The folks on the telecaster discussion board are used to using SoundCloud to host the tracks they create for their Backing Track Challenge activity. Several told me that I would get more attention if I posted Soundcloud links instead of links to files on my blog. I decided to get with the program and start posting tracks to SoundCloud. The latest is this eight-bar blues:
A few years ago I acquired a tweed Pignose. I don’t think I have posted about it here before. Here’s a pic:
The first thing I will say is that it looks way cooler than it sounds. It sounds best if you think of it as a distortion pedal that also functions as an amp. I had it in my office for a while, where it served pretty well as a very low volume practice amp. It can get loud, but it won’t be clean. I’ll try to put up a clip later.
It runs on AA batteries, but you can get a power supply for it. When it first came out, in the 1970’s I think, it was revolutionary, but these days there are better options.
This is a slow rock thing that is reminiscent of Neil Young. I played my strat through Tonelib. I did it in one take, so it is what it is.
This is a blues shuffle. I got out my Roland Ready Stratocaster and my GR-20 Guitar Synth and put a saxophone on it. Then I put a lead on it with the aforementioned Stratocaster. It may have been too much because the backing track was already pretty well populated.
Here is a slight remix of the above track. I boosted the level of the guitar a little, put a touch of reverb on the sax to put it back in the mix a bit, and put some compression on the master.
Here is one called “Wake Me Up.” It’s a pop backing track. It’s my strat in the neck/mid quack position, through Tonelib. It’s designed to be clean and sweet.
This is a “Slow Pop” backing track. I used my Tele through the Tonelib Deluxe amp sim with Bounce reverb, a Marshall 4×12 cabinet, and a simulation of a Klon Centaur distortion pedal.
They had a “Big Band” track up that was based on the chords for “Embraceable You,” but I don’t have the jazz chops to attempt that one.
Here’ another. For this one I used my guitalele.
Here is a slightly altered version of the country blues thing. The first note was jumping out way too loud and it was through the whole first impression of the track off. It was bugging me, so I adjusted the volume envelop for the track to tame that note. Now the first phrase makes sense.
This one is called Monday Madness:
The Tele is on the left, the Casino on the right.
One more for this post. This is a track in 3/4 in G, that uses almost all the chords in the key. I used my Casino through the Deluxe model in Tonelib with Dragonfly reverb.
OK, one more. This is funk in D lydian. I used my Tele.
Today, Craig and I got together and took all day to produce one track, a cover of a Dylan song.
Craig played rhythm guitar (an orange Tele with a mini humbucker), lead guitar (my Agile LP copy on the bridge pickup) both through his Acoustic Image amp, and bass (my Douglas violin bass) recorded direct with adjustments through the Bass Professor II plugin. He also did the vocal. I played drums and was the recording engineer.
We think it sounds pretty good. It is almost a professional track, by our very suspect standards.
Yesterday, Craig and I got together and played most of the day. I had stripped down my cajon kit to the 13″ New Beat hi-hats, a 15″ Sabian HHX Studio Crash that I used as a ride cymbal (it also has a nice bell), and a 12″ splash cymbal that served as a mini-crash. And of course the 10″ Gretsch Blackhawk snare.
I put new Aquarian heads on the snare:
Gretsch Blackhawk snare with Aquarian Texture Coat head
These heads are popular among drummers on DFO, the drum forum I sometimes frequent. The stock head had almost no texture, so brushes wouldn’t really work. They probably figured that nobody would do brushwork on a 10″ snare, but I wanted to. I think that the new heads gave it more definition too, more pop, less splat. I like them.
Here is one track from the session:
Craig is playing a black Ovation acoustic-electric through a Fishman amp. We were using two mics at this point I think, one for vocals and one for the room, with the guitar going direct from the amp. I put a little compression on this mix, and I attenuated the frequencies above around 5,500 hz to tame the hi-hats a bit. They were really bright. I might use the 14″ Armands next time.