Archive for the ‘GearZombiee’ Category

1964 Ears In Ear Monitor Review

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

Soooo…. I needed some In Ear Monitors for my band. Rock N’ Roll Supergroup MySelfishMe if you’re not one of the 280ish lucky Facebook friends we have at the time of writing this post. The need to move to them was piloted by our desire to dump our cabs and make our rig lighter as well as move our band to a click. The big picture for us is eventual light automation, and such synced with our show. As you can imagine, going to something like this from just cab’s screaming up your arse is not only a bit of a culture shock but poses some technical challenges. While I will get through the front to back in later articles this is just to focus on the actual IEM portion.

When searching for what company to go to the choices are pretty overwhelming. I looked at several and in all price ranges. Starting out I was just using some of the higher end Skull Kandy which actually created a great seal and worked ok, but a little sweat and movement and I was fiddling with them incessantly. I never intended for these to be my solution but the need for professional molds was more intense.

A few of the companies I looked at were Alien Ears, Ultimate Ears, Future Sonics (which came highly recommended by some friends) and 1964 Ears. All of these companies provided the same technology except for Future Sonics, meaning they are all multiple drivers depending on how many you want. The drivers are generally split up in EQ frequencies. Like a single driver is full range, dual is high and low, triple is low-mid-high and it goes from there. The Future Sonics are a different tech as they are simply just like a tiny speaker in your ear. They have fantastic reviews but also have an intense price point. One that for me anyway was a bit out of my budget considering I didn’t know what I was getting myself into having never owned molds.

After talking with several of the companies I decided to go with 1964 Ears and their -V3 Triple Drivers with a base cost of $425. After downloading their instructions and seeing an audiologist ($35 for molds) I sent my impressions to 1964. From the start they were very helpful especially considering the fact that I was honestly a bit indecisive. I wanted artwork but I didn’t know what, things of that nature. I upgraded mine to recessed sockets and that was about it. On my order form I asked them to contact me for graphics when the time came as the projected turnaround time was 3-4 weeks.

After a couple of weeks I received an email from their graphics department asking for my artwork. I sent them a few quick samples of what I was thinking and asked the tech to decide what they think would show up best. The tech was super-fast, made some mockups and sent them over everything looked cool and away we went.
I received my molds in just a few days after that maybe a total of 3 weeks from start to finish. When they arrived I was totally impressed with just how cool they looked. They are visually impressive and come in a cool customized case with all the accessories. So I put them in and started listening to music that I was familiar with. The triple drivers are basically described as mid rangy and good for guitarists and I would agree with that. But I wouldn’t say too much midrange, but enough so that I don’t know that I would want to necessarily dial in my guitar patches without checking other sources (which anyone would do anyway) Other than that, you see many people that say they have a Zen sound moment listening on IEM’s, I didn’t really have that sort of an experience, while they sound great and high quality they at the time sounded just that to me. A good high quality set of ear molds. That however changed once I got to band practice.

Once I got to practice I realized some things, first “Holy crap, I wasn’t playing that solo for shit” and holy shit my other guitar player isn’t playing that for shit and (WHERE ARE THE DRUMS). This isolation was so intense where I didn’t really care how much of the drum mix was in my monitors with ear buds I now was totally cut off from the room with the custom molds. Also, this is where the triple drivers came in, I could hear my bass player and have him dialed in and away from me yet still totally audible, I could push my other guitar player away in my mix and still hear him and I could put me up the center where I wanted to hear me. Something that I could never do with even a $100 set of ear buds. Once I got everything dialed in for the 1964’s my mix was 10 fold better than what it was with buds.

One thing I was concerned about was comfort as they are a hard acrylic wedged in your ears. If you’ve wondered about that I can tell you this, I passed out with mine in. I was listening to some tunes and woke up about an hour later. I did notice some discomfort however using them when I was tracking our vocalist for the Super Mega Rock Group MySelfishMe. But that was after a 4 hour session. After having them in my ears for 4 hours I noticed the backs of my ears in the cartilage area was getting pretty sore. But anything that you’re going to have attached in, on or around your ears for that long is probably going to cause some discomfort.

All in all I can say the experience was incredible with them. I went with 1964 Ears because of the price point, the service and the advertised quality. When I started my search I emailed several of the companies (some a few times) and never got a response. 1964 took whatever time I needed to make my decisions and provided excellent service. I do want to mention that I didn’t get anything from 1964 for write this review. As I review a lot of gear I just wanted to put together a write up on what I considered a killer product and great experience. Visit their website below!!!

www.1964ears.com

Yamaha Stagepas 600i/400i Summer Namm Review

Sunday, July 21st, 2013


Yamaha Stagepas 600i

What’s happenin Zombiees?? It’s been a bit since I’ve been able to post but I’m back here with a ton of cool stuff after returning from Summer Namm 2013 In Nashville.

My first post comes from the Yamaha booth who always has great equipment. Here we checked out the Stagepass 600i personal PA. For starters this thing is KILLER. They demoed this for me while I was there and it is loud and clear. And in a small package that one man shows would love and 2 man shows would probably feel like they’re cheating. The entire package of the 600i weighs in at 56lbs for the mixer and speakers and the 400i is 39lbs. That weight is for both speakers, mixer and bag, stands are separate.

The powered mixer fits in the back of one of the speakers and can live there or be pulled out and stand mounted. The 600i has 10 mixing channels 4 mono mix/line + 6 mono / 3 stereo line analog inputs. It also includes a USB audio in for iPod and iPhone exclusive operation.

The mixer has a simple reverb that is adjustable depending on what you’re after and can be controlled by a foot-switch. It also has built in feedback suppressor, Phantom Power, Sub Out, High Z switch. Pretty much everything you could think of.

While looking at this, I first thought of all the people I know that do 1 or 2 man acoustic shows. The set up ease of just putting a couple of speakers on a pair of stands and plugging your stuff into the mixer and you’re off and running. Yamaha has done a great job of labeling the ports as well by thinking ahead of any possible connection you may need so you don’t have to have adapters floating around in cases.

Then you also have the iPad integration. Not only are people doing more and more acoustic shows they’re also doing a lot with backing tracks. With this ready to take an iOS device with it’s on-board USB port you’re ready to just hook up and go.

Other applications, a vocal PA for practice or small venues. This has more than enough gas for the practice PA and with feedback suppression, reverb and EQ the 680 watts of the 600i would be more than enough same with the 400i at 560w. I can also see jazz, or blues bands being able to utilize this with no BS sound for small shows. All in all it truly is a killer out of the box set up. Stands are sold separately and before you poo poo at that, have you ever purchased anything that included stands? They’re generally an after thought. So i’m actually proud of Yamaha for not trying to cram them in there. The speakers do include pole sockets with StageLok so you just order what is going to be best for you. Not that I think for a minute that Yamaha would skimp, but the amount of features they packed into this package I think the user will more than get their moneys worth from this rig alone.

All in all my opinion is this is great. Not just saying that because i’m doing a write up but really I think it’s a great product and a great price. I found it street prices for $899 for the 600i and $699 for the 400i with all your common online retailers. So depending on what your needs are either one is an affordable price point for a great Yamaha product. For more information, please visit the Yamaha Link Below.

Yamaha Stagepass Website

Fractal Audio Axe Fx 2 High Gain Demo Diezel VH4 Das Metall Ibanez RG Giger Demo

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Fractal Audio Axe Fx 2 High Gain Demo Diezel VH4 Das Metall Ibanez RG Giger Demo

So I’m starting a series for YouTube and this is going to be my first installment. I want to record all of the high gain amp models on my Axe Fx 2. Maybe I will expand to all models, I don’t really know yet. Something I would like to do but the net doesn’t seem to care about anything other than high gain which is too bad. I’m not going to be scientific about it, because lets face it, what you would do and what I would do are very different.

My lack of science will include things like, playing whatever guitar I want, whatever tuning I want. In the end I just want to make a series of kick ass Fractal videos since as of right now that is my rig and I love it. I’m also hoping to work with Kemper in the future as well as Line 6 and do the same with their products.  So we’ll see hopefully they will give a shot to a Lil guy in the sticks trying to make some Internet noise.

What will be consistent, I’ve decided to go the mic’d cab route for these videos. So the entire signal chain is Axe Fx 2 (cab sim’s off) – VHT 2/50/2 – Mesa Boogie 2/12 V30’s in an isolation box – Shure SM-58 into a Motu 8-pre – into Sonar X1. (I need to upgrade to X2) Very minimal post processing. Very slight eq bump if necessary. And I’m trying to record a brief solo section in each of the tunes, using the same model as the rhythm and adding a little delay.

The only thing I avoided was running the Avalon 737sp in this chain. I avoided it because in one of my other videos people kept picking on the fact that I used an Avalon which makes everything sound great. True, but i’m an idiot so it was easier to just run it in the motu and be done with it.

My plan is to also talk about each one of these experiences and give people a bit of a glimpse of what I do to create the sounds I create.

For this track named (Butthurt Fanboy Disorder) I went with the Das Metall amp sim. I actually left the power amp sim on, I went back and forth on it and to my ears I liked the response better with it on. The cab sim was bypassed. I also used a T808 sim in the drive block. The mic is pointed direct on the cone but moved off of the dust cap.

The guitar is an Ibanez Giger RG all stock nothing special. I hope you dig it and keep watching for more vids.

Fractal Audio Axe Fx 2 Ibanez JS20S

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Fractal Audio Axe Fx 2 Demo all clean patches up till the end with a dirty lead.

This was day 1 with my Satriani Ibanez. I don’t have anything to ramble about on this one. I just wanted a clip with clean patches!! Fun guitar, great pre-amp. This is mostly clean patches but its worth the listen!!

MySelfishMe Rears It’s Ugly Head

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

One of the cool things about having your own blog is to be able to promote yourself like someone else is doing it.  In effect creating a perseption like We, Us, I are more signifigant than we are.  Now my problem is, I know what people say when they find out that said person is attempting such shady promotion. So I always find it better to come clean and say hey….  Ain’t nobody else singing our praises yet!!!  FYI i’m pretty sure The Jackson 5 started the exact same way.

Anyway, the band MySelfishMe that is in no way affiliated with the creator of this blog has posted a quick preview pre production snippet of some of their stuff.  A tune named “Fred” and an instrumental “Jihad Overture” So go love it and wait anxiously for more.

WordPress Murders GearZombiee

Friday, January 4th, 2013

The Gearzombiee page has been murdered by a WordPress update.

Newsted Soldierhead Teaser Video

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Happy Effing New Year. I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season. If not, I hope you can make it better with some cheap booze or craiglist hooker. Can you still get a hooker on CL? I think you have to look under lawn mowers or something now.

Well I took the remainder of 2012 off from my blogs and youtube channels. And I hope to fire back with a roar. Or at least a whimper or whine or something. So check out this web teaser for Jason Newsted’s new solo disc titled “Metal” which is due out January 8th on Chophouse Records.

Tomahawk New Video Stone Letter Mike Patton

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Hey all, i’ve been….. Well away…. Since i’ve been gone Tomahawk dropped a new video for a tune called Stone Letter. I decided long ago to not pretend like I know what the hell Mike is doing. I love him just cuz of Faith No More.

Peavey AT-200 Auto Tune Electric Guitar!! Pretty Snazzy!

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

So most people when they think AutoTune get this terrible look on their face and think of everything from Cher to almost all of the current pop music of today. Autotune has become a 4 letter word if you will to musicians. And rightly so, today a 18-year-old girl with so so vocal ability can sound killer with just a little auto tune. Now I have always been from the camp that auto tune and pitch correct are different things. Granted it’s the same technology but if I have a singer in here and he has a killer take but slides a bit flat and it doesn’t sound good, i’m all for correcting the pitch if it betters the song and doesn’t take a way from the delivery of the vocalist. But now it’s cool to see companies are branching out with this same tech.

Peavey introduced this year the AT-200 which is a guitar with Anteres auto tune built-in. What’s cool about this guitar is it allows the most screwed up tunings to be in tune and do the tunings you want. It understands bends, and allows for any kind of custom tunings. This is pretty slick for the weekend warriors playing in the local cover bands that don’t want to screw with multiple guitars or multiple tunings just to get through the night. And at the street price of $499 that could be pretty enticing for someone in that arena. I’m going to see if I can get my grubby mitts on one so we can get a good run of Gearzombiee videos out of it!! Because I honestly want to see if I can make it screw up!! Below is a YouTube link to the guitar and also a link to Peavey as well as Musicians Friend.

http://www.peavey.com/products/at200/

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/peavey-at-200-auto-tune-electric-guitar?tandt_rdir=1

Hughes & Kettner Triamp MK II Demo

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Hughes & Kettner Triamp MK II Demo.

Initially I could have cared less what the thing actually sounded like because it is seriously the coolest looking head on the planet!! But I never really gave it a fair shake because I picked up a 6505+ about the same time and was using that live. I found that for heavier playing this head did much better with a drive pedal in the front. In this case a TS-9 as well as an ISP Decimator. Without it, the head breaks up well at higher gain but the sound tends to squish rather than tighten up. For some that may be the sound you’re looking for, I however prefer the high and tight sound. Higher gain but super fast response no lag or squish which adding the Ibanez TS-9 does.

If blues or mid gain sounds are your thing, this would be a killer head. Very warm and appealing sound and a tone of character. This really is a great head for whatever application if you take the time to figure it out.