Archive for November, 2011

Spam

11

Hey guys and gals, worst post ever, but I need to address and apologize for the spam issue. A ton of spam comments and trackbacks are getting through my filter, while many of your comments are going into the spam box and I have to fish them out later. Which is not an easy process, as on any given day there are hundreds or even thousands of spam comments. So basically my spam filter as of late is working like this:

Frenchstewart123buycheapcomputergames.bisquick.net/org: “I enjoy site of spectacular very much. You are authority on all things of this matter. I very like will a lot of friends tell to come here things of such as of this. Many thanks!”

Spam filter: “Looks good to me! Comment approved.”

Matthewsmith@gmail.com: “Hey Karl, that’s awesome! I’ve been looking at DD20′s lately. How tweakable is the dual delay setting? By the way, we played a new song this weekend and I used fuzz and it was awesome. Thanks, bro. Say hi to your family!’

Spam filter:

So, my apologies. I’m looking into it. Basically, I like writing and playing guitar, and haven’t a clue how to actually make a website work right. And sorry for the boredom of this post. This will help:

Splendid.
Karl.

Pedal Petitions

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These need to be built. Like, a lot. In fact, I’m not entirely certain that life can sustain itself without the existence of the following pedals. And yes, if enough of you agree and voice said agreement via the comment section, I may send this page link to the manufacturers. Ya! Power to the people! If we get enough support, then the pedal companies will be forced to make these pedals! Or at least to have an email linking to this page sitting in their inbox. But that’s okay! Our voice will be heard! Unless they ignore it. Or hit the delete button. Ya, this is gonna be so ineffective that we may as well call it ‘Occupy Tone.’ ;) Hey, at least we know what we want.

Boss DD30.

The DD20 is one of the most wonderful, and underrated pedals in existence. It sounds great, has a ton of features, never breaks down, and had an analog dry path before they were cool. But a few years ago, Boss released the DD7, which has a slightly updated sound to the digital mode, and a 40 second looper that can overdub without holding the pedal down; as opposed to the DD20′s 23 second looper, which can only overdub whilst holding down the pedal switch. And they just released the RC30, an updated version of their RC20 looper.

So I’m looking for a DD30 delay. Looks and functions like a DD20, but with some of the updated brains of the DD7, and a 40 second looper that can overdub without a switch being held down. And while we’re at it, maybe a more tweakable dual delay, a global tap/individual tap option, more presets or at least midi preset capability, keeping of the analog dry path, a lightup display that stays on without having to push the two switches together every time you power it up, and maybe even an option to have or not have spillover.

Those are probably fairly simple updates, and if this thing came out at any price point below $300, it’d be a serious contender with the boutique delays out right now.

Strymon Glass Nexus.

Okay, this one pretty much writes itself.

The Timeline is pretty great. Like, as in, really, really, great. In blind tests, just as good as the original, but smaller, easier to power, and with more features. Now the original Glass Nexus was almost a single-handed ambient machine. Some of the best reverb I’ve heard, not to mention incredibly smooth phasing, and great delay, all 3 of which could be used at the same time. Imagine the updated version. Smaller, a modulation machine with tones of settings and reverb and delay put on every effect…Vangelis is crying just thinking about it.

Malekko 919.

Analog delay with tap tempo, spillover, and the long-rumored ‘diffuse’ knob. First mentioned in, I believe 1976. Hopeful for it by 2019. Fingers crossed.

Creation Audio Labs Dual Holy Fire.

The Holy Fire is a pretty rad overdrive. The distortion knob takes into other worlds, but I’d love to be able to have a second footswitchable setting for the more compressed lead tone. So a dual Holy Fire? Stackable or independent? And maybe the gain knob on the first channel and the distortion knob on the second channel can be large knobs on the two bottom corners of the pedal so that you can turn them with your foot.

?????

Any more? Seriously, I’m imagining a board right now with those four pedals, and I’m getting stoked. And maybe or maybe not pretending to hit the different switches and knobs right now.

Splendid.
Karl.

An Honest Note

41

At some point in my life, more than likely even yesterday and probably tomorrow, I have done all of these things. I am who I am talking about. Nevertheless, I think it needs to be said. From one imperfect person to another.

Most times I hate admitting that I’m a worship musician. Not necessarily a Christian…a worship musician.

I’ve been all over real life and the internet lately…every gear message board, worship band lunch (during the message of course), facebook group, worship conference, pedal blog, and it’s almost without fail that the worship musicians are the most base and inconsiderate of anyone within the group. Sure, we don’t curse, we don’t make off color comments, we have worship music from our car stereos (or at least John Mayer ;) ), and we don’t have a picture of a scantily clad woman as our avatar. But we are spiteful. We are defensive and mean.

It saddens me to see a group of regular musicians agree that the overt cloning of a pedal is wrong, but the companies still in business almost solely from worship musicians, because the law deems it too difficult to take an authoritative stance. Since when does the law dictate Christian or even moral behavior? I can cheat on my wife, walk out on my kids, verbally bully someone, and own graphic and degrading pornography and snuff films, all without fear of the authority of the law. The law often has little bearing on whether or not something is moral. And I’m not talking about a fuzz pedal having two knobs just like a Dallas Arbiter. I’m talking about the obvious stuff. The stuff we (myself included) choose to put our common sense in the closet for, in order to save a hundred bucks. Or sometimes, in order to buy from a builder who is more ‘anointed.’ Which, incidentally, is a word I feel can be completely deleted from our vocabulary until we can recognize what it truly means or meant and use it accordingly. I can’t count the number of times people have described something sinful as ‘anointed’, including, unfortunately, people coming up to me after worship sets and talking about the anointing on me and the worship music that evening, when I’m thinking, ‘Really? Because I was just apologizing to God in prayer for my distracted and selfish heart during the music tonight.’ Right now, ‘anointing’ is just the word Christians use in place of ‘feels good.’

It saddens me to see people’s opinions and rights regarded as inconsequential because they do not believe in God. Since when are we supposed to ostracize people whom God created, but haven’t come to believe in Him yet? I don’t know why, but I feel like I am seeing a new wave of the old separatist and puritanical mentality coming back.

It saddens me to be out to lunch with a group of worship musicians, who care more about keeping their hipster-retro-Top-Gun-but-not sunglasses (which are pretty cool, I must admit) on inside the restaurant, then they do about making eye contact or even acknowledging the existence of the waitress. “If the person you are with is nice to you but not to your server, they are not a nice person.” That quote has proven true in my life without fail.

It saddens me to hear pedal builders, politicians, or the guy down the street, disparaged, coarsely joked about, and all their actions blanketed as wrong, simply because of a lifestyle or life choices that don’t glorify God. I’m not saying not to disagree. But to make little snide jokes? To write off everything they say? “But by the grace of God, there go I.” And sometimes, “In spite of the grace of God, there go I right now.” And this isn’t even touching on people with lifestyles that may or may not glorify God, but simply don’t fit our culture, theology, or worldview.

It saddens me to read message board posts that mention ‘the praise and worship mafia’, and completely agree with them. Right now, people are literally knowing we are Christ’s followers by our disdain, not our love.

And lastly, it saddens me in my own life when I am more worried about pedal chain order, the artistic representation of a solo, what key makes my voice sound best, or how the levels are going to the recording, than I am about giving God glory serving people so that they can do the same.

None of us is perfect. Me least of all. I shudder to think how many times something I’ve written has turned someone off to God, or how many times my ignoring of the waitress has caused her to go into the kitchen and say, ‘Yep, it’s Sunday…stupid church people.’ We’re all on a journey, and we all have a ways to go. But I think, myself completely included, that we need to step it up, and start taking the journey a little more seriously. A kind word will bring someone closer to God’s love than a Timeline and an Ethos.

Karl.

(Edit: And in proofreading, I was more convicted on a couple of these than I thought I would be.)

Tone Tip #534

50

Chorus is due for a comeback.

Couple that with a snare that sounds if it’s being hit in a 8-bit digital representation of the Grand Canyon, and you’re on the cutting edge of retro.

The funny thing is that I totally think I’m joking with this post, but there’s an Analogman Bi-Chorus ebay search open in another tab right now. Totally gonna blindside the music industry with my incredibly tasteful yet innovative use of chorus. Now I just gotta find an incredibly tasteful and innovative use for it…it’s very difficult.

Splendid.
Karl.

On Tone, Passion, Hurt & Leadership

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  • I want my tone to sound like this:

  • I want my passion to sound like this, and to recognize that sometimes the beautiful can only come through the hurt, and being honest about that hurt:

“We must lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be in us.” –C.S. Lewis

  • I want my heart to sound like this:

“A great way to know if you’re truly a servant is how you respond when you’re treated like one.” –That’s from Dan Verkade, my dad.

  • I want my life to sound like this:

“In the poor man who knocks at my door, in my ailing mother, in the young man who seeks my advice, the Lord Himself is present: therefore let us wash His feet.” –C.S. Lewis

  • Oh, and I want my face to sound like this:

I would also like to encourage all of us who are leading worship at a church this weekend, for maybe just one weekend, to serve instead of lead. I think we’ll be surprised to find how big a statement of leadership serving actually is.

Splendid.
Karl.

Timeline Vs. Timeline (Some Brigadier in There Too)

35

Alright folks, I took the results of that little quiz I put up seriously. So with no further ado, here is a proper mic’d up demo of the Strymon Timeline, including a blind test of it next to the Damage Control Timeline, a swell comparison between it and the Brigadier, and words that mean nothing from me.

Chapter Listing:

0:00 Blind Test of both Timeline’s
2:28 Blind Test reveal
3:01 Strymon Timeline Vs. Brigadier
4:13 Digital Delay dotted 8th
4:54 Modulation
5:17 DC Vs. Strymon on modulation
6:18 Spillover
6:30 Smear
6:55 Tap division
7:38 Dual Mode
7:48 Dual Mode quarter/dotted
9:27 Dual Mode dotted/quarter
9:36 Dual Mode 5/4
10:02 dBucket Mode
10:22 dBucket Mode slapback
11:11 dTape Mode
12:14 LoFi Mode
13:23 Filter Mode
13:58 Trem Mode
14:45 Saving Patches
15:22 Ice Mode
16:30 Reverse Mode
16:57 Pattern Mode
17:15 Dotted Digital Playout

Base Tone:

Prairiewood Hardtop (bridge, middle, neck, and middle with bridge split)
Matchless HC30 into 65 Amps Cab with the Celestion Blue mic’d up

Results:

Well, it sounds pretty lovely. So does the Damage Control. And the Brigadier. Sounds suspiciously (and wonderfully) like all 3 delays have close to the same brain. Which makes sense, as it’s all the same company. In the blind test, I did once again choose the Strymon as the best-sounding, although I did like that little bit of sizzle the Damage Control put on the top end. Probably something to do with the tube buffered wet signal.

Please note that the Timeline has almost an infinite number of other functions and features; but the video was already 35 minutes long, 18 after I edited out some of my words. lol And I figured that was long enough. I didn’t show the Swell or Ducking modes as they are more functional modes. Swell auto-swells in for you, which I never use, but can create some interesting tones while riffing, and Ducking can be set to duck out of the way during intense passages, and then show back up at the ends of phrases. And I just don’t understand why you’d ever want delay to be out of the way. ;) Eventually, I most post an addendum with those two modes.

I do need to mention that it’s still a bit of a bummer that the Timeline cannot go full wet in looper mode. Perhaps a future update will fix that.

But the sound from it is just fantastic. For more Timeline and Brigadier demo’s:

Strymon Timeline Demo 1
Strymon Brigadier Demo 1
Damage Control Timeline Demo 1
Using the Damage Control Timeline with the Midi Mate Demo

Bottom line…get all three. :D

Splendid.
Karl.

P.S. Here’s the results of the poll. It was up for a couple weeks, and we got about 200 votes. However, Sitemeter shows about 8500 visits and 15,000 views for those two weeks, so I’m gonna go ahead and add about 4,000 votes to the ‘I really couldn’t care less at all/I come here on my lunch breaks and look at pictures’ category. haha

But I will try to be true to my word and get some more demo’s and worship posts in here. :)

Human Tone Part 1

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This is the reason I’m so crazy about tubes, speakers, moving air, analog dry signal, cable capacitance, and making your tone as real and human as possible. Because we’re already using an electronic signal, which is removed from the human voice which is what resonates most easily with people’s souls. So keep your tone as pure and real as possible, in order to on some level try to achieve that human quality about it. There’s something compelling about human tone.

This is a song I just heard at my wife’s choir concert (different recording, obviously), and it is overtone singing, creating in essence a human pad, complete with bell-like harmonic overtones and phase/flange effects. Or a human Roland Juno synth. ;) It is incredible. (And the whole thing is good, but the pad/overtone part starts getting awesome right around 5:50.)

We may never be able to achieve a sound like that with our guitars. But we can work to make our sound just as compelling in different ways by keeping it as real and pure as possible.

Also, I may have just spouted a lot of bull as an excuse to show that video. ;) Maybe. But maybe there really is something to be said for vibrating vocal chords moving air, and likewise for vibrating guitar strings moving speaker cones to move air.

Splendid.
Karl.

P.S. One of the top-rated comments on youtube for this video:

“bottom part of the screen is having a seizure from all the awesomeness.” lol

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