Um…. okay, thanks… (aka, the humbling moment of today) and gear review brief

So here I am at church today, and I am sitting in the crowd, listening to the music and the songlist. I have just told the band that I will start playing again in about 2 weeks, and I’m feeling generally excited. The songlist today… well, it wasn’t the best we’ve done. Also, the bass player was out, so it was only drums, keys and acoustic guitar with 4 vocalists. Overall, not the best performance I have ever heard.I felt sorry that it sucked….

Well, I wrote in my last post a line that has been unsettling to me and has really made my pride die and has kept me in line with our end product: worship without distractions.
Here it is:

I have seen that most of church realizes that the band sounds different without me. I have realized though, they don’t know I am the one who is gone.”

The Church has been training other people to run the soundboard. However those guys need a little balance. All I heard in the audience was drums, and when he quieted, I heard keys, when the keys quit playing I heard the acoustic. The mix was horrible. Do people hear me in the mix?

Part 2:

So after service I am getting my coffee, donut and enjoying being a normal church-goer. One of the deacons comes up to me and says “Ya’ll sounded really good today, like always. Good job brother.”

hmmm…. So maybe the church knows me, but doesn’t notice I’m not there. And it really sucked today, and It is still “Good job.”

Thank God for Grace I guess.

GEAR TOPICS:

Okay, so I was thinking about doing this post: “So you are tired of Tubescreamers, aka: other overdrives that sound similiar but are not, repeat NOT Tubescreamers.”

I have several pedals that fit this bill. Several are only overdrives, others can do the range of overdrive to distortion. I was thinking of doing the above topic in an “aka: 1st OD shootout”, followed by a “distortion shootout” with a full “Dirt Pedal Shootout” to compare everything.
If you don’t know, I really really love my dirt pedals.

Also, I have won/traded/bought several new pedals (or new to me) that I haven’t been able to touch in about 5 weeks due to my studying (GASP!). Well, I had 30 mins and gave them all a spin.

1) Fulltone OCD v4: Wow. Hmm… Nice. Very versatile. I think this one is a real contender. Very transparent too. It feels/responds like the Hermida Mosferatu did, but has a very glassy, clean sound. Not quite as harsh as a DS1 or Hermida Distortion, but nice. This is kinda its own thing, but I’ll figure out what to do with it.

2) Barber Small Fry: Not as much distortion as I was hoping, but very nice round sound. Can be definitely smooth-like, but can be tweaked to do harsh harmonics too. Plus it has 4 internal trimmers and a socketed Op-amp to nail down your sound. Definitely going into the “Tubescreamer” shootout. I really need a solid hour tweaking all the trimmers to fit this to my rig.

3) Bixonic Expandora (v2 I believe): Wow, honestly was not expecting much out of this pedal. Got this in a trade and thought “why not” and was completely blown away. From what I can tell it has two channels inside it it: gain and drive. Drive gives you overdriven sounds, while gain gives distortion. They cascade into each other for metal-like tones. Or you can overdrive it only, or lightly do both for a sweet overdrive, but compression and sustain added. This pedal was as compressed, sensitive, harsh, soft, creamy, harmonic etc… as I wanted it to be. And it was easy to tweak.
After one tweak I found a beautiful light Bluesdriver sound (Lincoln Brewster) that wasn’t harsh, but just had a sweet soft sustain. Then, I decided that BD2 is getting sold. This will be a contender in ALL the above: TS shootout, OD and Distortion shootout.

4) Blackstone Appliance Overdrive: This pedal has a lot of mojo to it. Wow, a lot. And it has two channels: lead and rhythm. Plus its a very sexy little package, smaller than a Boss footprint.  That said, I had a hard time getting good sounds out of it. This is known to be a single coil-lovin’ pedal, so I will attribute it to that. Also, it is made to be the main distorter– not pushing the amp etc, all happens IN the pedal itself. I’m not used to that. I definitely need to play with this as it too has 2 internal trimmers and socketed components to nail down the sound you want. Wow… This will go in the “Tubescreamer” and “Distortion shootout”.

Thanks for all the support and good tidings. I take the Boards March 17th and 18th. If you want to send up a little love to the Father, or in a comment… heh, I would appreciate it!

God bless!


3 Responses

  1. hey bro. maybe your deacon meant well because to his ears (and heart) “you” sounded good! musicians tend to be harder on themselves than regular people who couldn’t tell whether you are using your bridge or neck pickup.

    re: you being there, but not really there … i think most times people will just assume you are there. so i wouldn’t really put a lot of stock into that as well.

    God bless on your exams, btw!😉

  2. heh… yeah, it didn’t get me down at all….
    Just that light humbling of “hmm… (as you aid) I think I worry about my tone, equipment, playing etc… way too much.”

    I think I will take the analogy a step further— have you ever talked to your congregation and realized that a good 1/2 don’t know the difference between an electric guitar and acoustic guitar?
    Thats what hit me this week🙂

  3. Hi Larry-
    that’s happened to me too. I think some ppl are just wanting to be encouraging, so I just smile and say thanks!

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