Archive for August, 2011

August 26, 2011

bassmorgasborg II

before we get to the bass, as we’ve stated previously we are keeping up with are drumming on a every other day basis.  we think its a good to keep tabs on the ol’ kit and tricks just in case and to help keep that sense of what its like going.  anyways, the other day we responded to an online request for a drummer to come out to a casual jam and play along to some songs by the Clash.  well, being that the Clash are our fave band of all time, this was a no brainer for us and we wholeheartly took up the challenge.  we blasted thru 15 or so songs in 2.5 hrs and at least 60% of those would have been stage ready IMHO.  it was crazy good and met all our expectations!  plans are to have another go at some songs in sept.  can’t wait!

peggy's buddy!

we scored a bass cab the other day.  15″ that can handle 300w easily.  its pretty darn big and weighs about 60 lbs but the price was right and its not like we’ll be using it at every gig.  the plans are to use it mainly for outdoor shows.  we took the grill off as it was rattling and then took the Fender logo off that since the look of logo wasn’t that retro.  the rattle was the grill hitting the edges of the speaker so we added some weather stripping to the points where the 2 were touching and put the grill back on.  it bows out a bit but sounds great now and thats what matters.  we plan on taking the direct out of peggy the amp and feeding that into a PA amp(thats all we have for a head right now… ah, the search for a bass head is ON!) and enhancing the low end signal that way.  we plan to debut it next weekend at one of our outdoor gigs.

peggy's buddy with the grill on!

finally an update on our pedal situation.  we were not using our EHX bass big muff as much as we woulda liked and our BBE sonic stomp was always in use but we never quite 100% happy with what it was doing to our sound.  so we’ve been casually searching for a replacement for both and we think we found it with a Catlinbread SFT.   it not only add some variable grit to our sound but also is quite nice at allowing us to tweak our tones.  we took it out to our gig last weekend.  we had only really spent about 30 mins with the pedal to make sure it worked and sounded ok.  it took about a set to get used to her sensitivity(it responds to how hard or soft u play!) and once we locked in a setting that was right for the sweet reggae vibe it was perfect the entire night!  any pedal that inspires you and makes u anxious to get back to playing again just so you can hear it HAS TO BE GOOD! its also likely that her sensitive side will make us a better bassist in the future.  here’s a pic of the august pboard set up.  looking at the pic makes us think that less is more. the sft is a good step fwd in usefullness and quality so we can’t wait to enjoy it more!

august pedalboard!

August 22, 2011

bassmorgasborg!

wow,  crazy times.  we wish there were more hrs in a day but alas we meet again blog with so much of interest on our plate.

a recent summer evening gig at a private party with Those Handsome Hooligans was sweet.  not only was the pool and fire pit on prime display but we had a great time playing tunes in a laid back atmosphere and we led a wee open mic thang happen as well.  we brought peggy the amp out and she stood up to the outdoor test.  perhaps it was because we put here near a huge bolder to let the rear sound reverberate or perhaps she just loves to rawk!

the next day was an acoustic duo set with the lead singer of TooNice.  interesting just the 2 of us playing with no percussion and very little in the way of back up vox from yours truly.  a well attended store opening that responded well to the low key reggae vibe!

and now we get to the big part… we’ve gotten on the iphone bandwagon.  let just say that there are a slew of new gizmos that come out and they are here and gone in a matter of winks but we can forsee the iphone being one of those items that has legs, can have some amazing staying power and is well worth the investment.  in the last week alone, we’ve more easily been able to facebook, tweet, email and share photos in ways and speed we never could have imagined a few wks ago.  for instance, TooNice played a reggae fest this past saturday and we posted soundcheck photos of us and by the time our set was done, fans had  already commented on them. then we were able to tweet our progress from the festival to our night gig in newmarket.  we are now huge fans of the device and we’ve only just begun.  our next post will be done via iphone just to say we could do it and did it.  theres more more news but til then….  here’s a soundcheck pic from the iphone!

TooNice soundchecks in the rain at Reggae Muskoka 2011!

August 6, 2011

peggy part 2

so we took peggy apart the other day:

we gather that if u understand electronics this makes sense.  we could barely make heads or tails out of it.  basically we checked to make sure nothing looked cracked or broken or wasn’t connected.  after poking and proding, we nervously put her back together with the hope that she’d be better but the issues still remain.  we’ll have to bring her in to see whassup.

as for her trial replacement, we got the traynor dynabass 200 for the weekend.  our first gig was last night and she was just ok.  we need 400w and not 200.  though our bandmates liked this amp as it was a improvement over peggy’s current state it was still not up to snuff for our liking.  the one highlight for us during the evening was we did get the darn thing to feedback when we wanted it to.  sounded so sweet to our ears and something peggy’s never done.  regardless of our amp trial and tweaking the entire night, the show at the wild moose near haliburton was an historic fun filled evening and we can’t wait to return!  playing their grand opening was an absolute honour!  the view of the lake and the sun setting was worth every km to get there.  good times and even better ppl.  one huge lesson we learnt though for the next time we play a muskoka evening show outdoors in the summer, bring bug spray!

toonice at the wild moose grand opening!

August 4, 2011

replacing peggy

“peggy” is our ampeg ba210 amp that we’ve had for just over a year.  we’ve gotten to know her well and get used to her and her ways.  we bought her gently used and she’s seen over 30 shows with us.  not to mention many a jam.  we love her warmth and tone.  she is great at jams and at intimate venues but she is lacking the punch we need for bigger venues and shows.  last weekend we accidentally dropped her in the parking lot getting to our civic holiday show at the Boardwalk Pub.

not only was the pressure on us to perform well (our bass teacher was in the audience) that day but there was a sizable crowd and it was outdoors.  not a good mix.  not having enough guts and the nick she took in the parking lot made for a tense show.  we just couldn’t get enough sound out of her for our liking.  our bass teacher said all was fine with the sound but we knew it wasn’t.  we knew her limits and being outside for a gig just made it hit home.   its been problem that has been building up ever since we started giggin.  the need for more bass sound than she can give us.  we considered the dropping of peggy a sign that the search for something louder had to start in earnest.  perhaps it was her way of saying “enuff with bringing me everywhere“!

peggy at the bottom!

here’s a pic of peggy in action at the fionn macools gig those handsome hooligans did.  wow that stage was small.  we’ll likely keep her for jams and home practices but the need for something bigger for gigs is a need that is now too hard to ignore.

let the search for a 400w or better rig begin!  having said that, we’ve rented a Traynor DynaBass 200 for this weekend.  it the biggest bass amp our local music shop had for rent.  we’ll try her out at the 2 small gigs we have this weekend with TooNice.  hopefully there is a tad more punch and the tone is acceptable.  its a start.

Solid State Traynor DynaBass 200w

on a final note, following up on our purchase of the bassballs pedal…. we love it still!  been throwing it into a few numbers here and there.  love the little tickle it gives and then there more room to give more warble if we ever want to get zany with it.  we also revamped the pedal board order for more effectiveness.  it now goes: TU>MUFF>STOMP>BASSBALLS>FLANGER.  so sweet!  now how are we gonna fit on a 6th pedal?

august pedalboard setup!

August 2, 2011

fly by July!

wow.  july flew by!  where to begin?  how about where we left off?

TooNice played 3 shows in the middle of the month.  the Friday was an intense hr long set at the British Arms in Barrie as part of the New Music Fest.  the joint was packed and much to our delight, ppl started movin and groovin the moment we started.  that is twice now we’ve played BA and gotten a great response.  only time will tell if we’re lucky enuff to play there again soon!  the Saturday was a full night at the Iron Horse in Cookstown.  just us and a few choice regulars made for an intimate and interactive evening.  great time and lots of tomfoolery!  we do recall having to swat a lot of mosquitos during our playing as we were nestled right near the patio doors.  the next night we were back again at the Barrie New Music Festival to play a 20 minute set during the awards show.  TooNice was nominated for “best reggae” and though we were the only act to play and not win, we got to chat and network with a lot of varied artists.  that made the evening all worthwhile.  if you like Sloan, u gotta check out Sweet Mack!  great band!

the following weekend was the triumphant return of Those Handsome Hooligans!  we were playing a mash up summer bash-bday party-buying a new house celebration outdoors.  but the rain made us start the evening inside and then we made the shift outdoors once the skies cleared up.  that was sonically odd to us as we got used to how the band sounded inside for a set and with the move outdoors not only was there more room to groove but we sounded so much different!  it made for a great evening of live music in a fairly spacey area beside a pool and a fire.  talk about picturesque! every1 in attendance was blown away by our hooligasm sets and much dancing was had. pretty much every1 said they could not believe how much of a difference it made having a real band play at a party. take that ipods! we were happy with our playing for the most part.  we hadn’t had much jam time in the lead up with members being away on vac etc but the tunes sure felt REAL darn good to finally let loose on!  we also played an epic set of 19 songs in a row that felt like 5 mins went by.  gather that must be a good thing.  we coulda played til the sun came up!

the last weekend of the month was back to reggae with TooNice.  we played a quaint lounge on the Friday in Woodbridge.  a few ppl danced but many regulars were away for the long weekend.  we made the most of it though.  we got to go over in a live setting a lot of material we hadn’t done in awhile.  that will help us in August as the band has many more high profile gigs on the radar.  one track nearly killed us and our finger tips.  time off followed by a lot of playing was finally catching up to our poor fingers.

looking back, july was busy month musically and to think we even squeezed some downtime and some horseplay in there too!  crazy!

sizing up the competition