Having a clutch of nice guitars and shiny gear with enticing LEDs flashing on it is all very well an

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  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,746Member
    Your father was a hamster, and your mother smelt of elderberries!
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 757Member
    Begone (to The Python Thread), you and your silly k-niggerts, or I will taunt you a second time!
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 511Member
    Mooo.....
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 757Member
    Oui, fechez la vache!
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 757Member
    So, much excitement in the Screaming Dave household as we wind up for a gig on Saturday night. It's one where we will have plenty of room, so the full arsenal will come out, namely my trusty SG Standard, my no-less trusty spare SG Standard, the '65 SG Junior, the Ibanez Talman electro-acoustic and Talloulah, the Minarik Inferno.

    So this gives me a bit of a problem. A bunch of thieves, otherwise known as my sons, have gradually pinched all of my guitar stands ....

    ... and left them places ...

    ... they can't remember where ....

    .... but they don't know why I'm getting so "stressy" about it. I mean, they'll just get me a new one ... some time ... maybe ....

    So I need to get some more. In recent years I've decided I'm too old for cheap stuff. So I decided to invest in some more good quality Hercules stands. I find Hercules stuff to be very reliable and tough. The gripping yokes need to be taken care of, though. The internal mechanism can become disengaged if they are forced. They can be popped back in, but I guess it wouldn't do for it to happen too often.

    I toyed with getting one of their triple stands, but it would only ever get used at big gigs, plus if one of the gripping yokes gets broken the whole thing becomes a bit pointless, so today I bought two full-sized stands, with their gripping yokes, and later this week I'll get one of their mini stands, which will also be good for taking to rehearsals.

    So the next task is changing strings. I find changing strings quite therapeutic, if I'm honest, as long as I don't have to do them all at once (all the guitars, that is, not all the strings on one guitar!) I usually check the set-up, clean it and apply a bit of lemon oil to the finger boards.

    Then I need to check I still have all the boring crates of stuff, which no-one over considers until they're not there. We have a crate of mains leads, 4 gang blocks, kettle leads and extensions, and then a crate of audio leads, 1/4 inch jack leads, XLR leads and various adaptors: 1/4 inch jack to Speakon adaptors, 1/4 inch jack to XLR adaptors, etc.

    Then I get to check the exciting stuff: Main Mixer, active top speakers, active sub-woofer, active monitor speakers, passive monitor speakers. Then we have a stereo compressor for vocals and two stereo feedback destroyers ....

    I think I need to become a solo performer ....
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 511Member
    edited March 8
    Ah kids hey? One day (you know this is coming don't you?) you'll wish they would be around to steal your stands. :,(
    Sorry. Just had to say that. The guitarists amongst my children aren't around to lend axes to, so most of the ones I don't play much fill up my guitar cupboard (yup..) waiting their turn.

    So back to earth..yea, Hercules makes great stuff. I have a three headed monster stand that sits in my studio/office waiting for me to grab things off it. I'm working on a solo act which involves looping and changing instruments, so having three to grab at any one time is really handy. I've also got a Hercules wall hanger, keyboard stand and mic Stand. I wonder if I could get an endorsement?

    I love changing strings too, for the same reason. I often take instruments to the sitting room to do it, with the packs of strings, Dunlop fingerboard oil, microfiber cloth, peg winder and wire cutters. It's a good feeling to be looking after your gear. And they do clean up nicely!

    And the mighty Minarik is getting stage time - nice!
  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 794Member
    Why not get a portable rack, I have one that takes 5 guitars for when I can take more than 2-3 and it takes up less space than individual stands. Thomann suggests £40-50 gets a selection for example. I have a double stand for rehearsals and tight gigs.
    My oldest played a bit of guitar but sold his last one a year or so ago and I have reinherited the single stand I gave him plus the tuner and G7 Capo as he's moved out and got a nipper now.
    I quite like string changes but only do two at one sitting else i get bored and go off playing. I sit down with cutters, peg winder, and cloth with lemon oil or boiled linseed if applicable. More than once I have got distracted and ended up polishing a guitar instead or playing the first one (stretching the strings I call it) and getting no further!
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 757Member
    I did think of getting a rack, but I figured, the same as with the triple stand ,it would only come out for big gigs. Usually we're shoe-horned into a corner of a pub between the Gents' and the fruit machine. So then I would just take the two SG standards and use an acoustic simulator for the numbers were I normally play acoustic.

    And there's no way Talloulah will go on anything other than a hanging stand ....
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 757Member
    So, we gigged on Saturday night, and it all seemed to go well.

    This is a video taken during the gig



    The bassist has cut it with a studio recording of the song because, frankly, the sound at the venue was dreadful. We've played in that hall before, and you probably couldn't design a place for worse acoustics.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 511Member
    You guys sound great! The video with the added audio works really well too, nice job.
    That song is really catchy. I know it's going to stuck in my head all day!
    Brilliant stuff :-)
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 511Member
    Got a subscribe from me:-) checking out your YouTube channel, I didn't realise that's ACTUALLY Debbie Harry!!!
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 757Member
    Yeah, well, she's getting on and just wants to wind down a bit now. Y'know, keep her hand in but nothing too demanding, so playing with a bunch of old f@rts like us is ideal for her!
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 757Member
    Thank you for your kind comments, anyway, Nick. I think there are songs we sound better on, but the guys all seem to like this one so it was once of the ones we recorded, and it happened to coincide with a full number that someone videoed at the gig.
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 757Member
    So now we move into that post-gig lethargy where suddenly we have nothing to aim for and everyone makes poor excuses why they can't make rehearsals this week. I swear our keyboard player's nan has died seven times in the last year and a half. She's really not a well lady!

    We also need to get more new material in the set list, and this gives me a problem. Initially one of the things I loved about the band was our choice of music. I always felt it was a bit edgy, certainly not the stuff you would normally get from a party band, but with a certain amount of cool credibility. If we did something a bit cheesy, like The Time Warp, or Love Shack, we machined a hard edge onto it and performed with with a certain knowing good humour. Well, that's what I like to think ....

    In recent months, maybe years, I've noticed a tendency for the songs suggested to veer towards out and out crowd-pleasers, which seem to betray our earlier cred. I mean, Moves Like Jagger??!!?

    So I'm scouring for good songs. I want people to go, "Oh, wow! Yeah, I love this one!" when we strike up a song. I want to do a Bowie song, and I'm leaning towards Suffragette City. A more obscure Beatles number would be good. I quite like Ticket to Ride, and Paperback Writer is one of my Desert Island Discs. A T-Rex number would be good (I'm thinking 20th Century Boy) and a Quo number would be good, although I think Rockin' All Over the World is a bit mainstream, so I'm thinking maybe Paper Plane.

    So, I throw myself on your mercy, and we are now open for suggestions ....
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 757Member
    So, I thought I'd describe my ever changing, and slightly fluid, gig set up. It varies according to gig, like how big the gig is, how much room we have on stage, and how much I can be arsed with it.

    I wish I'd taken photos at our last gig because, as the gig rig goes, it was a big one and had all the elements in it. So, working up from the essentials to the frilly bits …..

    If I could only have one guitar at a gig it would be Cherry, my faithful 2004 SG Standard in Heritage Cherry. We’ve been together 12 years now, and she's never let me down. She gets plugged into the main pedalboard. I've posted the line-up elsewhere on here, but we all like to talk pedalboards, don't we?? So here it is again:

    Mooer Acoustikar (acoustic simulator)
    MXR Phase 90
    Jim Dunlop Cry Baby (wah)
    MXR DynaComp
    EHX Tone Tattoo (distortion, chorus, analogue delay)
    TC Electronic Ditto (looper)
    Boss TU-2 (tuner)
    Proco Rat II (distortion)
    EHX Small Clone (chorus)
    Boss DD-3 (digital delay)
    Marshall Vibratrem

    The Acoustikar is just there for the real, real bare minimum gigs when I really can't even be arsed to take an acoustic set-up. It doesn't make an SG sound like an acoustic guitar, by any stretch of even the most fertile imagination, but it gets the general feel of an acoustic, and most punters will never notice the difference, anyway.

    With the exception of the Small Clone, which is set for a subtle general purpose chorus, and the Dyna Comp, each effect only gets used for one or maybe two songs, but some of them are used in a way they probably weren't designed for. For instance, the Rat is used for a nice soul style overdrive. The Rat is quite a full-on distortion pedal, but if the drive is turned almost right down it gives a subtle break-up which, used in conjunction with the Small Clone, gives a lovely old soul sound.

    Tone Tattoo: The Metal Muff is set for a pretty OTT distortion and is only used for "Let Me Entertain You". The Neo Clone section is set to a more extreme chorus and is used for "Echo Beach" along with the Memory Toy analogue delay. The Memory Toy gets kicked in on some solos, if I remember!

    I only use the Ditto for the solo for "Alright" (Supergrass). For the second phase of the solo there's a figure that plays through once and then again with a second guitar in harmony with the first, so I play it through recording it on the ditto then play the harmony part over the top of the replay. Having said that, I'm crap at it and I've never done it live. I need to practice with it.

    The output from the pedal board goes into the Marshall TSL602, which is a 3 channel affair, so my general clean, crunch and lead sounds come from that, with a tiny bit of reverb to colour things a little. So, there we have it: the nerve-centre of my live sound described in one short sentence!

    Back on the guitar front, I normally take Sunny, my second 2004 SG Standard (Naturalburst), as a spare. She also sometimes gets set to an open G tuning for "Start Me Up". I like to take Dolly, the '65 SG Junior out when I can, but only when I'm only going to be there to look daggers at anyone who even looks at her. For this gig I took an EHX Screaming Bird treble booster out to be used exclusively with Dolly. I also used an EHX Switchblade line selector to switch between Cherry and Dolly, and for this gig the Screaming Bird and Switchblade were Blu Tacked to a piece of black-painted wood as s sort of auxiliary pedalboard. As usual I regretted using gear for the first time at a gig. Our sound on stage was, how shall I put it? Well, I think "absolutely crap" sums it up. I could hear a bit of break up when I was using the Screaming Bird with Dolly and, naturally I blamed the 'Bird, in my mind. But, it was just that I'd left the Rat on! So my advice is to never, ever, ever use a new bit of kit for the first time at a gig.

    For high days and holidays I also take out Talloulah, the Minarik Inferno. She looks good for the last few numbers. Although she's kinda built like a Les Paul, with a mahogany body and a gorgeous curly maple top, the cap is actually very thin, and the body is thinner than an LP so she actually sounds more like an SG, but a slightly thinner sound. She could do with a tiny bit of boost, and I could buy a TC Spark or something to give a little bit of clean boost, but for the amount of times I use her live it just ain't happenin'!

    If the gig's important enough I'll take an acoustic guitar out. This is usually Franki, my Ibanez Talman acoustic. She gets fed through the acoustic pedalboard into an AER Alpha. The acoustic pedalboard consists of:

    TC Electronic BodyRez
    Behringer Acoustic pre amp
    TC Electronic Corona Mini chorus
    TC Electronic HOF Mini reverb
    TC Electronic PolyTune Mini

    The BodyRez does amazing things. Don't ask me what they are. I think it's witchcraft. It was probably designed by a team consisting of Gandalf, Severus Snape (to represent the EMO community) and Bette Middler's character in Hocus Pocus. For a tiny stomp box with just one knob it does an unbelievable job of just tweaking sound from an on-board pickup in an acoustic guitar to take away the nasty quacks and snaps and boost the loveliness.

    The Behringer pre-amp was what I used as a loveliness booster before Gandalf headed up the team to make the quack remover, but I figure it boosts different types of loveliness so it stays.

    The nice thing about the TC Electronic pedals is that a lot of them have this TonePrint thingy, where you can beam alternative settings into them via your mobile phone. So the HOF Mini and Corona Mini both have settings ideally suited to acoustic guitar: nice subtle colourings that you only notice when they're gone.

    For a VERY special gig, like the Queen's birthday, or something, I might take out Ronni, my Gibson J-45, but only if I can afford security guards!

    PA-wise we have a 16 Ch Behringer mixer (a UB2222FX, for the fact-seekers amongst you) which feeds the main mix to a pair of 400W Behringer active speakers and a 600W The Box sub-woofer. We have an off-board rack with a Behringer stereo compressor for vocals and a pair of stereo feedback destroyers. We then use the auxiliary sends for the monitor mix and use two The Box 120W active monitors, each one also feeding a passive monitor speaker, plus the drummer has his own active monitor, because he's special.

    Obviously the vocals go into the mixer, then go through the compressors and feedback destroyers via the inserts, and then into the top speakers and monitors. The TSL602 has an emulated line-out on it, so that goes into the mixer, as does the output from the AER Alpha, both to go into the FOH mix and monitors. Guitar amps tend to be quite directional, so getting a bit of guitar into the top speakers helps to counteract that. Then the bass also goes into the mixer, along with keyboards, sax and a bass drum mic. The bass drum mic is just to give it a bit more punch, rather than volume, although we could do with a gate for that to take out the boominess and ring from it.

    One day, for a really special gig, I'm going to run the "Empire State Stack". This consists of the Marshall TSL602 at the bottom, then a Marshall DSL5C on top of that, then a Marshall MG15MSii on top of that (which is a mini stack consisting of a little 15W Marshall head with two separate 10" speaker cabs) and finally a Marshall Micro-Stack (one of those "toy" Marshalls). The idea is to have them all running at once, and if I can find one a little cuddly toy gorilla is going on top!

    So that's my live set-ups, until the next gig, that is!
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 757Member
    If we every play a smaller, more intimate gig I use just the DSL5C (5W all-valve jobbie). I have a little pedalboard to go with that which just consists of a Mooer Green Mile, TC Electronic HOF Mini and Mooer Baby Tuner. The amp has twin footswitch-able channels so they are set to clean and lead, and the Green Mile gives the OD sound. The DSL5C has no built-in reverb, so the HOF (Toneprint, remember?) has a spring reverb type sound blasted into it.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 511Member
    Cu-rikey, what a setup! It sounds like it's been tweaked over a number of years. That Bodyrez sounds like a fascinating little box. I'd love to try one out.
    Loop pedals are a lot of fun. I bet that Ditto would sound great once you get it down.

    Looking forward to pics of the Empire State Stack!
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 511Member
    Oh yea, you asked about recommendations... I'm a bit of a Bowie fan - Suffragette City would be a fab choice. Oh You Pretty Things and Jean Genie are fun to sing and play. If you like it a little 'electronic', I'm Afraid of Americans is a brilliant tune. And not a little inappropriate!
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 757Member
    I'm only afraid of one American ......
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 757Member
    ... Chuck Norris!
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 757Member
    Here's a "family photo" with the Empire State Stack in the background

    photo b24b5b07-6a60-4ee2-9dcd-19c292b7b738.jpg
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 511Member

    ... Chuck Norris!

    Hahah!
    Great shot. And what a lovely bunch. The Stack is brilliant, I love it!! Don't suppose you have a gorilla you could attach to the side, clutching a Barbie?!


    I'm always interested people having apparent duplicate, so what is the difference between the two SGs?
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 757Member
    I've always said if I ever run the Empire State Stack at a gig I'll have a soft toy Gorilla on top. I fancy getting on of those biplanes on a sort of bendy wire circling as well. I'll probably have Donald Trump taking me to court because he reckons he owns the master lease on it.

    Ah, the two SGs ....

    Well, they're both standards from 2004. I had a lot of money then. Not for a very nice reason, though. My first wife, Lorna, God bless her, passed away, so with various insurance payouts and not having a mortgage I was loaded, so I indulged in retail therapy with a distinctly guitar-shaped bias. I went to try out FX stomp boxes at my local store and I was trying out a Boss compressor, and asked to try it with an SG Standard. I'd always fancied and SG, and I'd had an SG-X, and although I didn't like the Boss Compressor, I fell in love with the SG. It was quite funny, really, because the guy left me alone as he thought I was just trying out the compressor, so when I went back to the counter with the SG and the compressor the conversation went:

    Shop Guy: So, how did you like it?
    Screaming Dave: Nah, I don't like it.
    Shop Guy: Oh, well ....
    Screaming Dave: I'll take the guitar, though.
    Shop Guy: Huh, yeah, right!
    Screaming Dave: (getting his credit card out) No, seriously, I'll take the SG.

    By that time I had more guitars than were good for me, and I always used to take a few to band rehearsals with me, but I soon realised that if I wanted to play the others I had to do it first, because once I strapped on the SG I wouldn't put it down. Then I just though, well if Iove the SG so much I don't want to play the spare, then the spare had better be an SG as well. So I went back to the shop a couple of months later and bought the second one, in Naturalburst this time, without even trying it. I knew I'd do the set-up myself anyway, so I just picked up a brand new and still boxed one. I'd nearly bought a Naturalburst one the fist time, but the Heritage Cherry one was £739 and the Naturalburst was £799 so I saved my pennies, probably sub-consciously knowing I'd be back for it later, anyway!

    They're the same enough that I really wouldn't mind which one I played at a gig, and if you blindfolded me I probably may not even know which was which for sure, but I prefer the Cherry one marginally. I don't know why. So they are my weapons of choice for gigging. If I'm honest, I'm not mad keen on the shape, but I don't find them to be too neck heavy, like some people say they are, and they are super-light and comfortable to play. I can rehearse for 3 hours with an SG, but I'd be bent-double for a week if I did it with a Les Paul. (I also bought a Les Paul Classic during my retail-therapy phase, so I know what I'm talking about!)

    The SG Junior is even lighter. I could play that for a week and barely notice it was there at all. It's so old there must be no moisture left in the wood.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 511Member
    Hahah yea, watch out for a call from Trump's legal team!

    What a great story. A friend of mine went through a similar sequence of events after his wife died very suddenly from an aneurism. Every time I saw him he had a new guitar - a vintage white Rickenbacker 4003, a beautiful Ibanez, all kinds of things.

    I know what you mean about the SG aesthetics. I haven't played one for that reason. But weight is definitely an issue for me too so most of my guitars are chambered or hollow, from just under 6lbs to about 8.

    The biggest most comfortable guitar I've played is an Explorer, but they are a bit weighty.
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 757Member
    When I was undergoing my retail therapy it just happened to coincide with one of our local stores having a big sale as they were moving. Their motto seemed to be, "We'd rather sell 'em than move 'em," so I was tempted on a regular basis. On turning up to yet another band rehearsal with a new guitar, our other guitarist said, "I knew Coda Music were moving, but I didn't realise they were moving to your house!"
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 511Member

    "I knew Coda Music were moving, but I didn't realise they were moving to your house!"

    LOL That's great!
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 757Member
    I dunno. I only bought 2 SG standards, an SG Junior, an Ibanez AS83, an Ibanez S70, a PRS SE Soapbar, a Les Paul Classic, a J45 and a Lite Ash Telecaster from them ...

    Oh, and a Marshall DSL401, a Marshall TSL602 and a Boss AD-8 Acoustic Processor ....

    And it was over the space of about a year

    Can't see what all the fuss was about!!
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 511Member
    You didn't even make it to the bass department. And then there were the extended ranges, PA, wireless, in ear monitors.... you really held back!
  • Screaming DaveScreaming Dave Posts: 757Member
    Oh, I forgot the digital studio. And all of the stuff I bought in other places. I did go a bit mad
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 511Member
    Lol nice one! Keeping the economy going, all on your own:-)
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