Default recording chains, etc.; lazinessossity

Postered at TOMB:

The racked PM1000 channel I have is my go-to guitar amp pre not least because I don’t have it in my XLR patch-bay so I just leave a mic cable plugged in and hanging onnit. I probably like the ISA1 better for amps, or the UA110, but convenience in recording is like location in real estate.

And so it occurs to me, I often grab vocals thru the Eureka because I have its compressor nicely defaulted (I don’t use the EQ other than the pass-filter) for my vocals, requiring very little if any tweaking no matter what mic. Or a VC1Q, same reason.

By the same token I have a dbx160XT set for my DI bass touch, and a 166A set for when I split amp and DI (linking the channels and letting the amp side lead means I don’t have to time-shift for phase; I go into a The Brick and split out to the amp.) And I have a VC3Q set for a dubby bass sound (what I often combine with the The Brick into the 160 or a 1176 clone). Warm-up, and instant bass tone.

Likewise, I have a RNC that I can plug any pre into for a quick vocal, and a RNLA where my default setting is awesome as second or only compressor on vocals, and works on amps, too. (I do always have to tweak acoustic guitar compression, But I usually do that ITB for transparency.)

I have mic clips mounted on my guitar amps so that a E609 is always on one, a AKG D1000E on another, a EV N/D 308B on another, and a Superlux PRA-628 on a fourth. Easy to switch the mic’s between the clips …

I leave a MXL880 on a stand for a quick room or M/S mic (usually with a Cat Pipes Durham in-line); even tho’ my Shinybox23L sounds 2x better, the MXL is never in the way …

I always leave a mic onna stand in front of my recording bass amp, switching the mic out every week or three (currently have a Kickball onnit.)

I’m so fucking lazy lately I even have a bunch of my fave vocal mic’s mounted in desk-stands to record vocals – what means I use certain expensive or fragile mic’s like tube mic’s less often, because of the convenience; I just take the desk-standed mic offa the shelf and plug it in at my mix position.

I’m even less likely to use nice pedals when recording because they require breaking out and setting up my pedal board, and it’s easier to just grab whatever is laying around unmounted and use that (everybody’s got a spare distortion pedal, for example, not the fave but usable for that quick lead.)

I have a cheap Alvarez bass onna hook in my bedio that I hafta remember to not always use, and I hafta remember to switch out the guitar on the stand next to the mix position – when a fave is there I might go weeks without changing it (ex., I have a old G&L F100 that I can get nearly every long-scale neck sound I want out of, plays like buttah after 30 years in my mitts.)

Vocal chain, instrument EQ, room verb, guitar verb, gate pre-sets in the DAW? Check.

I even have templates for my bandcamp album covers.

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Re mic’s and pre’s (cheap)

In response to a question at TOMB, I wrote:

The VTB1 is a OK cheap pre, the Meek VC3Q is better, but I would reco you spend about twice that, get a Eureka what is a channel strip with a compressor and EQ.

It’s not particularly a “vibe” pre, but it’s so solid and easy to set up – set and forget, even – I use it constantly on vocals, especially when wanting to accent the mic itself.

Mic’s are a more “personal” choice. Flexible and standard in that price range (you might have to look for used) dynamics include the SM7b, the MD421, the RE320, or a little cheaper, the Beta58 or a EV N/D type. I don’t care for Audix, me, but old Sennheiser 500 series rock, also, as can the lo-fi sound of old EV’s.

Sub US$300 condensors I love include the Sennheiser MK4, the M-Audio Luna (not the Solaris so much), the AT4040, the CAD GLX3000 and even the Blue Spark and especially the ADK A6. ADK makes a usable cheaper mic, the A51, that I like.

Cheaper ribbons I like are the Beyer M500 (a lot!), and modded MXL’s like the R44 can be OK, but typically not great on vocals.

Under US$300 can get you a tube mic, also, and I paid that for the CAD Trion, the M-Audio, the MXLV69ME and the AT3060, all of which I use regularly, as I do everything I listed, in my little bedio.

Welcome to the wide world of G.A.S.!
bandcamp; vlayman; THD; blog;


Right-click and download to see whole pic.

Guitar Road Board

Guitar Home Board





Bass Home Board

Bass Road Board

vlayman; THD; blog; TFP

Pedal Boardage, Part doosh

This is the Away Board:


I bolted a enameled cooking grate, like for onna BBQ, to a piece of wood shelving. I use removable Zip ties to hold the pedals, tuck the wiring around ’em. The whole thing fits into a old Samsonite briefcase I had laying around (it’s on the left) what I need not even take the board out of. I plug a wah (not shown) on the right, using a empty lead from the One-Spot, and placing the wah on top of the board to transport in the case.
vlayman; THD; blog; TFP

Pedal Boardage

Damn things is expensive if you buy commercial ones. Me, a One-Spot is fine for, and the other issue is portability.
So I built two.

This is the Home Board:

I built it outta a wire shelf I bought at Menard’s Home Supply, zip-tied the brackets underneath for stability, used releasable zip-ties for the pedals to make it easier and cheaper to change ’em out.

It’s pretty sturdy, even using the wah, but while it might be OK for the occasional gig, I’d not want it on the road. As a way to organize the pedals and make ’em EZier to use in the bedio, however, well, it works!


Sorta M/S witha Durham

Published on TOMB:

I have the [Cathedral Pipes] Durham – feckin’ lurv it!

I’ve been doing a lot of sorta M/S*, using various dynamics (lately a EV E609 or a AKG D1000E) for the mid and a MXL 860 for the side (not a bad ribbon, the best part being it’s diminutive size).

The Durham lets me use any pre I want, so I can use older stuff like a 1589b (Altec) and get a strong signal that I can hear in the cans, even when I’m sitting next to the amp (I leave it set up onna Pro, Jr. next to my mix position).

And it really does seem to “clarify” the signal somehow …

*I often take the ribbon track and delay it .01 or so seconds, double it and phase-reverse the double and bring those tracks back up under the dynamic-mic track, and not always panned LCR, either.
vlayman; THD; blog; TFP

Latest pedalboard 6-15


Using this in a cover band:

1.  Vox Wah: wha’? Serviceable, cheap and easily replaceable, and I like it’s shallow sweep;

2. MXR ’78 Distortion:  nice and flexible, clear and articulate, approaches heavy because I was needing a 70’s/80’s distortion sound, has a neat boost button that’ll blind ya;

3. Visual Sound Rte. 66: compressor and 808-style OD (2 4 1, + 2 EQ’s!), with two very useful EQ’s including two boosts, can be subtle, this version is weird-shaped and big, but worth it;

4. Ibanez Swell Flanger: does what it’s supposed to do, lotsa control, small foot-print;

5. Rocktron Short Timer: nice slap up to short delay, articulate but not too digital in sound;

6. Boss CE3: can be nice and subtle, crisp and digital sounding, but not offensive – you won’t use it for Nirvana-type exaggerated chorusing, but you will to thicken and acoustify your arpeggios and rhythm parts;

7. Digitech Digiverb: pretty transparent, lots of flexibility, I like small plate, room and spring, and I like ’em a lot.

I like the One-Spot as much as my Snark clamp-tuners.

My case is a Samsonite with the board made of a teflon-coated BBQ rack that the pedals are Zip-tied to; the rack is mounted on my former board, a piece of MDF; Neutrik & Mogami cables (except the grey one what is Rat-Shack shite – I hear no difference).


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