Saturday, November 18, 2017

RIP Malcolm Young: ADHD Tribute and Thoughts

Malcolm Young of AC/DC has passed. I was never a huge fan of the band but I can't deny their legacy in the hard rock arena. And while a lot of people think of Angus first Malcolm was really the sound of the band. Years ago I met Paul Gilbert at an in store clinic. Someone asked him about getting a great rock sound. He said "Start with AC/DC that Malcolm Young sound, then push it a little more for solos. That's how you get a great rock tone."

My main rock sound is pretty much that. I start with a sound that is more overdriven and then roll off my volume. If it sounds like AC/DC then I know that I'm pretty close to what I want. Then I might push that with a TS pedal or add in wah or delay or something else but that's the best sound out there. 

My two favorite AC/DC songs are Thunderstruck and If You Want Blood. I felt like If You Want Blood was more Malcolm and Thunderstruck is more Angus. So that is my tribute to Malcolm. My old Gibson Sonex plugged into my EVH5150LBX with the gain turned almost all the way down. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday Morning Noodling

So I was noodling this morning and it sounded really good so I videoed a few minutes and this came out. This is my JD Strat with Seymour Duncan APS2's into the amazing Mojo Hand FX Zephyr, into my EVH LBX with the Visual Sound H2O in the loop for Delay. Hope you enjoy.

Friday, August 18, 2017

ADHDguitarist plays: Dancing in the Dark

I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do next musically. I've talked about before that I listen to a pretty wide range of guitar driven rock stuff as well as some electronic music and other things. One day I stumbled upon a lesson from Mike Hermans on youtube on his take of Bruce Springsteen's Dancing in the Dark. I really enjoyed it and set out to learn it. After a while I found myself changing certain things about it and slowing it down a bit. Then I decided to record it. I found a drum beat to fit what I was doing and came up with this. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Cool Gear Alert: Mission 529 Power Converter

Mission Engineering has been putting out some cool gear the last few years tailored to a lot of the latest technology in the business. They are known for making specialized expression pedals as well as several other cool products. Recently they put up a teaser and long form explanation video for their upcoming 529 Power Converter that uses USB 5v plugs and converts it to 9v for use with pedals. Take a look here.

While this will have certain limitations for odd power pedals it should work great for most pedalboards out there. In my mind, if a pedal doesn't play well with others or can't be run off of standard power it's not staying on my board. There are just to many options to deal with picky pedals.

All of the outputs on the 529 are isolated and the idea of running it off of a usb battery is awesome. A standard backup battery should easily be able to work for about 4-6 hours depending on pedal draw. This will eliminate any ground issues coming from the board. Plus I'm not searching for multiple outlets at a gig or jamming at a friends house.

The 529 Power Converter should be out later this year. Check out Mission Engineering's website for more info.

Monday, June 26, 2017

ADHD Guitarist Ibanez Flying Fingers 2017 submission

I've had an Ibanez or two in my arsenal since around '94. I was in a guitar shop and saw a white Ibanez with F-holes painted on it. I thought it looked different from the other shredder guitars out there. I was in the market for my first "nice" guitar and this thing played great and sounded really good. Shortly after buying it someone said "oh you bought the Paul Gilbert guitar? He's awesome!" This was before the roll out of the internet and I had to do some research to find out who Paul Gilbert was. When I found out he was the guitarist for Mr. Big, I was blown away. I didn't mean to buy a signature guitar but there it was. All of my friends who played that guitar would talk about how great it played and how well it was built. Most of them when on to buy an Ibanez within the next couple of years. I also bought a couple more of them before settling on my Ibanez Prestige S1520BP in 2000. Even with the floating LoPro Edge bridge I have no problem keeping it in tune. The electronics have never let me down. The original pickups weren't bad but I did upgrade them about 10 years ago. I find the Ibanez prestige models are as good as any top of the line production model out there and better in some cases. So here is my submission to the 2017 Flying Fingers competition.

When listening to the track originally I thought how easy it would be to throw a bunch of  phyrgian shred licks over it and call it a day. But then I figured everyone would be doing that. So I decided to take a more melodic approach and bounce around between a couple of different modes as well as throw in some pentatonic licks. I also saw this as a way to push myself into doing more video content, something I now have quite a few ideas for. But maybe I should engage the camera a bit more. Because while I like the solo, I'm a bit boring to watch. haha. All in good time I guess.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Tube Screamer Style Recommendations

The Mighty Tube Screamer! One of the most copied circuits in the pedal business is the Ibanez TS9. Why? It works for a lot of different applications and it's easy to tweak it for different sounds. Everyone from Stevie Ray Vaughan to modern high gain shredders use TS pedals. They can be used for boosting an already hard driving amp, pushing a clean amp into breakup, adding drive to low volume amps, punching through for solos and tightening up the bottom end. There are some complaints, some people feel they boost the mids to much especially with modern mid focused pickups and amps. Others don't like the way that the bottom end rolls off while still others prefer a different type of clipping all together. But they are a great pedal and below is a short list of pedals I've played through and recommend depending on what your looking for.

Ibanez Originals

Ibanez TS808 The Ibanez reissue of the original, sort of. The circuit has changed some what over the years but it's still in the same seating section of the same ball park.

Ibanez TS-9 The Ibanez TS-9 is the most popular overdrive pedal in the world, especially if you take all of the clones and variants into consideration. And it stays that way for a reason.

Budget Recommendations

EHX East River Drive  This TS808 clone from Electro-Harmonix was designed with input from Analogman. It's cheap and sounds fantastic.

Ibanez Jet Driver  My personal favorite budget recommendation! Why? It's a tweaked TS9 with some of the most popular mods. It's true bypass, has more drive and volume, and a mids knob if your mix is getting muddy. It can easily cop SRV tones and does everything the TS9 does and more. Skip if you need more bottom end otherwise pick this up whenever its on sale.

Knob Tweakers

Way Huge Green Rhino  This fantastic TS style pedal adds knobs for the bottom end and mids and has plenty of extra volume on tap for pushing your amp.

Wampler Clarkesdale  Brian Wamplers take on the Tube Screamer adds an active 3 band eq. The drive is super smooth. Also check out his Paisley Drive a TS tweaked for Brad Paisley.

Earthquaker Devices Palisades  Is this the ultimate TS tweakers dream? This thing is great in the studio and will keep you tone hunting for months. Skip if you need simple plug and play.

High End

Ibanez TS808HW Cashing in on the boutique trend Ibanez released this amazing sounding all handwired TS808. It will cost you but it sounds amazing.

Mojo Hand Rook  A TS style pedal with amp like response and separate bass and treble controls this thing was a hit as soon as it was released. Check out the Rook Royale for an added EP booster.

Keeley Red Dirt  Mr Keeley got his start doing pedal mods for rock gods. He had several Tube Screamer mods and the Red Dirt is the culmination of his experience. It sounds fantastic.

Mini TS Pedals

Keeley Red Dirt Mini  Take Mr Keeley's ultimate TS pedal the Red Dirt make it mini pedal and add mini switches inside for four different levels of compression and gain. Skip if you hate mini pedals

Ibanez Tube Screamer Mini This thing sounds killer and just like the full size version. You can't go wrong here.

Muli-Drive Pedals

TrueTone Route 66 The TrueTone (formerly Visual Sound) Route 66 pedal adds a compressor that can also be used as a boost into a great 808 clone. Their Version 2 and 3 come with a lifetime guarantee. I know a few blues players that use this as their only pedal.

Wampler Dual Fusion  Mr Wamplers partnership with Tom Quayle is a tweaked version of his Paisley Drive and Euphoria pedals. If you like stacking low gain pedals you have to check this out.

Fulltone Fulldrive 3  The Fulldrive Mosfet 2 is one of the original boutique overdrives and one of the most successful. The Fulldrive 3 adds a separate boost that can be used independently of the drive side.

If you want more history on the Tube Screamer Analogman has a fantastic page HERE. Yes there are a gazillion more TS clones out there to choose from but one of these should get you what your looking for.