I have a 2x12 cabinet here --- would I be able to run a lead from that into the mixer then? (It has a mono/stereo switch, so I'd only use one speaker). Should I be worried about blowing anything up?
  10. I haven't been following this thread, but it's timely since the new band's recording our demos tomorrow. We'll be doing that ourselves here at my place, in the old barn (actually sounds great during rehearsals). The monitor question: Buy them as soon as you can. I have a pair of Alesis Monitor One MK2s...don't know if they sound better or worse than another set, but what I can say is they make a huge difference in mixing and getting the mix to sound right everywhere else. It took me a long time to give in and spend the bucks for them, but I really should have bought them much earlier -- no point in spending all that time fretting about mic placement, etc. if your mixes sound like crap. And without monitors, they will. Don't remember exactly what I paid for the Alesis set but they were reasonably priced (I already had the amp, so I bought passive) for the quality. Plus the place I bought from threw in a set of monitoring headphones (nice to have A/B capability). I find it fairly easy to get the guitar sound I like, I'm more worried about the drums. I'll have up to 5 channels for those. Need two for the guitar (dual amp setup) and one for a tracking vocal. I have 8 inputs on my soundcard (Marion Marc 8 midi), so there's my limit. One suggestion I read says to use just three mikes -- one pointed at the kick, the other two as overheads (but positioned at a level between the toms and cymbals), and those two can be placed behind the kit, instead of in front. The reasoning being that this treats the kit as a single instrument, and will produce a more natural sounding recording. I'm hoping it will be easier to mix too. So I'm tempted to go that route -- but I'm thinking of adding a fourth mike farther away (and in front of the drums) to capture some of the room sound. I've read that I can place that mike sort of pointed toward the kick, and it will help bring out the snare too. I plan to speak to the drummer about his dynamics, especially with the cymbals --he definitely slams on those things when we're playing live and the worry is that they'll dominate the rest of the drums. He's got pretty good control, so we'll see. I use Cool Edit Pro for the multitracker. I've looked at more recent apps, but none of them seem to offer the same sort of instant accessibility as Cool Edit Pro. (I haven't looked at Adobe Audition, the updated version of Cool Edit Pro, but since Adobe's stuff all seems to get overly complex very quickly, I've been mistrustful). I really hate working with Cubase, just seems counterintuitive. CEP works great, almost never crashes (once you've figured out a couple of quirks), and is so simple to use it's ridiculous (I don't use Midi). I just discovered a cool feature in CEP that lets you split a track into several new tracks based on the frequency ranges you set --I'm thinking this will be very useful for mixing the drum tracks, especially if I use just three mikes. I'm hoping to be able to borrow an SM57 for the guitar --otherwise, I'll have to use an SM58. Preamps are the biggest problem-- my mixer only has four. I bought a mic preamp, which gives me five, and I'll use a Sansamp Tri-AC for one side of the guitars. I'll have to use a PA mixer for the last two preamps, but one track is the vocals, which will be redone later anyway. (I have an old Teac 3440s here-- 4-track reel-to-reel-- which would give me 4 preamps too, but I lost the power cord!) Last thing I'm trying to decide is what resolution to record at. I'll do 24 bit (CEP actually interpolates at 32-bit) but from what I've read, I'm going to stick to 44.1k -- although my computer's brand new, plenty of RAM, I could probably handle 8 tracks @ 96k --I just wonder if it's worth it, since these are only meant as demos.
  11. Introducing...the F3nder Stratobastard This is a modification of a modification I made to a factory-built guitar. The original guitar was alder, I added a maple top (and faux binding), the carve, the swimming pool route, the trem route. I prepared the logo using Photoshop and ALPS-compatible decal paper. The (very nice) neck is made by Goldo (Germany), has a 7.25" radius that I really like. I wanted a chimey Strat-like sound in a Tele body, and I got it. The Trem King works really well, the killswitch less so (clicks a lot, but it's fun anyway).
  12. I'm tempted to suggest that you rebuild the walls of the pocket, then reroute it to fit then neck. It's possible to put shims in there and still have your neck perfectly centered, of course. But if you refill, you can make a new neck pocket template and get things lined up perfectly. It might be easier to hide the repair, or you can use a contrasting wood to make a little ring. I realize it's a couple extra steps though.
  13. Cool! I've been thinking of something along similar lines, except what I'd want to do is somehow convert a tremblock into a tuner-housing as well, that way I can still have a trem on the guitar. Can't wait to see your solution --do you have any pictures or drawings you can share in the meantime? Oh yeah, I like the design of the guitar too (and WezV, I'd never seen that Burns before, thanks!)
  14. Yeah well, HiTone just posted the best reply I can think of-- in next month's contest! That thing is my candidate for Guitar of the Year.
  15. What's interesting about the GOTM, especially in months like this, where there's a dozen entries, is that it offers an opportunity to get into a discussion about what makes one build work (in one's opinion) and what doesn't...kind of a springboard for what makes a guitar interesting in general. And yeah, for certain people here, what makes it sellable (so obviously Marcovis is doing well on that point!). I mean, otherwise, if it's just a means to stroke each others' puds, what's the point? Believe me, if I want to be insulting, I'm really good at it. Wasn't my intention here. More of a question, a way of saying, "hold on there, what are we actually doing?" And yeah, I love the shovelbass too --although I don't see that as a "valid" instrument, more of a one-off art piece. Still excellent though. And different. Nice to see different things from time to time. I mean, otherwise, we'd all be playing the same Stratocaster.
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