Moving to Logic X

I’ll cut to the chase.  My first impressions of Logic X:

Firstly, how much faster does this thing load! My MacBook Pro isn’t new (2010 MBP – I did install a SSD though) but it loads ready to open a session within 5 secs. Compared to close to 1 min on V9 – with the same 150+ plugins – this is a big improvement. Good start.

Visually it’s nice to have a change. Ive heard people complain it’s dark but no qualms here. Of course, there’s always new skins that can be installed as mentioned in my previous reblog.  Overall, all the familiar windows are here, sometimes renamed, but there isn’t anything too fearful. I was able to load an existing session from V9 and open it up without problems. Within a few minutes I was able work my session in much the same way as in V9 (you can retain old key commands). Navigation is simple and the new features, although I haven’t looked at them in detail, are easy to spot for when I want to. Looks to be a gentle learning curve for previous user’s.

Finally, I use my iPad for work regularly and now I can incorporate it into my studio setup via Logic Remote. I was able to get things connected easily and within a few minutes play around with my session from the comfort of my sofa. Adjust the flow of the song, rebalance the faders, adjust pans, vary the sends etc etc – really, it couldn’t be simpler! And the possibilities with this tool over future updates is pretty exciting.

Also, it’s dirt cheap.

No regrets yet then.

 

The Fender Strat

So christmas has been and gone and as I’m a little old for Santa I decided to buy myself a present. I went to GuitarGuitar looking for a cheap 8 string Ibanez to mess around with and walked out with a USA Fender Strat. Once I tried it, i couldn’t go back. Its surf green, 3 single coils (my other strat is HSS) and the V-neck shape. What can i say…I love it. It inspires and makes me play things I wouldn’t on a Les Paul.  Also, did I mention it looks totally bitchin’??

In conclusion, so it is with Strats and Les Paul’s just like with blondes and brunettes. You might like both but you ALWAYS prefer one….Ive called her Josephine.

 

brunettes and Fender Strat

Lesson 1 – C major Modal Options

A very quick lesson to get started. Improvisation is alot of fun and one i recommend you do alot of if you want to improve. Often it can inspire ideas and licks that develop into full songs.  Here’s a simple worksheet on comparing the two major modes in the simplest key of them all. Vamp the chords (i.e loop a rhythm idea of them – two bars Cmaj7 and 2 bars Cmaj7#11)  and try a the scale shapes over the relevant chord. Compare the scales – play with the note that distinguishes them – it’s the 4th degree. Thats our killer note for the lydian mode (what distinguishes Lydian from Ionian).  Once you have the sound try to break out of scaler patterns. Think melody and more varied intervals.

Here’s the sheet:

Includes major and lydian scale and 2 voicings for the Cmaj7#11 chord that is specifically for the lydian mode. You should know you basic Maj7 chord for the ionian model if your ready to tackle this lesson. You can still play lydian over a normal Cmaj7 chord of course!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/j485sknohhy6u4b/Options%20over%20C%20maj%20vamp.pdf

Jam on.

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New monitors

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Felt it was time for a studio upgrade. General opinion is the most important part of the studio is the monitors so invest wisely and as heavily as you can. I tried a few out and went with the Adam A7X. You know what, they sound monstrous! Nice and balanced, clear and great value. Love em’

Why go to Anaheim?

Not for Disney and not for The Mighty Ducks (which is as good as Disney anyway). Go for NAMM, probably the biggest and best event for us musicians wanting to see what’s going to be available to make noise’s with over the next 12 months. If you can get in, it’s not a public event, then there are also lots of cool people to meet and great musicians to watch including many of the greats.

Check out musicradar for some great online coverage. They update regularly and cover not just guitars and studio stuff but also bass, drums and other tech.

Anyhow, these are the companies I’ll really be keeping an eye on. Excited to see what they have in store for us:

Kemper Amps (new rack gear), Ernie Ball (new JP13), Ibanez (curious for more 7 and 8 string models). In the studio world i’m excited to see what Apogee and Slate Digital have in store. I think Slate will be showing off the Raven touchscreen console. Looks pretty ace.

No doubt my wallet is going to get dented this year! :)

Alex

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The Kemper Profiler!

This is my Kemper Profiler. If you play and record guitar go and buy one. It’s that good, its changed the game.

Think of it as taking a picture of the sound and dynamics of a real amp. It doesn’t model someone’s interpretation of an amp like a pod or axe fx it actually captures a real amps sound just like you would if you we’re recording a record and allows you to reproduce it.

Ive only touched the surface of its uses and functions here, suffice to say I haven’t played this much guitar since I was 17 and wanted to be John Petrucci (actually, kinda still do). Honestly, don’t know how I lived without it.

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DIY Guitar Repair

  by alexander doyle
, a photo by alexander doyle on Flickr.

It’s about time I learnt a few tricks for setting up my guitars. I usually use a guitar tech for any changes to my guitars but it can work out expensive. I figured it would be good to have some knowledge about setting them up anyway. I’m hoping this book with give me some direction and get my guitars back to the clean, fresh fluidness of a well setup guitar without the expense!