These days I feel like I’m selling half of my life on Craigslist. Most of these are items I love and would hate to part with – but having children makes you use even dearly loved things much less often than you would expect. So, in the interest of a bit of late-spring cleaning, I offer up the following:
My favorite piece of gear right now would have to be the Rupert Neve Portico 517 that I got for my birthday in August. What an amazing piece of gear this microphone preamp is. It has two sonic characteristics - on one hand an ultra clean pre and on the other a silky 1073-ish mic preamp.
To complement this I recently picked up a Focusrite Saffire Liquid 56 Firewire Recording Interface – something I’ve had my eye on for a while. I sold a bunch of gear to finance the purchase and said goodbye to my old M-Audio FW1814 unit which served me well for nearly 5 years and an album or two.
As I looked around the web I couldn’t help but notice that nobody has done a mic pre shootout of the new Liquid Preamp technology to show off the emulation capability of the Saffire. The dual-channel microphone preamp models are one of the main selling points of this item, and the web needs a de-facto mic pre shootout of this piece of kit. Unfortunately I’m not the guy who can pull off a full-blown scientific test of this kind – and you’d want to hear it on many sources with many mic types to really get an idea of how it stands up.
Instead I thought I’d put together a really quick ribbon-mic on acoustic test… a challenge that not just any preamp can rise to; something that shows off the tonal characteristics of each preamp. You’ll notice the quick transient response on the preamps you’d expect it, and slower response – even a lower output – on something like the Solo 610 from Universal Audio.
This isn’t comprehensive, and it’s not meant to be. It’s meant to show you the ability of these preamps. They’re excellent bang for the buck – but while they’re stellar models I wouldn’t go throwing out my Portico just yet. Instead this will add to my arsenal and allow me to get the flavor of different pres without the investment. I look forward to being able to use the 3124 model on drum overheads or the Avalon 737 model for some rap vocals.
All of these tests were done with the gain on the Liquid Saffire 56 at approximately 52db. The waveforms have been normalized to 80%. The microphone is a Cascade Fathead at about the 13th fret aiming away from the guitar body. I’m using Mogami cabling. The mp3′s are 320kbps @ 44.1kHz. Check out the shootout below.
API 3124+ (hi gain setting)
Neve 1073 (hi impedance setting)
Universal Audio 610 (low impedance setting)
I was outside just yesterday as Jaci and I were spending the early evening hours working in our yard. It’s so funny that when we first moved into the house just 5 months ago we were out there every day – pruning, replanting, putting down fresh mulch and putting in nice flowers! But it seems the last few weeks have given way to distractions. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m just now listening to the new Dave Matthews Band release, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King … wow it’s really quite a return to form even after the passing of LeRoi Moore (saxophonist)… Track 1 opens with a kind of an ‘homage’ to him … feels like it should actually have closed the album instead of opening it. That said, that’s not to say that there’s any lack of horn work on this project – there’s quite a substantial amount… some performed before Moore’s passing and some by Jeff Coffin of Bela Fleck’s Flecktone band.
The guitar work on Big Whiskey is fantastic. Lots of electric guitar – played mostly by Tim Reynolds… it’s incrediblely expressive and more than makes up for the missing dynamic of LeRoi’s dulcet sax tones… in a way it’s like they decided not to try to replace him with someone – but to let the music dictate what needed to fill that hole.
My only criticism so far is that, at times, Carter Beauford (drummer) shows himself to be a one-trick pony. Albeit, those tricks are INCREDIBLE, but he seems to be completely incapable of playing a straight-8 on the hi-hat. Now, I know that’s his shtick, and I’m in awe of his phenomenal ability: but, at times, he just doesn’t come across with diversity.
As someone who LOVED Before These Crowded Streets, I grew very fond of Everyday mostly because of Glen Ballard’s amazing production of this album. Admittedly, I only listened to Busted Stuff vicariously through the radio play and JR’s incessant love of it, and completely skipped Stand Up… But let me just proclaim right now that I AM IN LOVE AT FIRST LISTEN.
I’ve often heard the phrase “worship the lord in the beauty of His holiness” used – and I can admit that, regretfully, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes every time some dear soul professed the words loud and proud. I can’t say that I feel alone in that – why does it feel like phrases such as this one are so often used demonstratively as a means of showing off one’s biblical vocabulary? Read the rest of this entry »
Hi everyone – thanks SO MUCH for your prayers and support during this latest trial we’ve been going through with my dad’s health.
The severity of his condition was downgraded on Sunday and he was moved to a regular room at Brandon Regional Hospital from the ICU. They still don’t know the ultimate course of action – but he is at least eating a small amount of solid food.
He’s struggling to rest and I know he’d rather be at home! He’s being strong though and I know he has a will to fight through this latest trial. We’re glad to have friends like you who are lifting us up — please accept our sincere thanks and gratitude.
Please continue to pray and I will give everyone another update when his condition improves!
I’m sad to say that I will have to leave for Tampa this weekend as my father was admitted to the hospital ICU last night. My sister found him in his bed and he was unable to maintain bowel control and had an inordinate amount of blood in his stool.
The doctors surmise that he had become dehydrated and his colon has become perforated as a result. In a healthy individual pumping them full of fluids tends to fix the problem as the colon is very resilient. However, my dad has been the victim of multiple heart attacks and has lost more than half of his heart tissue to scarring from the events. This causes fluid to gather around the heart cavity and to flood the lungs. Needless to say we’re in a Catch-22.
The other option is to remove his colon entirely, only to live life on a colostomy bag; however this is a 12-14 hour surgery and even healthy individuals have an incredibly difficult time surviving and recovering from this surgery.
The last option is to manage the pain and call hospice and wait for the inevitable. At this point we are praying for God’s intervention – but we have known that this choice may come in some form for quite a while. After 3 strokes, 2 heart attacks, and countless hospital visits in the last 5 years we pray only for his comfort and whatever he wishes. He is a believer and we are confident of his final destination regardless of the outcome; however please pray for my sister Kristen, and for Jaci and I during this time.
More jammage – this time with the Gretsch; this thing just sounds sooooooooooooo big and rich. I’m in love with this guitar. The best thing about the Grestch is that it’s perfect for this kind of clean, reverby, vibey type of music.
Take a listen and comment back if you like it!
Chris Harry and I have been going back and forth with some new music ideas; he sent me some drums he tracked off the cuff — and I threw a little bass, rhodes & guitar down.
Not really anything to brag about here, but it was a lot of fun!