Archive for November, 2010

November 30, 2010

darling, we’re taking off the training wheels

its crazy, we know.  slowly but surely (call me slowly but don’t call me shirley- RIP Leslie Neilson) the training wheels are coming off this bass playing thing.

we started learning the bass during the summer of 09.  ever since our first onstage gig back in july 2010, we’ve always had a few sheets of paper up there on stage with us with various notes and scribbles in case we lost our way or forgot how something went in the heat of the moment.  a backup more or less.  just in case.  the sheets were becoming the norm and one day it dawned on us that it didn’t “have to be” this way any longer.

ever since the local lads went and did 4 songs at an open stage, we’ve gone sheetless on stage.  that night (it was just 4 songs was the thinking), we just reviewed what we needed to know before going on and just went up there and played our heart out.  sure, we made a few mistakes but we were making the same amount of mistakes onstage with the paper with us as well. well worth the trade off of looking like we didn’t know the songs and having the associated clutter onstage.

that night was just 4 songs.  last friday with TooNice was our new cd (12 songs) plus entire set of covers (another 12 songs) without sheets.  tonight with the sweats, marks another 12 songs and misc. backup vox and also lead vox (for 2 of the 12) without sheets. sure, there were a few rough spots over the weekend and there may well be tonight but darling, the training wheels are off and we like it.  we really, really like it!

btw, that was “sheetless” and not “shirtless” on stage! 😉

yup, those be our sheets at a gig on the power mixer

yup, those be our sheets at an august gig on the power mixer

November 25, 2010

lets do the disc as a setlist, k?

TooNice's debut, "Change"

So the idea for Friday’s CD release show with TooNice is to play the new album as a set.  That is… the setlist for the show is the CD in the order as it appears on the CD.  A different concept for us as usually setlists are put together with the thought of the live show and how we want the energy to flow.  The album track order was put together with the thought of the listener at home, kickin’ back and enjoying.  How will that order play out?  Well having reviewed the album the last few days as a set, it should do ok.  Maybe not the best set ever, but it will be fun “one time only event” nonetheless.  It will also be a different night for us, as we usually like to have a few covers sprinkled into the set.  If any of those come up, it’ll have to be as an encore!

In other news, the Bassmetaphors is off the pedalboard for good.  Too much noise and tone loss in our books.  We gave it a honest go for a few months and now with the BassPi on board as our distortion source, the cons were outweighing the pros of keeping the Bassmetaphors “on board”.  In its place, is ol’-reliable-first-pedal-we-ever-owned, the Tech21 sans amp bass driver DI. Reunited and it feels so good.

November 20, 2010

Birth Announcement!

just posted…results of our foray into the studio with TOONICE!

3 songs.

enjoy. we will.

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November 17, 2010

whirlwind ends, wait begins

well, the recording sessions with TOONICE are now officially completed.  we wrapped up recording all the necessary odds and ends just yesterday.  what a whirlwind time that had us riding the fine line between getting the best results in the cheapest (ie: fastest) way possible.

session #2 had us bring out our EB3 (since Amadeus was in need of a setup and some TLC- see this post) and our Oscar Schmidt Electric-Acoustic (for one track only).  all our tracks were recorded directly out of our Ampeg with some pretty cool results.  to sum up the sound we got … simply we’d call it “very beefy”.  again, guitar, bass and drums were recorded all at once live off the floor with much success and little time wasting. it was a great experience and exercise that had us concentrating on the finer points of bass playing that we don’t necessarily think about every day.  keeping constant in every little thing we do was indeed a challenge!   we look forward to keeping at improving this area of our playing with renewed vigour!  to see and hear how important of a component it is at this stage of the music making process was very eye opening to say the least.

now we wait for the mixes and hopefully some fresh new vibes to sell at shows and post on the net very shortly!  stay tuned!

the toasting materials 4 the end of some great sessions!

November 16, 2010

2 new additions 2 the pedal fam!

2 new additions to the our meagre pedal board setup to announce!

1. the addition of the Bass BIG Muff PI.  a few months back we had tried out a regular guitar muff and came to the conclusion that this pedal offers the most fuzz and distortion bang for its buck.  once we found ourselves with an hour in the big smoke and the cash to spare we headed down to moog audio on queen w to check out the prices.  despite the horrid service, the price was right and we patiently and gladly got the pedal onto its new home.  its only been a few days togther but so far, so good. its all we had hoped and we’ll enjoy tweaking it daily!  omg, the sustain!

our current november pedal setup

2.  we happened upon an unused case for a drill the other day.  we quickly sized it up and thought this might do nicely as a hard shell case for our small pedal board.  we got the thing home, gutted out the plastic inside that was meant for the drill and viola!  instant pedal case for free!  the gutting took about an hour but it was totally worth the time and effort.  it fits perfectly and snugs the board nicely so that nothing moves during transpo.  all we have to do at gigs/jams now is pull it out and plug in.  there is even enough vertical space to store some cords underneath the board.

gutted case with a cord

gutted case with pedal board & cords underneath

November 16, 2010

our first ever open mic night

well, the local lads ventured out last week to give some of the fun choice covers we’ve been jammin out the past few months a whirl at a open mic night.  having never participated in one, we didn’t know what to expect.

the local lads debut!

we got there with our bass and amp(which we didn’t end up using but was good to have around anyways).  listened to the house band play a few numbers and then the list got made to see who was on going on next.  our set was 4th in line.  lots of blues and blues inspired classic rawk/country before our set.  once our turn came up we setup onstage without much time wasting and quickly got into our set.  we did pearl jam’s “alive”, weezer’s “say it aint so” and closed with Neil Young’s “rockin in the free world” which got the house band’s keyboardist up on stage with us for most of the tune.  there was time for an encore (which we gather was a good sign that we were sounding good or that we were efficient with our time allowed), and did another Pearl Jam tune, “betterman”.

all in all, it was a worthwhile learning experience.  we got to meet a slew of local musicians and they were all super friendly and eager to give away pointers like “u should look up more often”, “i really like a bassist that moves”.  we played decent enough and we got to let out some pent up energy that had been storing up for awhile.  (memo to self : next time, we can’t forget to bring a bevvy on stage with us.  that is crucial.)  luv playing with the local lads and it was great to finally get some of the jam songs onto a stage.  looking fwd to the next one!

we also go to debut our new pedal board setup.  more on that in the next post as it deserves a post onto itself!

November 16, 2010

recordings partie deux

so 2 days after our first ever recording session avec les sweats, we were off to record basslines with TOONICEgreat studio up in barrie.  nice digs and top notch equipment.

"amadeus" takes a recording brk

we brought out our fave bass, the Musicman Ray34 which hasn’t been used much of late. not on purpose, just so happens its been sitting nice and cozy in its case for awhile as we rocked out on our other 2 basses.  the ray34 has a nice set of flatwounds on it for the warm reggae vibe we were looking for.  the setup was similar to the Sweats one, just on a slightly bigger budget (ie: there is a budget).  we recorded bass, drums and guitar together live off the floor and went back and punched in any mishaps.  we got 2 songs into the can quite nicely but then the bass started to go wonky.  it was then we realized it needed a setup and that slowed down the first nights recording speed.  without a backup bass to use, we just had to struggle thru it all.

lessons learnt: bring more than one bass, try out basses before entering studio so u know all is well with them (even though u remember all being well-one has to wonder what goes on in those cases once the lid shuts?), be prepared for anything.

the essentials: bass, amp, notes, headphones, timmy's!

November 9, 2010

its the dawning of a new era

over the weekend finished putting the bass down for the Sweats and some songs we wanna use on the net for promotional use.  t’was the first time we’d ever recorded ourselves in a studio setting playing the bass and overall… t’was a wonderful experience!

getting sweaty in the kitchen?

a total DIY effort for a totally DIY kind of band! even the delicious wine we had was DIY (u-brew)!

we ran our Epiphone EB-3(what u see being played on the header of the blog) thru a tubed Traynor bassmate.  at first we also tried a direct line recording but the sound wasn’t quite what we were looking for so we stuck strictly with the bassmate miked. it was making a killer au natural sound that was perfect for the punky-rawky vibe we wanted.  after about an hour of tweaking the bass sound, drum mics and guitar amp placement, we blasted thru 11 songs doin’ multiple takes sans vocals.   the goal was to lay the basics down in one afternoon and then tweak the finer points of the songs later.  goal achieved!

here’s a pic of the Sweet Sweaty setup:

will post the final results when they are done.  can’t wait!

now onto the next session avec TOONICE, more on that in our next post… so stay “tuned”!

November 2, 2010

unforgettable sonic noob

view from cherry beach jamspace winter 2010

about to enter a period of new ground here as we take the bass into the recording studio world for the first time…. more on that in a later post but we wanted to briefly chat about what we heard for the very first time just over a week ago.

we were jammin it good at the RF.  taking a breather in the midst of 4 hours worth of practice time, we stepped out into the hall for a breath of fresh air and what did we hear?  we heard not only one other band jammin, not only 2 or 3 other bands jammin, we heard the ROAR of at least a dozen other groups jammin all at once.  it BLEW OUR MINDS… (not to mention our eardrums) but the sounds we heard could never be duplicated at the same time ever again.  every single available room had drums, guitars, bass and vox all in full throttle mode. we had never heard so many others playing all at once in our lives.  you could actually feel the building pulsing. we stood there for a few mins just taking it all in. we briefly thought we should record this somehow but nothing could do justice to the hard workin noize we were hearing.  we just listened and then one by one some rooms stopped and others continued and b4 we knew it, the sync, cohesion and volume was gone.  the unique sound was gone forever.  simply unforgettable.