the Line 6 Pod XT...
Slayfoot swears by it

from: cheapskate

Line 6 POD XT

Line 6 POD XT rack

Behringer V-Amp Pro

Behringer Bass V-Amp Pro

Slayfoot (Aaron Meloccaro) got one of those and swears by it, as do several other friends who's opinions actually have sway with me. I was saying bad things about the Behringers I bought, but you know what? I looked at the manuals, I wasn't using them right at all, haha, I always think I know more than I actually do, I really got them for friends to use when they're here, you know, just to save setup time. Well, after 3 or 4 days of testing and setting up, they sound pretty fucking good! They're sort of Line 6 wannabees.

Hey, Duke, why don't you bring that Line 6 and your Tele over here for a little sonic accomodation? I have every manner of rhythm machine known (and unknown), and I'd be very co-operative... THIS TIME. I got bass up the wazoo, too. We just got the drums all dialed in nice, Chuck Fansler has a seperate board just for monitoring while recording, we run "silent" in the room with just real drums and the hum of the killer air conditioner. If he's not here, its still cool, we always play to a rhythm machine guide anyway. This system is geared for capturing inspriration in the form of a certain rhythm that gets you cooking immediately at all times, but the mix has TOTAL power of optional subtraction, in English, I can take ANYTHING out without disturbing anything else. We'll often play to what seems like a dirt encrusted free for all, but I record everything on its own track, in ISOLATION. Can you did the ramifications? Merely come play and you will see me demonstrate it to you first hand.

Its really hip from a 'creative freedom to digital master in one shot' point of view. We got headphones out the ass. Also keyboards and the whole place is BASED on grooving rhythms, and the boildown thereof. You don't have to finish it here, either. This studio is perfect for making digital objects that you can take to other studios and keep going with, kinda like a 'working master' type thing.

Yesterday, on a whim, I made this beat real quick, then I made the grand piano and the hammond organ play off the same keyboard, a mix of the two best keyboard sounds, but recorded on seperate tracks, in case subtraction would be desired later. This left me with a 32 bar chord progression, you know, just a standard "verse", it kind of reminded us of the coda at the end of Layla, you know the piano thing that goes on and on? Well, I created these drums and these chords in about 2 minutes, then me and Eric, the 23 year old wunderkind blues guitarist sat here and played our guitars for at least 45 minutes, just pretending we were like Clapton and Duane Allman, I just had to dick with my slide, it sounds really good with grand paino and organ. End result? Two SEPERATE lead tracks, his and mine, either one sounds great by itself, but I also have the chord progression and the keyboard notes in the sequencer. Its all stored in seperate chunks and can be used as a whole or in part, the simplest use being me hearing a lick I like a lot and quickly sampling it and putting it in my continually growing stash of loops and one shots. you never know when one of these quickly rendered gems will be popping up in something else entriely. Its a lot of fun to just take ANYTHING, or EVERYTHING if you prefer, and combine it in whatever way seems to be natural.... and that definitely includes the totally unnatural when I'm involved, as you should know full well by now.

I start at the point of absolute "acoustic" purity, for instance, an acoustic guitar recorded flat, no EQ, with two condenser microphones, using only mic placement for tweezing. You would not believe how goddamn great just that sounds. No reverb on playback, either, just properly recorded digital audio that captures a performance on a non-electrified instrument, played back without any alteration of any kind. I've recorded so much acoustic 12 string for this Christian chick's album, I've got it down now. Its all done with decent microphones, usually two, left and right. Sometimes I get real fancy and take it to the next level which is four condenser microphones, two the same as before, but adding two more placed further away, say about twelve feet from the instrument, and also spread apart at least ten or fifteen feet. Each mic is recorded to its own independent track. This is called the "X-Y close up with L-R far away" method, I learned it firsthand from recording a 40 voice choir, but it is nothing new, its classic audio engineering, from the earliest days of audio science.

Can anybody say "Led Zeppelin"? They sound rather BIG, don't they? Gee, I wonder why? Do you think they might have been loud that day? But the quiet shit sounds BIG, too. Real big. By BIG, I mean as big as an auditorium, i. e. a large building. Ever wonder why it is John Bohnam sounds so fucking good? Well, I'm here to be totally honest with everyone... HE REALLY SOUNDED LIKE THAT. But it was recorded superbly as well also, with pairs of condenser microphones, some near, some far, sometimes there was also just ONE more, real far away, as far away as possible. Listen to "When The Levee Breaks". The key to perceived SIZE is DISTANCE. That's a "secret", don't tell anybody.

Line 6 started as a company that made PLUG-INS for digital audio workstations, those are small programs that process audio using mathematical models of the physical world. That company, Line 6, went from nowhere to FULL DOMNANCE of the music audio world in less than 5 years, simply by rendering those mathematical models into HARDWARE musicians can plug into AND afford. The XT designates that the hardware has come full circle and is now being controlled by a computer, in addition to the knobs the musicians have been tweaking. In fact, I think I'll end this unsolicited seminar right now so I can go online and see what's available for these two "pieces of shit" I just bought.

P. S Duke.... COME OVER AND BRING YOUR SHIT WHEN YOU DO. Pleeeeeeese? You will not regret a single moment spent. I promise Third Coast Network will never even know about it... until its too late!



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