Author Topic: Majik's Road Case  (Read 10599 times)

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Online Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #75 on: September 28, 2020, 11:53:36 pm »
I have one of those little orange amps and speaker, pretty cool.   Wow you have some gear Keith, Love it!

You know the saying: all the gear and no idea ;D

Seriously though, I am lucky to have the gear I have and a lot of it I came to own through accident, friendships, and the generosity of others. I am really rather spoiled for choice and I should use it more. Life (and my personality) has often got in the way of me doing so, but I'm working on that.

Cheers,

Keith

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #76 on: September 28, 2020, 11:59:50 pm »
This is such fun to see what is next, Keith. You may be inducing some GAS in the Forum.

Now all I need is to hear another song from you ... I know, I know ... life, the universe, and everything tends to conspire against ... but after the wonderful first posting I am hungry for more majik

Thanks David. This probably wasn't quite what you meant, but I have been playing bass a bit more recently, and I've previously shown video of me playing the basses I used to own, and I thought it was fair to give the one I currently have an airing.

This is a song I've been working on in the last few weeks from a set of backing tracks I have. I've only just got it up to speed and I felt it was appropriate given the month is almost over.

The production on this is a bit rushed and not particularly slick, but I didn't want to spend too much time on it. The audio isn't a great mix but it's mainly so you can hear the bass. And I somehow truncated the video abruptly, but I couldn't be bothered to go back and re-render it.

Watching it back has made me realise I need to work a lot on my timing, but I have only just got it up to full speed, so I'll keep working on it. I hope you like it.





Cheers,

Keith

Online glpguitar

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #77 on: September 29, 2020, 12:13:25 am »
Such a classic tune to show some good bass playing!

Now off to read some of the interesting DAW and routing conversation in this thread.

Offline DavidP

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #78 on: September 29, 2020, 06:42:47 am »
LOL ... you right Keith, I was thinking something more like the recording shared from the hotel room just before you headed home, to hear some of those electrics.

Nevertheless, thanks for sharing, appreciated that look into what you are working on. Your bass playing is looking pretty good to me, seemed smooth, consistent.

Offline close2u

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #79 on: September 29, 2020, 08:24:16 am »
September in September.
Good to see you playing and standing and grooving Keith.
Nothing will get your timing and tempo and rhythm chops moving like a little funky stuff.
How about having a go at the guitar on that song too? Some lovely light strumming on Maj7, min7 and dom chords, plus octaves, double stops and more.  8)

Online Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #80 on: September 29, 2020, 08:46:49 am »
@glpguitar Thank you very much. If you want any further information on the DAW and routing stuff, feel free to ask. I was having a lot of fun for a bit yesterday with my Akai MPK Mini, syncing the MIDI clock with my DAW and messing with the arpeggiator on the Akai.

@DavidP Thanks, I've been working on my bass playing since I got back as I was getting into it about 18 months ago before work and travel got in the way, but then I didn't get to touch a bass in anger for about a year. I've learned a couple of songs in the last few weeks.

@Close2u An interesting thought, but I have other fish to fry at the moment, and I don't want to spread myself too thinly Maybe it's one I'll come back to at some point.

Cheers,

Keith


Offline Alex6strings

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #81 on: September 29, 2020, 09:42:58 pm »
I loved that bass playing video... all i want to do now is play a big ole bass.   Thanks for the inspiration Keith, sounds cool!   You look to be a natural on the bass!
"Hand me a guitar and I'll play the blues, it's the place i automatically go"  EC

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #82 on: September 29, 2020, 10:25:08 pm »
I loved that bass playing video... all i want to do now is play a big ole bass.   Thanks for the inspiration Keith, sounds cool!   You look to be a natural on the bass!

Thanks Alex,

It's actually taken me a few years to get to the point where I can feel relaxed whilst playing the bass. Of course, it also needs material I'm familiar with. I struggle with improvising on the bass just as I do on the guitar.

As for being a natural, not at all. I need a lot of work on my rhythm and consistency. I also often loose focus and suddenly forget where I am or how to finish a line. It's all stuff I'm aware of and working on.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline Alex6strings

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #83 on: September 29, 2020, 11:10:32 pm »
Thanks Alex,

It's actually taken me a few years to get to the point where I can feel relaxed whilst playing the bass. Of course, it also needs material I'm familiar with. I struggle with improvising on the bass just as I do on the guitar.

As for being a natural, not at all. I need a lot of work on my rhythm and consistency. I also often loose focus and suddenly forget where I am or how to finish a line. It's all stuff I'm aware of and working on.

Cheers,

Keith

I can relate to that completely.   I'm the same.  I switch off and then it just comes crumbling down.  It's actually sometimes worse when I'm playing well because all of a sudden my mind starts spinning and thinking, 'yeah this sounds good'  forgetting that if i'm not totally focused on playing I have about 3 seconds before in turns to a train wreck.
"Hand me a guitar and I'll play the blues, it's the place i automatically go"  EC

Offline batwoman

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #84 on: September 30, 2020, 02:20:55 am »
This is a song I've been working on in the last few weeks from a set of backing tracks I have. I've only just got it up to speed and I felt it was appropriate given the month is almost over.

The production on this is a bit rushed and not particularly slick, but I didn't want to spend too much time on it. The audio isn't a great mix but it's mainly so you can hear the bass. And I somehow truncated the video abruptly, but I couldn't be bothered to go back and re-render it.

Watching it back has made me realise I need to work a lot on my timing, but I have only just got it up to full speed, so I'll keep working on it. I hope you like it.

Cheers,

Keith

The only think I want more of is dB Keith. Like cowbell, one can never have enough bass  ;D
Walcott Custom OM Acoustic , G&L Tribute Fallout Electric, Crafter T035 OM Acoustic, Ashton Bass.

Online Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #85 on: September 30, 2020, 12:08:35 pm »
The only think I want more of is dB Keith. Like cowbell, one can never have enough bass  ;D



I'm not sure if you are being serious here or not Maggie. I thought the bass was fairly prominent, perhaps a little too high in the mix. If you are having trouble hearing it, you might want to try headphones.

Other than that, I have at least one other song I've been working bass on that I might record soon.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline batwoman

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #86 on: October 01, 2020, 04:56:10 am »


I'm not sure if you are being serious here or not Maggie. I thought the bass was fairly prominent, perhaps a little too high in the mix. If you are having trouble hearing it, you might want to try headphones.

Other than that, I have at least one other song I've been working bass on that I might record soon.

Cheers,

Keith

Yes Keith, I have a fever and the only prescription is more bass.  ;D

My car stereo is testament to my preferences. I don't bother testing recordings there because they're always raaaather bass heavy.

I was wearing hp.

Did you make this image? I can see it's from the SNL More Cowbell video.
Walcott Custom OM Acoustic , G&L Tribute Fallout Electric, Crafter T035 OM Acoustic, Ashton Bass.

Online Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #87 on: October 01, 2020, 07:07:06 am »
Hi Maggie,
No, I found the image on the Interwebz.

Cheers,

Keith

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk


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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #88 on: October 01, 2020, 07:58:14 am »
Markbass CMD JB Players School bass combo

It seemed an appropriate time to describe this...



This is my bass amp. It was part of the package of equipment I bought from my friend Anita and it was one of the things that, along with the bass, first interested me when she mentioned she was having a clear out.

And it is totally ridiculous!

It's big, it's quite heavy, it's loud, and it's covered in carpet (well, a sort of thin, carpet-like material). It is a large cube that's big enough to sit on and which has the controls on the top. It's far too loud for home use: I can barely get the master volume knob past 1 before it starts rattling the walls and getting complaints from the family, and it doesn't have a headphone socket.

I don't use it that much (usually when the family are out) but when I do I love it. It has a great, full and punchy tone even at low volume.

When I first started playing bass, I wasn't sure I would enjoy it so, along with my tatty £40 second-hand bass, I got a cheap 25W practice amp which was OK at the time, but not that great.

By the time Anita contacted me about selling her gear, I was thinking about getting a better amp anyway. My first concern with the Markbass was that it was far too big, and I didn't have anywhere to put it. But I thought about it and moved a few things around, and now it sits in the corner next to my coffee table, which would otherwise be a bit of a dead space.



It's a 250W amp with a 15in speaker, so it can get pretty low and loud.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline DavidP

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #89 on: October 01, 2020, 09:14:54 am »
Sounds like a beast, Keith. Can imagine how much fun it must be to turn that up.

Online glpguitar

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #90 on: October 06, 2020, 09:03:00 pm »
I still cannot believe how much equipment was in Anita's trunk 8). It really does sound like a movie scene where some shady business happens in the parking lot at midnight. If you want the true experience of this big bass amp, try some modern metal drop tunings. You'll definitelly feel it roar. Might not be audible but you will feel it haha.

Regarding MixBus32C. As a loyal user of Cubase (the only DAW I really use) who has an "analogue" template set-up with all the routing and only using channel strip for early stage mixing, I will not change at any point soon but I do have a question because I really like the concept of Mixbus.

Have you ever used a DAW controller (or have you made one based on Mackie protocol - you're the tech guy so would not be surprised you already made something on your own) to mix something. Since it emulates the mixing on the console, you don't even need to create your own template to do that. Would be curious to read someone's change of workflow or if someone would completely switch to "analogue" mixing (okay, some additional plugins that can't really be controlled with knobs or faders are exception here).

I have been playing around with a microprocessor, few pots, faders and mackie controls to make one on my own but my Cubase tempalte still needs a fair use of mouse and keyboard, so this is still in early stages but would be curious to hear if you've tried anything with Mixbus.

Online Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #91 on: October 06, 2020, 11:19:36 pm »
I still cannot believe how much equipment was in Anita's trunk 8). It really does sound like a movie scene where some shady business happens in the parking lot at midnight. If you want the true experience of this big bass amp, try some modern metal drop tunings. You'll definitelly feel it roar. Might not be audible but you will feel it haha.

At some point I may try this.

Quote
Regarding MixBus32C. As a loyal user of Cubase (the only DAW I really use) who has an "analogue" template set-up with all the routing and only using channel strip for early stage mixing, I will not change at any point soon but I do have a question because I really like the concept of Mixbus.

Have you ever used a DAW controller (or have you made one based on Mackie protocol - you're the tech guy so would not be surprised you already made something on your own) to mix something.

Yes.

As I said, Mixbus is based on Ardour.

Several years ago I had a Roland V-Studio 20 audio interface which included a DAW control surface:

(I actually still have it somewhere).

It didn't work on Linux so I contributed a kernel patch and an Ardour control surface definition:

http://majiksramblings.blogspot.com/2014/01/roland-v-studio-20-with-linux.html
https://discourse.ardour.org/t/roland-v-studio-20/86899

That was back with Ardour v3 (it's now v6) and that definition became one of the standard ones included with Ardour (and the patch was part of the Linux kernel for a couple of years until someone overhauled the driver code).

I used the VS-20 for quite a while, and I would use the faders and transport controls on the it when I was using Ardour. Those definitions were carried through to Mixbus. Those controls, by the way, were based on MIDI.

Since then I've messed with a few controllers including a Korg NanoKontrol (which is a standard template  in Ardour and Mixbus) and TouchOSC and similar based tablet apps, which use the OSC control protocol. A while back I was toying with the idea of getting a BCF2000 which, apparently, can work quite well with Ardour and Mixbus. More recently I'm tempted with the X-Touch which works well with Mixbus and Ardour, and would also work well with the Behringer XR-18 mixer I have.





I also have an Akai MPK Mini which has some MIDI control knobs on it, which I should be able to use.

I've not actually built my own, but it would be relatively easy to do something with Mackie,  standard MIDI, or OSC. Ardour/Mxbus have quite a good way to define MIDI mapping into control surfaces, so if you have a control surface, the chances are you can build a template for it.

Cheers,

Keith

Online Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #92 on: October 06, 2020, 11:28:46 pm »
I just fired up Mixbus and checked. My V-Studio 20 template is still there :D



Cheers,

Keith

Online glpguitar

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #93 on: October 07, 2020, 12:27:29 am »
Thank you for the in-depth reply, also great that they put your template in :D! Especially that Paul Davis approved it must've felt good.

I was playing with the idea of X-Touch but what I really dislike about it (and any other DAW controller on the market - at least in the range of up to 1000 €/£/$) is the fact that NOBODY provides 2 channel strips. I just want to have two tracks selected and all eq/dynamics knobs so if something is fighting in the mix, I can find the sweet spot without doing it one at a time with a mouse. That's also the reason why I started to play with my own design.

I also found this guy making them:




And the mix looks actually quite smooth but I am still waiting that somebody out there makes one with two "channel strips". Or am I really going to have to build one on my own.

Sorry if this went too off-topic. Will stop rambling now.

Keep us updated how cranking this bass amp goes 8)!

Online Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #94 on: October 07, 2020, 09:06:13 am »
No, that's fine. It's an interesting, and logical, requirement. It's a shame the XTouch (or similar) don't have more physical knobs per channel strip.

This nice thing about Ardour (and, thus, Mixbus) is it is very flexible with control assignments (I've not used Reaper or others to compare) and the nice thing about Mixbus is the built-in EQ and bus assignment section which is just like a real, physical console.

Most DAWs (including Ardour) don't have this on the basis that you can, nominally, achieve the same thing with EQ plugins and by configuring busses and send routing. This approach is also more flexible (although there also nothing stopping you doing that with Mixbus if you want to).

Conversely, the big advantage for Mixbus on the control side is that you can easily map the EQ and sends to a control surface because they are a standard and constant part of the strip. I'm sure it's possible to map control surface knobs and sliders to an EQ plugin's parameters but I suspect it would be both complex and prone to failing in all sorts of ways. Practically speaking it may be something you have to manually configure at the start of every session.

If you do DIY something, I wold suggest you consider OSC as the control option. Ardour and Mixbus both have extensive OSC support, and I believe Reaper does too. The Ardour manual section on OSC might be worth a look at.

I'll let you know if I try cranking some drop-tuned bass out, although it may have to wait for the family to go out.

By the way, how's the Tascam going?

Cheers,

Keith

Online glpguitar

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #95 on: October 07, 2020, 12:22:18 pm »
Thank you for sharing your thoughts + Ardour's user manual is written very clearly. If I manage to move on from theoretical design to something that will actually work, I'll start a new thread.

Re-Tascam: This device is insanely good. Just the pure fact that it's pretty much plug&play with a backing track playlist, increased the productivity levels by a 1000. So thank you for sending it over!

Offline J.W.C.

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #96 on: October 08, 2020, 12:30:45 am »
Interesting stuff.

I've been using the knobs on my Akai MPK mini with my DAW (Bitwig running on Linux), but I haven't gone any farther than that. I can see the appeal of a more feature rich controller with sliders and such.

Bitwig controller scripts/extensions are written in languages that will compile with the JDK (so Java, Kotlin, Clojure, Scala, Javascript, etc). Scripts already existed for my controller, so I haven't delved into that, though.

Offline DavidP

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #97 on: October 08, 2020, 05:32:14 am »
This is beginning to sound like some of the coffee conversations with some mates at work, who are still into the technical side of technology (unlike myself who hasn't developed in years, other than some enhancing the odd Excel macro).

Online Majik

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #98 on: October 16, 2020, 06:22:45 pm »
Positive Grid Spark 40



So I got one of these things. I ordered it back in March when they first started advertising them as it looked quite good and I thought it would be useful as a portable practice amp. I didn't actually get it delivered until mid September.

It's OK, but I'm not overly impressed. The sounds you can get from it are pretty good quality, and it supports bass and acoustic guitar as well, which is a bonus. I think it's a bit bass heavy on the guitar sounds but, conversely, when you use it with bass guitar the small speakers seem to struggle quite a bit. Acoustic guitar through it sounds very good to my ears.

The amp models are pretty good, but there's limited options on the effects and no ability to alter the chain which is stuck at:

noise gate -> drive -> amp -> modulation -> delay -> reverb

That's a good thing in some respects, as there's less to have to mess with, but it does feel a bit limiting compared with other options. There's no specific speaker cab emulation that is selectable/tweakable.

Mains hum is a BIG issue for some people because the power supply they ship it with is ungrounded. Replacing it with a grounded PSU fixes it, but they should have shipped it with one to start with. I have a bit of hum, especially when connected to a laptop via USB. Unplugging the laptop PSU helps a bit. I've been meaning to dig a grounded PSU out of my garage to try it.

The big hype around this amp seems to be the software. I should point out this is all app based and actually nothing to do with the amp itself (other than that it only works with the Spark).

The software basically allows you to stream backing tracks from YouTube, Apple Music or Spotify to the amp and play along with them. I can do that with any bluetooth enabled amp (or, in fact, a non BT enabled amp and a nearby Bluetooth speaker or a £20 Bluetooth audio streamer like the Blackstar Tone Link). Even the metronome is basically part of the app, streamed to the speaker via bluetooth.

Where the Spark software is different is that the app has the ability to analyse songs from Youtube, Apple Music, or Spotify, and put up a chord chart for it. That's fairly clever. Personally I don't find it that useful (especially as many Youtube backing tracks already print up chord charts) and it's not particularly accurate with more complex chords.

The other thing it does is the "Smart Jam" which lets you pick a drummer and play along. The clever(ish) part is that the app will listen to a chord sequence you strum and will then build a simple backing track for it. In that respect it's similar to the Digitech Trio. However, the Trio has more drum options, variations, more control over the resulting track and is generally much better in every respect.

Personally I found it a bit limited and uninspiring.. Hopefully they will update the app to improve on this. But, as I said, it's all app based so I could forsee other vendors launching their own app which did something similar.

You can download tones that other people have created from a cloud based service. But the interface for this is dreadful, and there are hundreds of the same patch polluting the catalog, where new users have accidentally uploaded the factory patches to the cloud. There's also lots of similarly named patches. I hope they can improve on this substantially.

You can use it as a USB recording interface. It is supposed to be stereo, but this only seems to work on Windows computers with their special drivers. For me it just come out as mono. That's not really an issue for me as if I was recording I would apply stereo panning in my DAW. And I don't think there are any onboard effects which are specifically stereo anyway. The biggest issue with USB recording is the mains hum.

Physically it's pretty small, but quite heavy even though the power supply is separate. The carrying strap is quite nicely arranged but, at the same time it seems a bit basic.

I got the package with the case. The case hasn't arrived yet.

I do use this a fair bit at the moment because it's a novelty, and I'm trying to get to know it. I mostly use it on bass as I can run it at a manageable volume, unlike my Markbass amp. I've used it with my electrics and my acoustic a bit as well, although I'm tending back towards my other amps for electric. The main reason I'm using is, frankly, convenience because it's currently located where I play guitar the most, and because it supports Bluetooth, so I can stream music or audio from other apps (like Loopz, JG Time Trainer, Music Speed Changer, Youtube, etc.) to it.

At this point I'm really not using most of the app based facilities. I have better music players including the Youtube app itself.

Would I recommend it? Yes and no. For the price it's a fairly good deal as a practice and the quality of the tones and the versatility are pretty good for a package that size. I think they have messed up on the power supply. Some users, who don't have other tools, might find the app facilities to be useful. I didn't, and I found the user interface to be clunky in some places and dreadful in others. Things like the app not working in Landscape mode on an Android tablet are annoying.

Does it live up to the hype on Youtube: absolutely not!

I'll probably hang onto this amp for now, as I am using it and it does suit me as a bass practice amp. But I wouldn't be surprised if I sell it on at some point.

Cheers,

Keith
« Last Edit: October 16, 2020, 07:05:06 pm by Majik »

Offline DavidP

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Re: Majik's Road Case
« Reply #99 on: October 17, 2020, 05:16:19 am »
Tip of the hat, Keith, for the quality of the reviews you write. Always an enjoyable, thoughtful read even if I have no specific take-away in terms of the item being reviewed.

 

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