FMSB (Free Music Sounds Better), More Timeline Looping, and the Prairiewood

Because it’s true. Free things are just better.

So I just finished an EP, and it’s free. It’s also the reason I’ve been gone from the blog a lot lately, and have posted very few gear demo’s. Because I’m actually playing the gear I have right now. Imagine that. To be honest, it almost frightens me. 😉 But I had a couple songs on the Hope for Japan and Hope for Joplin benefit compilations (please feel free to still show these great guys your support), and a couple others that were kind of in my heart, and I wanted to say thanks to everyone for supporting the first album. Especially those of you on this blog. The folks that like my Facebook Music page, I assume kind of dig ambient music, or like my daily Twitter posts about how cool the Timeline is. haha But I know from some of your comments, that some of you don’t care very much for ambient music, and you still bought the album. Maybe you thought, ‘If I give him money, maybe he’ll buy a new pedal to demo and say something stupid in the video again.’ Which is cool, too. hehe But either way, thanks. It means a lot.

So the EP is free, and it’s here:

And here’s a live-looped song off of it. This was looped with the Strymon Timeline, but using the feature of looping post-delay. So the Timeline was also giving a nice washy tape delayed sound. And this is the first full ambient song video recorded since the return of the Prairiewood:

For the guitar geeks out there (unite!), the main sound is from the Damage Control Timeline on a full mix reverse delay. Blue Sky is on to wash it out, as is the Arion SAD-1. At certain points, you also hear the Brig for some single note swells, and the Arion SPH-1 & Hartman Germanium Fuzz for the swooshy stuff. And then, as mentioned above the new Timeline simultaneously for tape delay and looping. You can also see me making decisions as to what I think the song is calling for on the fly. It’s funny to watch. hehe

Once again, thanks guys and gals. I’ll try to get some gear demo’s and useful posts going soon here, too. Seriously sorry about that. I’m just having a lot of fun picking up the guitar and playing it right now, which is…odd? 😉 haha


32 thoughts on “FMSB (Free Music Sounds Better), More Timeline Looping, and the Prairiewood

  1. nice looping and congrats on the EP … btw, i can’t seem to get the loops on TL to sound smooth like yours. it would sound ok the first couple of overdubs but consequently after that, you can hear the cut as it repeats to the loop again. Any tips?

  2. Sam–thanks! Really appreciate that, as I always liked that song, but was unhappy with the original version I sent to the Japan comp. I think re-recording parts with the Blue Sky helped. haha Thanks, Strymon! 😉

    Rhoy–you know, my DC Timeline started doing that after I…uh…slammed it into the steering wheel of my car. 😉 It’s a slight blip as the loop repeats, and only happens when an overdub is recording. I sent it back to Strymon and they replaced the whole motherboard…still does it. So there may be a defect in some circuits, although with mine I’m pretty sure it was my fault. haha

    Also, I know looping can accentuate any noise you may have in your rig. So if there’s any built up charge that makes a slight click when you hit the Timeline’s switches, the looping will amplify that, and it will get worse the more you overdub. Hope that helps a bit?

    Naal–ya!! I have a feeling you’ll love it. 😀 Just a heads up…part of the reason I sold my first Blue Sky was because I didn’t get a couple nuances of the pedal. First, the knobs are very, very touchy. A slight turn on the decay knob can make a world of difference. Same with the EQ’s and pre-delay. Secondly, the shimmer setting on plate mode is an octave. Shimmer on the other two modes is and octave plus a fifth.

    And lastly, if you got it used, make sure the boost isn’t on. If you hold down both switches, the mix knob becomes the boost knob. Reset it to 12 o’clock or slightly below.

    Just a couple things that made me sell my first one, so I thought I’d pass them along! :)

    Brandon–:) So nice to have it back!

  3. Just curious but are you
    a) playing in your hallway?
    b) if yes, is it because your board is too big to fit in the room? :) A good problem to have.

    That guitar is gorgeous…and sounds great too!

  4. hahaha Yes, I am playing in my hallway.

    The reason is that when I’m tracking live looped stuff, I’m hitting a lot of switches as I loop, rather than regular recording where the set a sound and then hit record for each different track and sound. So I try to keep the pedalboard as far away from the amp as possible, to cut down on the mic picking up the acoustic sound from the clicking switches. It’s less editing for me later. :)

    You can clearly hear some of the switch clicks on this video…and then on the mp3 version on the EP, they’ve all been spliced out. Maybe I should just get rid of true bypass…it’s make editing easier. hehehe 😉

  5. thanks for the reply Karl … I don’t think I have slammed my TL into the steering wheel yet 😉 seriously though, even with just the guitar -> timeline, I’ve noticed this happening as well. but it could very well be user error! haha

  6. haha Didn’t think so!! That’s just me. lol

    Maybe send it back to Strymon? I’m sure they’re slammed right now, but I know for sure mine is not doing that. It’s possible you have a faulty switch or wire that is going microphonic, and the looper is actually recording that sound. ????

  7. I usually use the FX loop on my amp but when I’m doing looping stuff I can’t use it because of how noisy it is. My DD-7 picks up all kinds of noise that doesn’t seem that bad until I’m looping. I get weird pops when ending the initial loop.

  8. Huh…I guess tube noise could be an issue in the loop. Ya, I find that I need excessive quiet in my line in order to loop. haha For some reason, it just picks up everything.

  9. Wait…what? haha

    And the download is working for me off of Bandcamp. Although now I feel like a loser for downloading my own music. hehehe Ever have to turn your music off real quick before anyone realizes you were listening to yourself? 😉

  10. Karl:

    Wait…what? haha
    And the download is working for me off of Bandcamp. Although now I feel like a loser for downloading my own music. hehehe Ever have to turn your music off real quick before anyone realizes you were listening to yourself?

    Guilty… So, all I have been listening to recently is ambient music. (Karl, Lower Case Noises, The Echelon Effect, Hammock) I turned on your last album in the car yesterday and my wife says, “No! No more ambient music. Please put on something with words!” I laughed at her and then I realized she was serious…

    I was going through withdraw during our 20 minute car ride. Your music is addicting.

  11. Karl:

    Wait…what? haha
    And the download is working for me off of Bandcamp. Although now I feel like a loser for downloading my own music. hehehe Ever have to turn your music off real quick before anyone realizes you were listening to yourself?

    Your pedalboard, unless your camera is mirrored, is set up with the chain going left to right, as opposed to right to left. Just found it interesting.

    I’m still having issues with the download, but I’m sure it’s just my stupid internet. One day I’ll get the album. One day…

  12. Josh–haha Thanks, man! You’re too kind. Not often I get mentioned in the same sentence as Hammock and Lowercase. And I’ll just overlook the fact that it’s my blog you posted that on and you’re a really nice person. 😉 That of course doesn’t have anything to do with it. lol

    Naal–I’ll try to put it on my backdoor and have downloads that way…it’s free anyway, right? haha

    As for the pedalboard, it’s actually right to right. hehe The first pedal in the chain is that gold Hartman fuzz on the right, and the last pedal is the Blue Sky, also on the right. And then the rest of the pedals aren’t in any order except for where they fit. Then I wire the series coming out of the Loop-Master’s, so it doesn’t matter where the pedals sit. The wiring diagram would be a nightmare…lol

  13. In all honesty, you and the others I’ve mentioned are the only really good ambient music I have been able to find. It seems like the internet (YouTube) is full of wannabe ambient artists who think that a looper plus a chorus pedal means it’s ambient.

    Sorry if that seems harsh. I’m a little opinionated. (I feel welcome here ;)) I’ve recently started making ambient music and I’m hoping that it is more ‘real’ than some of the other less than interesting ambient looping videos I’ve found recently.

  14. Josh–haha You are welcome here! After all, you discovered the Timeline bpm workaround. 😉

    And there does seem to be a recent influx of ambient looping videos around youtube. Some are great, some…I don’t know. I’m actually struggling with what I think to be a couple subscribers who do their own ambient stuff who go through periodically and ‘dislike’ every single one of my videos. It’s getting a little cutthroat. haha Can’t wait to hear your stuff, bro!

    Naal–lol Ya, all my pedals are out of place visually. Although in this one, the visuals actually were right. I was running most of my effects post-loop. So the main reverse delay was reversing the looped phrases, rather than the looper recording an already effected guitar sound. Sometimes it’s smoother that way.

  15. That is a bummer that people would dislike your videos to make themselves look better. Some have pointed it out the dislikes on Andy’s videos too. I have gotten a dislike but I like to imagine that it is a member of Mogwai and my video IS “rubbish, mate” compared to Mogwai’s 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong. :)
    You have 19 likes, 1 dislike on your first Strymon Timeline video. Who could dislike that video?! This aggression will not stand!

  16. haha Yep, that’s exactly what I’m talking about! Same thing with Andy. Like, I understand when people click dislike on say, my Matchless demo video; they were probably searching for one showing it more on higher gain and with more bluesy licks, and I showed something else. Totally get that.

    But when it’s something that says ‘ambient’, gives away free music, and the dislike comes within the first few minutes of uploading before the youtube search engines could even have caught it, you know it’s a subscriber. And then when within the next five minutes, 7 more videos have a dislike, it’s like…really?

    Oh well! That’s youtube! lol Sad that you’ve gotten some of those too. You’re right though! I’m just going to imagine my dislikes are from Moby and he’s trying to show me how it’s really done. 😉

  17. What a wanker. Who does stuff like that? I always like your videos and save them to my favorites, Andy’s too, so that I can rip off your ideas for my own music… 😉

  18. I’m moving in a few weeks to I don’t know where, and I’m hoping to set up my recording gear in a permanent spot so I can start making videos. I tend to lean toward the post-rock side of things, so it won’t be as cool as Andy or Karl, but I just want to start getting some feedback. Even I it is some guy who just thumbs me down all the time. At least I’ll know he’s passionate about my music. 😉


  19. Josh–haha Now that I don’t mind! 😉 Please steal ideas all you want. That’s what this place if for! haha

    Naal–that’s a good point, bro! I suppose I should be stoked that they care enough to push the button and show dislike, rather than just pass it by. hehe And stoked to hear some of your post-rock!!

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