I haven’t posted here in quite a while, though I have posted to my other blogs. Since my last post here, I got married, moved, got another computer. The computer is a Dell from Costco. It specs out fine for music, but I think next time I will pay more money and buy another computer from Jim Roseberry at Purrrfect Audio. I bought a Focusrite Scarlett 18i6, which I liked a lot, but I could not get it to run without pops and clicks. I worked for several weeks at it. I implemented all the recommended tweaks to Windows 7 including going into the bios and turning off Intel Speedstepper. I eliminated tons of Dell installed programs. I worked with Focusrite techs who sent me beta drivers and stuff. They were great, but we couldn’t get it. I ran LatencyMon and other latency checking software. Finally I gave up and exchanged it for a Steinberg UR44, which works just fine. I wish the Focusrite had worked. It’s a great product, but I guess their drivers are finicky.
I am excited about a couple of new programs. First, S-Gear, an amp simulator. It comes with five amps, none of which are exact copies of anything:
- The Duke, which is pretty much a Blackface Super Reverb
- The Stealer, which is sort of a Marshall Plexi
- The Jackal, which is modeled on a Soldano SLO-100
- The Custom ’57, which is modeled on a number of different Fender Tweed amps
- The Wayfarer, which is said to be both Brown and Blackface Fenders plus some Mesa Boogie MK thrown in
This is the best amp sim I have ever played. I favor clean and crunchy tones and this nails them. My friend Craig, who is a die hard tube amp guy with a boutique Princeton clone that is just excellent, loved playing through this sim. It’s $99.
I also got EZDrummer2, which I am enjoying a lot. I had Superior 2, but it was complicated to use. EZDrummer2 has a really easy user interface. You can just drag and drop midi parts into the song structure. It is great fun.
Here are a couple of clips. This one has EZDrummer2, the S-Gear Duke model on the rhythm guitar and Guitar Rig 4 on the lead. I think S-Gear sounds way better.
That one was done in a few minutes on Thanksgiving in between cooking turkey and other holiday dishes.
The second one is a sort of scary sounding tw0 chord minor blues. It’s a mood piece. It has a telecaster through S-Gear, Duke model, with EZDrummer and NubilePlus, a Hammond B3 simulator, played with the tele through MidiGuitar.
Now I am hoping to write some real songs and play some better music!
Update: Here’s another track with S-Gear and EZDrummer2. The lead is my Tele (which needs new strings) through The Duke. The bass is going through the new revised Voxengo Boogex plug with an Ampeg cab sim. Very nice. The track is a sort of anthemic, but unfinished progression.