Parade Banners

The Drop Daddies BannerMy band is looking forward to playing in this year’s Kiwanis 4th of July Parade in Danville.  We’ll be on a huge flatbed truck, so we need some big  banners. I prepared a modified version of our business card as vector graphics pdf, and sent it to this company BingBanners down in LA.  I orderd two 3’x6’ vinyl banners, very reasonably priced, and the banners showed up the next day!

The logo is printed over a dark eggplant-purple color, and I wasn’t sure how it would turn out on vinyl, but they turned out fantastic! And I’m sure we’ll be able to use these at other gigs as well.

Here’s the artwork:

DD_banner

Followup: here’s how the banner looked on the truck in the parade.  Maybe we should’ve gone even bigger!

The Drop Daddies in July 4 Parade

Jerrel’s 50th Birthday Gig

Great time last weekend, playing with the Drop Daddies for a friend’s 50th birthday party.

Jerrel’s 50th

St. Patricks’ Day Gig 2016

The Drop Daddies‘s 4th time playing this party- and we’re not an Irish band! 🙂

Norms St. Patricks’ Day Party 2016

 

 

Ultimate Guitar Stand

Ultimate Guitar Stand

Classic A-frame OnStage stand I’ve used the classic A-frame OnStage stand forever, but its time to upgrade to something better!  There have been too many near misses, where my guitar nearly fell off its stand. And, these strange reactions between the foam and the guitar finish are just not worth it.

This is the Ultimate Support GS-1000 Pro. It has a very unique design with a sturdy asymmetric tripod base and telescoping top yoke that basically guarantees that the guitar won’t tip over. 

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Working With DL32R Multi Track Audio

Mackie DL32R FrontOne of the great features of our Mackie DL32R mixer is the ability to record rehearsals and gigs in fully independent multi-track audio.

We don’t have a sound guy in my band, so this feature lets us record the soundcheck at a gig, then walk out front and play it right back. We can listen to it in the room from the audience perspective, adjusting the channel levels and EQ as necessary. Much easier than trying to walk out front while playing!

Also, we can record the full gig, so we can review it afterwards, and put together a good mix in a DAW for video productions, etc.

Here are some tips on how to get the most from DL32R multi track recording, and how to work with the audio files in post.

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Line 6 Helix at NAMM

Line 6 HelixI had a chance to see a live demo of the Line 6 Helix at last week’s NAMM show, and I was blown away. 

They’re really taking modeling to the next level. The Helix sounds amazing, looks amazing, feels amazing.

The Helix addresses all the issues that I have with myHD500X – the legibility/visibility of the small screen, solid tuner, clean boosts, scribble strips over the buttons so I don’t need to remember what’s what.  And editing on the Helix looks so simple and natural, compared to the HD500X.

And it sounds like they’ve resolved the HD500X wah sunlight issue I wrote about last year – they told me that they specifically designed the Helix wah treadle to eliminate as much sun getting into the optical sensor as possible.

Time to sell some old gear and turn that cash into a Helix!

I was just looking through some photos and came across these, taken during my shoot for my Three Les Pauls video. I was really happy with how that video turned out. I’ve been asked a few times how I achieved that black background, and I always get a good reaction when I say I just shot it in my living room with cheap lights and a black sheet 🙂 It’s all about positioning the lights correctly, setting proper exposure, and crushing the blacks in post.

Three Les Pauls Video ShootThree Les Pauls Video ShootThree Les Pauls Video Shoot

OnStage Upgraded Mic Stands

Mic StandsWe have been having some issues with four of our OnStage MS9700B+ microphone stands. We bought the “heavy duty” stands in the hopes that they will withstand the wear and tear of rehearsals and gigging.  But they haven’t been so touch after all. Good news- it turns out there’s a new version of the MS9700B+ stand, and it is much better.

Mic Stand ClutchOn a couple of the stands, the clutch mechanism at the base doesn’t hold. The thumbwheel just spins freely without locking the post – so the post drops to the floor instead of holding firmly.

And the rubber feet keep falling off and disappearing.  I had a similar problem last year with the rubber feet on my OnStage amp stand, and when I contacted them, they promptly sent me out some replacements.

So once again, I contacted OnStage support, and received this response:

This stand has recently been upgraded and I am sending the new version and this should resolve all of the issue for you.  It now has metal parts for the leg housing and clutch so it is one that is really a workhorse.

After sending them proof of purchase, they sent us four replacement stands which are indeed much better.  Time will tell if they are any tougher.

Thanks again OnStage for the great customer support!

Micro 4/3 Speed Booster For Low Light Video

Speed Booster with Canon FD 50mm

Last month I wrote about my new Panasonic G7, and how I was having good success in low-light video.  I’m using an old inexpensive manual Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 lens, along with an Fotasy FD – M4/3 adapter

At our last night-time gig, I had to position the camera really far away for the 100mm focal length to fit the entire band in the frame.

So in preparation to video our Halloween gig, I purchased a different type of adapter – a Focal Reducer Speed Booster With Optical Glass Lens Adapter for Canon FD to Micro 4/3. This is an inexpensive version of the Metabones Speed Booster.

This type of adapter reduces the focal length by a factor of 0.71x, and increases aperture siimilarly.  So this Canon FD 50mm lens is equivalent to a 100mm with the micro 4/3 crop. This makes it challenging to frame a wide shot, unless you get really far away.  But this speed booster reduces that focal length to 71mm.  And the maximum aperture f/1.4 is boosted to around f/1.0.  That’s crazy!

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Halloween Gig at Studio 541

Absolute blast at last night’s gig with the Drop Daddies– in full disco regalia.

70’s Halloween Party at Studio 541

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