In defense of U2 (like they need it)

Responding to a friend’s apathy, I posted at LO:

Big fan here.

They started out as a Irish punk band with a message.

I’m not religious but I’ve never found their proselytizing offensive.

They started to get more and more atmospheric, and then went techno.

Now, they combine a little of all of that, with excellent and even cutting-edge production.

Sure, Bono can be a wanker, but can’t we all, and he seems sincere and also has done a lot of good social work.

Every record has at least one hit, many have more, and IMNSFHO they all have a minimum of 1/3 terrific content.

I listen to all of their records, still (other than Rattle & Hum, which still has some great tunes in “Bullet the Blue Sky” and the B.B. track) and look forward to their next.

While there exist many bands who have copied part of what they do (starting mebbe with The Fixx), their totality is unique, including their sound, vocals and performance skills.

Besides Bono’s unique voice and The Edge’s much-copied guitar work, Mullen has done a lot of very good session work (Robbie Robertson, Dylan, et al.), and Clayton gets one of my fave bass sounds.

Some short inexpensive LDC’s& MDC’s for vocals reviews

In answer to a friend’s query:

For a relatively inexpensive MDC or LDC I could easily reco for vocals:

Sterling ST6050 Ocean Way – lots of depth, sounds kinda vintage, sweet top

MXL Genesis FET – brighter than the 6050, not dissimilar

Sennheiser MK4 – very clean, neutral and accurate

Shure KSM27 (MDC) – nicely colored for vocals, fairly neutral, a little bright

ADK A6 – no color, neutral, seems dark because of that

Blue Spark – like a lot of less expensive LDC’s, but cleaner, and has a switchable cap for color

AT 4040 (MDC) – nicely colored, a little bright, accurate, can have some vocal artifacts at times, nice on OH’s

M-Audio Luna – a fave on vocals, very colored, vintage sounding

M-Audio Solaris – multi-pattern version of the Luna -I prefer the Luna, but they are close

CAD GLX 3000 – like a lot of less expensive LDC’s, but cleaner, slightly colored

CAD M179 – accurate, kind of dark, nice on OH’s

Yamaha YC – a short review

As posted at

I write play rock (on guitar, bass vox – keys is for fill-in) , and I need to get some organ sounds going on. I have 3 Casios and a Yamaha, the kind with built in speakers. They do OK cheese, but … I have a nice Yamaha S-03 what sounds great, but is relatively big, needs a stand, is a PITA to program and set up. I have a Microkorg, what sounds like a Korg synth – if you play synth, you know what I mean; organ is possible, but … I have a Arturia Microbrute – oh, what a lucky man, I am. Then I found a good price here on this – all my roots-rock and other organ needs is met. It sounds great with built in leslie (tone, fast, slow), distortion and reverb effects, adjustable attack (the key-hit part of the sound – think B3, and Billy Preston) and drawbars. It has 4 patches to start out, (Yama, Hammond, Vox, etc.) and is about infinitely adjustable. And it’s very portable, 3/4 sized, wall-warted, and it’s almost Nord red. FWIW, I spent a lot of time looking for a case and went with the Gator 21″ (one for the MicroK, also). IMNSFHO, this rules. (Can be heard on the most recent stuff on bandcamp under Vlayman).


Answering a question about if the Stone’s “Satisfaction” is actually a “good” song, I wrote:

Some stuff is hard to get distance on.

For example, I was hard to get the fuck away from my ex.

But also, that song is part of my id, ego, trad and history – I got no distance – I love it so.

Do the horn line-like fuzz guitar make it?  Well, yeah, but so does Jagger’s snotty nouveau-rich rockstar bitchin’.

And the drum break …

And it drives, the song does.

Check out the equipment in the vid above, note how the cameras are placed and can’t catch the guitarists, larf at the priest and rozzers after 3:00 …

I can’t write a song that good, even as I try, and I try, and I try, and I try, I can’t.

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;

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).

More mic babble

Asked re a new mic either as a 1st vocal condensor or as similar to a SM57, I posted at TOMB:

The AKG C414 UL B is said to be a good mic, but at $700 it may be more than you need to spend – BTW, ” To be 300 under a quoted price, after being discontinued seems rare” – hmm, not so much, mebbe.

If you really want a decent condensor for vocals, there are tons available at US$300 and even well under that price; I usually reco the AT4040 or the KSM27 for nuetralish, or even a CAD GLX3000. For an “older” type sound, I think something like an M-Audio Luna or Solaris, or the tube Sputnik. There are many tube mic’s, of course, but I’ve been very happy with the MXL M69ME that you can find used; I usually reco that as the easiest to find, most flexible inexpensive tube mic that “sounds tube-ish”, and I reco that means it could fit yer requirement for “old tone”.

Dynamics – again, there are many. Usual reco’s include the Sennheiser MD 421 (orig. or II) or really, just about any Senn MD mic; the 500 series handhelds I’ve used are all cool. The EV RE20 (I like the transformerless 320) or somewhat similar to what you already have but generally considered superior, the Shure SM7b.

I have never met an EV mic, other than broken ones, that I don’t like, and some of the handheld N/D’s sound great on vocals, even the 267, and all of the RE’s I have used have been very cool and kinda “old tone”.

I have only really used the Audix OM2, but like that, as well as the AKG D5. Those and the above EV’s are not totally dis-similar to the 57.

Also, XXX mentions the CAD M179 condensor and it is very nice and very flexible, and I have even seen it compared to the 414; it’s a great mic not even considering it’s awesome price. There is a cardoid-only version called the 177 that might be cheaper, yet. Altho’ I would mebbe feel weird calling any mic, “cute”… Twisted Evil