Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Deepavali 2017

Midweek break- a deserving breather for the hectic week. There are a few more days to go till the weekend, anticipating a frenzied week ahead. In the mean time, here's wishing those celebrating Deepavali a worthy triumph of light over darkness. For the rest of us, have a good break, do wind down with family & friends. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Into another

Stacking or cascading, whatever you call it, it's the employment of two pedals in clipping your signals. In this instance, I'm putting the harsher distortion first (immediately after the guitar) followed by the overdrive. The effect of leading the harsher pedal into the milder unit is that of smoothening. It brings grizzly responses down to a more acceptable territory in terms of presentation. Tones become more acceptable to non-guitar audience for that matter. Which pedal setting should be marked higher is up to your liking. The clear outcome here is that you cannot resign in saying the overdrive subdued your overall intensity because this is exactly the intention. Do note the increase in background noise/ hissing when employing two or more pedal simultaneously which will be compounded by your single coil pickups' humming. The cure- noise gate, which will be mentioned in a later episode.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Another 3

Here're 3 more for my listening pleasure. Actually, there are more than 3 here; Ride & Teenage Fanclub are compilations while Blondie is a greatest hits + new album package. 

I used to have Going Blank Again & Tarantula in cassette tape format. The clear favourite is GBA, of course. The band was at the level best in terms of composition with varied song structures in the album, even a semi-instrumental take- not bad at all. 

Similarly, Bandwagonesque, Thirteen & Grand Prix were in cassette tapes. I didn't buy Songs From Northern Britain & Howdy! but managed to borrow them from friends. I returned them all in good order (unlike some people).

I grew up with Blondie playing on the radio. It was mostly on BBC back then, a fuzzy reception which blurred the lyrics mostly. As much as the catchy songs on offer, the guitars were played from a different approach. Chris Stein wasn't into technical impressions & there's a little more going on in terms of accompaniment & melodic fills. This Greatest Hits to me, at this day & age, is important. I'm not reliving the past but making sure the songs I like back then are now more accessible & readily available for my listening pleasure. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Metal assault Sunday

Sunday morning metal assault ✊

Had some playing time in the morning (& nobody's home) so it's as metal as it gets. Had been re-listening to the early Emperor, Marduk & Satyricon stuff so the urge to generate some metal music was strong. The Charvel there is one of my favourite in terms of neck feel. The finish has everything to do with it, it's almost bare wood. The last time I came across such a very thin finish was playing a Yamaha Mike Stern model. The EMGs in there were as metal as it gets- no compromise! Moving on to the second half of the playing time, it's the Kiesel this time. The immediate difference is the fretboard radius. The very flat profile here should be essential for those of you churning out very fast metal riffs.  It's minimum stretching of the fingers so less lethargy in the way. Sunday morning had been good. 

Dirty goodness

This is the current talk here- Friedman's Dirty Shirley pedal. For you to like this pedal, you need to have a liking for a Marshall-like voicing with added saturation. Sounds like the brown sound formula but not quite the drive response. The DS does not saturate like a pedal, it climbs up the gain range by manifesting an amp's sensitivity response. It sizzles at maximum gain setting & remains demure at the lower range with touch sensitivity. The PRESENCE knob & TIGHT flick switch add to character. I'm of the opinion that the former might appeal to the black metal community in turning one's signal grizzly without sounding too polished & prog, along the lines of Dark Throne & company. Like a typical Marshall response, the treble end can be excessive even with the knob dialled up to only the half-way mark.

Like its BE-OD counterpart, the power input jack is still attached to the circuit board. This was the main aggravation highlighted by the pedal community when the BE-OD debuted. It's not a functionality issue but a durability issue.  The white knob you see to the left is the pedal's gain trim knob so there's more to it in terms of drive than what the external controls have to offer.

When the BE-OD entered the pedal market in 2016, I walked away with disinterest. It's purely a tonal stand & I saw no point in saying something here. I really didn't like what I heard back then, a boutique level pedal sounding passable with a real potential of being awful. There's this miserable upper midrange honk that threatens to sound mono & killing enthusiasm. The DS pedal on the other hand, brought over its amplifier manifestation so if you've come across the amp & absolutely like what it has to offer, there's much of those character in the pedal. The only thing lacking is some tube warmth so do check your midrange control to prevent a harsh attack for all high gain applications. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Ouija goodness(?)

Do you have USD12K to spare? If you do, this Kirk Hammett ESP is yours.

How much money are you willing to fork out for an instrument? Will an extravagant price tag guarantee you an out-of-this-world guitar experience? 😕