Re my bass heads

I posted at talkbass:

I’m always on the cheap end of things as far as I can be. I have two main bass amps that I typically play into a Bag End ported 1×12″ with a 300w. JBL:

1. 70’s Musicman HD130. This is a Leo design that’s much like a Twin with a solid state pre. (As a guitar amp into a 2×12″ Celestions openback I think it sounds as good as any Twin I’ve ever heard, and better than many.) Mine is the version with the tube inverter and 4 x 6L6GC. The secret to this amp is to run it flat out on the master, with the gain controlling the volume. Or use pedals. It has a really “thick” sound, and I find it’s really big in the lower mids. It’s also pretty (blond Tolex) and pretty heavy, a little bigger than a Bassman head.

2. Ampeg PF500. Class D with a serviceable compressor and very flexible active-type EQ, it can sound like an Ampeg, or not – mebbe more Fenderish. I don’t think it sounds like a tube amp without pedals as it’s faster, a little more hi-fi and barely grinds. But put a nice pedal in front, and away you go. It’s very light, and fits in a large pistol case.

FWIW, I do feel the biggest difference between them is feel; again, the PF is quick and responsive, the HD is slower and somehow woolier/thicker; I find myself using a heavier touch with the HD. Finally, with pedals I can get the PF close to the HD, but not the reverse.


Vlayman: *the Lotion Job*


Feelin’ punky, feelin’ like it rubs, feelin’ farve-beanish, feelin’ the need to be loud as fuck, feelin’ sweaty, feelin’ like I just ate a horsemeat pie as I kissed the sky.

released June 25, 2018

Drums: WTFK
All else: Yo

Mixt, masturd, writ, recorded, prodooshed, agonized over (not) and uploaded from
FetaCentralRecording, DDL

1. Toys (She likes her) 03:54
2. Lotion Job 03:08
3. Trollin’ 02:48
4. Be My Dog 03:07

Fartwerk by Jose Jones
c.’2018 Vlayman

I mix with olive juice.

Groove Tubes MB1

My M1b:
ImageGT M1b_1 by mike lake, on Flickr
ImageGT M1b_2 by mike lake, on Flickr

Diaphragm measures about .9″.

I mix with olive juice.


Posted at TOMB


I’ll out-poverty you and mention the RE320 which I understand is basically a transformerless RE20.

Surprisingly nice, clear-sounding and un-hyped mic – it really sounds like what you put it on.

The bad part, like the RE20, is the form factor; my total guess is the size creates a tuned chamber?

My typical use, I’m afraid, is rack or floor toms, mostly because of its size.

And as you said of it’s predecessor, it takes EQ really well.

Also, in a pinch, it can be used as a softball bat, just not for Chicago-stylee 16″.

I mix with olive juice.

Let’s talk guitar-amp simulators

Posted at TOMB:

I’m sure I’ve posted about this before, but it’s been sometime and things change and I’m killing time …

I cain’ afford no Kahktails or Frempers and I dislike Line 6 fizz (“Pods are for puds”), but I do have some cheaper ones. I only use ’em DI, and often inna supporting role with mic’d amps where I need to throw down a quick add’l supporting guitar track, or I want a lead to really stand out.

The Tech21 “Character” pedals are interesting, and quite usable with a little work in mixdown. The VT is particularly good for a quick bass DI and sounds quite convincing with it’s switchable cabinets – the EQ is excellent, and because of that it is usable on guitar, also.

I have the California, also and it gives good Boogie.

I have a Joyo American Sound what is said to be (without the switchable cabinet effect which is always on) a copy of the Tech21 “Blonde”. It does a good job for clean rhythms where you might want, say, a Twin.

All of the above pedals are nicely stackable with other gains and drives – I keep a Duncan booster in front of them (itself a usable boost/drive pedal with the ability to get a single-coil sound from buckers).

I really like the Vox Stomplab for ridiculous effected, shoe-gazey sounds, but it is also usable in general, altho’ I do feel it is overly bright and kinda digital in sound – you know, at the top end.

I have some Zoom options and the 505II and 606 are fun to mess with, particularly (like the Vox) in their presets, if only as a quick way to inspire sounds that I might re-do with better pedals. I also have the Zoom MSB bass pedal but while I find it fun, I don’t dig it much on DI, tho’ I can’t really explain … it’s digital-sounding and requires much tweaking, altho’, after tweaks, it’s quite usable with an amp – but too many options and I bog down getting a sound.

Perhaps my fave simulator set-up is a Hafler T2 into a MicrocabII (the latter of what I just fixed after a monitor fell on it and jammed the push buttons). It’s not necessarily very flexible, but gives a couple good sounds, including a really nice earlier (pre-900, altho’ not Jubilee) Marshall set.

Finally, there’s something to be said for just DI’ing straight into a tube (even starved-tube) pre amp – think, “Black Dog”.


I mix with olive juice.

Vlayman: *Her Sweet Fingertips*


1. The Place Between 02:19
2. Coulda Told You 03:49
3. Strapped 03:25
4. Mary’s Thing 04:39
5. Her Sweet Fingertips 03:34
6. Penalizer 03:36
7. Peeping Tom 04:04
8. With Feeling 03:25
9. Cannon Smoke 04:06

released May 23, 2018

Drums was found, them jes’ downloaded theyselves, I swearit.
Everything else including the belches is yo.
Recorded and shite at Feta Central Recording, DDL
Fartwerk: Jose Jones
Recommended playback level 10dB
Recommended ETOH level 110

c.’18 Vlayman

Dedicatered the memory of someone I’m tryna forgot, and the guy was gonna do guitar on #9 but apparently forgoted.
all rights reserved

I mix with olive juice.

Drum mixing

In answer to the TOMB question, “Does anyone use overheads?”, I said:


I’m-a give the old man answer, it


Kidding aside, I prefer the OH’s with close mic support model, but sometimes the OHs are a single OH, or they suck and I only use the close mic’s.

Then there are times that the close mics for whatever reason are unavailable (if they are clipping, or I only have OHs, etc.) and then I use gates and compression and EQ to make a fake close mic track, ex,. a kick track, to use in the mix after appropriate processing and sometimes alignment. You can augment the thump or or body the click, etc., this way. And if ya do it onna snare or toms, you can use compression and reverb to stereoize or augment those …

And if for some reason the OH(s) suck)s), I’ll often reamp the close mics by blasting the submix into the room and recording that – I have been known to just nuke (compress) a submix for such a result, also, sometimes using a room reverb on the submix before I re-mic. Typically doing this, I high-pass heavily.

That said, I never use just close or OH’s, and almost always including when I get a complete two-mix of the drums, because that mix down will need to be adjusted in the song’s mix.

Finally, obviously it’s material-dependent, because a Bonham kick ain’t usually gonna work onna double-pedal thrash tune.

I mix with olive juice.